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Reacting to this fast changing situation has become the priority for the team and we will do everything we can to support TEIs and students. The team have built a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section devoted to Covid-19. We would encourage you to review this resource before contacting the team. Where appropriate, responses to questions we receive from TEIS will be shared in these FAQs. Please check the FAQs as frequently as you are able.
Please ensure you read all information shared in this Bulletin as it includes a number of changes to processes and events, as a result of Covid-19.
If you need to contact the team with any queries, please use our dedicated mailing address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This ensures all team members can access all communications remotely. Unfortunately, it will not be possible for the team to take phone calls while away from the office.
All communications, updates and changes regarding Covid-19 will be communicated in future Bulletins, on the homepage, the FAQ section and through emails to TEI Key Contacts and Principals.
We would be very grateful if TEIs would note the following upcoming deadlines for submission of data or information relating to student records and curriculum development processes.
24th April: Deadline for APL Credits data submission
24th April: Deadline for Module Registration data submission
29th May: TEIs to submit Curriculum Development documents for new programmes and modules
Please contact the team if you anticipate any difficulties with meeting any upcoming deadlines.
The TEI Forum, scheduled for Thursday 2nd April, went ahead online via Big Blue Button. Thank you to all that were able to attend. Notes of the discussions at the TEI Forum will be circulated to TEI Forum Members when available.
Unfortunately, The Annual Conference for Theological Educators, scheduled for Monday 6th July to Wednesday 8th July, has sadly been cancelled. The Common Awards Team is in discussions with the National Ministry Team regarding alternative arrangements. Further details will be shared when finalised.
TEIs are encouraged to participate in the following consultations, which are live on the Common Awards website:
Student Survey (2020) Consultation - The Common Awards Student Survey has run annually for the last three years. Now that three years’ worth of data has been collected and analysed, there is an opportunity to make changes to the process and the survey questions. Feedback has been sought from the Common Awards Management Board, and suggested changes have been incorporated into the latest draft of the survey. We are now seeking final feedback on the questions which will be asked as part of the survey. We would be grateful if TEIs could encourage both staff members and students to complete this consultation. This consultation will close on April 17th.
Academic Misconduct - Following feedback from some TEIs, the Overarching Board of Examiners discussed the provision of materials to support students in understanding and avoiding academic misconduct. It was recommended that TEIs be invited to share their experiences in this area, and collect examples of practice across TEIs, with the intention of creating a bank of resources which could be shared between all TEIs. This consultation will close on May 29th.
Campus Cards - The Common Awards Team, with previous discussions and feedback in mind (from TEIs, the Management Board and the TEI Forum), have recently undertaken a review of the campus card production process with our colleagues in the University IT team (CIS). A number of changes are recommended in order to improve the efficiency of the process. Whilst welcoming feedback from TEIs as normal, we would also encourage TEIs to share this consultation with Common Awards students for their feedback on the proposed changes. This consultation has been extended and will now close on April 29th.
The deadline for TEIs to submit data relating to module registration and APL credits is April 24th. TEIs are asked to submit data for all Common Awards students (including late entrants) by this date.
When submitting APL credits, TEIs are also now asked to submit the TEI-level approval documentation relating to the APL request. Please be advised that this request is not adding an additional approval process where TEIs have already approved APL claims within the parameters set. Instead, having this documentation on file will help the team better prepare for the Overarching Board of Examiners processes.
The Common Awards Management Board, scheduled for 1st May 2020, will now go ahead using a combination of message-based group discussion held in advance (for the more straightforward agenda items), and a virtual meeting on 1st May. The minutes and TEI Management Committee report will be circulated to key contacts as soon as possible after the meeting.
Unfortunately, the Campus Card production for late entrants to Common Awards Programmes (scheduled for May 2020) will not take place as planned. This process relies heavily on CIS to produce the campus cards, once the Common Awards Team have shared the relevant data. Understandably, their efforts have had to be redirected to support academic departments in Durham transition to online teaching in response to Covid-19 (resources for which are also available to TEIs – please see the Covid-19 FAQs for more information) and unfortunately they do not have the capacity to undertake the work at this time. The Common Awards Team appreciate the inconvenience this may cause for students and TEIs affected, and are looking into alternative arrangements.
