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Unit Outline Procedure
1. Purpose:
  1. This document sets out procedures for the compilation, formatting and publication of unit outline information at the University of Canberra.
  2. These procedures present the minimum requirements for presenting to students unit information, including unit particulars, content, teaching methods, assessment information and important policy information.
  3. These procedures include processes for the regular updating of requirements for the publication of unit outline information.
2. Scope:
  1. These procedures apply to all units delivered by the University of Canberra (UC), including with third party providers.
  2. Policies and procedures for assessment can be found in the:
3. Procedure:
Unit Outline Information
  1. Unit outline information is official and approved information about a unit offering. It includes information that needs to be provided to current and prospective students, staff, and others, including external review bodies. It includes, as a minimum:
    1. the nature of the unit;
    2. the learning outcomes of the unit and their link to the UC Graduate Attributes (or Generic Skills for Higher Degrees by Research);
    3. how the unit is delivered and assessed;
    4. the specific requirements that students have to meet in order to complete the unit successfully; and
    5. information specific to the unit.
  2. Unit outline information is published in various forms (see 'Other Unit Outline Information' below) for the purposes of:
    1. Communicating to students the nature of the unit, what they will be learning, how the unit will be undertaken and how to successfully complete the unit; and
    2. Communicating to other staff in the University, to staff in other institutions, professional accreditation bodies and employers what students will learn if they successfully complete the unit
  3. The Callista student management system contains the official unit outline information.
  4. Once published to students, unit outline information will not be varied by the university without the consent of the majority of students enrolled in the unit, unless that published information is inconsistent with official unit outline information, or the changes result from the decision of a university committee, or are administrative changes. The university will communicate such changes to students prior to the unit outline(s) being updated.
  5. The University Education Committee (UEC) will determine what information, additional to that required in these procedures, constitutes official unit outline information prior to each academic year, and more frequently if required.
  6. Faculties will ensure that the provision of unit outline information to students clearly identifies the unique nature of each offering of the unit (i.e. location and/or mode of delivery).
Assessment Items
  1. Unit outline information will include information on assessment items covering, as a minimum:
    1. the nature of the assessment item (e.g. essay, exam, presentation, ePortfolio), length (if appropriate) and due date;
    2. the specific learning outcomes and graduate attributes addressed by each item;
    3. the proportion the item will contribute to the final mark and grade for the unit; and
    4. if satisfactory completion of the item is required to pass the unit, and what constitutes satisfactory completion.
  2. Detailed assessment information, including marking guides (covering the criteria against which each assessment item will be assessed, and the allocation of marks for each of these criteria), or specific essay questions and presentation topics, are official unit outline information, but may be provided to students after the publication of other unit outline information. Unit conveners will ensure such information is provided to students prior to the commencement of teaching. [1]
Other Unit Outline Information
  1. Where applicable, the unit outline information will include:
    1. the learning activities available in the unit – lectures, tutorials, online resources, discussion forums, work-integrated learning and any other activities – together with guidance as to how best to use or attend these activities so as to succeed in the unit;
    2. combined teaching arrangements;
    3. faculty practice on such matters as re-submissions, late penalties and absences;
    4. student responsibilities in relation to assessment;
    5. system and software requirements for units delivered online, or where such requirements are integral to the completion of the unit;
    6. examination requirements and permitted materials; and
    7. any other relevant details, such as advice on changes to a unit made in response to student feedback.
Common Unit Outline Information
  1. On publication, unit outline information will include information common to all units, such as policy information, student support services and student rights or responsibilities.
Publication of Unit Outline Information
  1. Unit outline information may be published in public-facing websites, the learning management system, and/or in electronic document formats.
  2. The publication of unit outline information may be across multiple platforms for the one unit offering. Where this occurs, faculties will ensure all official unit outline information is consolidated into one publication on the learning management system (see section 'Unit Online Proposal System' below).
