Teaching and learning handbook: A-C

Teaching and learning resources A to C.

A

Academic partnerships: academic partnerships works with partners to effectively align practice to the rapidly changing national and international Higher Education landscape. 

Academic regulations: these are centrally located in Student regulations, policies and procedures. Changes to academic regulations for 2015/16 are highlighted in the summary of changes document

Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL): regulations relating to APCL.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL): the Pineapple Project offers guidance on APEL.

Academic Support Technology and Innovation (ASTI): find support for students and staff with using digital technologies and resources in learning, teaching, assessment and research at TEL

Accommodation: if a student is having difficulties with their accommodation you should advise them to contact the student accommodation office on +44 1752 588644 or email accommodation@plymouth.ac.uk or the Student Union advice service at advice@su.plymouth.ac.uk, +44 8009 530155 or +44 1752 588373.

Adjustments - in teaching, learning and assessment.  In order to ensure all students can access teaching, learning and assessment  reasonable adjustments have to be made to teaching practices. Examples of reasonable adjustments are available in the linked document. A  guidance report from the Students Loan Company (SLC) details  how to support students with additional needs   

Allergies: you should seek advice from the student as well as information from their GP/consultant. Using this advice, and dependent on the degree programme studied, you should then undertake a risk assessment to remove/ reduce risk. The Student Support Document (SSD) should be involved for severe allergies that may affect study. With the student’s consent, local first aiders should be made aware of severe allergies/ reactions.

Annual review: an annual health check on the quality, standards and relevance of all the University’s taught programmes of study (undergraduate and postgraduate) and on the student experience. Find more information in the Quality Assurance Handbook.

Anytime Advice Line: a 24/7 advice line for students which provides free, confidential, independent assistance on a range of personal, study work and family issues. Freephone 0800 042 0314 or email: assistance@workplaceoptions.com.

Appeal against an assessment decision: after an assessment board has met to make the final assessment decision, a student is then able to appeal. The appeal procedure relates to the Assessment Board processes. For more information contact the faculty office, UPSU Student Advice Centre or the Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO). The process and timeline is contained in the Appeals Policy.  

Approval document: this is a document, required at programme approval, which sets the context for the programme’s development’.
It explains and justifies the programme on academic grounds. Find out more in the Quality Assurance Handbook

Assessment, alternative: enables students to meet the learning objective and assessment criteria using different assessment approaches. In some circumstances you can offer a student another assessment method  (e.g. an assignment instead of a seen exam) that is agreed with Disability Services and the external examiner. Find out more on the assessment pages and in the Assessment Policy

Toolkit: Staff-Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation (SPACE) project. Waterfield and West (2006) Main Library (378.19827 WAT)

Assessment - anonymous:

  • Anonymous assessment should ensure summative assessments are marked as far as possible and where appropriate without the student’s name or identity being made known to the marker or subject assessment panel. 
  • Anonymity provides reassurance for students and assessors against the perception of discrimination and bias entering the assessment process, and aims to ensure all students are treated equally.
  • Anonymous assessment should not impede rapid feed forward and feedback to students.
    PU Anonymous Assessment policy.
Assessment - arrangements: inclusive assessment and modified assessment provision. Guidance and good practice for arranging assessment relating to inclusivity and modified provision.    

Assessment - authentic: relevant and meaningful assessment tasks that replicate the real world in their specific field (for example simulations, role play, scenarios, problem tasks, real-world case studies). Further information and guidance

Assessment Board: the responsibilities of the Board are to:

  • make decisions on progression and awards for all students registered for the named award(s) for which the board is responsible
  • ensure that decisions are arrived at fairly and democratically, in accordance with the regulatory framework for undergraduate awards and integrated masters, and that justice is done to the individual student
  • make sure that threshold academic standards of student performance are being maintained at award level, on the basis of the reports received from each of the constituent subject assessment panel chairs on the standard of assessment in subjects/modules, and are comparable with similar awards in other UK institutions, in the expert opinion of the award external examiner
  • ensure that in making decisions all corroborated extenuating circumstances relating to individual students have been fully taken into account before a decision is reached
  • report and discuss, where appropriate, any examination or assessment offences and take appropriate action.

Assessment briefs: assessment briefs contain detailed information on the module assessment including the criteria, methods, marking sheet, deadline and available support. You'll also find assessment guidance in each module handbook

HEA Assessment Brief Design Guidelines.

Assessment, Computer Aided (CAA): including any instance in which some aspect of computer technology is deployed as part of the assessment process, CAA is efficient for both formative and summative assessment. Ensure students with a MAP (Modified Assessment Provision) participating in a CAA receive their entitlements including extra time. For further information visit TEL.

