Higher Education Subject Development, Delivery and Review Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Chair, Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Policy category: Academic: Learning and Teaching
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Last amended: 11th Jan. 2018

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe the guidelines for developing, delivering and reviewing Higher Education (HE) subjects at Alphacrucis College (AC).

Scope

HE only

Policy

This policy defines procedures to regulate the development, delivery and review of HE subjects to ensure quality learning and teaching.

DEVELOPMENT OF SUBJECTS

Development of all subjects should adhere to the AC Guidelines for Writing Higher Education Subject Outlines, including following criteria:

Appropriate level – subjects are systematised via levels and adhere to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF);

Appropriate assessment – AC Assessment Workload Calculators should be consulted. These calculations are indicative. Calculations may shift according to the implicit formulae in order to retain proportionality across all subjects, and provide suitable flexibility in assessment tasks;

AC coding – according to the level of study and the discipline area;

Appropriate learning outcomes – adhere to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF);

AC Graduate Attributes – all subjects should seek to develop in students the AC Graduate Attributes.

DELIVERY OF SUBJECTS

Delivery of subjects must adhere to the following requirements:

the lecturer of a subject must be approved by the appropriate Dean of Faculty. Approved lecturers are identified in the Faculty Register, managed by the Vice President Academic;

the lecturer of a subject must deliver the learning outcomes and assessment according to the accredited subject outline;

in order for a subject to be co-delivered with another subject that is not of the same AQF level, the Learning and Teaching Committee can approve the co-delivery of a subject across AQF levels. In this case, the lecturer must hold a qualification one AQF higher than the highest course of study and the learning outcomes and assessment must reflect the appropriate AQF level.

Program Director

The role of the Program Director is to oversee their assigned course of study as a whole.

Subject Coordinator

The role of the Subject Coordinator is to oversee the delivery of the subject allocated to them and facilitate the successful delivery of the subject on the various campuses of AC. While the subject may be delivered by other lecturers or managed by other tutors, the Subject Coordinator is usually the AC faculty member with the greatest expertise in the subject area and therefore has an oversight role. Ideally, the Subject Coordinator is also research active in the area being taught. Any lecturer or tutor delivering or managing the delivery of a subject should consult with the Subject Coordinator before making any changes to the subject.

Lecturer

The lecturer is responsible to deliver the subject to a specific class of students at a specific campus. In general, the lecturer delivers grades and co-ordinates the class, as well as being the main contact person for students in that class.

Tutor

The tutor assists in the facilitation of a subject. Generally, their role is facilitating the delivery of an online subject or grading student assessments.

REVIEW OF SUBJECTS

The Learning and Teaching Committee is responsible to oversee the development and regular review of subject outlines and delivery of each course of study. This is ensured through the following mechanisms:

1. Internal Subject Review

At the conclusion of each semester, a review of the subjects taught that semester is conducted. This is a collaborative and peer-review exercise that involves reviewing the feedback from students (online Subject Feedback Forms), reflecting on the semester experience, and proposing improvements to the delivery of the subject as a result of this activity. The Internal Subject Review of each subject involves the lecturer, the tutor if appropriate, the Subject Coordinator, the Director of Learning and Teaching and, if required, the Learning and Teaching Committee. If changes are required to subject learning outcomes or overall structure of assessment as a result of this process, these must be approved in line with the Subject Outline Amendment Procedure.

2. Peer Review of Teaching

In addition to this, Deans of Faculties are also encouraged to facilitate regular review of their teaching of staff in consultation with the Director of Learning and Teaching. This may involve inviting a peer to attend a class being taught and observe the class and student engagement. This activity is aimed to encourage staff in their work, help provide individual feedback and guidance, and address any issues specific to the individual. If available, feedback from students is also taken into consideration. Peer Review of Teaching exercise should usually result in a written report which is to be submitted to the Learning and Teaching Committee.

3. Other Review Mechanisms

At various times the Learning and Teaching Committee may arrange a review of subject outlines to ensure that subject outlines align to the values of the College as described in the Strategic Plan.

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Learning and Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

All faculty and HE students


Procedures

HE Subject Development, Delivery and Review Proced

DEVELOPING A NEW SUBJECT OUTLINE

1. Initial Draft of Subject Outline

The Subject Coordinator drafts the subject outline following the AC Guidelines for Writing Higher Education Subject Outlines.

2. Peer Review of Subject Outline

The draft subject outline is to be reviewed by an external academic peer in the field of study. Feedback may also be received from a range of other internal and external experts. An AC Peer Review Form is completed and returned to the Subject Coordinator.

3. Revise Subject Outline

The Subject Coordinator then revises the subject outline in response to any accepted suggestions from the external peer (and others if required) and completes the AC Response to Peer Review Form.

4. Submit to the Learning and Teaching Committee an updated Subject Outline

The Subject Coordinator submits to the Learning and Teaching Committee an updated Subject Outline along with the completed AC Peer Review Form and AC Response to Peer Review Form. If approved by the Learning and Teaching Committee, it will be recommended to the Academic Board for approval.

5. Approval by Academic Board

The Chair of the Academic Board will notify the Subject Coordinator of the outcome of the Academic Board decision.

