Over the last two academic years, sparqs has been delighted to be involved in a series of QAA Scotland’s Focus On projects. The aim of these projects is to help institutions shape policy and to enhance partnership between students’ associations, institutions and the wider sector.
Focus On 2015-16 explored aspects of managing Collaborative Activity. Based on a scoping exercise with the sector to determine priorities, the project considered: how to manage quality and risk; build learning communities at a distance; and share examples of practice. The project outcomes include a range of events (which included content from sparqs as well as students’ association officers and staff from across the sector), case studies, examples of practice, and a film ‘What makes Collaborative Activity Work?’, which explores the importance of building student communities and student engagement & representation in collaborative activity. You can read a summary of the project in this leaflet and infographic.
The Collaborative Activity project chimed very much with sparqs’ own two new projects on student engagement in the quality of transnational education and online & distance learning, which you can read more about on the sparqs website.
During 2016-17, there will be two further QAA Scotland Focus On projects and the sector is being consulted about this at the moment. One will explore aspects of the Postgraduate Student Experience, and the other will look at Institution-Led Review (ILR) with which sparqs will be especially involved. May 2016 saw the launch of sparqs’ practice guide on engaging students in Institution-Led Review, and the Focus On project on ILR will be an opportune time to further promote this guidance and learn about other examples of practice that can inform a revised version.