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This page shows examples of TEI good practice highlighted by the External Examiners and the ULOs in their reports, in areas related to student engagement and feedback. Click on the links below to jump to Good Practice ideas on each topic.

Induction and Study Skills

Module Handbooks

Reading Lists


Teaching and delivery

Online Learning




Theological Reflection


Induction and study skills TEI
1 The External Examiner identified the implementation of the ‘Preparing to Learn’ module as something to be recommended widely across the TEIs ‘for the way it introduces a holistic approach to learning, incorporating study skills, reflective skills, and something of the nature of studying theology at all in such an environment.’ St Stephen’s House (2020-21)
2 The writing mentor scheme is good practice and Queen’s confirmed that students have found it helpful, particularly in their first term, and commented that they like that the scheme is individual and tailored. Queen's (2020-21)
3 Rather than shoehorning skills into ordinary module classes, the TEI offer optional skills seminars (eg. ‘How to write a New Testament essay’), which had been recorded and placed on Moodle, and enjoyed a high uptake rate.   ERMC (2020-21)
4 One recent step taken was to introduce an induction process for those moving from L4 to L5. This helped students prepare for the step up in what was expected of them, to help them understand what would be expected, and to give them some of the skills needed to satisfactorily progress. This has been generally welcomed by all involved. LKC (2020-21)
5 The ASE reviewer commended the TEI for their personal approach to supporting students, particularly the peer-to-peer model for student induction.  St Padarn's (2021-22)
6 The TEI’s use of learning journals encourages students to focus on wider reflection and their own formative development and learning skills. The TEI is happy to share their Learning Journal Years 1-3 Guidelines and Learning Journal Proforma with other TEIs SWMTC (2021-22)

Tutors share exemplary essays with students to improve their research and writing skills. One tutor is actively encouraging students who receive marks in the 80s to publish their papers. The tutor has recommended an appropriate academic journal and guided the student to publish. The students paper is now accepted for publication.

TBBC (2021-22)


Module handbooks TEI
1 The use of an indicative guide to module ‘hours’ within the Module Handbook helps to give students, especially part-time students, a realistic idea of the work they should be doing. Cranmer Hall (2020-21)
2 The provision of a single document for each module handbook is a helpful resource for students. Lincoln (2020-21)
3 There is a consistency and coherence to the administration and presentation of the programme/modules that must be very helpful to students. Just as one example, all of the module handbooks reviewed follow the same structure and style, and include the LOs for the particular module. This gives confidence in the ‘curation’ of the overall educational process as well as clarity to the students and is to be commended. Lindisfarne (2020-21)


Reading Lists TEI
1 The TEI has enabled reading lists to be live documents so that students can benefit from each other’s research. Ripon College (2020-21)


Curriculum TEI
1 The TEI’s new programme, centred around the Lord’s prayer (year 1), the Nicene Creed (year 2) and the Magnificat (year 3),  allows the academically rigorous CA framework to work well within a structure that is designed to be as student-centred as possible. SWMTC (2020-21)
2 The TEI implemented partial integration of the level 6 and 7 programme with IME 2. This enabled the strengths of academic study to be accessed by all curates, not just those studying for an award, but also enabled more practical training days to be offered beyond the BA and MA programmes. This also enabled Readers who were interested in studying at a higher level to work towards a BA or MA, and continue their professional development early in their ministries. Lincoln (2020-21)

In 2021–22, the TEI offered introductory and intermediate modules in Hebrew and Greek on an evening when no other modules were delivered. Students were encouraged to take the modules for credit, to be sure, but they were also encouraged to audit these modules as they were able. This afforded an opportunity for some familiarity with the biblical languages without pressure or expectations.

SEI (2021-22)

The External Examiner noted that, 'There is an unusually high level of ecumenical learning in this TEI, particular in conversation with Orthodox traditions, and some good awareness of global Christianity in places, which I commend to Durham and other TEIs. Appreciation and comparison with other Christian traditions not only benefits church unity, but greatly enables students’ self-awareness and reflectivity about their own tradition and context.'

