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1. Upcoming Dates and Deadlines
9th June - Registration to attend the Theological Educators' Conference closes.
14th June – Webinar: Artificial Intelligence and Common Awards
3rd - 5th July - The Annual Conference for Theological Educators
14th July - Deadline - CIS Account Holders to complete extension requests. TEI Key contacts will receive an email shortly this week with instructions on how colleagues extend CIS accounts for another year.
TEIs are reminded to submit concession requests and change of registration forms on an ongoing basis.
Similarly, TEIs are required to submit all student module marks 48hrs after they have been considered at their TEI Board of Examiners.
The 2023/24 calendar will be published this month.
2. Board of Examiners
In preparation for upcoming TEI Boards of Examiners meetings, please see below for the list of documentation/data reports required by the University following each Board:
Confirmed module marks for continuing students (Moodle report V4 January marks ALL Boards) should be returned in January 2024, following all TEI Boards.
3. Moodle Administration Update: Training Sessions
TEI administrative staff involved in Moodle student record processes, from new student registration to Exam Board processes, are invited to attend a training session to demonstrate a series of new features being added to Moodle marks processing reports.
Sessions will take place online on the following dates and times (staff members will only need to attend one session):
Please use the online form to register your place.
4. Conversion of Marks
Ahead of the Board of Examiners, we would like to remind TEIs of the principles surrounding the conversion of marks.
Some assignments, like language tests, might produce quantitative scores. Those scores are not the marks for that assignment. In principle, they will always need to go through some process of conversion – where conversion involves making qualitative judgments about what is meant by different levels of achievement in a quantitatively scored test, and then translating those qualitative judgments into numerical marks in the normal way.
Further information on Converting Test Scores into Marks is available on our website.
5. Annual Self Evaluation
Section B of the Annual Self Evaluation submission template has been updated to reflect an additional section asking TEIs to reflect on the impact of any recent partnership changes. We invite TEIs to provide a brief overview of the impact of the change on the delivery and/or management of your Common Awards programmes, and the student experience.
The revised form can be found on the Templates and Forms page of our website : Templates and Forms - Durham University. Please do not hesitate the contact the team if you have any questions when completing the ASE for 2022/23.
Please be advised that changes to Section A will also be forthcoming and will be shared as soon as possible.
Following feedback from TEIs, for the 2022/23 cycle of ASEs, TEIs will be asked for permission for Section A submissions to be shared with Durham. These will be shared with the Common Awards team for information and will not be subject to review by the University.
6. Common Awards Webinar: Artificial Intelligence and Common Awards
Wednesday 14 June 2023 – 9.30am to 11.00am
The advent of programmes like ChatGPT, capable in an instant of producing plausible and sophisticated text in response to simple prompts, raises many questions for Higher Education in general, and for Common Awards specifically. There are questions about plagiarism, and our ability to detect it and respond well. There are also questions about the positive uses that staff and students might be able to make of this technology during their training and in their ministry.
In this webinar, we will be hearing from three members of the Durham Centre for Academic Development – Matt Wood, Malcolm Murray and Candace Nolan-Grant – who are helping to develop the university's response to these questions. We will cover everything from plagiarism detection, assessment design, and the possibilities that open up if we embrace this technology for some purposes.
For those unable to attend, we hope to make available a video of the presentations after the event.
Tickets are free and are available here
7. The Annual Conference of Theological Educators 2023
The 2023 Annual Conference for Theological Educators will be taking place on July 3rd – 5th at High Leigh Conference Centre. Please note that bookings close 9th June; there are still plenty of spaces left.
The theme of the conference will be: 'Theological Education and the Environmental Crisis'.
We will be exploring the roles that theological education can play in enabling churches and wider society to face the multiple overlapping crises, including the climate crisis, that form the environmental crisis. We will explore:
Speakers will include:
You can find more information about the conference, including a provisional timetable, FAQs and registration form here.
8. Common Awards Student Survey
The 2022/23 Common Awards Student Survey has been running throughout May and closed on Friday 26th May 2023.
The survey, completed by students registered on Common Awards programmes in 2022/23, will be analysed by the Durham team, with TEI-specific results shared with each TEI over the summer.
2024 onwards consultation
The annual Common Awards Student Survey (CASS) allows students to provide feedback on their academic experience (on areas including learning and teaching, study support, learning communities and student voice). It was launched in 2017 and has run every year since, in a series of three-year cycles.Since the introduction of the CASS the University has received feedback from both TEI staff and students in relation to the purpose of the survey, the appropriateness of individual questions and the helpfulness of the data. In light of this feedback it was decided that it would be a good time to reconstitute the Working Group to undertake a thorough review of the CASS in preparation for the next three-year cycle, which commences in 2024. Over the coming weeks and months, the Group will review the questions and the administrative processes supporting the CASS, in consultation with TEIs. At this early stage of the review process, the Working Group hopes to gather initial thoughts from TEI staff members. We would therefore be grateful if you could provide any feedback you have using the consultation form by 7th June 2023.
9. Staffing Update
We’re very pleased to advertise two exciting opportunities to join the Common Awards team:
Lecturer in Theology and Ministry - working closely with the Professor of Theology and Ministry, the appointee will pursue research that is, or has the potential to be excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour, and relevant to the development of Christian thought, practice, ministry and mission in the contemporary world; assist with the maintenance and development of the Common Awards partnership; assist in the generation of research and development activity associated with the Common Awards partnership – full details available following the link below.
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Theological Education to work on our project of diversifying the Common Awards curriculum.
This project, in partnership with TEIs and the Church of England’s Ministry Development Team, will seek to ensure that the curricula encountered by those training for ministry involve substantial engagement with a wide variety of Global Majority Heritage voices from around the UK, and with a wide variety of voices from across the global church.
Applications close at midnight on 11th June. More details can be found at the following link:
Job Description - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Theological Education (23000652) (taleo.net).
For informal enquiries please contact Professor Mike Higton (email@example.com). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Funding for these posts are gratefully received from the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.
10. Further Information
The full 22/23 academic calendar is available here.
The Common Awards Team