Minutes of 22 July 2015

Meeting of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies Learning and Teaching Committee
held on Wednesday 22 July, 2pm, in NVS Boardroom
Present: Susan Rhind (Chair), Lindsay Dalziel, Susan Orr (minutes), Kay Aitchison, Thalia Blacking, Andrew Gardiner,
Danielle Gunn-Moore, Neil Hudson, Simone Meddle, Alex Seguino, Darren Shaw, Tracy Hill, Paddy Dixon
1. Apologies
Apologies were received from Kelly Wyper, Sally Argyle, Gurå Bergkvist, Bob Dalziel, Ana Marques, Anna Meredith,
Alastair Macrae, Jessie Paterson, Geoff Pearson, Claire Phillips, Nicki Reed, Rachel Whittington & Kieri Jermyn.
2. Minutes of meeting held on 10 June 2015
The minutes were approved as a correct record.
3. Matters Arising (not considered elsewhere on agenda)
There were no matters arising.
For Approval
4. Changes to Professional Development course (Paper 1)
The proposed changes outlined in the attached paper included a change to exam board membership and an
amendment to the word length for the individual self-reflective elements.
ACTION: all changes approved.
5. GEP Animal Body 3 – change to assessment (Paper 2)
Due to student confusion over the nature of the AB3 Interpretation paper (in comparison with the AB2 paper of the
same name but with different content), it was proposed that this paper be renamed to ‘Clinical Reasoning Paper’.
Possible alternatives were discussed. It was also noted that at some point the GEP exam weightings would be
reconsidered as it was agreed that this course was over-examined.
ACTION: it was agreed that the AB3 exam paper would be renamed but a decision on a new name was not
reached. DGM to take forward with teaching team. Students would be provided with a narrative to explain the
nature of the paper in advance. A summary document on the RDSVS approach to clinical reasoning would be
prepared and brought to this committee.
6. Animal Body 3 – changes to exam assessment (Paper 3)
This course was agreed to be over-examined so the following changes were proposed:
Alter weighting to 50% per module (commensurate with changes in course)
Remove “double hurdle” requirement to resit single failed module. Students who fail overall required to
resit the whole exam (i.e. both modules).
Reduce overall examination time commensurate with course credits (60 credits – 5 ½ h written examination,
plus spot).
Spot to become part of in-course assessment – map to course content (cf. anatomy only), deliver during
exam week
Rebalance so that marks within each section (MCQ / Int / SAQ) are equivalent
(See attached paper for further details).
ACTION: approved.
7. Proposed changes to AL&FS 2 + GEP for 2015 / 2016 (Paper 13)
The attached paper proposed changes to the relevant worth of the written exam components, a change to the way
in which marks were recorded for practical exam resits and a rescheduling of the resit handling exams (see paper for
full details).
ACTION: approved.
8. New External Examiner for Farm Animal: Jo Oultram (Papers 10a and 10b – CLOSED)
ACTION: approved for a 4 year term with a start date of 1 September 2015.
9. PowerPoint Templates for LEARN (Paper 12)
The attached PowerPoint slide templates had been created by the DEU after discussion by the Dog & Cat course
team. Students with Learning Disabilities would potentially struggle with very bright or dark backgrounds; certain
fonts were also problematic.
ACTION: SMR to check with Disability office on guidance available for preparing materials for students with
learning adjustments. Guidance already written by Catriona Bell and Mike Grieve (on supporting students with
Dyslexia) would be recirculated for information and made available on LEARN, along with the guidance on Lecture
For Discussion
10. Exam Feedback Sheet
The current template required the addition of two boxes: one for the student exam number and one to indicate
whether comments had been written on the exam script. Colleagues were reminded that the template was
adaptable to individual course requirements and that the completed sheet should remain with the exam script (and
not be taken away by the student).
ACTION: a revised template would be brought to August L&TC for discussion and approval.
11. Well Being for Professional Skills Curriculum (Paper 4)
The attached paper outlined some proactive suggestions for resources and strategies to implement around
addressing mental health concerns and positive wellbeing for students. A pilot scheme of an online support
resource was currently underway by staff and a few students (funded by the University). Post-evaluation, this
scheme would potentially be rolled out more widely for students (and possibly staff).
ACTION: the hard copy resource available on this pilot scheme to be made available to Personal Tutors in their PT
12. Review of current Animal Welfare in UG teaching (Paper 5)
Heather Bacon from the JMCIAWE was proposing to undertake a review of current animal welfare within the UG
curriculum, as set out in the attached paper.
ACTION: L&TC recommend that HB meet to discuss this with Course Organisers in person. It was suggested that a
review of ethics within the curriculum could also be included within the scope of this review. A proposed working
group to look at ethics and ethical debates would be set up also, to ensure students had an understanding of the
ethical framework prior to going into practice as graduates.
For Information
13. ICA Feedback Turnaround Semester 2 (Paper 6)
The attached was for information only, in line with the University’s Taught Assessment Regulations and the
requirement to record dates for assessment submission and feedback.
ACTION: Year Admins to be asked to check that dates of both submission and feedback/ mark return are correct
before document is brought to L&TC (once each semester).
14. Updated Exam Board documents (Papers 7a/7b/7c)
The attached documents had been updated and the most recent version was available on LEARN/ BVM&S Common
Resources/ Resources for Staff. Colleagues were reminded that the parameters that were used for calculating the
Hofstee were able to be changed for their course if required (Year Admins would need to be kept informed on any
change). It was noted that the current timeframe of 48 hours between marks collation and External Examiners
review of scripts was too tight in many cases.
ACTION: SMR to meet with Exam Board Chairs to discuss standard parameters for Hofstee and any other issues
around this process before beginning of academic session 15/16.
15. Animal Body 4 Anatomy Component Year 2 & GEP (Paper 8)
The data on the attached paper highlighted that there was no great difference in performance on anatomy
components between GEP and 5 Year students, despite a perception by GEP students that they were
underperforming in this area.
ACTION: TB to share this analysis with students in AB4 introductory session, to reassure the GEP’s of their
comparatively good performance in this component.
16. Employee Surveys (Papers 9a & 9b)
The attached result from the 2015 Employers Survey would be used for the Accreditation return. It continued to be
challenging to get a useful number of responses from employers: however, there were 15 responses for 2015.
Feedback on our graduates was in general very positive. One issue raised was that of graduates not fully
understanding the business side of practice: i.e. financial and resource aspects of planning.
ACTION: SMR to ask Final Year Working Group to consider where this issue could be addressed within the
curriculum and investigate options for bringing in an external speaker to run a session for students on business
17. Engagement Events (Paper 11)
The attached information was to alert colleagues that following the restructure of their services, IS were keen to
proactively offer Schools support in using new technologies and sharing ideas and new innovations. An on-campus
workshop had been provisionally scheduled for Wednesday 16 December 2015: details would follow.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 19 August 2015, 2pm, Seminar Room G.01 (L&TC)