Teaching & Learning


Single submission date for Annual Student Experience Review for 2019-20 and beyond

16 September 2019

ASER streamlined to drive continuous quality improvement that complements quality assurance requirements.

two educators designing a programme using post it notes

From 2019-20, the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER) will have a single submission date for undergraduate and postgraduate reviews.

Monday 24 February 2020 is the submission date for 2019-20.

This annual snapshot of departments’ education improvement plans and actions will make it simpler to meet quality assurance requirements. It will also help departments to work in partnership with students on continuous improvement of the learning experience.

Aim of ASER

Introduced in 2015-16, ASER draws on quality monitoring and enhancement activities (data review, External Examiner Reports, student surveys, NSS Action Planning, Staff Student Consultative Committees) to produce a yearly health check and improvement plan for all taught programmes.

Though ASER initially reduced the administrative load of annual monitoring, there has been considerable ‘drift’ in practice and the interpretation of its purpose and its usefulness in driving the education improvement agenda.

ASER refresh creates ‘live’ process

Deborah Gill, Pro-Vice-Provost (Student Experience), is working with Academic Services and Faculty Tutors to streamline the process and realign it with other quality improvement activities such as Student Staff Consultative Committees (SSCC), Student Evaluation Questionnaires (SEQ) and Internal Quality Review (IQR).

Despite the single submission date, ASER will be a ‘live’ process throughout the annual cycle to engage students and address their priorities, track improvements and inform academic committees within department and faculty.

As part of the ASER refresh:

  • the ASER action plan will become a standing item on every SSCC, acting as a guide for student reps, and ensuring that it is reviewed and updated regularly;
  • Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) data will be available on Tableau, making it easier to access and interpret;
  • data and analysis will be made available through Tableau throughout the year to inform decision making and identify priorities; making the ASER very much a live document;
  • there will be no additional requirements bolted onto the ASER. Mandated actions to address institutional priorities will be agreed through the Quality Review Sub-Committee (QRSC) in consultation with a range of stakeholders;
  • senior Arena Centre partners will provide support to departments to identify priorities, create achievable improvement plans and monitor progress;
  • training of student reps will be improved so they can co-create these improvement plans with staff and support departments to monitor and communicate progress.

Next steps in 2019-20

  • A simple, modified pro-forma will be introduced for 2019-20, with a single submission date in late February. The new format supports reflection on progress against last year’s plans as well as the production of a plan for the forthcoming year.
  • The Arena Centre-led ASER meeting will be modified to provide better support for departments to articulate and deliver improvements.
  • The Joint Faculty will pilot additional functionality to better use the ASER as a ‘live’ document.
  • The Students’ Union UCL will work with the OVPESA Student Engagement team to develop training for student academic reps to support their participation in the ASER process.
  • Faculty and departmental level roles will be defined to take responsible for the vitality and oversight of delivery of the ASER process.
  • A working group will consider how to deliver quality improvement in interdisciplinary programmes and programmes that have significant contributions of elective modules/modules outside the programme.
  • A process for assessing the impact of quality improvement measures will be developed.

Further development in 2020-21

  • Software solutions will be introduced to support the dynamic process of reflecting on and actioning data about the quality of the student experience.
  • All relevant data will be made available on Tableau and in a single Sharepoint site, making the use of data more straightforward and better aligning the ASER with other quality assurance and enhancement activities.
  • More contextual analysis of the data will be provided by the Office of the Vice-Provost Education and Student Affairs and an annual reflection following sign off by QRSC will support ASER authors in producing evidence based, achievable enhancement plans.