Teaching and learning handbook: D–G

Teaching and learning resources D to G


Death of a student: in the event of the death of a student these guidelines outline the procedures to be followed. 
Definitive Module Record – available at DMR template September 2018
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE): collects information on what leavers from higher education (HE) programmes are doing six months after qualifying from their HE course (employed, engaged in further study and so on). The University of Plymouth DLHE Survey results can be accessed through the Corporate Information System (staff only). From 2020 the DLHE has been replaced by the Graduate Outcomes (GO) survey.
Digital Education supports staff in the use of digital technologies and resources, for teaching; learning; assessment; research; and university administration. Find out more about Digital Education
Disability Services: offers advice and guidance on disability to current and prospective University of Plymouth students and staff. This includes arranging appropriate provision for disabled students.
Disabled Students Allowance: changes to the Disabled Students Allowance in September 2016 has resulted in staff needing to develop inclusive teaching, learning and assessment and be ready to make reasonable adjustments for field and off campus trips. Guidance and a suggested template is available to assist Schools in their approach. 
Degree classification – see Awards
Digital Learning Environment |(DLE): this is the internal website for current students where all information on modules and programmes should be located. DLE (University login required). See the September 2018 agreed guidance for the minimum requirements on the DLE for each module. 
There are also two short help-guides on minimum online requirements for modules and programmes in the Key Documents section.


Dissertations, supervising students: students benefit from having clear and effective procedures in place for the successful operation of the dissertation module. The Supervising Student Dissertations PU guidance is pitched at the level of basic good practice and acknowledges that in many Schools there'll be procedures which exceed the threshold standards outlined. The guidelines also acknowledge the diversity of practice which quite properly reflects different disciplinary cultures and expectations. 
Doctoral College: provides a range of support for postgraduate education and students undertaking research degrees.
Domestic violence or abuse: if you are concerned that a student is suffering from domestic violence or abuse, encourage them to visit the UPSU Student Advice Centre or the University Counselling Service. 
Specialist help and information is available through Sanctuary Supported Living’s Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service (PDAS)
Drugs or alcohol abuse: if a student is disrupting a lecture or seminar, ask them to leave. If they are being abusive and refuse to leave the teaching room contact Security on internal number 3333 or +44 1752 853333 for assistance. If you're concerned that a student may have issues with substance misuse they need to contact their GP or make an appointment with our student counselling service through Student Services or on +44 1752 587676
If you are seriously concerned and believe the student is at risk of serious harm to themselves or others, is violent, has taken an overdose, or seems out of touch with reality, you should phone the Emergency Services 999 and Security on internal number 3333 or from a mobile phone +44 1752 853333 for assistance.


Education and Student Experience Strategy: The Education and Student Experience Strategy acts as a five year road-map to prioritise initiatives and make decisions 
Education for sustainable development: visit the sustainability education or sustainability web pages for more information.
Electronic submission of course work: where possible all student assessment should be submitted electronically through the module pages of the DLE. 
Emergency numbers: if there is an incident on campus phone the ambulance, police or fire services on 999 and contact campus security so they can assist. The University internal emergency phone number is 3333 or from a mobile phone +44 1752 583333. It's important that untrained students and staff don't intervene but alert a first aider or call the relevant service.
Emergency guidance if concerned about someone's wellbeing or safety – support in times of crisis
Employability: students need to have the opportunity to develop their employability throughout each stage of their UG and PG degree programme. This should be both within the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities. 
Enhancing the employability of our students is a top priority for all staff. There is a wealth of expertise within the Careers and Employability Service. The Teaching and Learning Support team also support curriculum enhancements around employability. See the Employability in the Curriculum and Beyond' webpages which offer a range of resources to assist academic staff in student employability from auditing a programme to teaching ideas for teaching entrepreneurship. 
These teams can help in improving employability both within the curriculum and with students' co-curricular activities. This information sheet clarifies the roles of the different provision and contact details. 
Employer Advisory Panel: all Schools should have an Employer Advisory Panel who will ensure programmes are aligned to the needs of industry and to facilitate positive industry links to enhance student placements and employment. Guidance on terms of reference for Employer Advisory Panels
English Language Centre (ELC): supports international students by offering a range of courses.
Epilepsy: information and advice should be obtained at the start of a programme and preferably prior to study. If a student has declared the disability, Disability Services will have an information meeting with a student and an SSD may be developed. Dependant on the degree programme a risk assessment should be conducted and local first aiders made aware with the student’s consent.
Equality Data Sets: Guidance on how to access CIS and the new equality data sets (2018). This includes information on gender, ethnicity, retention, achievement and POLAR4 data. 
E-submission of coursework: comprehensive information on eSubmission for staff and students is available on the Help and Guidance pages on the DLE.
Ethics: attention to the ethical implications of research for research subjects, researchers and research sponsors is an intrinsic part of good research practice. The University has an established set of fundamental principles, a policy and webpages to ensure good scientific practice, the integrity of research involving human participants, research involving animal subjects, and general principles of data confidentiality and access.
Evaluation, programmes and modules: it is essential to evaluate courses and teaching. One of the primary sources of evaluation is student feedback. At the end of a module, check whether students are meeting the learning outcomes and are satisfied with the learning experiences. Module evaluation complements the University’s student perception questionnaire (SPQ) and the National Student Survey
Examinations: You can find more information on examinations on our exams pages or contact examinations timetabling via email on examinations.scheduling@plymouth.ac.uk
For support on examination technique and preparation contact Learning Development at the Student Hub.
Examination anxiety: student counselling runs group activities and workshops and provides resources which can help students dealing with exam stress. Learning Development offers guidance on study skills and time management which can help alleviate exam stress. Some students could also benefit from counselling. Pastoral and Spiritual Support run regular mediation sessions. 


