Policy Directory

TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT: CODE OF PRACTICE – TEACHING

Date first approved:

7 October 2016

Date of effect:

7 October 2016

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)
7 October 2016

Date of Next Review:

7 October 2019

Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address

Director, Academic Quality and Standards

Responsible Division & Unit

Academic Quality and Standards, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (DVCA) Portfolio

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy

Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy
Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy
Code of Practice – Casual Academic Teaching
Academic Integrity Policy
Code of Practice – Honours

Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy

Course Design Procedures
Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy
General Course Rules
Standards for the Finalisation of Student Results
Student Academic Consideration Policy
Student Academic Consideration Guidelines
Supplementary Assessment Guidelines
UOW Technology-Enriched Learning (TEL) Strategy 2015 - 2019
Assessment and Feedback Principles
Digital Learning Thresholds

References & Legislation

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
UOW Standards and Quality Framework for Learning and Teaching

Audience

Public: accessible to anyone

Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.

Contents

1 Purpose

  • 1. This Code sets out specific responsibilities of academic and professional services staff in relation to learning, teaching and assessment.
  • 2. This Code should be read in conjunction with the following associated policy documents:
      • a. Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy;
      • b. Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy; and
      • c. Teaching and Assessment: Code of Practice – Casual Academic Teaching.

2 Definitions

The following definitions apply to all documents within the Teaching and Assessment Policy suite.

Word/Term

Definition

Academic Program Director

May also be known as Course Leader, Course Director or similar. An academic staff member who provides strategic leadership for one or more UOW coursework programs, and who takes ultimate responsibility for key areas of the course design and course performance, under the UOW Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework. Whether leadership and operational responsibilities are the sole responsibility of the Academic Program Director will depend on faculty arrangements, academic level and prior experience. Key responsibilities are set out under section 4.6 of this Code.

Appeal Period

For operating purposes, the later of 12 months after release of results, or, in any particular case, the point at which the final appeal process is determined.

Assessment

An activity to foster learning and to help academics and students to gauge levels of achievement. It may be formative or summative, and may be graded or ungraded.

Assessment task

An activity that a student is required to complete to provide a basis for an official record of achievement or certification of competence in a subject (e.g. examination, test, take-home examination, quiz, assignment, essay, laboratory report, demonstration, folio of creative work, performance, written or oral presentation, participation).

Assessment records

The records detailed in Schedule 2 to the Teaching and Learning – Assessment and Feedback Policy.

Benchmarking

A learning process structured so as to enable those engaging in the process to compare their service/activities/products in order to identify their comparative strengths and weaknesses as a basis for self-improvement (Jackson and Lund (2000)). Benchmarking may involve internal or external parties engaging in the process.

Calibration

An activity undertaken to create a shared understanding amongst a teaching team of the learning outcomes of a subject’s assessment tasks and the different standards of student performance in meeting those learning outcomes.

Capstone Experience

An experience through which students are given an opportunity to integrate existing knowledge, consolidate skills, apply existing knowledge and skills, reflect on and evaluate their actions and develop their graduate or professional identity in an authentic setting. It may involve coursework, work-experience, a research or creative project, work placement, internship or professional practice. A capstone experience may be a subject, part of a subject or designed across several subjects in a course. The associated assessments often assure the attainment of one or more Course Learning Outcomes.

Capstone Subject

A subject that is designed to offer a capstone experience.

Casual teaching employee

A person, also referred to as sessional staff, engaged to perform teaching and related duties by the hour and paid on an hourly basis.

Community of Practice

A collective where people share and learn from each other’s knowledge and experience through dialogue. This variety of perspectives and experiences benefits the practices of all teaching team members, whatever their expertise.

Course

A program of study consisting of a subject or combination of subjects and other requirements as specified in the relevant course structure that leads to a higher education award.

Course Leadership and Direction

The strategic oversight and operational coordination of coursework programs, typically performed by the Academic Program Director, to ensure key of areas of course design, delivery and performance are met. Specific responsibilities associated with course leadership and direction are set out in section 4.6 of this Code.

Course Policy Framework

Suite of UOW policy documents regulating course matters and comprising:

    • The Course Policy;

    • The Course Design Procedures;

    • The Course Review Procedures;

    • The Course Approval Procedures – New Offerings and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses; and

    • The Course Approval Procedures – Less Significant Amendments to Existing Courses

Course Progress Advisor

Any academic staff member, usually the Associate Dean (Education) or Head of Students, who is designated by the Faculty to assist students with regard to enrolment, academic performance, and referral to student services. The Dean of Programs will be the Course Progress Advisor for INTI Malaysia. The Associate Dean International of the relevant Faculty shall appoint course progress advisors for other offshore locations.

Coursework

All work undertaken as part of a non-research award course or non-award course, as well as any non-research components of a Higher Degree Research course.

Delegated authority

A person given delegated authority under the Delegations of Authority Policy.

Demonstrator

An individual, typically a student working towards a postgraduate degree, employed to guide and support students engaged in practical work within a laboratory-based or field-based subject. Their interaction with students is often on a one-to-one basis.

