Course and Programme Approval for 2021-22

Given the ongoing constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic there will be further adjustments to the operation of the course and programme approval process during the current academic year (2020-21) as follows.

Approval of courses to run in 2021-22

It is recognised that Schools may wish to continue with temporary arrangements that were introduced to courses in 2020-21 in order to offer online or blended teaching and assessment during 2021-22.

Blanket Approval of temporary1 course changes is permitted as follows:

  1. To allow continuation of temporary changes introduced in 2020-21 for remote or blended learning.
  2. Relative to further temporary changes to teaching and learning made in adjustment to remote/blended delivery for 2021-22. 
  3. Relative to further temporary changes to assessment needed in the context of remote/blended delivery in 2021-22. 

Such changes should not fundamentally digress from the original aims and ILOs of the course, or fundamentally affect the ability to assess the original aims and ILOs. They may be processed (considered and justified) at School level, with local documentation, and do not require entry into PIP.*

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1 Temporary = it is anticipated to revert to, or it has not yet been finalised whether this change will revert to, what is detailed in the course specification when teaching is unaffected by an ongoing pandemic.

* When will submission to PIP be required?

Submission through PIP will be needed where there is develoment of new programmes and courses, or in cases where there are fundamental changes to ILOs or the assessment methods required to measure attainment of course aims and ILOs.

Where possible, proposals should be submitted into PIP by 30 April 2021 with approval confirmed by 31 July 2021.

Submission through PIP is also required for any Withdrawal or Suspension of courses and programmes.

Programme Changes for 2021-22

Similarly, temporary and small changes to programmes which do not lead to fundamental changes in the programme aims or the coverage of ILOs across courses do not require entry into PIP* (for example introducing a new optional course, or reducing the number of optional courses).

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* When will submission to PIP be required?

Submission through PIP will be needed where there is development of new programmes and courses, or in cases where there are fundamental changes to ILOs or the assessment methods required to measure attainment of course aims and ILOs.

Where possible, proposals should be submitted into PIP by 30 April 2021 with approval confirmed by 31 July 2021.

Submission through PIP is also required for any Withdrawal or Suspension of courses and programmes.

 

Quality Assurance and Enhancement for School-level approval (outwith PIP)

Schools and RIs may select the mechanism by which course changes are considered and approved which may involve agreement on changes to multiple courses simultaneously. Changes must be documented and disseminated in a timely manner (see below) to students and external examiners, and also to professional bodies where necessary. (Please note that, where courses are delivered to students coming from a Glasgow International College (GIC) pathway, information on changes should be shared with GIC as early as possible to allow this cohort of students to be advised).

The streamlined approach adopted for the last annual monitoring round will be continued for the forthcoming review of provision 2020-21. Schools will therefore again collate feedback on courses based around reflection on two key areas: i) the student experience and ii) student performance.

In addition, information on locally approved blanket course changes will be linked into the annual monitoring process. School Annual Monitoring Summaries will include commentary on course changes introduced in 2020-21 to adjust to the pandemic along with plans for continuation or further development of such changes in the delivery planned for 2021-22. Schools will need to report on their reflection on the impact of these changes on the student experience and opportunities for continuing any identified enhancements in the future design of learning, teaching and assessment.

This commentary on course changes will be collated in the College Annual Monitoring Summaries and will replace the need for Colleges to submit a summary of changes to remote/blended delivery covered under the blanket approval of course changes for 2020-21 separately to the Senate Office.

Timescales

Students must be advised in a timely way of the courses on offer and kept informed of any aspects of further detail that will be available at a later point.

In managing the continuing adjustments to delivery for 2021-22 it is recognised that Schools and RIs may need to prioritise courses scheduled for delivery in semester 1. Where possible local course information for semester 1 of 2021-22 should be published by 20 August 2021 and certainly before students begin registration and enrolment in order to manage expectations and comply with the CMA requirements. Information on the detail of changes for semester 2 may follow later and should pre-date student course selections for Semester 2 wherever possible.

Documentation and Date Capture

Course and programme specifications will not be updated as a result of the actions outlined above, but all those published in the online catalogue will include a statement indicating that adjustments may be made to course delivery and/or assessment due to the Covid-19 pandemic and refer directly to Schools for further detail. 

Schools are required to ensure that all course and programme documents (such as handbooks / Moodle course information) are updated to include details of revised delivery and any associated changes, such as those made to assessment as soon as that information is available.  

College Annual Monitoring Summaries will include a summary of changes introduced for 2020-21 to facilitate remote/blended delivery (including associated changes e.g. to learning & teaching methods or assessment). This will also include information on Schools’ reflection on how these changes have affected the student experience, any enhancement of the student experience and how they will support future design of provision to continue enhancement.

Detailed information for central processes, such as timetabling, course set up on MyCampus, and for external reporting requirements (e.g. HESA) will need to be gathered. Schools will receive instruction on this in due course.