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Impact and measurement

The Connected Curriculum is UCL’s framework for research-based education and we're measuring its impact across the institution in a several ways.

The Connected Curriculum - UCL's framework for research-based education - is embedded in our quality assurance and curriculum review processes, so that we have a variety of ways to assess its impact..

Assessing impact

Annual Student Experience Review (ASER)

In 2017-2018 departments were asked to benchmark how the six dimensions of the Connected Curriculum are incorporated into their educational provision in the ASER process, with appropriate developmental actions identified. Departments will be asked to review progress again in two years’ time. The Arena Centre for Research-based Education will offer support to every department. 

Internal Quality Reviews (IQR)

Departments are asked to self-evaluate how effectively they have embedded the Connected Curriculum via the Self-Evaluative Statement (SES), produced in advance of an IQR – every five years. The review team discuss this during the review meetings, and findings are specifically highlighted in the final IQR report.

Approval process for new programmes

The approval process for new programmes (PMAP) includes requirements in the design of new programmes to connect students with research and develop their research skills.

The National Student Survey (NSS)

This survey helps us measure students’ responses to elements of the Connected Curriculum in two ways:

  1. Supplementary questions are included in the survey (“My learning has benefited from opportunities to participate actively in research and inquiry” and “I have been able to learn about the research that staff in my department are working on”).
  2. We are trialling a ‘Connected Curriculum score’ from NSS results. A score is calculated based on the answers to six questions. These questions are elements of our students’ experience and education at UCL that would be positively influenced by the Connected Curriculum. The list of relevant questions is below and we’re monitoring this and will communicate to departments.

The full Connected Curriculum score is the average for questions:

  • 3. The course is intellectually stimulating.   
  • 4. My course has challenged me to achieve my best work.  
  • 5. My course has provided me with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth.
  • 6. My course has provided me with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics.
  • 7. My course has provided me with opportunities to apply what I have learnt.
  • 21. I feel part of a community of staff and students. 
  • 22. I have had the right opportunities to work with other students as part of my course.
  • 28. My learning has benefited from opportunities to participate actively in research and inquiry.
  • 29. I have been able to learn about the research that staff in my department are working on.

Reporting by the UCL Arena for Research-based Education

The Arena Centre for Research-based Education produces an annual report that highlights the department’s provision and support on research-based education.

Researching the impact of the Connected Curriculum

The UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education plans to undertake research to measure curriculum change at UCL relating to the Connected Curriculum.

To date, relevant research has been fragmented (i.e. involving small-scale evaluations and data collection in researchers’ own interest areas). UCL Arena is proposing extensive and systematic research and a large-scale evaluation of the Connected Curriculum involving several strands of activity.

The proposed research aims to track the progress of change efforts at UCL by collecting data from multiple sources and perspectives from different people across the university, examining impact on:

  • institutional organisation;
  • teaching and learning practices;
  • the student experience; and
  • university culture. 

We will update this page as this research proposal progresses. 

For more information email Dr Brent Carnell at ArenaCentre@ucl.ac.uk