Flexible delivery: A model for analysis and implementation of flexible programme delivery

Normand, Carey and Littlejohn, Allison (2006). Flexible delivery: A model for analysis and implementation of flexible programme delivery. QAA Enhancement Themes. Quality Assurance Agency.

URL: http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/pages/docdetail...


The approach to quality and standards in Scotland is enhancement-led and learner-centred. It was developed through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Universities Scotland, the National Union of Students in Scotland (NUS Scotland) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) Scotland. The Higher Education Academy has also joined that partnership. The Enhancement Themes are a key element of a five-part framework which has been designed to provide an integrated approach to quality assurance and enhancement, supporting learners and staff at all levels in enhancing higher education in Scotland drawing on developing, innovative practice within the UK and internationally.

The five elements of the framework are:

* a comprehensive programme of subject-level reviews undertaken by the higher education institutions themselves; guidance on internal reviews is published by SFC (www.sfc.ac.uk)

* enhancement-led institutional review (ELIR) run by QAA Scotland (www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/ELIR)

* improved forms of public information about quality; guidance on the information to be published by higher education institutions is provided by SFC (www.sfc.ac.uk)

* a greater voice for students in institutional quality systems, supported by a national development service - student participation in quality scotland (sparqs) (www.sparqs.org.uk)

* a national programme of Enhancement Themes aimed at developing and sharing good practice to enhance the student learning experience, which are facilitated by QAA Scotland (www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk).

The topics for the Themes are identified through consultation with the sector and implemented by steering committees whose members are drawn from the sector and the student body. The steering committees have the task of developing a programme of development activities, which draw upon national and international good practice. Publications emerging from each Theme are intended to provide important reference points for higher education institutions in the ongoing strategic enhancement of their teaching and learning provision. Full details of each Theme, its steering committee, the range of research and development activities, and the outcomes are published on the Enhancement Themes website (www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk). To further support the implementation and embedding of a quality enhancement culture within the sector, including taking forward the outcomes of the various Enhancement Themes, a new overarching committee has been established, chaired by Professor Kenneth Miller (Vice-Principal, University of Strathclyde). It has the important dual role of supporting the overall approach of the enhancement themes, including the five-year rolling plan, and of supporting institutional enhancement strategies and management of quality. We very much hope that the new committee, working with the individual topic-based Themes' steering committees, will provide a powerful vehicle for the progression of the enhancement-led approach to quality and standards in Scottish higher education.

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