The University has a new Academic Integrity Policy in operation from September 2013

On the 11th October the Centre for Lifelong Learning hosted a ‘packed and lively’ lunchtime symposium on the Academic Integrity Policy. The event was designed both to support staff who have a role in learning and assessment in implementing the Policy and to gain feedback on the Policy to inform any refinements.

Described by Warren Barr of the Liverpool Law School as “radically different”, the new Policy aims to shift the focus more on to supporting students master good academic practices and learn from their mistakes, rather than simply punish students for failure to comply with the requirements. Introducing the session, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Kelvin Everest explained why changes are necessary, highlighting, in particular, the increasing diversity of the student body and the numbers of students entering university without the experience or understanding of the norms of sound academic practice.

It was also acknowledged that making changes is not a straightforward endeavour and not without its controversies. Warren, who is Faculty Lead for Humanities and Social Sciences (Student Experience and Curriculum Quality), outlined the five categories contained within the Policy and explained the important distinction between Poor Academic Practice (categories A and B) and Unfair and Dishonest Academic Practice (categories C, D & E). Staff were then shown how to use the Policy based on the category of behaviour identified.

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Awarding certificates in Lahore

The awarding of certificates was the highlight of this visit by Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) staff to the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore, Pakistan.  A total of 71 certificates were presented by Richard Weyers, Head of the British Council in the Punjab, to medical educators who had taken part in, or taught on, programmes run at UHS with support from CLL staff.

For the last three years Janet Strivens and Ian Willis have been visiting UHS to work with local staff to design and deliver programmes for staff at different stages of their teaching careers.  The Introduction to Medical Education (IMT) is a non-accredited course for staff who are just starting to have teaching responsibilities; probably the equivalent of Graduate Teaching Assistants or very new academic staff at the University of Liverpool (UoL). The Certificate in Medical Education (CMT) is UHS accredited and assessed and is for teaching staff who have secured permanent posts and have significant teaching responsibilities.

This is an innovation in Pakistan where there are relatively few opportunities for medical educators to receive training for their teaching roles.  There is also a jointly developed Masters in Health Professionals Education; no awards were made for this programme but most of the local staff who taught on the IMT and CMT are studying for their Masters. During the week, two cohorts of IMT and one of CMT were running, almost entirely facilitated by local staff previously trained by Janet and Ian who spent their time supervising and supporting the facilitators.  That’s a total of seven local staff in teacher/facilitator roles, plus the mentors on the CMT programme.

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