HESA KIS Returns User Guide<>

Assessment methods and learning and teaching methods

Background

Your KIS return must show the breakdown of the different assessment and learning and teaching methods used on a course. For example:

assessment might be 50% written exams, 25% coursework, 25% practical exams

learning and teaching methods might be 30% scheduled teaching, 40% independent study, 30% placement

Calculating the correct percentages

It may not be immediately obvious how to categorise a course which consists of multiple optional modules which may be assessed and taught in different ways. For this reason HESA has laid down rules which specify how to calculate these percentages. In a nutshell, these rules are:

1Determine the modules that are available to a KIS Course.

2Rank in order of number of students taking the module as part of the course in the relevant year

3Determine the highest-ranking modules that, together, make up 1 FTE/120 credits

4Calculate an average value from these modules based upon the formula:

(Sum of (Credit value of module Proportion in scheduled teaching and learning of module)) / 120

Source: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/component/option,com_studrec/task,show_file/Itemid,233/mnl,12061/href,Calculations_methods.html/

Example

Module

Credit value

Number of students

Proportion in scheduled teaching and learning

Proportion in independent study

Placement

Physics 1

30

100

60

40

0

Maths 1

30

100

50

50

0

Computing 1

20

100

30

70

0

Computing 2

10

40

30

70

0

Maths 2

30

30

40

60

0

Physics 2

20

20

Disregard - below FTE/credit threshold

Project

10

10

Disregard - below FTE/credit threshold

Since the overall proportion in scheduled teaching and learning =

(Sum of (Credit value of module × Proportion in scheduled teaching and learning of module)) / 120

Then the overall course figure =

((30 × 60)+(30 × 50)+(20 × 30)+(10 × 30)+(30 × 40))/120 = 45

Note: if the totalled course credits do not ‘naturally’ equal 120 (say they total 135) then the credit value of the last course in the list should be reduced so that the total equals 120. For example, if the Maths 2 course in the above list had had a credit value of 35, it would be reduced to 30 in the above formula.

Considerations

The above method for calculating percentages is easy to put into operation if your course structures are relatively simple. Things may become confusing however in situations where you are running multiple instances of the same course in the same year, or where the course has a complex modular structure with many options. HESA offers the following advice in these circumstances:

“Where the process [described in Calculating the correct percentages, above] leads to the inclusion of modules on which less than 10% of students are registered, institutions should make a reasonable judgement as to whether the selection of modules is representative. Equally, where the module selection is not representative, the institution should include an estimate of the typical pattern for students on the course. This situation might occur where, for example, students have a very large choice of modules most of which share a common study and assessment pattern, but where there are also a small number of modules with different patterns that individually are more popular than any of the more typical modules and so would be included in the calculation if the threshold did not exist, even though these do not represent a typical study and assessment pattern. This need to include estimates may also apply with a small core of modules of one pattern, and a larger number of modules with a different pattern as options, and including only modules above the 10% threshold would give a misleading picture for a course. Institutions should keep an audit trail of decisions made and methodology used.”

The situations described above are catered for in the calculation interface which:

attempts to automatically select modules based upon the HESA criteria

BUT

gives you the flexibility to override the system-suggested choices if you wish

How the application helps you calculate the KIS figures

The KIS application can help you to calculate the KIS assessment and learning-method percentages but it cannot fully automate the whole process. This is because Quercus does not hold all of the information necessary to perform the calculation. This means you must manually enter some assessment and learning-method percentages in order for the application to perform the KIS calculations.

Percentages of learning and teaching methods must be entered manually

Quercus does not hold information about the relative percentages of scheduled, independent and placement study. So you must manually enter this information for each course module before KIS can calculate an overall figure for the course.

Alternatively, you can bypass the KIS calculations and enter an overall figure for the course if you have already performed the calculations or if you have the information from another source.

Percentages of assessment methods can be entered manually OR can be derived from module marking schemes

You can enter assessment method percentages manually or the system can derive them from the relative weightings of different assessment methods in the exam marking schemes associated with the course modules. If you are using marking schemes, you can cross-map the marking scheme categories to the equivalent KIS categories, allowing the application to automatically derive the appropriate figures.

Calculation and population

When reading this document it is important to understand the distinction between KIS calculation and population processes.

Calculation is the process of determining the overall proportions of assessment methods and teaching and learning methods at the course level. Calculation takes the individual figures from selected modules that make up the course and applies the formula described under Calculating the correct percentages to give an overall course-level figure.

You can perform calculations one-at-a-time for individual courses or you can run a bulk calculation for all courses. Note, however, that the bulk calculation will only work for courses where you have already selected which modules are to be included in the calculation. This is because the bulk calculation is normally used when the method percentages for an individual module change. If this happens, and the module is used by many courses, it is quicker to run the bulk calculation option (which will recalculate the values for all courses which have not been locked) than it is to go into each course one-by-one and manually re-run the calculation.

Population is the process of taking the weightings given to the different methods of assessment applied to a module (e.g. Written Exam 50%, Lab Test 50%) and using these values to automatically populate the KIS Assessment fields.

You can populate assessment values one at a time for individual modules or you can run a bulk population for all modules.