Engaged feedback

Feedback that allows active discussion between academics and students throughout the whole assessment process, including opportunities for peer assessment and sharing and individual consultations, and using feedback loops that are timed to ensure sufficient opportunities are provided to put the feedback into practice.

Faculty examination

Test, examination, quiz or in-class review conducted by a Faculty or School.

Formative assessment

A task that may or may not be graded and that involves students applying knowledge and skills and on which students obtain timely and constructive feedback in order to support their continuous development.

Fractional teaching staff

Academic staff employed on less than a full-time basis, and for whom all entitlements are paid on a pro-rata basis calculated by reference to full-time employment conditions. Fractional employment may be either on a continuing or fixed-term basis.

Guest Lecturer

A practitioner or expert brought in from outside the University to lecture on a specific topic within a subject. This individual would normally deliver one, but no more than three, lectures in the subject.

Group-based assessment

An assessment task which involves two or more students contributing to an assessment task.

Head of School

A member of academic staff who is ultimately responsible for matters set out under section 4.4 of this Code.

Honours Degree

An undergraduate qualification that qualifies individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work and as a pathway for research and further learning, and that otherwise meets the requirements of Level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Honours Examiner

An appropriately qualified person with relevant expertise and with responsibility for the assessment of an Honours Project undertaken as a required component of an Honours Degree.

Honours Project

A component of study within the Honours Degree that involves project work and/or a piece of research and scholarship with some independence and that is discipline specific, inter-disciplinary or joint.

In writing

Written information delivered in hard copy or electronically.

Learning Outcomes

The expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning. Learning outcomes may relate to a course (Course Learning Outcomes), a major study (Major Study Learning Outcomes), a subject (Subject Learning Outcomes) or a learning activity.

Moderation

A quality assurance process by which an individual or group confirms that assessment is undertaken appropriately, consistently and fairly. Moderation activities include:

    • Reviewing and approving assessment requirements as detailed in the Subject Outline

    • Reviewing and approving examination papers (if required)

    • Reviewing assessment rubrics for assessment tasks

    • Establishing detailed marking criteria for assessment tasks

    • Reviewing marked assessment scripts to ensure that scripts have been assessed appropriately, consistently and fairly

    • Reviewing the performance of students including the distribution of marks and grades within a subject

    • Undertaking external benchmarking to verify that assessment practice at UOW is consistent with that of other higher education providers

Program

A combination of subjects in which a student is enrolled.

Quota

A quota is a specified maximum number of students allowed to enrol in a subject instance.

Reasonable adjustment

An adjustment is reasonable in relation to a student with a disability if it balances the interests of all parties affected.

Rubric

The device with a set of descriptors which provides information on the criteria on which student work will be judged and the standards against which that work will be assessed.

Session

A period in which subjects may be offered, such as Autumn and Spring.

Student

A person registered for a course.

Subject

A self-contained unit of study identified by a unique code on the Subject Database

Subject Coordinator

Academic staff member with nominated responsibility for the subject, including leadership of the Teaching Team (where applicable), aspects of the curriculum, quality assurance and the practical delivery of the subject. Key responsibilities are set out under section 4.7 of this Code

Subject Outline

The document in hard copy or electronic format governing content, delivery and assessment of material for a subject.

Summative assessment

Assessment of learning for the purposes of assuring progress at key points in the course or for the purpose of warranting/confirming that learning outcomes have been met.

Supervisor

A member of academic staff who is appropriately qualified and has relevant expertise to oversee the progress of the Honours Project. Responsibilities are set out under section 4.8 of this Code.

Teaching staff

Any person who carries out teaching responsibilities under the authority of the Head of School or other authorised person. This includes Subject Coordinators in respect of their teaching duties. Key responsibilities are set out under section 4.10 of this Code.

Teaching team

A group coordinated by a Subject Coordinator, and comprised of permanent and casual teaching staff who may be based either onshore or offshore.

Transition Pedagogy

Pedagogy designed to support student transition into, through and from their University studies.

University examination

A formal examination including a supplementary or deferred examination conducted by the Student Services Division.

3 Application & Scope

  • 1. This Code applies to teaching, learning and assessment 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: Subject Delivery Policy.
  • 2. The Code does not apply to the University of Wollongong in Dubai.
  • 3. In conjunction with this Code, coursework subjects worth 24 credit points (cp) or more where the primary or only assessment task is an Honours Project should apply the Code of Practice – Honours for aspects such as the orientation, management and supervision of students. This does not preclude the application of the Code of Practice – Honours to subjects within an Honours Degree where the Honours Project is worth less than 24cp.

4 Responsibilities

University

  • 1. The University is responsible for maintaining systematic, mature internal processes for quality assurance of learning and teaching and the maintenance of academic standards and academic integrity in accordance with its Strategic Plan and broader legislative and regulatory requirements.

