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Changes for Delivery in 2020/2021

Please note: the following information is intended for TEI Staff and Students who are part of the Common Awards scheme.  

This FAQ section relates to Covid-19 and the Delivery of Common Awards Programmes in 2020/21. 

Last Updated: 29th April, 15:51

Covid-19 FAQs 

  1. What if we need to change our delivery for 2020/21?
  2. What about opportunities for collaboration with other TEIs in 2020/21?
1. What if we need to change our delivery for 2020/21? 

Two forms are available on our Templates and Forms page, designed to capture the information the University and the National Ministry Team required to approve any variations to delivery for 2020/21. We set up this joint process (the Common Awards Team and the National Ministry Team) because it was very likely that TEIs may have needed to change some or all of their activity for some or all of 2020/21 in response to Covid-19. This process applied to temporary changes made in response to Covid-19, not longer term changes (which we expect to be considered through the normal Curriculum Development processes). 

We recognised that some decisions can be made in advance of the academic year and others may need to wait until further information is known. For instance, you may, as yet, have only made firm plans for the first part of the academic year. We requested the initial information be provided to the Common Awards Team by 30th June 2020, and that regular updates be provided to the Common Awards Team as you make any additional plans or decisions. 

Please ensure to provide regular updates to the Common Awards Team if you make any further changes to your delivery in 2020/21. Please provide this information on the existing forms provided, clearly indicating where updates have been provided. Please submit the Ministry Team form 6 weeks ahead of any changes it includes. 

The level of detail in the form will depend on the number of changes you intend to make and how widespread these will be. It might be that multi-centre TEIs will need to provide additional information for any centre-specific changes. As an indication of the detail required, the example below would provide sufficient information for the university to understand the changes you intended to make. 

‘All of our modules, except those mentioned below, are moving to online delivery, and for each of them this will involve a combination of video lectures, online seminars on Big Blue Button, and use of an asynchronous discussion board on Moodle; the exact proportions of these things will differ, but all these modules will involve all of them. Written assessments will remain unchanged, but all oral presentations will all be replaced with recorded audio. The exceptions to this pattern are the dissertation and ILP modules which will involve one-to-one supervisions by videoconference or phone. Please also see attached T4 which reflects these changes.' 

See our Templates and Forms pages to download these.  

2. What about opportunities for collaboration with other TEIs in 2020/21? 

There are various forms of collaboration between TEIs that are open to you, which might help in the current circumstances. Options for this would include:  

  • Shared resources

Staff in two or more TEIs who teach in a similar area might collaborate on the production of resources for online teaching. You might, for example, produce a series of videos – each one from a different staff member – and then each TEI could use those videos within their own delivery of the relevant module.  

Each TEI would still be managing its own instance of the module, with its own students, its own staff, and its own quality assurance processes, and so each TEI would be making its own independent decisions about whether and how to use these collaboratively produced resources – but the resources themselves would be shared.  

No approval from Durham is required for this, if it doesn't bring with it other changes to delivery.  

  • Shared activities

Students sitting similar modules in different TEIs might benefit from participating in some shared activities, especially where the cohorts for these modules in those TEIs are small. So, for instance, small groups of students at two different TEIs taking Level 6 modules on worship might benefit from joining a shared seminar that met several times over a term to discuss a series of examples of online worship.  

Each TEI would still be managing its own module, looking after its own students, with its own staff, and its own quality assurance processes. Each TEI would be making its own independent decisions about whether and how to use this shared seminar as one component of its module. And each TEI's students would be engaging with other, TEI-specific activities for the relevant module, alongside the shared seminar – but the shared seminar could be one significant component of the module for them.  

Since this affects your delivery plans for the module, you do need to tell us – either in the Covid-19 questionnaire if it is only a measure for the current crisis, or in a Curriculum Development request with a revised Module Overview Table (T4) if it's a longer-term plan.  

  • Students taking modules at another TEI

You can add modules at another TEI to your programme regulations (T3), allowing your students to take those modules as part of their programmes.  

You retain general responsibility for your own students throughout – their formation, pastoral care, general academic support, and progression – but the other TEI manages the module: it is their Management Committee that formally handles quality assurance for that module, and that makes decisions about its staffing, content, and delivery. While on the module, students are governed by that TEI's academic policies and processes. 

This simply requires a standard Curriculum Development request, so that we can check that the resultant programme still allows your students to meet the programme learning outcomes and curriculum rules. Students may take up to 50% of their credits at any given Level at another TEI, provided we have approved the relevant programme regulations. 

  • Working together on a module

Two TEIs might decide to work together on a particular module. One of the TEIs (let's call it the Rohan Regional Training Partnership or RRTP) would own the module – the RRTP Management Committee would be formally responsible for quality assurance, and for decisions about staffing, content, and delivery. But for the purposes of this module, RRTP might choose to use staff from another TEI – St Denethor's – to help deliver it.  

The first TEI, RRTP, would be formally responsible for managing the module; their Management Committee would decide who would teach and what they would teach, and students on the module would be governed by RRTP's academic policies – but the informal processes of syllabus design and development could be shared between RRTP and St Denethor's staff.  

This could be combined with option 3 above: students from St Denethor's could take this RRTP module, taught in part by some of St Denethor's staff, as part of their programmes.  

Durham would need to approve the changes to St Denethor's programme regulations that allowed their students to take this RRTP module; we would also need to approve RRTP's plans to change the staffing on its module – adding some St Denethor's staff to its T9. If this led to other changes to delivery and assessment – changing the information in RRTP's Module Overview Table (T4), we would need to know about those too.  

Related, TEIs can also make use of guest teachers for online delivery (who could be staff from other TEIs) in the same way you could for face-to-face delivery - in accordance with your normal staffing policies.  

Contact the Common Awards Team if you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunities available.