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ADMIN-STUDENT  October 2007

ADMIN-STUDENT October 2007

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Subject:

Re: Students repeating part time on a full time course

From:

Mike Milne-Picken <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Admin-student <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 12:46:14 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (147 lines)

I've also been working out how to solve this problem, with a new system
too!

We are now using SITS FE "sister" system, EBS, which has quite a
flexible system of 'course codes'/'module codes' that can be joined
together in various ways (these are called 'Registration Units') and all
components of a curriculum occupy the same data table but use relational
database technology to create complex curriculum structures.  The
registration units table contains a field called 'unit type' that
enables us to identify and join various components of courses together,
with infinite flexibility, so modules, stages and courses all sit in the
same table.

This system is designed to work for the much more complex 'multiple
concurrent registration' structures with subcomponents that are required
for FE courses, such as GCE AS/A2 Levels,  and Cambridge ESOL
qualifications, that would defeat most HE systems I have worked with!  A
side effect of the greater systems flexibility you need for FE, is that
it gives us a system that we can use to record some of the complexity of
our HE programmes too. (this is definitely a case example that FE is in
advance of HE in creating systems for every purpose).

We have set up our HE courses so that each one has a 'Header' code that
sets out the target award and duration, eg BA Business Studies 3 years
full time 0710.  This 'course' then has joined to it a set of three
'stages' (for undergraduate courses) each of 120 credits corresponding
to the levels of full time study (Cert/Dip/Deg or levels 4/5/6 on the
new NQF, though we currently call these "Stage 1", "Stage 2" or "Stage
3"), eg "BA Business Studies Stage 1" 0708.   Each 'stage' then has the
modules attached to it, eg "Introduction to Accounting", 15 Credits,
Level 1, 0708.

What we are doing with part time repeaters is that we have created a
'part time stage code', with an R postscript in the code that has the
'repeat' modules that the student takes in their repeat year.  We join
to this both the modules the student is taking as 'repeat', and the
modules the student passed on previous relevant stages of the course.

So, a student who entered full time BA Business Studies 0609 will have a
header code reflecting that, and would have had joined to it a stage
code for 'level 1' 0607 with 120 credits of modules attached.  If they
passed 60 credits of these modules and failed the other 60 credits
(following reassessment), their stage result is 'fail repeat' and they
would have to repeat 60 credits part time.  

Here's our solution.  What we are doing this year is adding a new stage
code 'R1' 0708 to the student's registration units, joining to it the
modules they will take in 0708 together with the modules they passed in
0607, to make a stage that has 120 credits across 2 years (0607 and
0708).  The R stage contains the data that we use in our returns to
HEFCE etc(HEIFES equivalent to HESES, and ILR equivalent to HESA) and
flags the student as full time (their fte is based on the number of 0708
module credits joined to the R stage code ie 0.5 for 60 credits).  It
should also allow us to monitor at our exam boards how many 'repeat'
opportunities students have had, as these are limited under our degree
regulations.  Assuming the student passes their 60 repeat credits, the
stage result calculates the 120 credits they have now passed as "Pass
Proceed" and the next year the go on to stage 2 0809 full time stage
code.  (or "Pass Award" if it is the final stage of an award and
graduation).

That's the theory - there's a lot of detail I've skimmed over, as you
will have gathered if you are following me thus far like most we have
also built in to the system rules tables to assist with exam board
decision-making to track the academic regulations, and a complex
subsystem for handling assessment marks at component and up to module
levels.  

In practice, however, it's quite a task setting up the codes and making
sure each student's programme is correct - we are a widening
participation instution with a lot of students who need every
opportunity available to get through and therefore have a fair few
students in this category.  It is complicated to explain to both
administrative and academic staff and train them in doing it and we've
only just started checking everything, but we think it will work and
provide for accurate reporting internally and to HEFCE and other bodies,
and programme management.  The main issue for us is therefore the
resources required to manage the data in the system, rather than that
the system cannot cope with such flexibility.

Mike Milne-Picken
Bradford College

-----Original Message-----
From: Admin-student [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Kennedy, Margaret
Sent: 26 October 2007 11:16
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Students repeating part time on a full time course

Hi David

We use SITS too. What we do for students repeating a year of study
part-time on a full-time (or sandwich) course is to keep the student on
the full-time/sandwich course details and change the mode of attendance
on the relevant SCE (this is the enrolment screen for the student for
the academic year for non SITS users) only.

Regards
Margaret Kennedy

**************************************************
Margaret Kennedy
Student Records Administrator
Academic Registry
University of Teesside
Middlesbrough
TS1 3BA 

email        [log in to unmask] 
telephone  +44 (0) 1642 384238 
Fax           +44 (0) 1642 384201 



-----Original Message-----
From: Admin-student [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
David Ealey
Sent: 26 October 2007 10:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Students repeating part time on a full time course

Dear all

We are looking at how we formally record those students who are deemed
to be part time repeating on a full time course for student funding
purposes. At the moment we do not distinguish these in the mode of
attendance field on our student records system, (we use SITS), but this
causes a variety of complications in different areas.

We have always thought that trying to distinguish in this way was more
trouble than it was worth but I have been asked to see what practice is
elsewhere in the sector.

Happy to collate responses if there is sufficient interest.

Regards

David

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