Assessment:  Guidance in course work submission 

Assessment criteria: a description of what the learner has to do in order to demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been achieved.

Assessment elements: the definitions of elements of assessment document contains the KIS information for assessment.

Assessment, formative: an assessment task with a developmental purpose. It is designed to help students learn more effectively by giving them feedback on their performance and on how it can be improved, maintained, or both. 

Assessment, glossary of terms: a comprehensive list of assessment terms.

Assessment, 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 and whether the assessment is of the product or process, the group and/or individual contribution. The 7 Steps to Group Assessment leaflet contains further information.

Assessment, inclusive: we want all students to have an equitable, supported assessment experience. Inclusive assessments will:

  • fairly evaluate students’ ability to meet module and programme learning outcomes and academic standards
  • be accessible for all students
  • provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement
  • support student engagement, learning, progression, retention and address the needs of our diverse student population
  • be authentic and offer students contextualised meaningful tasks that replicate real world challenges through effective programme design
  • reduce the need for MAPs (Modified Assessment Provisions)

Find more information on inclusive assessment:

Toolkit: Staff-Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation (SPACE) project. Waterfield and West (2006) Main library (378.19827 WAT)

Assessment handbook - undergraduate: This student (undergraduate ) assessment handbook written by UPSU with the university is designed as a 'how to guide'  to  explain and demystify the assessment process.

Assessment - in class tests: students sitting in-class tests may have modified assessment provision as specified in their Student Support Document (SSD). Students and module leaders should discuss these requirements. For further information contact the faculty office or the examinations office at examinations.scheduling@plymouth.ac.uk or phone: +44 1752 587799

Assessment, ipsative: assessment against the student’s own previous standards. It can measure how well a particular task has been undertaken against the student’s average attainment, against their best work, or against their most recent piece of work. Ipsative assessment tends to correlate with effort, to promote effort-based attributions of success, and to enhance motivation to learn.



Assessment, literacy: being ‘assessment literate’ means our staff and students have an understanding of the purpose and processes of assessment. They will:

  • understand the concepts of assessment, assessment criteria and standards
  • have the skills to assess themselves and other students and members of staff
  • be familiar with different approaches to assessment
  • apply marking criteria to their own work
  • be able to choose and apply appropriate approaches and techniques to assessment tasks.

Students’ assessment literacy can be developed through pre- assessment induction activities.

Assessment methods: a wide and varied range of assessment methods can be used when designing assessment. More information is available on the assessment pages and in the Assessment Policy.

Toolkit: Staff-Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation (SPACE) project. Waterfield and West 2006 Main library (378.19827 WAT)

Assessment, Modified Provision (MAP): a modified assessment provision may include additional time, own room, computer or laptop, scribe or reader (this list is not exhaustive). In accordance with University Regulations students requiring MAPs must be assessed by Disability Services (DS) prior to any provisions being put in place. Student Support Documents contain a student’s MAPs. For information contact the Faculty Office or DS for advice. Email ds@plymouth.ac.uk, or phone +44 1752 587676

Access our glossary for MAP abbreviations.

All students, including those with a MAP, may benefit from being able to access teaching materials in advance of a session. The Teaching and Learning Committee (May 2008 and reviewed in January 2014) agreed that materials should be made available electronically at a minimum of 48 hours in advance of a session.  The minimum standard to be adopted includes the following:

  • The outline and scope of a session
  • Preparatory reading
  • Key teaching materials e.g. PowerPoint presentations, support documentation, podcasts etc. should be uploaded in advance of the teaching session
  • This should be available a minimum of 48 hours before the teaching session, but a period of 7 days before the teaching session is recommended
  • All teaching materials must conform to the University’s guidance on copyright and intellectual property rights

You can achieve this by posting materials for sessions on the DLE. We know that in some circumstances it may not be possible to provide all materials in advance and academic staff may use their professional judgement; however this needs to be weighed against our obligation under the Equalities Act (2010) to make reasonable adjustments to prevent unfair treatment and to achieve equal opportunities for all our students. For further information and advice contact our Disability Service.

Assessment offences: detailed information on exam and academic offences regulations and procedures specifies PU process.

Assessment panels: information about Subject Assessment Panels (SAPs).

Assessment, peer: particularly effective for presentations, performance and posters. For further information see 7 Steps to: Peer and Self-Assessment. Further information is available on the assessment pages and in the Assessment Policy.

Assessment policy: the Assessment Policy can be accessed here. 