Examinations, failure: the student transcript specifies any compensation, referral and resit requirements. The back page of the transcript has a glossary of abbreviation codes. See our academic regulations for all degree programmes.
During term time: students can talk with their personal tutor, programme leader and faculty office for further information. 
During vacations: contact your faculty office or the UPSU advice centre which is open 52 weeks. Email advice@su.plymouth.ac.uk or call +44 1752 588373
Students may also need to explore funding implications related to failing an exam with the faculty office or UPSU advice centre.
Examinations, referral/resits: the transcript specifies any resit or referral requirements. The back page of the transcript has an abbreviation glossary.
During term-time: personal tutors, module leaders, programme leaders and the faculty office can offer further information.
During vacations: contact your faculty office or UPSU advice centre which is open 52 weeks. Email: advice@su.plymouth.ac.uk or call +44 1752 588373.
Students need to explore any funding implications with the faculty office or UPSU advice centre.
Examinations, inclusive: there are a number of ways to make exams more inclusive. This includes scheduling, choice of exam method, length of exam, weighting of the exam, the structure of exam questions, enabling all students to type exams, exam practice and more (see Inclusive Assessment web pages for further resources)
Examinations, in-class tests: students sitting in-class tests are eligible for modified assessment provision as specified in their Student Support Document. Students and module leaders need to discuss the modified assessment requirements. For further information contact the faculty office or the examinations office by email on examinations.scheduling@plymouth.ac.uk
Examination papers, preparation and review: it is an essential part of maintaining academic standards that all examination papers are prepared, reviewed and revised confidentially. Questions and answers must not be disclosed to students before the examination, unless there are specific alternative arrangements outlined in the module handbook e.g. 'seen paper' examinations. 
Support classes and revision sessions may address the principles and topic areas that are likely to be assessed and encourage students to explore the ways in which examination questions may be addressed. Use of examination questions from previous years in revision and other teaching sessions is entirely appropriate.
Examination questions: guidance on the approval and re-use of examination questions 
Examinations, types: there are many different types of exams. This document contains 15 different types. Please advise us of other innovative exams types by emailing ed@plymouth.ac.uk.
Experiential Learning CETL (EL CETL): arose from a strong tradition at Plymouth of hands-on learning in the environmental and natural sciences, typified by fieldwork, laboratory work and work-based learning. The EL CETL enhanced the quality and quantity of students’ learning in these environments.. 
Extenuating circumstances: to be considered valid, extenuating circumstances must meet the definition that they: 
  • have a significant impact on the student's ability to attend or complete assessment(s), and 
  • are exceptional, and 
  • are outside their control, and 
  • occurred during or shortly before the assessment in question. 
For full details on what constitutes valid extenuating circumstances, how to apply for extenuating circumstances and details on how the process works please consult the extenuating circumstances website, and the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures document. 
External Advisory Panel: all Schools should have an External Advisory Panel who will ensure programmes are aligned to the needs of industry and to facilitate positive industry links to enhance student placements and employment. Guidance on terms of reference for Employer Advisory Panels
External examiners: access comprehensive information for external examiners. There is a list of subject/programme level briefing material sent to external examiners on initial appointment and as part of the annual update.
External Speakers and Events Policy
An External Speakers and Events Policy has been developed for visiting speakers to the University. Anyone organising an event which involves an external speaker should make sure they are familiar with, and follow the new procedure set out in, the policy. The majority of requests will be straightforward, but all external speakers must be given a copy of the Guidance for External Speakers document. A proforma has been developed which must be completed when organising external speakers.
The External Speakers and Event Policy, Guidance for External Speakers document, and External Speakers Referral Proforma are all available in the External speakers and events policy section at the bottom of the What's on webpage. 
If you have any questions, or need further guidance, please contact externalspeakers@plymouth.ac.uk


