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Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out specific requirements in relation to the delivery of subjects.

(2) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the following associated policy documents:

  1. Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
  2. Teaching and Assessment - Code of Practice - Teaching; and
  3. Code of Practice - Casual Academic Teaching.
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Section 2 - Application and Scope

(3) This Policy applies to the delivery of all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework subjects at the University of Wollongong that are taught onshore and offshore, including coursework subjects where the primary or only assessment task is a research or creative project or an Honours Project. This Code should be read in conjunction with other, related policies, in particular the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy and the Teaching and Assessment - Code of Practice - Teaching.

(4) The Policy does not apply to the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

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Section 3 - Subject Delivery Principles

(5) The following principles apply to the delivery of subjects at UOW:

  1. Learning, teaching and assessment strategies and activities must support student achievement of Subject Learning Outcomes and, where relevant, to Course and Major Study Learning Outcomes;
  2. Subject Learning Outcomes must appropriately embed relevant Course and Major Study Learning Outcomes and, where relevant, support assurance of learning for the course and/or major study;
  3. Equivalence of the student learning experience must be assured across subject delivery locations and modes, both onshore and offshore; and
  4. Learning activities and the assessment of student learning must be undertaken as specified in the subject outline.
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Section 4 - Digital Learning

(6) All subjects are required to meet the Digital Learning Thresholds, the requirements of which are provided at Schedule 1.

(7) Academic Senate has approved the Digital Learning Thresholds for implementation according to a staged schedule, as provided at Schedule 1 and subject to amendments approved by Academic Senate from time to time.

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Section 5 - Lecture Recording

(8) The University of Wollongong supports the recording of lectures as a supplemental study tool, to provide students with equity of access, and as a technology-enriched learning strategy to enhance the student experience.

(9) As a standard practice, all lectures must be recorded when timetabled in a venue on a University campus that is equipped for recording lectures.

(10) If there is a compelling reason not to record a lecture(s), as per the Lecture Recording Procedures, this must be communicated to students in the subject outline, in accordance with clasue 36 of the Subject Outline Checklist.

(11) Where a decision not to record, or not to publish a recorded lecture(s), is made after the commencement of the session and the release of the subject outline, this must be communicated to students via email, a student system notification e.g. SOLS, or the relevant eLearning platform e.g. Moodle.

(12) The Lecture Recording Procedures provide the guiding principles for lecture recording at UOW including: learning experiences to be recorded; non-recording of lectures; availability and use of recordings; management of recordings; privacy considerations; copyright considerations; and roles and responsibilities.

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Section 6 - Subject Information

(13) The University is subject to obligations under the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 in relation to the provision of publicly available, accurate, relevant and timely information for students to enable informed decision making about educational offerings and experiences.

(14) At a subject level, these obligations involve the provision of information to assist in decisions about subject selection, including prerequisites, assumed knowledge, and when and where subjects are offered.

(15) Faculties must have in place appropriate processes to maintain the accuracy of subject information that is provided to students, via the subject database, subject outlines, subject Moodle sites, and any other subject information resources.

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Section 7 - Subject Outlines

(16) The subject putline provides to students the core information about a subject.

(17) Subject outlines will be made available to students in either hard copy or digitally, via the subject’s UOW eLearning site.

(18) Subject outlines must be made available to students enrolled in the subject by the start of session in which the subject is offered.

(19) A subject outline must be developed for each undergraduate and postgraduate coursework subject offered by the University. All commitments and requirements of staff and students stipulated in a subject outline must be adhered to.

(20) Subject outlines must include the information prescribed in Section 8, and any other special requirements of the subject.

(21) A UOW subject outline template, that meets the specifications in Section 8, will be maintained by custodian of this Policy and provided to faculties, either as a document template or an online instrument.

(22) Subject outlines may be varied in order to accommodate local differences, for example to lists of prescribed reading or key references, where a subject is taught offshore, consistent with the Principles of Equivalence set out in the Course Design Procedures and the Collaborative Delivery - Subject Quality Assurance Procedures.

(23) Subject outlines must be developed with reference to the Inclusive Language Guidelines.

