The BALEAP Accreditation Scheme (BAS) aims to enhance the quality of learning and teaching of English for Academic Purposes and to assure standards in EAP practice across the sector. Institutions who are members of BAS are visited every four years by two BAS assessors who evaluate the EAP provision against five sets of criteria. As well as assessing the extent to which EAP provision in an institution meets the criteria, the assessors also comment on best practice they have observed during their visit. The May event for BAS this year will showcase some examples of best practice in EAP that assessors have noted in recent years, ranging from the use of technology to manage a large EAP centre to the use of course assistants to help with the delivery of teaching and the acculturation of students into their new academic environment. More detailed information of these sessions is provided below and more presentations may be added closer to the event.
The ELTC, University of Sheffield was assessed for BAS accreditation in 2017 and its use of technology was described as ‘sector leading’. In this presentation, we will describe how the we use technology in a variety of ways to manage a very large pre-sessional programme with over 1500 students. We’ll give an overview of a variety of online tools we use to ensure clear communication between management and staff over multiple locations. We will also show how we use cloud documents to create an innovative and dynamic eportfolio and enable dialogue and feedback between students and their tutors.
The University of Edinburgh’s Summer Pre-sessional Programme was assessed for BAS accreditation in July 2015. According to the assessors, ‘a particularly innovative development is the appointment of course assistants to help with the delivery of teaching and also with the acculturation of students into their new academic environment’. We describe how the role of pre-sessional course assistants has developed since their introduction in the mid 1990s in response to increasing student numbers and changes in the programme structure, discuss some of the issues surrounding their involvement in the programme, and consider whether and in what form the role might continue in future.
The Pre-sessional English (PSE) programme delivered by CU Services at Coventry University was assessed for accreditation by BALEAP in August 2017. The assessors noted that the content of the PSE courses was “constructively aligned to ensure students are effectively prepared for final assessments”. We will discuss how we align course aims and intended learning outcomes with course materials and lesson tasks and activities to integrate preparation for summative assessments. We will consider all four skill areas and evaluate how successfully the approach taken supports learning and student attainment.