Faculty

  • 2. The Faculty is responsible for monitoring and ensuring the quality of its educational strategy, practice and procedure, primarily through the Faculty Education Committee. These specific responsibilities, the oversight of which must be carried out by the Associate Dean (Education), include:
      • a. ensuring UOW quality frameworks for onshore and offshore provisions are in place across the Faculty to attain and retain the highest possible standards in learning and teaching and compliance with government requirements, the requirements of accreditation bodies and with relevant UOW educational policy documents;
      • b. monitoring, evaluating, reporting on and working to improve the Faculty’s performance in learning and teaching, including student outcomes both onshore and offshore;
      • c. leading the implementation of UOW structures, processes and programs to support and enhance learning and teaching within the Faculty and develop complementary structures as appropriate;
      • d. working with Heads of School and academic staff to ensure academics’ career development plans align to the University’s educational strategy;
      • e. ensuring that University procedures for the approval of new courses, majors, minors and subjects and for amendments to existing courses, majors, minors and subjects are followed (see the Course Policy Framework);
      • f. applying appropriate documented quality assurance mechanisms to approve new and amended courses, majors, minors and subjects with clear delegation for approval and appropriate record management;
      • g. ensuring that courses, majors, minors and subjects are systematically reviewed in accordance with the Course Policy Framework, and improvements to individual subjects are communicated to students through Subject Outlines;
      • h. establishing and maintaining equivalence of learning and teaching standards between the University and partner institutions for collaboratively delivered courses, in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery Policy and associated procedures;
      • i. providing appropriate continuing professional development for staff currently undertaking or aspiring to undertake the role of Academic Program Director and ensuring that the role is properly carried out;
      • j. facilitating the sharing of information on best practice in teaching and assessment among colleagues;
      • k. ensuring that courses and subjects are designed in accordance with the language communication responsibilities outlined in the English Language Policy;
      • l. ensuring that adequate Information Technology resources, support and training are provided to enable staff to meet the requirements of the University (for example the Digital Learning Thresholds, Technology Enabled Learning etc.);
      • m. having in place in each School processes to ensure that a Subject Outline is prepared and distributed by Subject Coordinators for all subjects offered by each School, and is approved and quality assured so as to meet the requirements of the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy and satisfy any additional Faculty procedures;
      • n. identifying subjects where the primary or only assessment task is a creative or other special project, and ensuring that these are offered in accordance with section 4.8;
      • o. ensuring that assessment methods and practices applied by each School are quality assured using the Assessment Quality Cycle activities as detailed in the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy so that assessment is carried out appropriately, consistently and fairly.
      • p. ensuring that all assessment tasks are quality assured within each School to confirm that they address the approved learning outcomes of the subject, and any applicable course or major study, are appropriate to the level of the subject, are clearly set out, free from error and, in the case of University and faculty examinations, are of a duration appropriate to the demands of the examination’s content;
      • q. ensuring that all requirements of the University’s Standards for the Finalisation of Student Results are met;
      • r. ensuring the establishment of criteria for the assessment of class participation, where appropriate (noting that class attendance alone cannot be a basis for the allocation of marks);
      • s. providing students with information on their procedural and substantive rights and responsibilities contained in this Code, the associated Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy and the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy, and in the Student Charter;
      • t. ensuring that Subject Outlines for the session in which the subjects are on offer are held in a central location within the Faculty and are available to students, academic staff and professional services staff;
      • u. ensuring reasonable adjustment within the teaching, learning and assessment environment for students registered with a disability in accordance with the Disability Policy - Students;
      • v. ensuring that academic complaints initiated by coursework students are managed in accordance with the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy;
      • w. ensuring that allegations of academic misconduct by students undertaking coursework are investigated in accordance with the Student Conduct Rules and associated procedures; and
      • x. appointing Course Progress Advisors to provide academic advice in accordance with the Course Progress Policy, and making this information available to students on the Faculty’s website.

Faculty Education Committee

  • 3. The responsibilities of the Faculty Education Committee are outlined in Appendix B of the Faculty Academic Governance Policy.

Head of School

  • 4. The Head of School is responsible for:
      • a. ensuring that staff engaged in teaching into a UOW award course are:
        • i. appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline at the required level or have the equivalent professional or practice-based experience (refer Section 5 below);
        • ii. have a sound understanding of current scholarship and/or professional practice in the discipline that they teach; and
        • iii. have an understanding of the pedagogical and/or adult learning principles relevant to the student cohort being taught, noting the requirements of the Continuing Professional Development (Learning & Teaching) Policy.
      • b. ensuring that academic staff are familiar with and comply with educational policy, practice and procedures;
      • c. ensuring that a copy of each current Subject Outline, for the session in which the subject is on offer, and any amendments, is forwarded to a central location within the Faculty or School and is available to students, academic staff and professional services staff;
      • d. ensuring, prior to their delivery, that assessment methods and practices applied throughout the School have been quality assured using the Assessment Quality Cycle activities as detailed in the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy to confirm that assessment is carried out appropriately, consistently, and fairly. This will include ensuring that assessment tasks:
        • i. address the stated learning outcomes of the subject (and, where relevant, the related major study and/or course),
        • ii. are appropriate to the level of the subject,
        • iii. are clearly set out, free from error, and,
        • iv. in the case of examinations and in-session tests, are of a duration appropriate to the demands of the examination’s content;
      • e. approving the allocation of a weighting of 70% or more of the final mark of a subject to assessment tasks, other than those within subjects designated as creative or special projects or student professional experience;

        f. approving an assessment weighting of more than 50% for a group-based assessment task;

