Student engagement code of practice

October 2nd, 2023

The Teaching and Learning Committee has approved updated guidance, in the form of a Code of Practice, for supporting student engagement and using the Student Engagement Dashboard throughout the 2023/24 academic year.

The Student Engagement Dashboard is a tool to support student wellbeing, for which engagement is a key indicator. It allows us to identify when students’ participation in learning has dropped or is at a level that may cause concern about their progress and wellbeing. It therefore supports retention and success, as well as enabling the university to meet UK Visa and Immigration sponsor requirements.

The experience of students and staff during 2022/23 has been reviewed and the Code of Practice for Student Engagement was presented to the Teaching and Learning Committee in September 2023.

The headlines are as follows:

  1. All academic units must use the Student Engagement Dashboard.
  2. The university baseline for an intervention is two weeks of zero engagement without an appropriate documented reason.
  3. Within each academic unit, senior tutors are the academic leads for the dashboard, with heads of school responsible for ensuring roles are appropriately resourced. 1. Following on from last academic year, all schools must use the official university QR code system for capturing attendance at in-person teaching sessions.

Enhancements to the Student Engagement Dashboard for the 2023/24 academic year have also been introduced. These include:

  • An additional column to show the number of days since the last QR code scan
  • An additional column for the number of days since the last Moodle click
  • ECHO 360 deciles to show comparison against cohort
  • Mature student flag
  • Significant work on dashboard response times

The recommended approach is for schools to use QR codes for attendance capture at all teaching activities. The minimum requirement is for schools to ensure that there are at least two such activities available per student per week across their programme to allow us to meet our UKVI requirements.

Pastoral process

The code of practice details a step-by-step intervention process for contacting a disengaged student. It describes the process flow for contact – broken into the ‘Academic Unit stage’ and the ‘Support and Wellbeing stage’. Timescales have been included to ensure that we are responding in a timely manner to a student who has disengaged from their study.

Permitted periods of approved absence

The Quality Manual states that a permitted period of absence should not normally exceed two weeks and that where absences exceed permitted periods, the school may require the student to interrupt their studies and return at a specified time in the future that will enable the student to resume the programme appropriately.

Personal tutors are asked to please remind students that they are required to attend and academically engage for the full duration of teaching during term-time and that for master’s students, term-time includes the summer dissertation period.

QR code data indicates that rates of in-person attendance decrease in the weeks prior to university vacation periods. For students in the UK on student visas, it is an expectation of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that students are attending and engaging with their studies in the UK throughout the term-time period applicable to that particular course.

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