Part 1: Information Gathering
Consultation and Engagement
There are numerous ways in which consultation and engagement with stakeholders can take place. As part of the approval process for Phase 1, Departments will be expected to demonstrate how they have used information gathered through these activities to inform the review of their current provision and the development of a refreshed Course Vision.
1A: Current Course Offering provides a summary of your current course titles and basic details.
1B: Record of Stakeholder Engagement and Data Gathering Activities provides a record of your engagement activities with key stakeholders as well as a gathering point for conclusions from critical data sources.
Stakeholders Heat Map Exercise for Department/Course Teams
Use this exercise to identify your key stakeholders, your relationships with them, and to help prioritise your engagement activity.
(Approx. 20-30 mins)
Involving staff in the process is vital. The Vanguard programmes used surveys, focus groups, workshops, and consultation events to gather staff input and provide updates on the process.
Alumni can provide a valuable perspective through their course experience. Existing departmental networks might be utilised to consult with previous students.
Relevant accrediting bodies and PSRBs should be contacted by the Department at the start of Phase 1 to inform them of the process and its broad purposes. Vanguard programmes have found accrediting bodies to be supportive of Curriculum Transformation and willing to offer appropriate guidance.
A special group has been established to coordinate employer engagement activity for Curriculum Transformation across departments. This will ensure that communication with employers is efficient, for instance where key employers are likely to be shared by graduates from multiple programmes, coordination across teams and Faculties will avoid duplication of effort. It is therefore important that Faculties/Departments liaise with the group in advance of engaging with employers.
Contact: Andy Pitchford
Where key employers fall outside of a programme's direct area of expertise (for instance, in Chemistry where significant numbers of graduates enter employment in the banking/financial sector) departments can seek support from the Careers Service in identifying points of contact.
Sample survey templates are provided for reference. Versions of these have already been used successfully in a number of departments.
Phase 1 - Using Focus Groups to Engage with Students
Focus groups are an effective means by which to begin student engagement activity. The Department of Health used this approach in the first phase of their course transformation, and gained valuable insights into the student experience that shaped later thinking around course structures and teaching and learning methods.
The Centre of Learning and Teaching has worked with the Faculties of Engineering & Design and Humanities Social Sciences, and the School of Management, to train a number of staff in how to facilitate student focus groups as part of Curriculum Transformation. Contact your Faculty Assistant Registrar if you would like support in organising and running focus groups for your course cohort.
Download a suggested focus group plan which includes key questions designed to support the course-wide approach to learning that underpins Curriculum Transformation. The focus group is estimated to take 45mins-1hr.
Ensuring Diverse Engagement
As the Student Engagement and Partnership Activity resource highlights, it is important to ensure that a range of student voices are heard - including those that might not normally put themselves forward. Contact your Curriculum Development Officer or the Student Engagement Ambassadors to discuss ways in which students from different backgrounds and experiences might be identified and engaged.
Sources of information and data
Provides useful data on where your students go after graduation. This can be used to identify key stakeholder groups.
Comparator Courses Information
Gathering information about the courses offered by comparator institutions and departments can usefully highlight key similarities and differences in offerings to students. This can help to inform your reflection and Course Vision through assessment of your distinctiveness within the market.
The course pages of other University websites will provide headline information about courses, and will usually provide links to more detail about the structure of modules, teaching methods, and assessment.
A template for gathering comparator information is provided. The tables provide a guide to the areas of key information to look out for as the basis for comparison. Examples of completed templates used by departments are also provided.