University Best Practice
JBM Visit Reports are now prepared with points of good practice being highlighted for the information of Board Members and Universities. This aspect of reporting was introduced to improve the level of dissemination of good practice observed during JBM Visits.
Detailed examples of good practice are listed at item 9 of the JBM Annual Report and a contact name is provided if more information is required. JBM is keen to facilitate the spread of best practice and comments are invited
Example of Good Practice on the provision of Health, Safety and Risk Management
Following the publication of the new detailed Annexes on Design, Sustainability and Health & Safety Risk Management, the documentation received from Departments has usually been of a high quality. In one case the way the University outlined how it is intending to address the provision of health and safety risk management within undergraduate programmes was considered to be exemplary and the Board is pleased with the approval of the University of Glasgow to be able to include its proposal on the JBM website as an example of good practice.
Support from Students
A recurring theme in most Visit Reports is that the visiting team was impressed by the articulate and enthusiastic students who were very supportive of the staff. Similarly, many Visit Reports refer to a strong team spirit between the staff and the students and that a good atmosphere is apparent during the visit, often as a result of the "open door" policy of the staff in the Department.
Links with Industry
The links between Departments and Industry continue to be somewhat more variable. However, in those Departments with an effective Industrial Liaison Committee or where there is a high level of regular contact between the Department and Industry, there was clear evidence of the benefits to be gained by all parties including students. In particular, excellent links between Universities and Industry have been established in those Departments offering sandwich or vacation placements or sponsorship schemes. Evidence was also provided in many cases of good use being made of Visiting Professors, some of who were based in Industry.
A specific example of good practice in this area was one department's guidance material issued to support their professional placements. The placement report, staff assessment of the employer's report and the student feedback on the placement were linked to a number of learning outcomes. Also, two guides produced for the student and provider, together with a supplementary guidance note for students on the Civil Engienering degree pathways, gave additional guidance to students and employers and included references to a number of guidance documents produced by the ICE.
Good use is being made of the excellent facilities available in most universities. These facilities include Laboratories, Libraries and IT facilities, which are supported by dedicated supportive staff.
A good number of Visit Reports indicated that the research work of staff was being fed back to the students in project work and occasionally in final year modules.
Good use is also being made of university intranet systems to enable students to access lecture notes, worked examples and previous examination papers. One system in particular, whose usage is popular with staff and students alike, is Blackboard.