REVIEWING A SUBJECT OUTLIINE

The Internal Subject Review process includes the following steps:

1. End of Semester Review

At the conclusion of each semester, a review of the subjects taught that semester is conducted. Each lecturer who delivered a subject should reflect on feedback from students (online Subject Feedback Forms) and the semester experience.  The lecturer should propose improvements to the delivery of the subject as a result of this activity.

2. Subject Reports

Following the above reflection, each lecturer (or tutor if appropriate) should prepare a Summative Subject Report which is submitted to the Subject Coordinator. The Subject Coordinator consolidates all Summative Subject Reports received into a single Summative Subject Report which is submitted to the Director of Learning and Teaching. The Summative Subject Report prepared by the Subject Coordinator should include clear recommendations for the improvement of the next delivery of the subject. The Director of Learning and Teaching will review these Reports. If there are items of particular significance or that involve wider implications, the Director of Learning and Teaching will bring these to the Learning and Teaching Committee. Otherwise, the Director of Learning and Teaching will ensure all Summative Subject Reports are received and stored.

3. Implementation and Improvements

Prior to the delivery of any subject, the lecturer should obtain a copy of the Summative Subject Report relating to the most recent prior delivery of that subject. The lecturer should review the “Recommendations for Next Delivery” and implement any appropriate changes to ensure continuous improvement. These implemented changes should be documented in the “Pre-Semester Set-Up” section of the Summative Subject Report before the semester commences.

4. Distribution of information

Students will be informed of previous improvements to subject outlines on the subject outline or the Welcome message provided on the Moodle shell for their course.

AMENDING A SUBJECT OUTLINE

The procedure to amend an accredited subject outline will depend on which element of the subject outline is being amended. Lecturer(s) must follow the appropriate procedures below:

To change the timing of assessments (what week the assessment is due), lecturers do not need permission.

For changes to assessment tasks (including the type of task or assessment weighting), lecturers must receive the permission of the Subject Coordinator (or Program Director if they are not available). This will usually take a few days.

To change a textbook or make major changes to the reference list, lecturers must submit the current and updated lists to the Subject Coordinator (or Program Director if they are not available). The Subject Coordinator will approve or reject the change and, if approved, ensure that the AC Librarian is informed. The approval process will usually take a few days, however lecturers should allow 1-2 months for items on the list not yet held in the library to be purchased and processed. The updated textbook or reference list should ideally only be included in the delivery of a subject after this process of purchasing and processing has been completed.

To change a prerequisite or corequisite of a subject, lecturers must submit an updated subject outline to the Subject Coordinator (or Program Director if they are unavailable) and then to the Learning and Teaching Committee, along with a rationale for the change.  The Learning and Teaching Committee will approve or reject the change and inform the lecturer and Subject Coordinator.  This process will usually take 1-2 months. Such changes to subjects with professional accreditation may be required to follow additional professional accreditation review processes.

To change the subject code or name of a subject, the Program Director or Dean of Faculty must submit an updated subject outline to the Learning and Teaching Committee, along with a rationale for the change.  The Learning and Teaching Committee will approve or reject the change and inform the Program Director or Dean of Faculty. This process will usually take 1-2 months.

To contextualise an element of a subject for a specific context, lecturers must submit an updated subject outline to the Subject Coordinator (or Program Director if they are unavailable). This process will usually take 1-2 weeks. Importantly, any contextualisation of content or assessments must not alter the learning outcomes or subject objectives. If learning outcomes or subject objectives require contextualisation the subject should be revised or a new subject should be developed.

To change subject objectives, learning outcomes, and broad content, lecturers must submit a proposal to the Subject Coordinator (or Head of Department if they are unavailable) and then to the Learning and Teaching Committee. The Learning and Teaching Committee may require an external peer review of the suggested changes. The Learning and Teaching Committee will approve or reject the change and inform the lecturer and Subject Coordinator. This process will usually take 1-2 months. Such changes to subjects with professional accreditation may be required to follow additional professional accreditation review processes.

To add a new subject, lecturers must follow the process outlined in the Subject Development Policy. This process will usually take 2-4 months.

The Submitter is responsible to inform any stakeholders (e.g. Registry, Accounts, Subject Coordinator, Dean of Faculty, Head of Department, Program Director) of the approved changes to a subject outline.  The Learning and Teaching Committee ensures that the master record of approved subject outlines is updated.

APPROVAL FOR CO-DELIVERY OF A SUBJECT

The process to apply to co-deliver a subject with another subject that is not of the same AQF level is as follows:

1. Apply to the Learning and Teaching Committee

The Dean of School, Head of Department or Program Director must apply to the Learning and Teaching Committee. The criteria for consideration is:

the subject content of both subjects is related and suitable for co-delivery;

the different learning outcomes (as per the accredited subject outline) of both subjects will be met;

assessment reading requirements and course resources (as per the accredited subject outline) reflect the appropriate AQF level;

the Subject Coordinator holds a qualification one AQF level higher than the highest course of study, or has met the requirements of the Professional Equivalence Policy.

2. Approval

If this criteria is met, the Learning and Teaching Committee will approve the co-delivery of the subjects.  If approved the Dean of School and Head of Department will be notified along with the relevant Program Directors and Subject Coordinators. The subjects can then be timetabled accordingly.