      • g. approving the scheduling of assessment tasks within the study recess period;
      • h. ensuring that subjects offered within the School, and the assessment tasks contained within, are delivered as approved and are subject to periodic review in accordance with the Course Review Procedures;
      • i. ensuring that faculty examinations are conducted in accordance with the Examination Rules and associated procedures, or approving that a faculty examination may be conducted under varied guidelines, subject to such variation being appropriately communicated to students;
      • j. ensuring that full-time, fractional and casual teaching staff are available to students for consultation, and approving the time and means of consultation, in accordance with section 4.10 of this Code;
      • k. in consultation with the Associate Dean (Education) and, where programs exist across two or more Schools, other Unit Heads, determining arrangements for course leadership and direction through:
        • i. the appointment of an Academic Program Director for each program, and
        • ii. where any responsibilities in section 4.6 are not allocated to the Academic Program Director, determining who will perform those responsibilities.
      • l. managing the distribution and rotation of roles associated with course leadership and direction to ensure the smooth transition of course leadership and direction;
      • m. ensuring that there is appropriate recognition of the workload associated with the role of Academic Program Director and any associated course leadership and direction responsibilities;
      • n. ensuring that staff new to course leadership and direction roles are provided with appropriate continuing professional development and a workload that makes it possible for such staff to pursue continuing professional development.
      • o. ensuring every subject has an assigned Subject Coordinator whose identity is specified in the subject database;
      • p. ensuring that subject quotas, subject cancellations, and decisions to not offer a subject are managed and approved in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy);
      • q. ensuring that all applications for academic consideration are dealt with according to the provisions of the Student Academic Consideration Policy;
      • r. ensuring that the School complies with the requirements of the Standards for the Finalisation of Student Results;
      • s. ensuring that formal academic complaints initiated by coursework students are considered and determined in accordance with the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy;
      • t. participating, where required, in investigations of alleged academic misconduct by a student undertaking coursework in accordance with the Student Conduct Rues and associated procedures;
      • u. attending each meeting of the Faculty Assessment Committee or appointing a nominee from the academic staff to attend in their absence;
      • v. approving the times and means of staff availability for student consultation in accordance with section 4.10(e);
      • w. ensuring that casual teaching employees, where assigned to undertake quality assurance activities, are provide with appropriate support and access to professional development resources in order to fulfil their role.
  • 5. Where learning and teaching activities in a subject offered by the school are provided under a collaborative delivery arrangement, the responsibilities of the Head of School, and all provisions relating to the School, stand.

Academic Program Director

  • 6. The Academic Program Director is responsible for providing strategic leadership for one or more UOW coursework programs, in collaboration with the teaching team. Subject to section 4.4(k), specific responsibilities include:
      • a. assuring the overall coherence of the course, its broad subject areas and coverage, its underlying philosophy(ies) and its approach to learning and teaching;
      • b. overseeing structural aspects of the course, such as sequencing of subjects, subjects included in majors/minors, core requirements etc.;
      • c. ensuring that course content is coherent, current and grounded in disciplinary knowledge and scholarship;
      • d. confirming that assessments and assessment methods are sequenced across the degree to enable student progress towards achieving course learning outcomes;
      • e. ensuring that, at least every five years, there is external referencing, to comparable courses, of assessment methods and grading of student achievement of course learning outcomes
      • f. incorporating the UOW Curriculum Model, as outlined in the Course Design Procedures, including:
        • i. FYE@UOW (first year experience),
        • ii. transformative experiences such as capstones,
        • iii. real-world focused projects,
        • iv. opportunities to engage in research and enquiry-based learning experiences,
        • v. access to technology-enriched learning, including ePortfolios,
        • vi. options for cross and inter-disciplinary study,
        • vii. multiple perspectives/connections (Indigenous knowledges, global perspectives), and
        • viii. work-integrated learning opportunities;
      • g. contributing to the course review process;
      • h. implementing the findings of course reviews;
      • i. liaising with other faculties and discipline areas which provide core subjects for the course;
      • j. liaising with those working at other UOW campuses on how the course will be offered at other locations, including
        • i. how to ensure equivalence in teaching, assessment and student support, and
        • ii. the quality assurance processes to be used;
      • k. working with specialised units to ensure that course design and delivery address the development of students’ language communication skills, as required by the English Language Policy;
      • l. encouraging robust participation in the faculty/school moderation processes; and
      • m. responding to issues emerging from course performance data.

