External Examiners have praised the quality of the first professional development course being piloted as part of a programme to facilitate a sector-owned development process for the role across the UK.
Feedback from the first three courses arranged with piloting institutions, including The University of Liverpool, Royal Northern College of Music and Oxford Brookes University, indicate they have had a strong impact on External Examiners’ confidence in their roles with plaudits for course facilitator expertise.
“I think it was a day well spent on a topic of importance in all sorts of ways,” said one delegate.
“Interesting and well organised, thought-provoking and directly useful to the role,” commented another.
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is working with a range of higher education providers across the UK to design and pilot the generic professional development for external examiners as part of a project on degree standards running from 2016 to 2021.
The project is being managed by HEFCE on behalf of the devolved administrations. HEFCE has contracted HEA to work across all four nations to facilitate a sector-owned development process and explore different forms of calibration exercises with subject associations and Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs).
The HEA is piloting the development courses for External Examiners with both institutions and individuals this year with active participation from diverse institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland prior to wider roll out in 2017-18.
Attended by both experienced and aspiring External Examiners, pilot course feedback is being used by HEA to test and refine course format, materials, content and delivery.
“The early response has been very encouraging, highly collaborative and extremely constructive – particularly in relation to further development of content and materials and also the value of a high standard of expert facilitation,” said HEA’s Head of Special Projects Dr Geoff Stoakes.
“All the pilots to date have also been observed by members of the educational development team at each institution and we will continue to work in close cooperation throughout the pilots ahead.”
More details of the Degree Standards project are available here.