Failing to make progress: students fail to progress in their studies for a number of reasons. These can include domestic, childcare, family, health, emotional, funding, study skills, and disabilities. To make sure students are aware of the wide range of support available you should encourage them to talk with their personal tutor, programme leader or visit the UPSU Students Advice Centre for a confidential one-to-one interview with a trained advice worker.
Please visit the academic regulations pages for all degree programmes.
Regulations regarding unsatisfactory progress.
Faith and Spiritual Matters: Pastoral and Spiritual Support is for everyone on campus, whether you have a faith, are searching for faith, or just want to meet people. 
Feedback: all learners need feedback to help them learn and improve. The University requires staff to provide students with feedback on all assessment including exams. In addition as a minimum, grades should be available for all time-controlled assessments (including examinations and in-class tests). Please remember the University of Plymouth has a 20 day turnaround time for feedback and marks on all assessments. 
Feed-forward: provides information students can use to make improvements to current or future assessments. It is different to feedback as it focuses on longer term development and is forward-looking rather than concerned with work already completed. Examples include:
  • the opportunity to get comments on a draft or outline, and so take account of these in the final version
  • the option of a practice test (for example, getting feedback on how well students answered multiple-choice questions)
  • a pre-exam revision seminar, or a workshop focusing on past exam papers (sometimes called ‘pre-emptive’ feedback).
The JISC website contains useful information on using technology in feed forward and feedback. Formative feedback and marking sheet example from the Faculty of Business. 
Feed-in: when staff offer students what is required from an assessment. At this stage, students can have discussions with you to make sure they understand the assignment.


Field trips: All fieldwork should operate under theOff-site activities and fieldwork Code of Practice. Staff must make reasonable adjustments and arrangements so that all students can access field trips. The Student Support Document (SSD) will specify individual requirements for disabled students. Consider any health and safety implications. Our Field Trip Process identifies the required steps when organising a trip. Disability Services can offer additional advice and support. Students who require advice on funding field trips should contact the UPSU Student Advice Centre. Information on inclusive field trips. Advice for academic staff on how to assist students with different disabilities 
First Aid: For first aid, if there is a serious medical emergency: phone 999 or 112 for an urgent ambulance, ensuring that security are notified that you have called for an ambulance. Give them full details of your whereabouts in order to allow access to the campus and directions can be given on arrival. It is important that untrained students or staff do not intervene but immediately call 999 or 112 or if not an emergency, locate a trained first aider. There are trained first aiders available in every building. 
Fitness to practice: a Fitness to Practice policy is used for Medical, Health and Social Care students on professional programmes leading to registration, e.g. doctors, dentists nurses, midwives and social workers. This process is used prior to entry and for students on a course of study.
The Professional Issues Committee considers all potential students who have health problems or who have traces on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which may preclude them from undertaking a programme of study.
Fitness for study: see Study and Wellbeing Review Policy and Procedures
Flexible learning: is about providing learners with choices regarding when, where and how learning occurs (the pace, place and mode of delivery). It helps to attract and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse range of students and includes making appropriate use of technology to support the learning process. 
Funding issues: The University provides information on Fees and Funding and on Scholarships and Bursaries. Further advice can be obtained from the UPSU Student Advice Centre have specialist advisors who can help with issues including fees, loans, grants, bursaries and the National Scholarship Programme. Email advice@su.plymouth.ac.uk or call +44 1752 588373.
Funding (Pedagogic research): Visit our funding webpage if you are looking for funding to take your pedagogic research/practice further.


Graduation: the graduation webpages provide all the information about graduation

Group work: students need clear guidance on the expectations of group work. The design of a group work assessment should take into consideration the size of the groups and ensure the task is complex enough to require a collaborative approach. You should specify how the groups' progress will be monitored. Is the assessment of the product or process, the group and/or individual contribution? More help and advice is available on our group work webpages. We have produced some example group work activities.