Supporting Programme Leaders and Programme Leadership

11 April 2019

Location: Higher Educations Futures Institute (Old Gym), University of Birmingham

10.00 Registration and Refreshments - Room LG06

10.10 - 10.20 Welcome Address from University of Birmingham - Room LG06

Professor Kathy Armour, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

10.20 - 10.30 Overview of day - Room LG06

Jenny Lawrence (University of Hull) will open the day with a brief overview of programme leadership followed by an invitation to reflect on the role in the delegates’ specific contexts.

10.30 – 11.50 Leading Academics. Beyond Isolation: Exploring the relationality and collegiality of the programme leader role - Room LG06

Sarah Moore (University of Sheffield) Programme leaders work with a wide variety of groups: the programme team, senior leaders, departmental administrative and support staff, and central professional services, as well as students. These professional relationships are vital yet deeply sensitive. Programme leaders may not have line management responsibility for those they work with, they are often reliant on goodwill to carry out their role successfully.

This interactive session will draw on qualitative research exploring the nature of the different interactions that programme leaders have with colleagues from across a single institution. Participants will then develop collective knowledge around how the interactions associated with the programme leader role work in practice, the challenges that programme leaders face in working with others, and practical suggestions for negotiating these relationships productively.

11.50 - 12.00 Questions and Answers from the floor. An opportunity to discuss with colleagues how programme leadership is organised and programme leaders supported across the sector.

12.00 - 12.45 Lunch - Room LG06

12.45 -14.15 Breakout Workshops: Delegates may choose between two breakout sessions:

A year in the life of a programme leader: Compiling a PL almanac of activity for the PL specific context - Room LG06

Rowena Senior (Aston University) When new to the role of programme director, it is generally difficult to get a handle on the annual cycle of required tasks. At Glasgow Caledonian, programme directors created a calendar booklet which proved useful for novices and old hands alike. In this session, we look at the prototype booklet and discuss ways of adopting a similar model in other institutions.


Assessment challenges for programme leaders: Making the move to programme focused assessment - Room 202

Ruth Whitfield (University of Bradford) Despite several major national initiatives, assessment remains one of the most challenging areas for programme teams. The Programme Assessments Strategies (PASS) project funded by the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme, aimed to confront a fundamental issue for every HE course/programme leader: how to design an effective, efficient, inclusive and sustainable assessment strategy which delivers the key course/programme outcomes.

Using PASS workshop resources, this interactive session will present an overview of the project, consider current assessment issues, explore case studies where programme focused assessment has had positive impact on both student and staff experiences of assessment, and consider its implications for programme leaders.

14.15 -14.30 Refreshments - Room LG06

14.30-15.30 Toothless tiger hidden lynch pin: programme leadership in a colder climate - Room LG06

Sam Ellis (Glasgow Caledonian University) will close the day with a large group session reporting on how the Scottish sector at large is both supporting current programme leaders and developing prospective programme leaders. Delegates will have opportunities to share their own experiences of the support they receive, their induction into programme leadership, and the best (and worst!) elements of the role and the consideration of effective ways forward in further supporting this essential role.

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