School Annual Quality Report

School Annual Quality Report

The University of Edinburgh

School Annual Quality Report

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies – Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research

Academic Year 2015/16

The school annual quality report should be a concisereport informed by evaluation of the key themes from the school’smonitoring and review of student learning and the student experience over the past year.The themes should be based on evidence from the range of available data and on discussion through school processes and committees of student performance and programme and course issues.A key focus of the report should be on actions already taken and planned in response to the issues identified. The report should cover all credit-bearing provision, including collaborative programmes. Schools are encouraged to use bullet point format. Reports should be sent to Academic Services copied to the college office by Friday 25 August 2017.

1. / Progress with recommendations from Senate Quality Assurance Committee in the past year.
For August 2017 reports, please report on College feedback on your last report (2014/15) and action taken
NA- we have no record of College feedback to our submitted 2014/15 School Quality Assurance and Enhancement Report
2. / What has worked well throughout the year?
Postgraduate Taught (PGT)
  • Portfolio approach to budgeting and staffing across all PGT programmes
  • Expansion of the School’s Digital Education Unit by appointment of an additional 1FTE eLearning developer
  • Appointment of a Teaching Fellow in statistical support and study design to provide support across all programmes, especially for dissertation projects
  • The increase of a 0.6FTE administrative post to a 1FTE, to provide additional support for new OLDL programmes
  • Our PPR (March 2016) commended us for the following points;
  • the excellent leadership by Prof Anna Meredith and the cohesive and happy team that she has established.
  • the Transitions Hub as a way of bringing students into their study time at Edinburgh and building alumni relationships and networking opportunities.
  • the approach of the introduction and utilisation of the work load model as a way of planning staff resources for the future.
  • the excellence of integration of cutting edge research into teaching e.g. Biosciences.
  • the recruitment and approval process of external supervisors.
  • the use of innovative assessment methods utilised across all programmes.
  • the use of Talis Aspire as a resource for all students.
  • the careers day which also includes alumni.
  • the use of short video clips by students at the start of courses.
  • the usage of Collaborate for the recording of assessments.
  • the expansion of the use of the online Café to other programmes.
  • R(D)SVS Research Student Day.
Postgraduate Research (PGR)
  • First year PhD 9month reports were submitted on time and review meetings took place in timely fashion due to constant reminders to students and supervisors.

3. / Any new/innovative developments throughout the year worth sharing more widely?
  • Appointment of a Teaching Fellow in statistical support and study design to provide support across all programmes, especially for dissertation projects
  • Development of a Transitions Hub, to help on-programme students and unconditional offer holders by providing a virtual space in which to access tools to help with their transition into and throughout their studies
  • 3 week (20 credits) face to face elective course in Conservation Medicine programme (Intervention in Wild Animal Health) launched in 2016 has been very successful and received excellent feedback. We will consider other similar options for other programmes where appropriate
  • New research methods course (developed by Equine Science) as preparation for the dissertation year
  • First year PhD students were taken to Firbush Point Outdoor Centre at the beginning of the academic year. This allowed them to interact informally with PGR advisors and to get to know each other