(24) Schools must have in place a process for approving subject outlines and quality assuring the accuracy of the information included in the subject outline, including confirming that the requirements of Section 9 of this Policy and any further Faculty procedures have been met.

(25) After release of the subject outline to students as per clause 17 and 18, any changes to the subject outline must only be made in exceptional circumstances. The following procedures must be undertaken prior to making the changes:

  1. Affected teaching staff must be notified of the intended change;
  2. All students enrolled in the subject must be notified and have the opportunity to provide feedback; and
  3. Approval in writing must be obtained jointly from the Head of School and the Associate Dean Education.
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Section 8 - Subject Outline Checklist and General Advice

(26) The information in the subject outline checklist below must be included in the subject outline as a minimum requirement.

(27) The information under General Advice must be provided to every student at least once each session. General Advice can be provided as part of the subject outline, or in a School-produced handbook, guide or information package. General Advice must be distributed in the same way as subject outlines as per clause 17 and 18.

Subject Outline Checklist

Part A - Subject Information to be included in each subject outline

(28) Name of the Faculty and the School.

(29) Subject code and title in full and the number of credit points allocated to the subject.

(30) Modes of delivery.

(31) Locations of delivery.

(32) Subject Coordinator's name, office location, telephone number, and consultation modes and, where possible, times (consistent with consultation requirements specified in the Code of Practice - Teaching).

(33) Where possible, lecturer/s and tutor/s office location, telephone numbers, and consultation modes and times.

(34) Subject Learning Outcomes, which should be expressed in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework taxonomy of Knowledge, Skills, and Application of Knowledge and Skills.

(35) Mandatory minimum attendance requirements, where relevant (in accordance with the Coursework Rules).

(36) Tutorial/laboratory times, where possible.

(37) If all lectures or any particular lecture will not be recorded, as per 6.2, the rationale for this decision must be provided in accordance with the compelling reasons outlined in the Lecture Recording Procedures.

(38) A statement advising students that they may be recorded when participating in classes scheduled in recording enabled venues. A sample privacy statement is provided in the UOW subject outline template.

(39) A list of prescribed reading.

(40) A list of key references, including the statement (where relevant) that recommended readings are not intended as an exhaustive list and that students should use the Library catalogue and databases to locate additional resources.

(41) Any materials that should be purchased.

(42) Any recent changes made to the subject, and the reason(s), for example in response to feedback from student surveys or external reviews.

(43) Clear advice on where students will find other relevant Faculty or University information, such as in a Faculty handbook or guide, as set out in the General Advice section below.

(44) The following statement in relation to extraordinary changes to the subject after release of the subject outline:

  1. “In extraordinary circumstances the provisions stipulated in this subject outline may require amendment after the subject outline has been distributed. All students enrolled in the subject must be notified and have the opportunity to provide feedback in relation to the amendment, and where practicable, prior to the amendment being finalised”.

(45) A statement regarding the use of learning analytics by the University. The recommended wording of this statement is provided in the UOW subject outline template.

Part B - Assessment Information to be included in each subject outline

(46) Clear details of the assessment task requirements of the subject and how they embed the Subject Learning Outcomes for the subject.

(47) Weight to be given to each assessment task in determining the final result.

(48) Dates, times and means of submission or presentation of any assessment task.

(49) If relevant, dates, time and location or means of in-session tests.

(50) Details of criteria used to assess each assessment task. The Assessment Quality Cycle Toolkit provides good practice examples and templates for assessment rubrics that can be used and adapted by teaching teams.

(51) Details of how and when feedback will be given to students in the subject, including feedback on at least one early formative or summative assessment activity before the census date, in line with the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy Section 6.

(52) Whether the assessment task is set up to be checked by Turnitin and, if so, whether students can submit their assessment task prior to the due date and obtain an originality report. If this is the case, the recommended wording of this statement is provided in the UOW subject outline Template.

(53) Details of Assessment Quality Cycle activities that will be undertaken within the subject (refer to Section 8 of the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy).