Subject Coordinator

  • 7. The Subject Coordinator is responsible for the academic quality and integrity of subjects taught. Specific responsibilities include:
      • a. collaborating with the Academic Program Director and relevant course teams to ensure that the design of their subject provides alignment with the courses that it feeds into;
      • b. implementing learning, teaching and assessment strategies that support the achievement of Subject Learning Outcomes and ensure they embed relevant Course Learning Outcomes;
      • c. creating a Moodle site for each subject taught in accordance with the Digital Learning Thresholds, comprising all required components of a Subject Moodle site as detailed in the aforementioned Strategy;
      • d. preparing and distributing a Subject Outline for each subject taught in accordance with the requirements of the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy;
      • e. ensuring that subject material and assessment is at an appropriate standard for both its level and the course(s) in which it is offered;
      • f. ensuring that subjects are designed and delivered in accordance with the language communication responsibilities outlined in the English Language Policy;
      • g. providing students with
        • i. an overview of the subject’s place and purpose within the course(s) that it feeds into and , where feasible, with reference to Subject Learning Outcomes and Course Learning Outcomes, and
        • ii. the rationale for the assessment requirements of the subject including how they align with, and contribute to demonstration of achievement of, the Subject Learning Outcomes and, where relevant, Major Study and Course Learning Outcomes;
      • h. where new offerings, significant or less significant amendments are made at course or subject level; ensuring that the Library (via Manager, Resources) is consulted pre-approval;
      • i. where more than one member of staff is teaching a subject, ensuring good processes and communication with other teaching staff so that there is consistency in terms of subject learning outcomes, delivery of the subject, assessment and other quality assurance matters, as provided in the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy and the Guide to Leading Teaching Teams;
      • j. obtaining formal approval from the Head of School for the:
        • i. imposition of a quota on a subject,
        • ii. cancellation of a subject instance, or
        • iii. decision to not offer a subject,
        • and managing the administration of these subject delivery constraints in accordance with the timeframes and procedures stipulated in the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy;
      • k. undertaking the responsibilities assigned to Subject Coordinators as stipulated in the Academic Integrity Policy;
      • l. undertaking Assessment Quality Cycle activities to ensure appropriate, consistent and fair assessment within each subject taught, in accordance with the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • m. submitting all examinations and in-session tests to the Head of Unit or delegated authority for review and approval;
      • n. considering and making a determination on requests for academic review of a mark or grade initiated by coursework students in accordance with the Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy;
      • o. ensuring that, in accordance with the requirements of the Digital Learning Thresholds, marks for individual assessment tasks are entered into SMP or Moodle Gradebook at or before the time the mark is provided to the student so that
        • i. ongoing review and analysis of student performance during the subject delivery session can be undertaken to support student engagement and progress,
        • ii. student feedback can be provided online, and
        • iii. a central record is maintained, in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • p. where additional documentation is used to determine student results (such as spreadsheets), ensuring that such records are kept in the University’s network drive so that they are included in periodic IT back up exercises, in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • q. undertaking ongoing review and analysis of student performance during the session in which the subject is delivered to support student engagement and progress in accordance with the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy; and ensuring that, consistent with the Course Progress Policy, students at risk of failure are reminded and encouraged to make use of the learning support services available;
      • r. submitting subject marks to, and attending, the relevant Assessment Committee according to School processes and the Standards for the Finalisation of Student Results;
      • s. archiving exam papers and answer sheets in a central Faculty repository within 21 days of the release of results, in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • t. responding to student academic consideration applications in accordance with the Student Academic Consideration Policy;
      • u. ensuring recommended reasonable adjustments (consistent with UOW’s responsibility to apply the Disability Standards for Education, 2005) are implemented for students registered with UOW Disability Services (note: Student Support Advisers provide advice and assistance in the negotiation of reasonable adjustment provisions at the faculty level for each student registered with Disability Services);
      • v. ensuring students enrolling late in a subject are enrolled in the Moodle site for the subject and have access to an approved Subject Outline and any other relevant subject or School information;
      • w. maintaining the principles set out in the University’s Privacy Policy regarding the confidentiality of personal information, including marks;
      • x. undertaking regular quality assurance review of the subject in accordance with Section 9 of the Teaching and Assessment: Subject Delivery Policy; and
      • y. establishing and maintaining equivalence of learning and teaching standards between the University and partner institutions for collaboratively delivered courses, in accordance with the Collaborative Delivery Policy and associated procedures.

Supervisor (Creative or other Special Projects)

  • 8. For subjects where the primary or only assessment task is a creative or other special project (such as a research project), a supervisor must be identified for each student undertaking the subject. This role may be undertaken by the Subject Coordinator, or where necessary, other members of the teaching staff may be allocated as the supervisor. The overriding responsibility of a supervisor is to provide continuing support to students under their supervision in researching and/or producing the project to the best of the student’s ability. Specific responsibilities include:
      • a. assisting students to develop a plan for completing the project within an appropriate timeframe;
      • b. maintaining regular contact with students in order to monitor their progress;
      • c. providing timely and helpful written feedback to students on any submissions and to assist them to develop solutions as problems are identified;
      • d. advising students and the subject coordinator of inadequate progress or work below the standard generally required and to suggest appropriate action (including referral to learning development where required); and
      • e. ensuring that responsible research practices are maintained as per the Code of Practice – Research.
  • 9. The above provisions do not apply to Honours Projects. Supervision responsibilities for such Honours Projects are outlined in the Code of Practice – Honours.