Cambridge Theological Federation (2021-22)


Teaching and delivery TEI
1 The use of videos to instruct student into research methods this is done in a very lively way which is engaging for students. Queen's (2020-21)
2 One centre has made some changes to the delivery of the Biblical Studies modules TMM1031 and TMM1051, in order to address ‘entrenched views’ expressed by students at the beginning of study. The feedback suggests that this has worked well.  SCTEI (2020-21)
3 The External Examiner commends the way in which staff have sought to develop students’ ability to reflect theologically on topics and issues. Challenging and current issues have been boldly studied underpinned with sound theological reflection.  St Augustine’s (2020-21)
4 There was an excellent level of engagement with recent literature issues of colonialism and race in TMM40920 (Advanced Topic in Christian Doctrine) and TMM3181 (Christian Faith & Ethical Living) which the External Examiner was particular pleased to see, and within issues of sexism in TMM3551 (Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality).  CamFed (2020-21)
5 Frances Clemson reported that she had enjoyed rich conversations with staff in different contexts about what had changed in their pedagogy over the previous 18 months.  The resultant video that
she had shown at the summer staff conference was still available at
Common Awards - general (2020-21)
6 The following point of good practice was identified as part of the 2020-21 teaching observation scheme: The Mission and Apologetics tutor delivered part of an apologetic talk that he had previously given and asked the students to take it apart, giving them space to disagree with him and leading them into direct engagement with the topic. Lindisfarne (2020-21)
7 The module tutors have a commitment to make preparatory reading and tasks available at least five days in advance Queen's (2020-21)

The TEI’s flipped-classroom approach means that students come to learning sessions having already done some learning at home: the TEI is able to use the space for problem solving and applied learning, thus depending the learning experience for students. This is now the standard approach across the College.

ETC (2021-22)

Student-led seminars, where they attend having engaged with pre-reading and lead themselves in discussion, are very well received, as are ‘flipped classroom’ sessions where 45-60 minutes of recorded lecture material is watched beforehand, and then the class meets for 45 minutes of staff-facilitated discussion.

Cranmer Hall (2021-22)

CGH (among other pathways) is increasingly making use of narrated PowerPoints as a method of delivering teaching content. This has enabled a “flipped classroom” approach for some modules which students have greatly appreciated both for the flexibility it offers in accessing content, but also in freeing time in scheduled sessions for student-led discussion and interaction.

Ripon College, Cuddesdon (2021-22)

The ASE Reviewer commended the TEI for developing a set of guidelines around how to create safe spaces for learning in response to student feedback. The ‘Guidelines for Teaching and Learning’ ensures that trigger warnings are offered before the introduction of potentially triggering material, and outlines expectations that students must be prepared to come prepared for class, be prepared to actively participate and engage in in learning, and be respectful in discussion. It also outlines expectations on staff to ensure a diversity in resources and materials.

Ripon College, Cuddesdon (2021-22)

The TEI requires a declaration of appropriate handling under safeguarding regulations of any disclosure of historic (or current) abuse in real-world assignments.

ERMC (2021-22)


Online Learning TEI

The following examples of
online teaching tools recommended in the TEI forum:


Jamboard (Google) – equivalent to a flip-chart, with ‘sticky notes’ that could be moved around and organised, and an image that could be saved at the end;

Zoom whiteboard – expected to improve to become more like Jamboard – users had a choice between two apps with full functionality and sticking to one (Zoom) with less;

Slido – useful for in-session Q&A where there were many participants, replacing the need to use the ‘chat’ function as it prioritises the most popular questions; – useful for informal gatherings, being more fun, with a tiny avatar that walked around the screen; – similar to