TEIs are advised to note the following upcoming Curriculum Development deadlines in May. The deadline for the proposals is May 31st. Please note, the level of approval and timescale for each change depends upon the complexity of the proposals under consideration.
TEI programme changes: Proposals from a TEI to make any changes its programme regulations (including, but not limited to: deleting a module, adding a module, restructuring module lists, and rewording the rubrics within the programme regulations).
TEI module changes: Proposals from a TEI (or one or more of its constituent centres) to change their selection of the module assessment details, contact hours, and/or learning and teaching methods.
We are pleased to confirm that several new modules have been approved by the University for the 2020/21 academic year and can be introduced via Curriculum Development, should you wish to do so. The module outlines are on the website and the assessment pattern for the module should be chosen from the approved assessment parameters for undergraduate/ postgraduate modules. The new modules are as follows:
TMM 1697 – Level 4 – Elements of Mission and Evangelism – Ministry and Mission
TMM 1707 – Level 4 – Elements of Missional Entrepreneurship – Ministry and Mission
TMM 1717 – Level 4 – Introduction to Growing Faith – Ministry and Mission
TMM 1721 – Level 4 – Biblical Perspectives on Social Justice and Equality – Biblical Studies
TMM 2767 – Level 5 – Elements of Mission and Evangelism – Ministry and Mission
TMM 2771 – Level 5 – Theological Perspectives on Community Development and Organising – Theological Reflection
TMM 2781 – Level 5 – Theology and Discrimination – Theological Reflection
TMM 3861 – Level 6 – Church Planting in Perspective – Ministry and Mission
TMM 3871 – Level 6 – Further Engagement with Ministry and Worship in Context – Ministry and Mission & Theological Reflection
TMM 46120 – Level 7 – Advanced Church Planting in Perspective – Ministry and Mission
Some changes to the following existing modules have also been made:
TMM 1321 – Level 4 - Foundations for Ministry and Worship in Context
TMM 2321 – Level 5 - Developing Ministry and Worship in Context
Please note that module TMM3521 should be categorised as a 'Ministry and Mission' module and not 'Theological Reflection and Reflective Practice'.
Since the consultation was published to invite feedback on the proposed changes to the Common Awards Student Survey, the Covid-19 crisis has prompted a reconsideration of how the survey should run in 2020. The Common Awards Team, in consultation with the National Ministry Team, has agreed that the survey should not go ahead as planned. The next three years’ of data should instead be collected from 2021-2023. This is due to the likely effect the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis could have on the data, which may result in a dataset which is not comparable with the data collected in subsequent years.
Notwithstanding this, the Common Awards Team and the National Ministry Team have agreed that it is important to give Common Awards students the opportunity to feed back on their Common Awards experience, particularly for final year students who will not have this opportunity when the survey runs again in 2021. It is therefore proposed that the ‘new’ survey (currently under consultation) is made available online, and that students are provided with a link to complete the survey if they wish to do so.
The results will not be analysed in the same way as has been practice for the current survey, and in particular statistics from this year’s survey will not be considered by Management Board or form part of our reporting to TEIs. However, there may still be a need to follow up with individual TEIs on any issues of concern raised by students.
TEI Key Contacts will be asked to circulate the link to all current students for them to complete should they wish. It will be up to TEIs how much they promote the survey but we would encourage colleagues to remind students of the closing date about a week in advance. This ‘open’ version of the new survey means that the Common Awards Team will not be collecting individual student email addresses. The 2020 survey will be available to all students registered on Common Awards programmes in 2019-20 (as per the December census). This survey will be launched on Monday 4th May and close on Sunday 31st May 2020.
Please remember to check the Covid-19 FAQs as frequently as possible. The information provided in these FAQs is updated regularly.
Mike, Frances, Eve, Alyson, Emma, Deborah and Adam