Teaching Staff

  • 10. Specific responsibilities of teaching staff include:
      • a. delivering the subject in a manner consistent with the subject approval and the specifications of the Subject Outline;
      • b. engaging with other members of the teaching team to contribute to the development and enhancement of a community of practice within the teaching team to support collaboration;
      • c. Assessing students’ work appropriately, fairly, and consistently, with reference to the Assessment and Feedback Principles, and in accordance with the requirements of the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • d. providing students with adequate and timely feedback on performance taking into account the Assessment and Feedback Principles as outlined in the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy;
      • e. offering students fair access to consultation during session by appropriate means, such as face to face, online, email, videoconference or telephone conference, and include the option to meet in person if requested by the student. Consultation times and means must be approved by the Head of School, displayed publicly in the School and explained in each subject outline. “Fair access” means that:
        • i. full-time staff will make available an average of four hours consultation time per week during session, although the distribution of this may be varied over the session, and
        • ii. fractional and casual staff will be available for a proportion of this time as determined by the Head of School;
      • f. communicating with relevant Subject Coordinators about matters concerned with students’ academic progress, including Student Academic Consideration;
      • g. undertaking the responsibilities assigned to teaching staff as stipulated in the Academic Integrity Policy;
      • h. recognising and accommodating diversity within student learning, where appropriate;
      • i. maintaining the principles set out in the University’s Privacy Policy regarding the confidentiality of personal information, including marks;
      • j. referring students, where appropriate, to the relevant support services within the University;
      • k. before departing on any granted leave, ensuring that
        • i. arrangements are in place for an alternative, appropriately qualified, member of teaching staff to cover any teaching commitments during the leave period,
        • ii. all assessment work and other commitments have been completed,
        • iii. marks have been recorded in SMP for consideration at the relevant Assessment Committee,
        • iv. arrangements are in place for another member of the teaching staff to answer any enquiries about subject results, exam results and supplementary assessments and that the details of this person have been clearly communicated to relevant staff and students, and
        • v. any additional School requirements have been met;
      • l. seeking approval from the Head of School as required in the Teaching and Assessment: Assessment and Feedback Policy before
        • i. setting any assessment task with a value of more than 70%, or
        • ii. before setting an assessment task due date that falls in a study recess period; and
      • m. notifying the Head of Unit, or the Executive Dean, as appropriate, of potential or actual conflicts of interest which could unduly advantage, or disadvantage, a student in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Casual Teaching Employees and Fractional Teaching Staff Coordinating Subjects

  • 11. Casual teaching employees and fractional staff appointed as Subject Coordinators or Supervisors (Creative or Other Special Projects) are expected to meet the general requirements and responsibilities set out in section 4.7 or 4.8 of this Code as determined by the Head of School, in addition to the teaching responsibilities set out in section 4.10.
  • 12. If a casual teaching employee or fractional staff member is unable to carry out the responsibilities set out in section 4.7 or 4.8 of this Code, it is the responsibility of the Head of School to delegate these responsibilities to another member of teaching staff.

5 Teaching Staff Qualifications and Professional Equivalency

    1. Teaching staff must have the following:

Academic Program Directors

Discipline Leaders/
Major Coordinators

Subject Coordinators

Lecturers

1. A qualification in the relevant discipline at least one AQF qualification level higher than the subject being taught;

    or

2. a qualification in the relevant discipline at the same AQF level and have been assessed as having relevant professional or practice-based experience equivalent to the one qualification level above the subject being taught.

Tutors

As 1 or 2 above

or

with approval of delegated authority, be at the same AQF qualification level, without the relevant experience equivalent to the one qualification level above the subject being taught, BUT are receiving professional development support and supervision for teaching at that level.

Demonstrators

Are selected for their technical expertise and ability to communicate technical information. While they would normally meet the same requirements as a tutor, they may be a third year student working under the supervision of an academic staff member and having undergone specialised training for the role

Guest lecturers

Honorary clinicians

Supervisors of professional placement

No specified qualification requirement; are selected for the distinctive and necessary expertise and experience they bring to a class

    2. The above requirement applies to all academic staff teaching and assessing students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate award courses and subjects, whether they are employed by the University or by any of its teaching partners (including onshore and offshore partners).

    3. Where a subject is offered to students who are enrolled at different levels (for example, at both a 300 and 800 level), the qualification and equivalence requirements will relate to the higher of the two levels.

    4. Where professional accreditation bodies set more stringent requirements for staff qualifications and professional engagement, these will take precedence over the minimum requirements established by this policy.

    5. Decisions about the relevancy of qualifications and equivalence of experience of staff are made by the delegated authority acting on advice from senior members of academic staff with expertise in the relevant discipline as appropriate.

    6. The appropriateness of the qualifications and experience of teaching staff is assessed with reference to the criteria set out in Schedule 1 - Guide to Assessment of Teacher Qualifications and Equivalence.

