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How are you auditing your courses?

Question asked by chrisboon on Jun 13, 2017
Latest reply on Jul 19, 2017 by mh22766

Following on from David Finch's excellent presentation about his VLE Audit Tool at yesterday's Further Education User Group meeting, a discussion about the topic of auditing, or bench-marking courses started.  We considered terminology - the word "Audit" can have negative connotations ("Oh no - the auditors are coming!"), whereas a bench-marking activity may be more acceptable.

However, the main topic was around how we go about auditing our courses, and since many institutions have undertaken this activity, we thought it would be a good topic for a discussion here.

At City College Norwich we used to just look at student activity on our courses, and award platinum, gold, silver and bronze badges based around the activity, based on the assumption that students would look at good courses.  However, this doesn't allow for excellent courses where the students have limited access to computer facilities, or poor courses where certain documents are essential to pass the course, and therefore generate higher activity.  Therefore we've moved to a model that looks at the quality and usage.  It's our first year with this new model, and we are currently working on the following criteria:

Bronze award

  • Resources have been uploaded to the course
  • A course handbook or equivalent has been published
  • The course has been well structured, by customising the menu or using folders, so that students can easily find the resources
  • The course is attractive and appealing, with a course theme enabled or banner uploaded
  • There is a reasonable amount of student activity

Silver award

All of the above, plus:

  • Actively used interactive tools such as discussion board, blog, journal, Wiki etc, with students actively engaging and using the tools

Gold award

All of the above, plus:

  • Something outstanding - this could be anything from a particularly well structured course, one with extremely good graphics and supporting images, an innovative use of a course tool, or something else - something which makes the course stand out in some way

We expect to use the data from this year's audit as a base line and then use this to encourage development in future years.  We may consider adding new requirements to the levels above in future years as a way of continually improving our courses.


How are you evaluating your courses at your institution?