[EGRACONS newsletter] Newsletter II


Project developments

Dear colleagues,
 
We are pleased to inform that the Egracons project entered its mature phase and the last year of its operation and on this occasion we would like to give you a summary of our accomplishments achieved so far thanks to the effective collaboration of our project partners and the followers of the Egracons project from higher education institutions from across Europe.
 
Our project activities so far have provided the following activities:
 
• Carrying out a Europe-wide survey on the grade conversion culture - the survey was responded by 750 institutions; 
 
• Preparing country reports on the national grade conversion systems and their regulations – the reports cover 18 European countries so far out of the set objective of 11 reports. These reports will be linked to the tool itself as well;
 
• Development of standardized grading tables templates which are  currently used for testing the grade conversion tool by partners. The toolt will be made available shortly to all HEIs in Europe which supply grading tables to the project;
 
• Development of the grade conversion tool – the tool is available already for project partners for testing and it demonstrates a range of the grades award options based on the agreed conversion methodology.
 
The grade conversion tool will continue the testing phase with a larger number of the grading tables provided by our partners. We would like to invite you take an active part in this process by providing grading tables from your institutions.
 
We look forward to your contributions. Please read more below.
 

 


Invitation to send Grading Tables for testing

 

The project is glad to announce it has already entered the pilot testing phase using data obtained from project partner institutions. We would like to encourage all those interested in collaborating in this stage of the project to contribute by providing their institutional grading tables.

 

A new template has been designed to make it simple for you to enter data for each of your degrees (Bachelor and Master). There is a set of instructions provided to help you complete the grading table template. There is also a document (Grading Table Instructions – General) that provides the general principles on how to construct grading tables. 

We suggest two stages:

1. Please check the supplied documents and inform us if there are any problems regarding following the guidance and completing the grading table template. As you will note in the new template you are requested to assign ISCED codes for each degree. Assigning ISCED codes to mobile students is a requirement of ERASMUS+ and therefore you should confer with your ERASMUS coordinator to see what is currently being done regarding ISCED codes at your Institution. If you have trouble providing ISCED, please contact us for help.

 

2. The second stage consists of actually collecting the data into the final template. The actual grading tables including the total number of grades collected per degree and the distribution numbers per grade in the grading scale(s) used will have to be entered. Normally the data have to be collected for at least 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. We would like to receive these completed templates by 20 February.

 

Detailed instructions on how to construct grading tables are available here.

If you are interested in cooperating in this phase, please contact us at the following email.


More about the Egracons tool

The tool will enable both single conversion (a single student grade to a single grade) and multiple conversions (all the grades of one student). The result can then be exported to a document.

It goes without saying that conversions are only possible between HEIs who have supplied their grading table data. These should be uploaded annually.

 

The data will be protected and subject to discretion. Only persons in charge of the conversion of grades in HEIs (such as Erasmus coordinators, Programme Directors and IRO-officers) will have access to the full functionality of the tool. They will have to login to get access. General information on the grading scale used and the grading practices in the country will also be available.

 

Students will not be allowed to use the tool directly but the tool will obviously be able to provide them with a lot of general and background information on grading practices. The country reports will be available to them. Each HEI will in fact be able to decide how much information they will make available to the general website associated with the tool.

 

Please click here to see what a grade conversion using the Egracons tool looks like.

From the beginning of 2015 extensive testing will be performed, and the tool will be fully operational as from the autumn of 2015. 

 


BFUG endorses revised ECTS Users’ Guide

During its meeting on 27-28 November 2014 in Rome, the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) endorsed the revised version of the ECTS Users’ Guide and now it is subject to approval by the Ministerial Conference in May 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. The revised version aims at helping the academic community and other stakeholders in higher education to move in the direction of the changes advocated by the Bologna Process.

 

Read the full news piece on the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) website.

 

You can find the revised version here. The text still has to receive a layout for printing and it needs to be approved by the Bologna Process Ministers of Education half May. Please refer to pages 19-20 that discuss Grade Distribution and Grade Conversion and Annex 2 which includes Examples of Grade Conversion that are relevant to the Egracons project. 


Egracons in Webinar on Grade Conversion

The Egracons project successfully participated in a webinar organised by the EAIE on Ensuring fair grades for mobile students: grade conversion in a nutshell. The course took place on 10 December 2014 at 15:00.

 

The interactive webinar lasted 75 minutes and comprised a presentation, interactive discussions and polls, as well as a Q&A session at the end. Case studies and practices collected within the Egracons project were discussed by Valère Meus, the Egracons project co-ordinator.

Read more here.

 

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