Assessment, student self: being able to self-assess is an essential skill for students to develop awareness of their own learning. Self-assessment sheets need to contain assessment criteria and briefing information. For more information access 7 Steps to: Peer and Self-Assessment. Find out more on our assessment pages and in the the Assessment Policy.

Assessment, summative: form of assessment used to certify that students have achieved an appropriate level of performance. It is used to indicate how far a student has met the assessment criteria used to judge the intended learning outcomes of a module or programme.

Assessment,submission of coursework: This  guidance document covers the submission of summative assessment for all taught modules. This should also be considered good practice for formative assessment and should be followed where appropriate.

Assessment, synoptic: an assessment that encourages students to combine elements of their learning from different parts of a programme and to show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of a topic or subject area. A synoptic assessment enables students to show their ability to integrate and apply their skills, knowledge and understanding with breadth and depth in the subject. It can help to test a student's capability of applying the knowledge and understanding gained in one part of a programme to increase their understanding in other parts of the programme, or across the programme as a whole.

Assessment, temporary medical condition or injury: may affect a student’s ability to sit exams or attend an assessment. Whilst the University will make every effort to accommodate temporary provisions, we normally require a minimum of 48 hours notice to make arrangements. Download regulations relating to temporary medical conditions or injury. Contact your faculty office for more advice on the correct procedure.

Temporary provisions that may be put in place are: 

  • additional time
  • own or small group room
  • scribe or reader, use of a computer
  • supervised breaks
  • medication or pain relief 
  • an accessible venue. 

Assistive software and equipment for learning and assessment:   staff and students with disabilities can receive advice at the information and library service including alternative format books and journals, specialist software, equipment loan and coaching on their use.The use of any assistive software in assessments will be specified in the Student Support Document (SSD). Once notified the examinations or faculty office will organise the equipment. Visit Disability Services for more information.

Attainment Gap: Reducing the gender and ethnicity attainment gap. While the numbers of students receiving a First or 2:1 have increased, there continues to be a considerable attainment gap that has remained nearly static over the last ten years. 

Attendance: Plymouth University expects all students will attend all scheduled classes, field trips and other events that are part of their programme of study. All teaching is developed to give students relevant, necessary experience. Students who do not attend perform less well.Where minimum attendance is required before an assessment can be undertaken this will be clarified in the programme and module handbook.Procedures are in place to monitor attendance throughout the year. The purpose of attendance monitoring is to pick up on both student welfare and academic progress issues at an early stage. Attendance webpage.

Information recorded about an individual student’s engagement and attendance will be acted on at the Faculty’s discretion. 

Further information is available in the student engagement with their programmes of study and the programme handbook document. 

It is important that attendance is collected for all Tier 4 students for compliance purposes. Please ensure that colleagues comply with our monitoring requirements as the University has to be able to demonstrate to the Home Office at any time that students are engaging with their studies.

Programme type Data require and frequency How recorded
Undergraduate programmes Attendance to be recorded at x4 core sessions per month, one a week (as a minimum)   S3
Postgraduate Taught programmes (taught period) Attendance to be recorded at x4 core sessions per month, one a week (as a minimum) S3
Postgraduate Taught programmes (dissertation period) Meeting with dissertation supervisor x1 a month S3
Postgraduate Research programmes Meeting with DoS / other supervisors x1 a month GradBook (meeting can be via skype if student on mobility)
Repeating students As above for taught programmes if repeating taught sessions, as above for dissertation period if resubmitting work / dissertation S3
ELC Attendance recorded at all taught sessions   S3
PUIC students (not integrated) PUIC use own monitoring methods / registers etc. PUIC systems, data sent to compliance
PUIC students (integrated) As per undergraduate students, above S3
Medical / Dentistry students Attendance recorded via locality offices, in line with the above   ADB, information sent to compliance

Audio Visual (AV) equipment: demonstration on how to use the new AV equipment in teaching rooms.

 

C

Calendar, dates for students: Important dates for students are updated regularly.

Care Leavers Service: The Care Leavers Service supports students who have been in care. Support is available during the application process and throughout their time at Plymouth University. Read the Care Leavers Research Report for further information.

Careers, placement and employability: the  team  is based in the Careers Gateway in the Roland Levinsky building. Find out more about careers and employability.

Centre for Excellence in Professional Placement Learning: one of 70 Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) projects created to enhance placement opportunities and practice learning to benefit students, educators (Higher Education and practice based) and service users. The CEPPL evaluation report outlines the CETL's achievements, and contains information for those involved with placements. 

Changing degree programme: requests to change a programme of study need to be discussed with a personal tutor, programme leader or the faculty registrar as soon as possible. There may be funding implications to consider.

