TC Agenda 13th February 2019

Teaching Committee Agenda for 13th February 2019.

Meeting Agenda

Informatics Teaching Committee Agenda

14.00hrs, Appleton Tower room 7.14


Agenda tbc

19.32 Apologies for absence: Helen Pain, Jane Hillston, Judy Robertson.

19.33 Minutes of Previous Meetings

19.34 Matters Arising


18.29-01 – The Convenor raised the ongoing subject of software options for coursework submission. DoLT has contacted the RAT unit and Learning Technologist to consider options. ONGOING.


18.59-02: Course Moderation Guidelines. The BoE Convenors are officially responsible for ensuring that moderation guidelines are available. DoLT has contacted the convenors about this and hopes they will be able to report back for the December meeting of TC. ACTION: The DoLT is to circulate more detailed information to the Convenors.


18.60-02: Learning Technologist to produce an overview for the LEARN template. Alex Burford has done so. ACTION: Learning Technologist to run focus groups with students and to look at the staff engagement with LEARN for TC. Once the questionnaire results come back Alex will bring the results to TC. ONGOING.


18.63: Teaching Programme Review – DoLT. A meeting should be arranged in with a named TPR team – to be discussed at next Teaching Committee. OUTSTANDING.


19.06 Proposal to limit UG/MSc project Report Lengths, S.Goldwater. Implementation of this proposal was approved in November TC. Proposer has been contacted regarding the next steps. One member voiced the opinion that projects involving vision and graphics often have a very high page count and so might have a reasonable argument for exemption to the length limit. ACTION: Propose and MSc Project co-ordinator to report on progress for February 2019 TC.

Additional comments from Helen Pain:

I would like to note that there has not been formal wider consultation on this issue - I think such an issue requires full (email) discussion not just presentation at TC. A majority of 3 supporting this is not I believe sufficiently representative of the whole staff.  The earlier proposal said: " If so, then the wider staff can be consulted by email on whether to approve the policy." - I do not believe this has happened, though accept that individual staff may have been asked for their input.

Some brief points in relation to this:

We had extensive discussion of this issue in 2011. In this case all staff were consulted through wider circulation, and we had input also from students (e.g. PhD students who had been UG and MSc students here). Arguments were presented then and a recommendation made of dissertations being 30-60 pages. See attached argument.

One of the main arguments was that there are many different types of thesis - not just those in Computer Science - and some require more extensive literature review, justification of design, discussion, etc. Dissertations in some areas may be more likely to be penalised by the hard word length.  They would certainly be penalised by restrictions on appendices. Also implementation and policing as a hard limit will I believe create more work than it saves.

The argument that PPLS thesis are of good quality does not I feel support the case: I have supervised these and have to spend additional time suggesting ways to cut material in order to get within the page limit. They may be easier to mark, but are more work to supervise and require more feedback. So overall cost more time.

One further point from the previous case made:

"In relation to the stronger ones, our good projects and their dissertations are often very good indeed, at MSc and UG4 level. These are also typically the longer ones. These are the ones that attract high A grades, win prizes and result in positive comments from external examiners."


19.12 Provision of DPMT for CDTs - A. Lopez. (2) R.Mayr to liaise with T.Spink regarding this modification.


19.26 Mandatory Unconscious Bias Training for Tutors/Demonstrators - N.Heatley / B.Fisher.

ACTION: E&D Officer to investigate training options, and liaise with Cristina Alexandru / Vicky MacTaggart / Alexandra Welsh regarding the online training requirement. B.FIsher - no progress as yet.


19.27 Exam Marking Policy - Director of Learning and Teaching

ACTION: DoLT to provide a full policy document.


19.28  Student Surveys - Feedback Officer.

ACTION: DoLT to consult with ITO and to publish what we do.

19.35 Hons/MInf projects - minor modifications - Honours/MInf Project co-ordinator

19.36 Recruitment Report Recruitment Officer

PGT - 

It has been agreed that there will be further deadlines for the PGT informatics programmes that had a 31 January deadline:  

MSc Artificial Intelligence - (Target is 100 students)

MSc Cognitive Science - Target 20

MSc Computer Science - 70

MSc Cyber Security - 40

MSc Data Science - 35

MSc Informatics - 35   The two further selection deadlines will be 30 April and 30 June.

Applications - Received 3.7K applications, rejected 1.7K thus far, 921 applications on hold.   Offers made for MSc - 15 UFs, 53 CFs (includes 28 offers for Design Informatics and Advanced Design Informatics)


UG Targets for 2019 entry –

SEU  - 130 

RUK – 37 

OS – 113 

UG overseas applications closed on 31st January.

19.37 Peer Oberservation of Teaching ITO and Director of Quality

19.38 AOCB
 Date of next Teaching Committee: Wed 13th of March 2019