  3. The UEC will determine what format(s) the publication of official unit outline information will take.
  4. Unit outline information will be published to students at least one week prior to the commencement of the teaching period in which the unit offering occurs.
  5. Unit conveners will provide hard copies of a consolidation of unit outline information to students if requested.
Monitoring of Unit Outline Information publication dates
  1. The Portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) will regularly update faculties on the status of unit outline information publication in the lead up to Semester 1, Winter Term and Semester 2.
  2. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) will provide University Education Committee and Academic Board with a report on unit outline publications after the commencement of Semester 1, Winter Term and Semester 2.
Late Publication of Unit Outline Information
  1. The Portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) will, in consultation with the faculties, write to students enrolled in units where unit outline information is not published by the due date (one week prior to commencement of the teaching period).
Post-publication of Unit Outline Information
  1. Subject to section 'Unit Outline Information' - item 4, unit outline information may be changed after publication of that information.
  2. Changes common to all unit offerings will be entered by Student Administration and Planning.
  3. Unit conveners will enter any changes to their unit offerings through the unit outline proposal system. The Associate Dean (Education) (ADE) may require moderation of the changes. The ADE is the only authority to approve these proposals.
  4. Changes to unit particulars will require normal approvals for such changes.
Units Delivered by Third Party Providers
  1. Where a unit offering is delivered by a third party provider, it may be desirable to publish unit outline information, in whole or in part, on the partner’s learning management system. In this case, the faculty will request access to the site for the unit offering, review it, and ensure that the information provided in of high quality and comparable to that published by UC.
  2. Official unit outline information is complemented by the Student Guide to Policies summarises University policies and procedures relevant to students. Assessment-related information is included on plagiarism, grades, moderation, feedback, extensions and deferred examinations.
The Unit Outline Proposal System
  1. The unit outline proposal system is a component of the Callista student management system.
  2. Unit conveners are required to enter official unit outline information, which is not already present or common across all unit offerings, through the unit outline proposal system. The system also provides workflow and record keeping for the approval of unit outline information.
  3. The Director, Student Administration, is the business owner of the unit outline proposal system. The Director will convene a Unit Outline Proposal System Management Group to oversee changes to the system, in line with the decisions of UEC, policy changes approved by Academic Board, and any relevant change to legislation. This Group will include representatives from Student Administration, Teaching and Learning, and academic staff.
  4. The unit outline proposal system will include the ability to provide consolidated unit outline information, including common information, where required (see 'Publication of Unit Outline Information' clauses 3.12 to 3.15 above).
Approval of Unit Outline Information
  1. The ADE is responsible for ensuring systems are in place in each faculty for the provision of high quality, accurate official unit outline information to students. This will include procedures for the moderation and review of unit outline information.
  2. The unit convener enters unit outline information through the unit outline proposal system.
  3. The unit convener arranges for the unit outline information to be moderated by a suitable member of academic staff, in line with faculty procedures on the moderation of unit outline information. Details of this moderation are entered into the unit outline proposal system prior to the submission to the faculty reviewer.
  4. Marking guides will be included in the moderation of unit outline information.
  5. If the unit is a core unit in one or more courses, the course convener(s) (if an academic staff member, otherwise an academic course advisor) of the course(s) will review the unit outline information for alignment with the course. Details of this review are entered into the unit outline proposal system prior to the submission to the faculty reviewer.
  6. For each unit, a suitable senior academic staff member will be designated to review the unit outline information (typically a Head of School/Discipline) and verify that the unit outline information is complete and compliant with relevant University policy and procedures.
  7. After faculty review, the unit outline information is published as outlined in section 'Other Unit Outline Information' above.
Absence of a Unit Convener
  1. Where a unit convener is not available to prepare and submit unit outline information by the required deadline, an appropriate course convener (if an academic staff member, otherwise an academic course advisor) or senior academic member of the discipline (appointed by the Head of School/Discipline) will be responsible for completion of unit outline information proposal.