(54) Where relevant, the clearly stated minimum performance requirement for an assessment task to pass the subject, and a statement that students who do not meet the minimum performance requirement as set out in the subject outline may be given a TF (Technical Fail) grade for the subject on their academic transcript, in accordance with the Coursework Rules.

(55) Requirements on student contributions to tutorials and/or seminars and details of criteria for assessing such contributions.

(56) Where marks in a subject are routinely scaled, the method of scaling used consistent with the Scaling Guidelines set out in the Standards for Finalisation of Student Results.

(57) Clearly stated penalties for late submission of assessment tasks.

(58) Whether the subject has been deemed unsuitable for supplementary assessments, in accordance with the Supplementary Assessment Procedure.

(59) The details of the type of referencing system to be used for written work as:

  1. the Author-Date (Harvard) referencing system, the University’s default referencing system, which is to be used in the absence of a documented UOW Harvard guide; or
  2. a faculty/school preferred referencing style, include details and this link http://uow.libguides.com/refcite/getting-started.

(60) Use of internet resources and any restrictions placed on use of internet sources.

(61) A link to the UOW Grade Descriptors.

(62) A reference to the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. The recommended wording is provided in the UOW subject outline template.

(63) A reference to Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Policy along with the statement below:

  1. “In accordance with the Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Policy, a student may request an explanation of a mark for an assessment task or a final grade for a subject consistent with the student’s right to appropriate and useful feedback on their performance in an assessment task. Refer to the Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Policy for further information.”

(64) A reference to the retention of graded student work samples for quality assurance activities such as moderation and external peer review of assessment. The recommended wording is provided in the UOW subject outline template.

(65) References to the following assessment submission, return and retention information:

  1. method of submitting each assessment task (typically online as per the Digital Learning Thresholds or if another submission method is involved, details of that method);
  2. arrangements for acknowledging submission of written work;
  3. procedures for the return of assessed work; and
  4. procedures for the retention of assessed work.

General Advice

(66) The general advice in this section must be provided to students at least once every session in which the student is studying. The subject outline must direct students to where they can find this advice (such as in a Faculty handbook or guide).

(67) References to the following University policies and relevant faculty procedures must be included with web links:

  1. Academic Integrity Policy;
  2. Academic Misconduct (Coursework) Procedure;
  3. Copyright Policy;
  4. Course Progress Policy;
  5. Coursework Rules;
  6. English Language Policy;
  7. Examination Rules and associated Procedures
  8. Inclusive Language Guidelines;
  9. IP Intellectual Property Policy;
  10. Procedures for the Review of Marks or Grades and other Academic Decisions (Coursework);
  11. Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Policy;
  12. Student Academic Consideration Policy;
  13. Student Charter;
  14. Student Conduct Rules and accompanying Procedures;
  15. Supplementary Assessment Procedure;
  16. Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
  17. Teaching and Assessment - Code of Practice - Teaching; and
  18. Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy.

(68) Where relevant:

  1. Code of Practice - Responsible Conduct of Research;
  2. Honours Policy;
  3. Code Of Practice - Work Integrated Learning (Professional Experience);
  4. IP Intellectual Property Policy;
  5. Ethical Objection by Students to Use of Animals and Animal Products in Coursework Subjects Policy;
  6. Human Research Ethics Guidelines;
  7. Workplace Health and Safety Policy; and
  8. Animal Research Guidelines.

(69) Reference to where students can access information on student support services and facilities.

(70) Where relevant, guidelines on the use of email to contact teaching staff, mobile phone use in class, or eLearning etiquette.

(71) For subjected regulated the completion of the Honors project of less than 24cp forming part of a Professional Honours degree, the inclusion of:

  1. any information specified in Part B of Appendix 2 of the Honours Policy not otherwise included in the subject outline, in lieu of the provision of Part B of the Honours guide; and
  2. a link to the Honours Project Grade Descriptors.
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Section 9 - Subject Monitoring

(72) In order to support quality enhancement of subjects, the following provisions apply:

  1. Annually, the Subject Coordinator is responsible for considering available subject performance data and other relevant information, as per clause 73, in order to reflect on the subject and identify actions to maintain and enhance the quality of the subject.
  2. The Subject Coordinator shall document their reflections and any related actions, and make this information available to relevant teaching staff, to ensure an ongoing cycle of review and improvement.
  3. The Subject Coordinator and the following additional staff (as appropriate) shall be responsible for ensuring that recommended actions are undertaken as necessary:
    1. Head of Discipline (where appointed);
    2. Academic Program Director (Course Leader or similar position);
    3. Head of School; and
    4. the Associate Dean Education.

