HEA Accreditation get-togethers… annotation

Rather than getting distracted for days and then delaying the writing of this like last time, I’m doing it today – only one day after our meeting.

This session we wanted to look at the annotation that needs to be done for these portfolios. While we have to provide evidence as to the different Areas of Activities, we need to show the Core Knowledge and Professional Values through some sort of annotation of the included Area of Activity documents.

There are six areas of Core Knowldge:

  • K1 The subject material
  • K2 Appropriate methods for teaching and learning in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
  • K3 How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
  • K4 The use and value of appropriate learning technologies
  • K5 Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching
  • K6 The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching

and four areas of Professional Values:

  • V1 Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities
  • V2 Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners
  • V3 Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development
  • V4 Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice

For the different levels of accreditation, Associate Fellow candidates have to annotate the portfolio to demonstrate examples of at least K1 and K2 and each element of the Professional Values, Fellow and Senior Fellow candidates have to demonstrate at least two examples of all the Core Knowledge and Professional Values.

In order to get our heads around this, we had a look at an example of a successful document from a colleague at a different university. However, as this didn’t go down the portfolio route it was describing the evidence of the Areas of Activity rather than including them as examples. Even though the process is therefore a bit different from what we will have to do, it was really helpful to look at an actual example. We really liked how this clearly refered to each of the Knowledge and Values in brackets after the description (for example K1 and V4), and how it used the discussion of both of these dimensions of the UK Professional Standards Framework to fold in theory.

We thought that it might be useful to physically organise this annotation (and also the editing of the portfolio) by collecting our possible evidence and using different coloured sticky-notes to remind us of what Knowledge and Value descriptors would be shown by these examples. That would make it easier to later on decide which examples to best include (briefness always being a virtue in portfolios) and would also make the writing-up of the annotations much easier.

We also thought about possibly keeping a grid to show what Areas of Activity could cover what Knowledge and which Values, to allow us each an overview to make the editing process easier. A grid of the submitted pieces of evidence could then also be submitted to give the reviewers that same overview.

And then we had some fun thinking about different ways of presenting these annotations. As we will have documents as evidence, we could signpost good practice much more directly than our colleague could in one long written piece. So we were thinking of using post-its to refer to the Knowledge and Values – and even where appropriate to point towards theory – or maybe luggage tags. Maybe the Knowledge needs to be represented by something other than the Values, so we could possibly have both? Or will that just become confusing?

As I am still thinking about at least somehow including a quilt (although whether I will have an appropriate one ready by then remains to be seen), I was also thinking of attaching things with safety pins, putting in looped (or sewn on straight) labels, or maybe even showing how things are being held together through Knowledge and Values by differently coloured thread. Yes, it would be way more complicated, but so much more fun than a boring collection of printed WordDocuments…

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