    7. The Executive Dean may approve exceptions to the teacher qualifications and equivalency requirements outlined above. In such cases an academically defensible position must be made for each individual staff member.

6 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

7 October 2016

University Council

New Code introduced as part of suite of Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy documents to replace the Code of Practice – Teaching and Assessment.

Jackson, N. & Lund, H. (eds.) 2000, Benchmarking for Higher Education, Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, UK

Schedule 1: Guide to Assessment of Teacher Qualifications and Equivalence

    1. UOW is committed to ensuring that students receive a quality learning experience across all its teaching locations and delivery modes.

    2. Students are entitled to expect that they are being taught by a person who is knowledgeable and skilled in the particular field of study at a level more advanced than the level of the course being taught and that their teacher’s expertise has been clearly established through an assessment of formal academic qualifications, equivalent professional experience, or a combination of both.

    3. This document provides guidance to Faculties on what factors should be considered when assessing whether teaching staff without the required qualification level have an equivalent level of expertise and experience.

    4. The Code of Practice – Teaching states that:

      The Faculty is responsible for ensuring that staff engaged in teaching in a UOW award course:

        a. are appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline at the required level or have the equivalent professional or practice-based experience;

        b. have a sound understanding of current scholarship and/or professional practice in the discipline that they teach; and

        c. have an understanding of the pedagogical and/or adult learning principles relevant to the student cohort being taught.

    5. The appropriateness of the qualifications and experience of teaching staff covered by this guide are assessed with reference to the criteria set out in Table 1 below.

    6. Additional criteria may be included for particular courses, as appropriate for the discipline, on endorsement by the Faculty Education Committee and approval by the Executive Dean.

    7. The basis for judging equivalent experience is the documented professional and practice-based experience of teaching staff, including previous experience teaching at the required AQF level.

    8. Evidence to support decisions about equivalence of experience might relate to (but is not limited to):

        a. experience in professional, business or creative roles

        b. teaching and/or student mentoring experience and success

        c. professional qualifications, experience and standing

        d. experience in professional development and training

        e. performance in a role that requires high order judgement and/or provision of expert advice

        f. leadership in the development of professional standards

        g. participation on advisory boards and or professional networks

        h. design, creative and technical achievements

        i. publications and presentations

        j. outputs from projects

Table 1: Criteria for Assessing Equivalence

AQF Level

(of subject being taught)

Equivalence Factors

Examples of acceptable equivalence experience

Level 7 -

Bachelors (Pass)

An appropriate combination of the following criteria:

    o Enrolled in Honours or higher degree

    o Strong academic record in relevant subject area e.g. Distinction average

    o Relevant professional experience

    o Relevant industry training or non-formal course(s)

    o Teaching, mentoring experience, (e.g. PASS leader)

    o Leadership experience

    o Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice

    o Professional registration and participation in professional networks

    o Participation on advisory boards

    o Peer reviewed publications in the field of study

    o Other publications (e.g. books, reports, presentations)

    o Undertaking a professional development program in university teaching

    o Other discipline-specific criteria developed by School

Faculties/Schools are asked to provide examples for inclusion in table

Level 8 -

Bachelors (Honours)

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

An appropriate combination of the following criteria:

    o Enrolled in Masters or higher degree

    o Strong academic record in relevant subject area e.g. Honours 1st class or 2(1)

    o Relevant professional experience

    o Teaching, mentoring experience

    o Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice

    o Leadership in the development of professional standards

    o Professional registration and participation in professional networks

    o Participation on advisory boards

    o Peer reviewed publications in the field of study

    o Other publications (e.g. books, reports, presentations)

    o Other discipline specific criteria developed by School

Faculties/Schools are asked to provide examples for inclusion in table

Level 9 -

Masters

An appropriate combination of the following criteria:

    o Enrolled in PhD/Doctorate

    o Strong academic record in relevant subject area e.g. Masters with Distinction average

    o Relevant professional experience

    o Teaching, mentoring experience

    o Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice

    o Leadership in the development of professional standards

    o Participation in advisory boards and professional networks

    o Peer reviewed publications in the field of study

    o Other publications (e.g. books, reports, presentations)

    o Other discipline specific criteria developed by School

Faculties/Schools are asked to provide examples for inclusion in table

Level 10 -

Doctoral

An appropriate combination of the following criteria:

    o Relevant professional experience (10+ years)

    o Teaching, mentoring experience

    o Performing in a role that requires high order judgement/provision of expert advice

    o Leadership in the development of professional standards

    o Participation in advisory boards and professional networks

    o Peer reviewed publications in the field of study

    o Other publications (e.g. books, reports, presentations)

    o Other discipline specific criteria developed by School

Faculties/Schools are asked to provide examples for inclusion in table

Schedule 2: Good Practice Guide to Leading Teaching Teams

Introduction

  • 1. The University of Wollongong is committed to providing an excellent teaching and learning experience for its staff and students. The University recognises that:
      • a. the leadership of the Subject Coordinator can facilitate the development of a community of practice;
      • b. an effective community of practice can result in a significant reduction in the overall time required for effective subject coordination;
      • c. communities of practice entail a culture of respect, participatory engagement and collegiality where teaching and teachers are valued;
      • d. teaching teams inspire teachers when they function as communities of practice; and
      • e. the teaching team is a key site for the development of professional identity.
  • 1. This Guide provides information to assist Subject Coordinators in their leadership role and the building of a community of practice.

