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16 City of Glasgow College Annual Report & Accounts 2019-20

Learning and Teaching

Learning and Teaching Committee

The Board of Management Learning and Teaching

Committee performs a vital role on behalf of the Board in

matters relating to the curriculum, academic policies and

procedures, quality and performance, and primarily learning,

teaching and support. Particular priorities are student

recruitment, retention, attainment and achievement. The

Committee's remit also includes the monitoring and review

of student admissions, access and inclusion, as well as

arrangements for articulation and partnerships with other

providers.

The student experience as a whole is also a key focus for

the Committee, which includes approaches to learning

and teaching, resourcing - including the use of ICT, as well

as student complaints handling and outcomes. Student

support and discipline also falls within the scope of the

Committee, as does the conduct of the academic appeals

process.

The Committee also considers new and innovative

developments in all aspects of learning, teaching, and

student support, and seeks to ensure that the College is

actively working to meet the needs of all stakeholders in

presenting learning and teaching opportunities that meet

current and future needs. Strategies for pedagogical and

curriculum development are overseen by the Committee, as

it seeks continuous improvement in the College's principal

function.

Feedback from student engagement, such as surveys and

academic fora, is considered, and an overview of academic

quality and improvement is maintained.

In 2019-20 the Committee considered a number of key

issues as standing items on its agenda, including a Regional

Curriculum Update, Curriculum Performance Report,

Pedagogy and Innovation, Industry Academy Updates and

Presentations, and Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.

Response to Covid-19 Crisis

The 2019-20 session was overshadowed by the global

health crisis presented by coronavirus Covid-19, which

forced the closure of College buildings on March 18th 2020,

with national lockdown the following week. On 29 April, the

Committee reflected upon the College's response to the

crisis:

"At two weeks before lockdown, the timing of closure was

still uncertain. Discussions had begun within the Covid-19

Advisory Group to quickly prepare for closure, online course

delivery, and staff connectivity in preparation for home

working. This involved testing of IT equipment remotely at

home, and staff were advised to encourage students to do

the same.

'Digital poverty' proved to be a key issue for both staff and

students, and though some had access to technology,

there were further issues with accessing suitable software.

Furthermore, there were colleagues and students without

Wi-Fi and households with competing demands for

computer use.

This proved to be a matter of national concern, and the

CitySA executive and College leadership ensured that this

issue, along with student hardship generally, affecting tens

of thousands of young people, was raised at the highest

levels of Government.

While the majority of College learning and teaching was

transferred online, it was recognised that this does not

always translate easily to the remote environment. The

College as a whole benefitted from the recent development

of business continuity planning, specifically individual Faculty

and support area business recovery plans.

Also, while much planning and preparation for digital

learning as a strategic initiative had proven very useful, the

solution found in many cases was an emergency response,

rather than a planned rollout. A more planned approach

would be required for the new session, with a high-quality

blended learning approach required in 2020-21 and beyond.

It was recognised that a variety of blended approaches

was required, as there was no single solution for all areas of

learning and teaching.

Assessment Issues

The Committee noted that on 26 March, the SQA and

Colleges Scotland made a joint statement regarding the

holistic model for internal assessment, advising assessment

evidence in some cases will be incomplete, and ultimately

flexibility is required. However, it was noted that there was

a relatively slow response from SQA to provide guidance

on assessment, guidance for HND, NQ, NAT 5 and NAT

Progression Awards was published in mid-April, with

vocational guidance forthcoming thereafter.

City SA Response

The Student President reported that the lack of face-to-face

contact had been, and continued to be, challenging for

everyone, and so the association had ensured that a range

of online activities were available via social media, phone

calls, messages, and emails. A revised communication

College Strategic Priority 1:

To be an inspirational place of learning.

College Strategic Priority 2:

To enable individuals to excel and realise

their full potential.

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