Common Awards - general (2021-22)
2 The TEI has a new e-learning tutor working with students and staff to increase online resource use and skills. Students have noticed the improvements e.g. consistency in the way moodle is used by different staff. Queen's (2020-21)
3 Creating and sustaining online communities: The TEI have embedded this practice into several of their Worship and Ministerial modules, including for example Advanced Preaching, which now covers the practicalities of lighting, cameras and other equipment, and discussions of whether videos should be recorded in one take or can be re-recorded, and if preaching should be delivered live or pre-recorded. They have also changed the assessment for the Mission and Evangelism module to include students recording themselves giving a testimony and then reflecting with their church on the experience. The modules for students new to ministry also contain content which has been informed by the need to develop online communities, and the teaching and practice reflects this Queen's (2020-21)
4 New ways of building community online have included termly evening worship and a student-led weekly compline. They intend to continue holding online events but at more varied times to make allowances for those in timezones around the world. The students have noted that it enriches their learning experience to be part of a global learning community.  Queen's (2020-21)
5 The practice of providing recorded voiced-over lectures via PowerPoint is extremely effective. Ripon College (2020-21)
6 In all centres, they have seen full support of students with the enforcement of blended learning, which will continue going forward. SCTEI (2020-21)
7 Zoom and other online teaching has enabled them to make contact with wonderful speakers from around the world, and this has enabled them to vary the diversity of voices heard in their classes SEI (2020-21)
8 For greater student engagement, it has been good practice to use breakout rooms regularly for discussions when teaching online. While a plenary discussion with the whole class works very well for face-to-face teaching, for online discussions where the students are less aware of each other’s body language, the engagement and quality of discussion is better in smaller breakout rooms. St Augustine’s (2020-21)
9 The TEI are developing their teaching skills using experience gained through online delivery. An example is their summer academic staff development session included short videos about “Helping students engage with unfamiliar ideas” and “Helping student critique practice in positive ways” which are available on their VLE for all academic staff to access.  CamFed (2020-21)
10 The TEI hoped that the eight-day Summer School in August 2020 would be able to be on site at Belsey Bridge, but they had to adapt to an online programme. Devising a long programme meant re-thinking their approach with asynchronous sessions, pre-recorded interviews and mandatory participation in an online forum on Moodle so as to encourage active learning that could be sustained over eight days. Online delivery also meant that their were able to invite guest speakers for whom travel to East Anglia would be impossible, resulting in a diverse and inspiring Summer School.     ERMC (2020-21)
11 Sharing online worship with churches around the world has been an enriching experience for their students Lindisfarne (2020-21)

The College  has been adaptable in the pressures of the pandemic in several areas:

(1) despite pressures on staff time, the college has continued to support staff in research activity including facilitating research leave;

(2) The use of research seminars regularly across the national staff using Zoom;

(3) a culture of support for students with adaptability in how modules are taught, the use of blended learning and flipped classroom, together with a review of assessment in the light of the limitations that the pandemic brought on students.

St Mellitus (2020-21)


Placements TEI
1 One TEI was getting all its year groups to undertake journaling in order to ensure that all students had something to reflect on (in placements)  Anon (2020-21)
2 Queen’s has useful experience on intercultural and international placements to bring to the conversation. They have lots to offer about the ways this is carried out – e.g. risks, worries and barriers to doing this which other TEIs do not have. Queen's   (2020-21)
3 A few TEIs were commended by their ULOs for their creative responses to the disruption of placement-based learning caused by the pandemic. Their responses included making a conscious change to the wording of assessments and encouraging students to reflect on past pastoral experiences, or a wider range of contexts when required to relate their academic studies to ministerial experience. Common Awards - general  (2020-21)


Residentials TEI
1 Adapting the week-long residential events blending communal, devotional, biblical, liturgical, homiletical and experiential learning together worked well, and learning from these events is influencing both academic and formational teaching. All Saints Centre  (2020-21)
2 The use of asynchronous learning as part of online ‘residential’ summer school allowed for students on the multi faith module to have 3 sessions per day, but enabled students to schedule the middle session to complete at any point in a 5 hour slot; allowing them time to take a break when was convenient, spend time with family during the day or split the asynchronous tasks into smaller sections.  ERMC  (2020-21)
3 There has been an impetus to cross-curricular integration that ensures that residential teaching events do not stand isolated from other modules or events. St Augustine’s   (2020-21)


