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Getting more out of the QAA

Most staff will be familiar with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and its remit to advise the Office for Students (OfS) and enhance standards for the higher education sector. Did you know that their resources are accessible to everyone at the University of Bristol? QAA membership is available for free to staff and students in a wide range of academic and professional services role. It takes just a few moments to sign up for access using their simple registration form. Here are some highlights!

Assessments

Assessments are a space in the curriculum that can support students’ sense of belonging (a strand of Bristol’s Curriculum Framework). This is addressed through the Assessment: Pipelines of Compassion project. You can jump right into the project blog here. This includes reflections from the recent symposium on the topic alongside resources and videos.

The way we talk about assessments can also be an area for concern. This is tackled by the “Making the Language of Assessment Inclusive” project. A toolkit is available online and tackles issues such as increasing transparency around assessment, increased NSS scores, decreasing staff time on assessment queries and complainst, and reducing student anxiety.

Wellbeing

A large suite of approaches to embedding wellbeing into practice are detailed in the Embedding Mental Wellbeing: Methods & Benefits project. This considers the student journey, curriculum design, placements, and ways to connect through relationship-building.

Education for Sustainable Development

This is a key theme for University of Bristol. Whether it’s through our Education Strategy or in our global commitments (e.g. UNESCO GAP commitment), or via our Student Sustainability Champions, Bristol is already engaged with sustainability and the climate emergency. There is a huge demand for this topic from our students. The resources prepared by the QAA work practically for staff at any level, looking to embed fresh concepts or engage their students in new ways.

Curriculum Design

A toolkit on unit design takes its starting point as students’ experiences during the pandemic and explores how this impacts flexibility for digital learning in the future. A free five hour self-guided online learning course helps staff tackle common issues such as content overload, low student engagement, and flexibility of staff contact time.

Student Engagement

Student engagement is something that has suffered during the pandemic and has long-term implications for the HE sector. QAA have address this through student conferences and networks, a quarterly newsletter, and an extensive toolkit. You can find all the links to these resources here.

Next steps

Once you’re registered, you can jump straight into the member resources pages here:

https://www.membershipresources.qaa.ac.uk/.

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