4. / Anyareas identified requiring attention/further development?
The PPR identified that we should consider
  • implementing a formal moderation process across the board with clear guidance for staff.
  • staff training on quality feedback and feed forward and the management of units of assessment so that they meet the turnaround time as specified by the university, including managing student expectations on feedback.
  • how the content of courses is reviewed and altered to reflect changes and advances within the subject areas.
  • ensuring that the quantity and types of assessments are appropriate for the individual programmes and have some equity across the programmes.
  • compulsory active plagiarism training for students e.g. Quiz, and that all submitted work at the point of submission includes self-certification of originality.
  • how Learn could be more personalised for Online Distance Learning students, with particular emphasis on the home page.
PTES 2016 identified an overall experience satisfaction rate of 90% but a 78% student satisfaction with personal tutoring against the target of 80%. However, online surveys carried out just prior to our PPR in March 2016 showed an average 91.86% rate of satisfaction with the PT scheme across our programmes. We will keep the PT system under review; this is currently in a state of flux in terms of implementation of a college-wide system for provision and monitoring of invitations/requests for PT meetings.
This was the first year that student progression was recorded on EUCLID. Although we appreciate the importance of moving to an on-line system, there were a large number of difficulties and the system does not sit well with the thesis committee structure we operate. These issues have been logged with Student Systems and we are hopeful the system will improve.
5. / Actions planned and requested
Section A- Actions planned by the school based on the analysis in sections 1-4.
  • a standard moderation policy with clear moderation guidelines for different kinds of assessment will be drafted to ensure that a consistent and uniform approach to moderation is adopted by all programmes.
  • The ongoing programme of staff training on feedback and feed forward delivered by VMED workshops will be highlighted to PGT staff, as well as any other University –wide training opportunities as they arise.
  • Units of assessment will be reviewed to ensure that feedback meets turnaround time and student expectations.
  • Two staff members run a live seminar on making effective use of feedback via the Academic Skills course. This helps manage student expectations on feedback and encourages active use of feed forward opportunities.
  • Information on current course content review methods from each programme will be collated and reviewed
  • Information on the number and type of assessments for each course is being collated by all Programmes to allow comparison both within and between Programmes. Any major discrepancies in assessment load between courses and programmes will be addressed to ensure greater equity, particularly where course are shared between several programmes.
  • Programmes have been encouraged to sign up for the LEAF project for 16/17 or 17/18, and this has already been undertaken by AABAW for 15/16.
  • Plagiarism information has been placed in a more prominent position on each Programme Base course on LEARN from 2016/17 and students will be required to mark as reviewed before submission of assignments. A plagiarism Quiz will be included on the PGT Induction & Programme Base courses.
  • Programme specific banners will be added to each Learn course from 2016-2017.Subheadings have been added to all courses on Learn to increase usability and ease of accessing information.
  • Each course will have a new section added which highlights how students can personalise Learn e.g. increase/decrease font size, amend profile image & details etc. In addition, student will be reminded as to how they can personalise the MyEd portal.
  • The PGT Hub has links to all the current Base courses and the Hub can form a more active, centralised area where students can connect and avail themselves of additional resources. The Hub is more flexible and user-centred than LEARN. A link to the Hub has been added to all LEARN courses and programme bases.
Description of School Quality model
  • Every course undergoes a course review after its completion with the Programme Director, course organiser and key staff.
  • Every programme has a SSLC which meets twice annually, comprising the programme director, programme co-ordinator, student representatives and an independent member
  • There is student representation on the School PGTC.
  • In line with standard QA monitoring processes, a combination of data from student surveys (end-of-course surveys (now course enhancement questionnaires/EvaSys), PTES, ad hoc programme specific surveys carried out in preparation for reviews/ PPR’s etc.), SSLC’s, external examiners reports and ongoing dialogue between our students and their programme teams is used. This also ensures channels of communication are open between students and staff in a number of ways and that student feedback is actively sought and responded to on a regular basis throughout the annual cycle.
  • As part of ‘closing the loop’ on student feedback, for academic year 16/17 we introduced the ‘You Said, We Did’ feedback to students (modelled on the UG BVM&S process) whereby programmes acknowledged any significant issues raised by students in the previous year and how these had been addressed by the programme.
  • We review the proportion of entrants who successfully achieve an award and the Pass/Distinction rates.
  • Retention rates for ODL programmes are hard to quantify due to the intermittent nature of the programmes, but are reviewed for the on campus programmes.
  • We involved our students in the preparation of the Analytical Report for the PPR (last conducted March 2016). All programmes complete an Annual Review Form (now Programme Monitoring Template). A college level annual review that includes QA issues takes place with the School PGT Director (November).
Research degree (PhD and MScR) examination processes and progression from first year are scrutinised by the CMVM Board of Examiners and hence are not commented on in this report.
Section B
  • Actions requested of the college based on the analysis in sections 1-4.
  • Actions requested of the University based on the analysis in sections 1-4.
Amendments to EUCLID to allow recording of thesis committee chairs and external advisors and to allow admin staff to upload reports. It would be very helpful to be able download the material from EUCLID.


  • The report in August 2017 will cover academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17, and will give an update on progress with actions from 2014/15.
  • Scope: the report covers all taught and research credit-bearing provision leading to an award by the University. This includes collaborative provision and credit-bearing CPD. For ease of reporting, each section may be split into taught and research-related themes. Reporting on research provision should be at programme level (e.g. training, performance) rather than by individual student.
  • Word length: the emphasis is on a concise report which can be in bullet point format. Suggested word length for each section of 300 words.
  • Current institutional priority: performance indicator of 80% student satisfaction with personal tutoring. Please report in the appropriate section on school performance (section 2, 3 and/or 4) and any major themes arising/actions to be taken (section 5).
  • Data sources: the BI suite reports and the forthcoming Student Data Dashboard are the core source of student performance and progression data. Other core data sources to be used in schools’ processes for monitoring and review of provision areboards of examiners discussions, themes from external examiners reports, annual programme review/teaching review meetings, benchmarked degree classification data, EvaSys, student surveys (ESES, NSS, PTES, PRES, ISB), student feedback through SSLCs and equivalents, outcomes of accrediting body reviews.For UG resit results, PGT dissertation results and PGR progression and completion data, the most recently available results should be used. Colleges will provide college benchmarked data for school reflections on performance, including degree classification, college level external examiners report themes, EvaSys and student surveys data. Schools should note in their annual reports any enhancements that could be made to data for quality purposes.
  • External Examiners’ comments: reporting on external examiners’ comments in the school annual report should be by exception rather than a summary of all comments, i.e. where external examiners raise substantial issues of good/innovative practice or areas for development. College quality committees will discuss an analysis of external examiner themes annually. See the Information Portal Quality Assurance Toolkit for sources of data.
  • School quality model: Along with the first school annual quality report in summer 2017 schools will provide a description of their annual monitoring and review cycle for all credit-bearing provision leading up to the production of the school annual quality report. The description will state when and how the processes are carried out, what roles are involved, and what data is used as evidence. The scope will include all monitoring and review processes, including those embedded in ongoing activity. Thereafter schools will only require to provide an update on their processes with their annual report if there are any changes.

May 2016