  2. The ADE will ensure a suitable academic staff member is appointed to undertake these duties in the absence of a unit convener.
Record retention
  1. Once approved, unit outline information, including workflow, moderation and approval information, will be kept in the student management system Callista.[2]
  2. Further information of record retention that relates to unit outline information can be found in the
[1] Information on marking guides will be added to the [2] Unit outlines created prior to 2015 are stored in the Equella system.
4. Roles and Responsibilities:
 
Who Responsibility
Students Accessing published unit outline information in full,  including assessment due dates and requirements, and seeking clarification from the unit convener if necessary.
Student Administration
 
Updates unit outline information that is common across all units, including any post-publication changes to this information.
Director, Student Administration
 
  • Business owner of the unit outline proposal system.
  • Convenes the Unit Outline Proposal System Administration Group.
Unit Outline Proposal System Management Group
  • Oversees the administration of the unit outline proposal system, including any changes and upgrades to the system as determined by UEC.
  • Provides UEC with feedback on the operation of the system and suggests modifications as necessary;
  • Ensures the system has the ability to publish a consolidation of unit outline information.
Faculties
 
  • Ensure faculty practice on matters of re-submission, late penalties and absences are included in unit outline information.
  • Ensure the provision of unit outline information clearly identifies the unique nature of each unit offering to students.
  • Requests access to any unit outline information provided on the learning management system of a third party provider, and reviews this information for quality.
  • Ensure official unit outline information is consolidated into one publication (where published across multiple platforms).
Unit conveners
  • Enters unit outline information into the unit outline proposal system.
  • Arranges for moderation of unit outline information, in line with faculty practice. Enters information on moderation into the unit outline proposal system.
  • Arranges for review of unit outline information by a course convener (if academic) or academic course advisor, if required. Enters information on this review into the unit outline proposal system
  • Enters any approved changes to unit outline information post-publication through the unit outline proposal system.
  • Ensure hard copies of consolidated unit outline information are provided to students when requested.
  • Ensure that marking guides are provided to students with sufficient notice prior to the due date of assessment items.
Course conveners (if academic) or academic course advisor.
  • Review unit outline information for core units within their course, for alignment with the course learning outcomes.
  • May undertake the responsibilities of the unit convener for entry of unit outline information if the unit convener is absent and not able to enter the information by the due date.
Heads of discipline
(or equivalent)
Most often acts as faculty approver for unit outline information (except for proposals for changes to unit outline information post-publication submitted by a unit convener).
Associate Deans (Education)
  • Responsible for ensure faculty systems are in place for the provision of high quality, accurate official unit outline information to students.
  • May act as faculty approver for unit outline information.
  • Arranges for a suitable academic staff member to undertake the duties of unit convener where that convener is not available.
  • Only authority to approve proposals for changes to unit outline information post-publication submitted by a unit convener.
Portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President(Academic)
  • Regularly updates faculties on the status of unit outline information publication.
  • In consultation with the faculties, writes to students in units that have not had unit outline information published by the due date.
  • Through the Dean of Students and Teaching and Learning, provides advice to UEC on the educational value of the nature and format of unit outline information.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) Provides University Education Committee and Academic Board with a report on unit outline information publication after the commencement of semester 1, Winter Term and semester 2.
University Education Committee
  • Approves these procedures, and any exceptions.
  • Determines official unit outline information requirements at least once per year.
  • Determines the format(s) of publication of official unit outline information at least once per year.
  • Receives reports on the publication of unit outline information.
Academic Board Receives reports on the publication of unit outline information.
5. Governing Policy and Legislation:
These procedures constitutes part of the procedures approved by University Education Committee under delegated authority from Academic Board and in accordance with Rule 13 of the Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules 2013.
University legislation relevant to examinations and other assessment includes the Student Conduct Rules 2009.
These procedures are approved by University Education Committee. Amendments and variations to the policy require University Education Committee approval.