Dissertations TEI
1 The TEI makes good use of their External Examiner, particularly in relation to the EE’s increased involvement in the consideration of dissertation proposals YTEP   (2020-21)
2 As part of the dissertation process, students submit 1000 words of written text part-way through the year, as a formative exercise. This practice enables supervisors to check how students are writing and engaging with a topic, and helps to develop the supervisory relationship from an early stage. Queen's  (2020-21)
3 Overall, the quality and the relevance of topics of Individual Learning Projects and Dissertations submitted by students is high. Some deal with significant current events. One such in 2019-20, which focused on a theological reflection of one issue of the impact of Covid 19, was accepted for publication. St Augustine’s  (2020-21)
4 The choice of dissertation subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level allowed students to demonstrate a sound knowledge, understanding, and critical appreciation of a range biblical, theological, and philosophical themes. St Mellitus  (2020-21)
5 The freedom for students to make informed choice of topics and titles for Dissertations and Independent Learning Projects and the ability of staff to support and supervise the extensive  range of topics. TBBC (2020-21)


Theological Reflection TEI
1 The TEI had managed to incorporate contemporary issues into a new online Introduction to Theological Reflection (TMM1437) module, which went down well with students. The TEI notes: 'in its new format [the module] features both Covid and the future of the rural church as topics (and, indeed, the crossover between these themes), as well as the issues relating to Living in Love and Faith. The tutor ...... has tried to locate this module at the interface between theological reflection and the contemporary church, equipping students with the habits, insights and skills to become reflective practitioners whose ministry is thoroughly embedded in the context of their local church and community at the same time as connecting with pressing issues of the day.' SWMTC (2020-21)
2 The External Examiner noted that the way that theological reflection was embedded continued to be good, with at least one assignment component for each module being more reflective in tone, even in biblical and doctrinal modules. Students generally warmed to these opportunities and made excellent connections to their past, present or future ministry practice.  SEI and All Saints (2021-22)
3 In the External Examiner's review of students submissions this year, they noted particularly that students were strong in reflective pieces, including journals. Students generally seemed to be impressively self-aware and very capable of expressing this honestly through a reflective process. This is a real strength in terms of ministerial formation, and suggests students have understood the skills and forms required by this type of work, as well as having confidence and trust in an open relationship with staff. Cranmer Hall (2020-21)
4 St Hild offered a staff-led afternoon for student engaging with IICSA material, providing them with an opportunity to reflect and respond to the material and the issues it raised. The TEI notes: 'The first section, led by our Pastoral Tutor, talked through the consequences of abuse in church contexts for victims, including engaging with the accounts of some survivors. The second section, led by our Academic Tutor, encouraged students to think through some theological and ethical questions around power and complicity, and focused on engaging with a bible study on the massacre of the innocents. Both of these sessions involved some taught content and some chance for discussion in breakout rooms. Finally we had a plenary session where students could reflect on the different questions that had been raised for them, using the chat function to identify questions. We finished the afternoon with a very simple meditative evening prayer, led by a tutor who had not been involved in the rest of the content.' Following the session a student-led group was set up to consider how to respond to these issues as a college. YTEP (St Hild) (2020-21)
5 The college also offered students the chance to engage with LLF in a more low-key way. The TEI notes: 'lacking any space in the programme to address this in the way we had IICSA, we presented some resources on Moodle to support students engaging with the material on their own. We produced a series of short videos explaining the background to LLF, what the CofE’s current position on sexuality is, and what LLF contains and how you can best engage with it. We then helped interested students organise their own peer-led LLF groups via college zoom links (I produced walk-through videos aimed at group leaders for each session explaining how to adapt the content for zoom-based groups). We had around 15 students involved in 3 LLF groups during Lent. The material remains accessible to all students via Moodle if they want to engage with it in their own time.' YTEP (St Hild) (2020-21)

The introduction on small reflection groups as a regular feature of our ministerial pathway learning days has been very positive so far. This is both because it is a valuable source of peer support and reflection in itself, and also because it sets patterns for positive reflective practice for future ministry.

Lincoln (2021-22)