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School and Programme Quality System (SPQS)

A new application has been developed to enable the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to create, publish and view their annual reviews of degree programmes, school and college quality.

SPQS is a web based application for creating, publishing and viewing annual quality reviews at programme, school and college level.  The application was developed using an Agile development framework, and was the first IS Applications development on the Python/Django platform, and using EdGEL.

SPQS integrates with EUCLID to import degree programme codes and names, from which the annual quality reviews are generated.  Sitting behind the application menus are the quality review templates, and programme directors and school directors of quality (as well as the College Dean for Quality) can go in and complete their reviews.

All the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) schools are using the application and over 950 degree programmes have already been reviewed using SPQS, using the templates which align to the University’s quality framework.

Fraser Muir, the project’s sponsor and Chief Information Officer for the College, commented: “The development of SPQS represents another project successfully delivered in partnership between the College and ISG. It demonstrates the value technology can bring to streamline necessary administrative functions of the University and in this case improve the student experience through our quality enhancement processes.”

SPQS brings many benefits:

  • It’s scalable - already having the relevant EUCLID data for the other colleges, and the university’s quality review templates.
  • It’s flexible - the system administrator can update the core university quality templates each academic year.  School and programme directors can add their own questions to suit a particular focus.
  • It’s transparent - where previously it was difficult to track the completion status of reviews, the college and schools can now use SPQS to track status (and issue reminders), and the system facilitates sharing of information within schools and across the college.

The application supports the University’s quality framework and guidance on programme clustering - where there are similar programmes, schools can use SPQS to create a single review for multiple programmes, per the university’s quality guidelines.  The information reported in SPQS will directly inform changes to teaching and learning to positively impact the student experience. 

A benefits analysis project is planned for early 2018, once SPQS has been fully embedded, which may is likely to provide an opportunity for further enhancements.  A related project is planned to develop a Power BI Gateway for the College which will draw data from SPQS and other systems, in order to derive further value and analysis of quality review commentaries and recommendations.