Benchmark Standards for Programme Review and Revalidation by PVRC
  1. Fulfillment of PVRC recommendations
  2. The Programme Committee should provide evidence of having systematically addressed the concerns and carried out the commitments they made to AB in respect of the recommendations of the PVRC at the last review.

  3. Delivering Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes
  4. The Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes should reflect the current concerns of the discipline and/or profession. They should be aligned with the University graduate attributes and present and anticipated employment prospects.

    The Programme Committee should document the alignment between the Programme Learning Outcomes and the University Graduate Attributes, and between the programme learning outcomes and the HKQF Level 5 Generic Level Descriptors (GLDs). They should demonstrate how the courses in the programme are mapped to the achievement of the overall programme learning outcomes.

  5. The Programme
  6. The content and structure of the programme must be up-to-date, coherent, balanced and integrated to facilitate progression, to enable students/learners to achieve the stated learning outcomes and the required standards.

    The submission should include a full programme outline and a description of, rationale for and assessment of any changes that have been made to the programme since the last review. All course outlines should be up-to-date and written in OBTL format according to the University requirements in force at the time. Special features of the programme should be well-documented and their role in achieving the overall programme outcomes well-articulated by all staff.

  7. Teaching, Learning and Assessment 
  8. The teaching and learning activities designed for the programmes must be effective in delivering the intended learning outcomes and programme content. A range of appropriate teaching methods must be employed to effectively engage students in the learning process. Assessments must support effective learning and enable students to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes and the required standards. The assessment methods and techniques used for the programme must be valid, reliable, fair and sufficient to reflect the learning outcomes at the claimed QF level.

    The Department should provide clear evidence of a consistent use of outcomes-based teaching and learning and assessment across the courses in the programme and of discussions between colleagues as to the efficacy of particular approaches in the context of the subject matter being taught. All staff should be able to demonstrate how the teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks in their courses contribute to the achievement of the intended learning outcomes at Course and Programme level. Evidence from assessment should show how the CILOs are tested. Evidence of student feedback in the form of SLEQ scores should be provided and analysed with clearly documented procedures at Departmental level for actions to be taken in the case of a colleague achieving a below-average score.

    The Programme Director should have a clear understanding of the range of teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks in use in the programme and how they contribute to facilitating students’ achievement of the PILOs. A section on plagiarism and VeriGuide usage should be included in this section.

  9. Enrichment and Service Learning Opportunities 
  10. The Department should provide clear, accurate information and dependable access to workplace attachment and support services that give students optimum opportunity for successful completion of the programme.

    The Programme Committee should document and assess the efficacy of the measures it has put in place to support and advise students in their studies, to engage them in the formal provision of feedback on the programme and to broaden their horizons beyond the classroom through professional activities, overseas exchange programmes, internships, etc. Special reference should be made to measures taken to address rising attrition rates by improving students’ experience of SYU in the first two years of the programme.

  11. Staffing and Staff Development
  12. Departments should have adequate teaching and support staff with the qualities, competence, qualifications and experience necessary for the effective management, planning, delivery and monitoring of their programmes. The Department must encourage staff to participate in staff development activities to ensure that they are kept updated for the quality delivery of the programme.

    Based on the evolution of the staff profile since the last review, the Department should be able to indicate how the current staff profile meets current needs and future plans. An analysis of staff teaching load should be provided with justification for loads outside the university norms and an indication of the impact of such variation upon the research and other scholarly activity of the staff member concerned. The Student Teacher Ratio (STR) should be analysed in terms of its relation to the University STR, the impact of STR upon class-size, interactivity of teaching and learning etc. Use of part-time staff should be analysed and justified in the light of the programme intended learning outcomes. Staff development activities should be analysed in terms of teaching and learning related activities as well as conference attendance, public lectures and conferences hosted etc. Lists of publications should be accompanied by an analysis of the output in terms of university norms and departmental expectations. Clear procedures should be in place to encourage and support the research activities of junior staff at the departmental level. Where the Department has a Research Centre attached to it, there should be a clear description of the role of the Research Centre in the intellectual development of the Department and an indication of how its activities had contributed to that development over the review period. Information of external grants and publications from staff should also be included.

  13.   Quality Assurance
  14. The Department should monitor and review the performance of the programme on an ongoing basis to ensure that it remains current and valid and that the learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities and student assessments are effective.

    The Department should provide evidence in the form of notes of meetings and minutes that the mandated committees (Departmental Committee, Programme Committee, Departmental Board of Examiners) have met in accordance with their terms of reference and that University policy in teaching, learning and assessment and programme development and review is being scrupulously complied with (e.g. moderation of examination papers, double marking, External Examiner Reports, Appeals etc.) There should be clear evidence that the role of external input to the QA process is understood and complied with at the programme level (minutes of the Academic Advisory Board, EPA report, External Examiner Reports etc.)

  15. Resources
  16. Departments should manage the financial and physical resources made available for the delivery of the programmes appropriately and in the best interests of the students.

    Departments should reflect on their use of Library and IT services including Moodle and Veriguide and on the adequacy of available resources to support programme development. An analysis should be provided of all special facilities and how they contribute to the achievement of programme learning outcomes.

  17. Five Year Development Plan
  18. The Five Year Plan should be aligned with the goals of the University Strategic Plan. It should be realistic, achievable and contain Key Performance Indicators by which the success of the Plan will be measured in the next review.

    The five year development plan should take as its starting point the goals of the University Strategic Plan and examine the contribution that the Department can make to achieving those goals. It should be prefaced by an environmental analysis reflecting on the issues likely to affect the discipline/profession/employment opportunities for graduates in the next five years. It should include reflection on new University-wide academic initiatives planned for the next five years (e.g. General Education, Minor programme, MPhil/PhD, professional Master’s degrees) and outline the Department’s planned contribution and an evaluation of the likely impact of these initiatives on the programme under review. It should include specific consideration of the further development of the programme under review as well as plans to introduce new programmes or to upgrade staffing or facilities in the context of new opportunities presented by changes in the environment for the delivery of higher education in Hong Kong and in the University. It should have clear and realistic timelines and key performance indicators. Where substantial changes are proposed for the next academic year, detailed proposals should be attached.

  19. Conclusion
  20. The Department should provide an overall evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the programme during the review period, a summary of the changes and improvements to be implemented in the next five years and a justification for revalidation.

updated October 2016