(73) Performance data and other relevant information considered includes:

  1. data on student marks and grades (as used for Assessment Committees);
  2. Assessment Committee meeting minutes (where relevant);
  3. previous reflections on the subject;
  4. student subject evaluations, surveys and other relevant student experience data;
  5. student performance data, including comparative student performance data;
  6. any recommendations from the last completed subject and/or relevant course review; and
  7. other feedback from teaching team members and students.
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Section 10 - Subject Delivery Constraints

(74) In order to efficiently and effectively manage the University’s learning and teaching resources the following constraints may be imposed in relation to the delivery of a subject:

  1. imposition of a subject quota;
  2. decision to not offer a subject; and/or
  3. decision to cancel a subject instance.

(75) The following provisions are to be taken into account when imposing a subject delivery constraint, for subjects delivered onshore at the University and subjects comprising the University’s award courses that are offered offshore and are maintained on the UOW Subject Database.

(76) A subject delivery constraint may only be proposed on the basis of acceptable reasons, such as:

  1. availability of laboratory facilities is limited and not able to be increased;
  2. availability of clinical training facilities is limited and unable to be increased;
  3. availability of other teaching facilities is limited and unable to be increased;
  4. availability of professional experience opportunities is limited and unable to be increased;
  5. availability of supervision is limited and unable to be increased;
  6. availability of staff to manage activities is limited and unable to be increased;
  7. impact of proposed assessment tasks is significant and requires limits to be imposed on student numbers;
  8. alternative modes of delivery are not suitable; and/or
  9. availability of teaching resources is scarce and unable to be increased.

Consultation and Approval

(77) A subject delivery constraint must be approved by the Associate Dean Education of the Faculty offering the subject, following consultation with the relevant Head of School. If the constraint is likely to have an adverse effect on students’ course progress, or on other Schools, the matter should also be referred to the Faculty Education Committee for comment (including within any other faculties owning courses or majors in respect of which the subject is a core).

(78) The following factors should be considered when determining whether a subject delivery constraint should be imposed:

  1. whether students need to complete the subject to fulfil the requirements of a declared major and/or core degree requirements; and
  2. whether there are other subject enrolment options available to affected students.

Approval Timeframes

(79) A proposal to constrain the delivery of a subject must be approved within a timeframe that allows adequate notice to students. Wherever possible, approval (and subsequent notice) must be given no later than the preceding November for subjects offered in Autumn Session in the following academic year, or at the commencement of Autumn Session for subjects offered in the following Spring Session.

(80) In exceptional circumstances, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) may approve the imposition of a subject quota, or a subject instance cancellation, up to 2 weeks before the start of the session in which the subject is being offered.

Notice and Impact of Subject Delivery Constraints

(81) Where a subject delivery constraint is imposed, students must be supported in re-arranging their course plans to fulfil requirements for majors, core and/or elective subjects. The subject-owning Faculty is responsible for the following actions in relation to decisions to constrain the delivery of a subject:

  1. notification to affected students and faculties, which must be provided in accordance with 11.9; and
  2. provision of advice and support to affected students in identifying alternative subjects for them to enrol in, including flexibility in relation to subject quotas to accommodate affected students in an alternative subject.

(82) Notification should be by way of:

  1. direct notification to all students enrolled in the relevant subject or subject instance, together with appropriate academic advice; and
  2. an appropriate entry on the Subject Database or by other appropriate means.

