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All-staff briefing: Portfolio Pathway Review update

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The latest all-staff briefing focused on the Portfolio Pathway Review. This is one of four pathways in the Strategic Foundations Programme, a five-year programme to help deliver the University’s strategy. 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education & Student Experience) and Portfolio Review Pathway lead Elizabeth McCrum introduced the sessionexplaining that the pathway aims to: 

  • improve academic and professional services staff workloads 

  • reduce the volume and complexity of the current portfolio of programmes and modules 

  • offer a more coherent portfolio to prospective students 

  • improve the quality of the student experience and increase student satisfaction 

  • reduce the demand on and make better use of our resources 

Elizabeth then handed to the project co-leads for an update on each of the four projectsYou can also view their full presentation 

1. Academic Year project – Peter Miskell 

A move to a semester system has been agreed by University Senate and Council. This will bring the University in line with the majority of the sector in the UK and internationallyYear length will remain at 30 weeks, to be made of two 15-week semesters. Current plans are for this to take effect for the 2024/25 academic year.  

2. Programme Expectations project  Orla Kennedy 

Project recommendations include taking a programme level approach, building on the existing curriculum framework, to help the design and delivery of existing and new programmes and modules.  

The aim is to create consistency across module structure and delivery, reducing assessment load and facilitating more effective and engaging assessments. It will ensure that there is realistic choice and range for students when selecting modules. 

3. Blended Learning project – Dan Grant 

This project has been building on and learning from the experience we have gained during the pandemic, to develop a new blended approach that recognises both the importance of the campus experience and the value of online learning. The recommendation is for all programmes to be blended, with face-to-face and online teaching activities intentionally designed to complement each otherFace-to-face teaching will continue to be central to each programme, with circa 30% of an overall programme’s contact hours taking place through online learning activities. There will be flexibility in how this is achieved within programmes to support disciplinary differences. 

4. Programme and Module Review project – Louise Hague 

This project has focused on reducing the complexity of our offering, to alleviate staff workload and ensure the sustainability of our programmes. The ultimate aim is to reduce our institutional portfolio by around a third; so far the number of programmes has been reduced by 23%. 

The panel answered a number of questions from the participants, and we are putting together a separate story – due for next week – which will cover off the main question themes asked at the event. 

Portfolio Pathway Review breakfast drop-ins  

The Portfolio Review Pathway continues its breakfast sessions aimed at keeping colleagues updated on the key developments. These are informal sessions with Elizabeth McCrum and the project co- leads.  

The next session is on Tuesday 8 February, 09:00-10:00. Book your place on UoRLearn. 


 

 

You can also access the recording on Microsoft Stream


Future all-staff briefing

Our next all-staff briefing is on Thursday 27 January, 13:00-13:50.

This will be a chance for colleagues to pose your questions to members of the University Executive Board in an open discussion session. so please send through to communications@reading.ac.uk by 17:00 on Monday 24 January.

All colleagues will be sent an Outlook Calendar invite ahead of the session. If you have any queries, please contact communications@reading.ac.uk. 

Previous talks

You can view our all-staff briefings from last academic year through Microsoft Streams

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