HEA / JISC QA-QE Event April 28th 2009

Went to this event yesterday at Aston University – actually only about 10 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street so this is a really accessible venue.

Interesting range of presentations with the morning devoted largely to QA-QE in the HE sector across the UK at institutional level. The afternoon provided a stimulating glimpse of the Pathfinder programme (phase 1 of the follow on from the national e-learning benchmarking exercise).

One issue arising from the morning presentations was the gap between QA-QE at institutional level and QA-QE for the JISC projects. Perhaps more could have been done to help project personnel relate the institutional QA-QE approaches to their individual projects.

The Pathfinder projects demonstrated different institutional outcomes from the e-learning benchmarking exercise and their respective responses to dealing with the gaps identified. A lack of time limited the experience of the PREEL 2 workshop; it would have been interesting to compare this to the participative workshop approach developed in the Planet project.

As ever at such gatherings it was the wider informal discussions that proved particularly enlightening. Listening to Fleur (Corfield) describing the use of scenario planning to help stakeholders recognise successful outcomes from her project was very illuminating – perhaps we should be doing something similar with a cross section of our identified stakeholders (including members of different stakeholder groups in the same workshops could enhance the appreciation different groups have of the project outcomes)?

There was a lot of interest in the PC3 project however it is clear that many people consider this approach unsuited to the typical 18 year old undergraduate student. We should consider contacting Dr. Judith Kuit at Sunderland and Dr. Eileen Webb at Teesside to pursue discussions around this – both of who showed a keen awareness and interest issues around the PC3 project.

Overall this was a useful workshop that should help to motivate us to revisit the PC3 project Quality Plan. In particular we should be clear what QA processes we are applying and what information these provide us on the project.

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