NILE is now integrated into the learning and teaching process at The University of Northampton and we need to ensure that it is being used effectively by staff in order to provide a quality student experience.

In January 2012, a framework was produced which covers the minimum standards which are expected on a NILE site. This was taken to University SEC on 1st March, 2012 and subsequently used as the basis for the new NILE templates which were developed for the 2012/13 academic year. As indicated by the communication sent out on 11th September, 2012, NILE sites will be reviewed against the checklist in the first instance to identify the range of content available to students.

The review, based on a series of standard questions, will feedback information to the module leaders regarding content which should be added to the site along with any action which is required to remove old material; duplicated menu buttons; or other items which may cause confusion to students.

The outputs of the review of NILE sites will be used to inform further planning regarding the use of modules guides and whether they are still required.

Initially the quality team will focus on a sample of modules from each School in discussion with the associate deans. However it is anticipated that all sites will eventually be checked. If there are any items which need clarification (such as which site is currently being used) then tutors may be contacted. A 5 minute rule has been implemented in that if material is not found within 5 minutes of looking for it then it will be classed as not present on the site.

This review will ensure that sites are meeting the foundation level of quality in the first instance. Further discussions are in progress to refine the content required to meet higher levels of standard.

The developmental work around the quality of NILE sites will enable the University to ‘develop systematic approaches to the use of the virtual learning environment across the University in the interests of parity of student learning opportunities’, a recommendation from the last QAA Institutional Audit in June 2009.

Should you require further information on this work then please contact either Lee Jones (x3001) or Rob Howe (x2483)

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