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Audit of Skills
Assessment for Learning
Quality Assurance & Enhancement
Research Ethics
Tips for Students going on Placements
Resources for Study Visits Abroad
Resources for Day Visits
Resources for Fieldwork


Framework for Policy on Experiential Elements

One of the findings of the survey we conducted as part of this project was that, although many universities provide opportunities for students to encounter religious believers directly, none (including ourselves) had an official policy for this form of learning. In an effort to assist Departments in formulating such a policy we have produced a framework which outlines principles and practices that need to be considered.
Download Framework_Policy.doc (504k)

Policy on Experiential Elements

It shows how the Framework for a Policy on Experiential Elements can be used to formulate a policy, taking account of the principles and practices identified and the distinctive nature of a particular programme.
Download Sample_Policy.doc (504k)

Audit of Skills

A “Skills Audit” identifies the skills that can be gained and developed through, in this case, a particular university subject. For Theology and Religious Studies we referred to national-level guidance documents for the subject and for graduate employability.We considered it important to pinpoint the skills that are fostered by such activities as visits to places of worship and placements with religious communities in order to show that these activities are extremely valuable. Their value lies both in enhancing learning and preparing students for future professional careers.If you are a student, or prospective student, the audit provides a checklist that you can use in reflecting on your own personal and academic development.If you are a graduate, or about to graduate, the audit provides source material for job applications, and ways of matching your abilities and attributes to job and person specifications.If you are a careers adviser, sixth form tutor or parent/guardian, the audit provides an indication of what a degree in Theology and Religious Studies may have to offer.
Download Skills_Audit.doc (600k)

Assessment for Learning

This document provides suggestions for appropriate modes of assessment of experiential elements such as fieldwork placements. The initial survey of Theology and Religious Studies Departments carried out by the project team indicated that assessment was an area of concern for those colleagues considering introducing experiential elements into their curricula. This concern reflects the awareness that effective learning is promoted by making assessment an integral part of the experience. The suggestions included in the document offer a variety of formative and summative options that could be used within an assessment scheme.
Download Assessment_For_Learning.doc (476k)

Quality Assurance & Enhancement

In order to ensure the success of experiential learning, it is vital to evaluate the experiences themselves both from the perspective of students and from the perspective of host communities and centres. Evaluation can take a variety of forms including questionnaires and focus groups.
Questionnaires can yield quantitative data for statistical analysis but also qualitative analysis where informants have the space to formulate their own answers rather than selecting options from a determined range of responses. Focus groups are rich sources of qualitative data as participants have the freedom to answer questions as they choose and to raise new issues in the course of discussion.Questionnaires can be used easily with students and with host communities and centres. Properly designed and promptly administered, they can elicit information that will facilitate an assessment of the value of the learning opportunities for students and the relationship with the host communities
and centres. They can also reveal significant differences between students in terms of their past academic and personal experiences and their present attitudes and interests as well as the diverse responses of their hosts.Focus groups require more organisation, especially for host communities and centres where travel and expense may be involved, but offer other insights. As structured conversations, when convened in such a way as to ensure all participants can express their views freely and frankly, they allow for
convenors to ask additional questions to clarify the points made and for participants to extend discussion to address important issues. Such groups also allow students to hear from one another and, similarly, representatives of communities and centres can share their ideas.

Quality Assurance Protocol for Focus Group

Download Protocol_Focus_Group.doc (500k)

Placement Questionnaire for Communities & for Students

Download Questionnaire_Communities.doc (32k)
Download Questionnaire_Students.doc (32k)

Research Ethics

Research Ethics should be an integral part of fieldwork in religious communities. This section includes an overview of the principles underlying the ethical conduct of research, with some suggestions for further reading. More specific guidance is provided on both Data Protection and Risk Assessment, together with a sample permissions letter and a risk assessment proforma.
Download About_Research_Ethics.doc (508k)

Risk Assessment

Download About_Risk_Assessment.doc (504k)
Download Risk_Assessment_Form.doc (40k)

Data Protection

Download Data_Protection.doc (500k)
Download Permissions_Letter.doc (32k)

Tips for Students going on Placements

Here is some guidance for you if you are about to go on a placement with a religious community. You may also find it helpful to look at the documents available above under Research Ethics.
Download Tips_For_Students.doc (504k)

Resources for Study Visits Abroad

Sample documentation, useful advice and forms for organizing study visits abroad, provided by Mark Plater (Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln) and Dr Lynn Foulston (University of Wales, Newport).
Download (68k)

Resources for Day Visits

Sample documentation including risk assessment from Dr Lynn Foulston, University of Wales, Newport and guidance for visitors from Dr Wendy Dossett, then at University of Wales, Lampeter and now at University of Chester.
Download (116k)

Sample documentation from Prof. Kim Knott, University of Leeds, comprising a guidance sheet and a module handbook.
Download (144k)