Childcare issues: call UPSU Student Advice Centre on + 44 1752 588373 or email advice@su.plymouth.co.uk or contact Plymouth University Freshlings Nursery.

Code of conduct, students: students must observe and adhere to the University Code of Conduct and general regulations which cover a range of issues including misconduct, damage to facilities, fraud and more.

Compass: Plymouth Compass assists students'  navigation through the university experience, in both taught curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Compass identifies key attributes in four broad areas of student life - academic, civic, professional, and personal. The university offers opportunities to practice and develop these attributes, gain experiences, improve skills, and build networks for life beyond graduation.

An audit tool is available for staff to map Plymouth Compass attribute development in the curriculum

Compensation: is recognition that a student with an overall track record of passes, may be awarded compensation for a module that they have failed. During the design phase of a new module the module lead, in conjunction with the programme lead, must decide whether the module is compensatable or not. If a module pass is crucial in order to meet the Programme Learning Outcomes and/or Professional Body requirements, or the threshold concepts or skills within the module are deemed to be fundamental to the student’s progression, enter ‘NO’ in the ‘compensatable’ box. For further information on awarding compensation see the PU regulatory frameworks.

Complaints procedure, students: the student complaints procedure is for issues of a teaching, pastoral, accommodation etc. Students cannot use the complaints procedure in relation to assessment decisions which are covered by the appeals process. For advice contact the programme leader, faculty registrar, UPSU advice centre or the or the Complaints and Appeals Office ( CAO) .

Computer Aided Assessment (CAA): defined as “any instance in which some aspect of computer technology is deployed as part of the assessment process”, CAA is efficient for both formative and summative assessment. Staff should ensure that students with a MAP participating in a CAA receive their entitlements, including extra time. The University has a licence for Questionmark Perception. Within this software there's a facility to programme extra time for individual students. For further information visit TEL.




Content Capture:   Content Capture is a phrase used to describe the creation of video or audio teaching resources. Panopto is a video sharing system that allows academic staff to capture content in a simple and reliable way, using either an automated system or a manual recorder held on the academic’s laptop or desktop PC. 

Why would you want to use it?
1. Previously recording lectures would involve filming the screen and presenter with a camcorder which is time consuming and requires special equipment and often resulted in poor quality videos.
2. Users are increasingly demanding that videos and audio are available on electronic mediums. Content capture technology allows the simultaneous recording of audio, video, PowerPoint and screen capture, and allows that content to be viewed on the web, and mobile devices.
3. Content capture enhances instructional activities; it works especially well in subject areas where students benefit from repeated viewing of content, especially when complex items are being discussed.

CopyrightCopyright in a Nutshell: A quick reference guide for all involved in teaching and learning.

Corporate Information System (CIS): provides up-to-date management information reports for all users, as well as the ability to create, format, analyse, and publish information summaries. The CIS contains student data sourced from Unit-e, staff data sourced from iTrent and financial data from Agresso. The data is as at the end of the previous working day, since the CIS is refreshed overnight on a daily basis. The CIS contains hundreds of reports, and dashboard themes have been created to help you. 

To access CIS you must be a Plymouth University member of staff, connected to the internet either through an Ethernet cable or via a VPN, and use the web browser Internet Explorer. You can't access CIS through Wi-Fi.

Council tax exemption, students: full time students are eligible for council tax exemption (this includes students resitting one or more modules). Students enrolled in part-time degrees are not eligible for exemption. Students need to be studying a minimum of 21 hours a week for 24 weeks a year. For advice contact the UPSU Student Advice Centre

Counselling service: students are able to access individual counselling, or well-being and mental health support, workshops and information sessions. To make an appointment use the online self-referral form or contact the Learning Gateway in Roland Levinsky Building. Phone +44 1752 587676 or email counselling@plymouth.ac.uk.

Counselling – Staff: Counselling is available for staff and is confidential. To speak with a Counsellor immediately, please use the EAP's free phone number 0800 243 458. For more sustained support contact the Occupational Health team occupationalhealth@plymouth.ac.uk 01752 587412 who will refer you to an independent counselling service, usually within two business days.

Coursework checklist - A coursework checklist enables students to evaluate their work both throughout the writing process and before submission. This example of a coursework checklist can be customised for any discipline and addresses  issues on content, structure, argument, referencing and plagiarism.

Coursework submission: Guidance in course work submission 

Credit level descriptors: information about credits and levels from the SEEC website or from the designing programmes and modules guidance.

Support in times of crisis   phone numbers and information for crisis events