• 1. Peer Enhancement of Teaching and learning (PETAL)

    Provision of an excellent student experience is only possible if staff are fully supported and developed.

    The distinctive feature of PETAL is that it focuses on teaching team discussions, team learning and team action to progress a specific area of enhancement over the course of an academic year. It has enabled greater capacity for informed action and an increasing agility to respond to student needs.

    2. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

    Moodle has been introduced as the University's VLE to provide a user-friendly, flexible system for students and staff.

    This has allowed for increased breadth and depth in engaging with the VLE and greater options for anytime, anywhere use on mobile devices.

    3. Module feedback

    A consistent approach to feedback has been delivered which provides greater transparency of information concerning the quality of individual modules.

    When used in class, students can see the results from module evaluation questionnaires in real time. This enhances engagement and exposes an open reflective approach to learning and teaching practice.

    4. Academic Performance Tracking Tool (APTT)

    The APTT is a hugely successful web-based reporting tool which has improved planning and decision making across the University. Now firmly established in everyday use in tracking performance, it places live information at the finger tips of 1000 registered users.

    The APTT has gained interest from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and institutions across the sector as an excellent example of innovative practice within Higher Education.

    5. Graduate Attributes

    Five core graduate attributes have been embedded into all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

    These are the attributes our graduates will need to apply their disciplinary knowledge to new contexts.

    Supporting the embodiment of Brookes' attributes will help to ensure our students go on to take up valuable and rewarding careers and make a lasting contribution to society.

    6. Grading and Assessment

    Oxford Brookes is the first UK HE institution to introduce a full Grade Point Average (GPA) alongside the traditional honours degree classification.

    The GPA introduces an 'everything counts' approach across a degree, valuing all of a student's work equally, and will provide students with a summary of performance which has greater international recognition.

    As part of the University's commitment to ensuring grading and assessment is focused on student need, further work continues on implementing the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) and on replacing percentage-based marking with grade-based marking.

    7. Student Engagement

    The Brookes Student Engagement survey was introduced in 2013/14 for all non-final year students. Unlike the National Student Survey which measures satisfaction, it is designed to gauge the educational quality of the University's offering and the real impact of initiatives in order to drive future improvements.

    A formalised process for paid student assistantships has also been introduced which underpins a partnership approach to teaching and research.

    8. Student Led initiatives

    Nine mobile apps have been developed following ideas suggested by students and staff.

    Winning apps range from those helping students to get home safely from nights out to a calendar app for tracking assignments.

    The Brookes Union Teaching Awards have now established themselves as an annual activity with
    500 applications
    from students in the first two years.

    9. Accreditation of work and community related learning

    Work has taken place to encourage students to take up - and reflect on - work and volunteering opportunities and ensure their experience is formally recognised.

    10. Enhancing the Brookes experience in Associate College Partnerships

    Collaborative work has seen the sharing of best practice to enhance the experience of our ACP students and further strengthen our relationship with college partners.

    Mary Younan, Higher Education Manager at Solihull College: "Students valued the various opportunities made available to them in engaging with University staff in terms of induction, enrolment, academic skills and progression."

    11. Student Life

    6 Departmental Student Associations (DSA) have been created with support from Brookes Union.

    DSAs foster environments in which student-staff interaction can exist and encourages student engagement within departmental communities of learning. 6 further DSAs are planned for the start of 2014/15, with more expected to follow.

    12. Enhancing Academic Guidance

    This project aimed to clarify the sources of academic support available to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the University and to enhance the role of Academic Advisers. It has done so through staff training and the introduction of a dedicated Academic Adviser/Advisee interface in Moodle.

    The project team believes that increasing the visibility and effectiveness of academic support services will lead to increased student satisfaction, higher retention rates and enhanced employability.

  • In addition to the PESE, a number of initiatives have also taken place to further improve the student experience, including:

    Student think tank

    The Student Think Tank is a forum introduced in 2013 and attended by the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience.

    It follows on from the highly successful Student Redevelopment Group which was a key student voice during the building of the new John Henry Brookes Building.

    The Student Think Tank has provided an invaluable opportunity to:

    • engage with students and give them a voice in developing University strategy
    • gain an understanding of how students feel about day to day life
    • provide students with development opportunities.


    A successful student-facing campaign launched in 2012 to let students know about the many improvements being made across the University.

    Unseen Changes celebrated 120 improvements, suggested by staff, which may have gone unnoticed but make a real difference to everyday student life.

    Two-way engagement was at the heart of the campaign and 250 suggestions were made by students for further improvements.

    As a result, over a third of these suggestions have been put in place.