Criteria for Determining Student Selection for Subject Quotas

(83) Where a subject quota is imposed, the Head of School must determine which students should be offered entry to the subject based upon the following criteria:

  1. a student’s need to complete the subject to fulfil the requirements of a declared major and/or core requirements;
  2. other subject enrolment options available to the student;
  3. any special needs relating to a student with a registered disability; and
  4. any special requirements arising from the needs of a student who is a member of another Commonwealth Department of Education defined equity category.

(84)  The School may adopt additional criteria in addition to those set out in 10 above.

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Section 11 - Collaborative Delivery

(85) The Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy and related procedures govern the quality assurance of all courses delivered in collaboration with a partner institution and include specific requirements in relation to subject delivery.

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Section 12 - Principles of Equivalence

(86) Appendix 17 of the Course Design Procedures provides for Principles of Equivalence of learning and teaching activities across all delivery locations and modes and includes specific requirements in relation to the delivery of subjects.

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Section 13 - Definitions

(87) All definitions relating to Teaching and Assessment are detailed in section 3 of the Teaching and Assessment - Code of Practice - Teaching.

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Section 14 - Schedule 1: Digital Learning Thresholds

(88) The Digital Learning Thresholds strategy was approved by Academic Senate (19 February 2014; 2014/07) to support student learning. The principle of the Digital Learning Thresholds is that all UOW students have access to digital learning, and that all students and staff have clear expectations about their use.

(89) Further information on the implementation of the Digital Learning Thresholds can be found at: http://www.uow.edu.au/dvca/ltc/dlt/index.html

(90) The table presented below outlines the approved phased implementation the elements of the Digital Learning Thresholds.

INSTITUTION
Elements
Phase 1 (end 2014)
Phase 2 (end 2015)
Good Practice
Staff
Academic Development - online learning, teaching and curriculum.
x
 
 
Academic Development - technology.
x
 
 
Workload Recognition.
 
x
 
SUBJECTS/COURSES
Elements.
Phase 1
Phase 2
Good Practice
Digital Course Pack
(Reflected in the Teaching and Learning suite of policies) presented in an easy print format
Subject outline.
x
 
 
Subject overview including place in curriculum, and theme/skills emphasis.
x
 
 
Activity schedule.
x
 
 
Explanation of delivery mode.
x
 
 
Explanation of what students will need to do to complete the subject successfully.
x
 
 
Assessment
Assessment instructions.
x
 
 
Assessment criteria and standards (rubrics).
x
 
 
Assignment dates.
x
 
 
Online submission and return of work with feedback.
 
x
 
Online gradebook.
 
x
 
Structured interaction with portfolio.
 
x
 
Access to student-facing analytics dashboard.
 
x
 
Ungraded online formative assessment.
 
 
x
Practice submission.
 
 
x
Capacity for online peer assessment.
 
 
x
Capacity for online group assessment.
 
 
x
Content
Content delivery strategy clearly explained: where students find what they need, and how; and links to whichever of the following are relevant.
x
 
 
Link to Echo360 (if used).
x
 
 
Link to EQUELLA (if used).
x
 
 
Links to any other resources that are required for students to undertake the subject.
x
 
 
Lecture slides or notes (if used) or other content.
x
 
 
Pre-recorded videos or activities [flipped classes].
x
 
 
e Portfolio.
 
x
 
Use of media.
 
x
 
Revision materials.
 
 
x
Capacity for self-managed progress tracking against content.
 
 
x
Capacity for students to create, curate and contribute content.
 
 
x
Communication
Welcome and contact details for teaching team.
x
 
 
Administrative and community communication expectations/strategy (SOLSmail, email news forum or mix; timings; frequency).
x
 
 
Opportunity to ask coordinator questions (FAQ forum).
x
 
 
Guide to good practice in online environments.
 
x
 
Community/group discussion (internal forum, external networks, hashtag).
 
x
 
Online consultation (synchronous).
 
 
x
Community/group engagement (blogs/wikis/tweets).
 
 
x
Welcome video.
 
 
x
Technical
Links checked.
x
 
 
Accessibility Standards met.
x
 
 
Explanation of help options available.
x
 
 
Accessibility guidelines for student-contributed content.
 
x