Scope / Purpose

  • 2. This Guide complement the University’s Code of Practice - Casual Academic Teaching. They have been designed to assist faculties, schools and individuals concerned with improving supervision and peer learning at the teaching team level.

Key Principles for Leading Teaching Teams

Recruitment and employment

  • 3. To assist in the timely recruitment of the teaching team, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. ensure they are familiar with faculty procedures for the selection and recruitment of casual staff;
      • b. respond in a timely manner to the recruitment process;
      • c. cooperate with faculty administration in processes that ensure teachers are sent a letter of offer (contingent on student numbers), an email account form and casual authority;
      • d. strongly encourage teachers to attend the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) (Learning and Teaching) Induction and to participate in other learning and teaching CPD activities as appropriate; and
      • e. support late teaching recruits by providing close mentoring as required. For example, by being available in the first weeks to provide feedback and ensuring experienced members of the teaching team are aware of the need for collegial support.

Resourcing and access to teaching materials

  • 1. To prepare the teaching team and adequately support them in their teaching role, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. provide, in a timely manner, the subject outline containing coherent and clear statements of subject objectives, design, contents and subject materials; and
      • b. make explicit the relationship between assessment tasks and subject learning outcomes and, where relevant, major study and course learning outcomes with the provision of assessment rubrics.

Good Practice Example 1: Subject materials available online, print form and/or CD

All the necessary resources for a subject should be available to the teaching team online and/or in print form. For staff who have trouble accessing online versions of resources, a CD can be made with all the relevant materials and sent to them prior to commencement of semester.

Building a Community of Practice

  • 2. To build a community of practice within the teaching team, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. articulate the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the coordinator and teachers;
      • b. foster a supportive and sustaining team culture, especially for late recruitments;
      • c. develop a shared awareness of the various constraints that impact on all team members in carrying out their roles;
      • d. trust teachers, appropriately, to teach and to exercise discretion in their role; and
      • e. value team members as a human resource and acknowledge their professional contributions in varied institutional settings.
  • 1. To build a community of practice through communication processes, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. where faculty policy and payment allows, meet with the team professionally at the beginning and at least two other scheduled times during the teaching session (either face to face, by videoconference, or by teleconference);
      • b. enable personal and regular communication with and between teachers;
      • c. choose the most appropriate strategies and technologies to facilitate multidirectional communication within the team over the session;
      • d. for multi-location teams, provide an e-communication facility or ‘staff-only’ e-meeting space (Tutors’ Forum – Good Practice Example 4) as a virtual staffroom; and
      • e. encourage team discussion about the praxis of subject implementation and student responses.

Good Practice Example 2: Team building strategy for multi-location teaching teams

In a subject that is delivered to the South Coast and Southern Highlands campuses, weekly lectures are delivered by videoconference. A check-in and communication meeting of the teaching team occurs each week as the teachers join the videoconference link 10 minutes prior to the start of the lecture time. The brief videoconference meeting fosters cohesion, ameliorates isolation and models the team nature of the teaching to the students as they arrive and see the team in dialogue, shared problem solving, strategising and clarification.

Good Practice Example 3: Integration of feedback in development and review cycle

This good practice example comes from a first year Accounting subject (ACCY100) which has around 700 students, 20 teachers (18 casually employed) with a high turnover and is delivered at Wollongong and the satellite campuses. Particular emphasis is put on communication with both teachers and students. The coordinator encourages students to give feedback, and keeps an open line of communication with the students via their classroom teachers. An online students’ forum is also used and is a valuable source of feedback. In communicating to the students, the coordinator suggests continued repetition is necessary in order to get a message across.

The coordinator keeps the teaching team constantly in the loop on all matters. This, the teachers say, makes them feel an integral part of the process. Worked examples of questions and answers to be used in the face to face classes are given to the teaching team early – this allows for any omissions or errors to be attended to before the class. Additionally, the coordinator incorporates question-answer examples developed by teachers into her subject which reinforces to the teaching team her openness to feedback and their part and value in the teaching process.

Good Practice Example 4: e-learning Tutors’ Forum for team resource provision and communication

Synthesis of a group of teachers into a team is enhanced by discussion about the subject as a learning community: discussion should involve both teacher and coordinator expectations, and the context, philosophy and purpose of the subject. Such discussions can take place directly in face to face meetings, by videoconference team meetings and in a staff specific site on the subject e-learning site (Tutors’ Forum).

The e-learning Tutors’ Forum facility is a valuable communication tool for the timely dissemination of materials. It is located on the subject website and is available only to the teaching staff of a particular subject. The facility is particularly appropriate for the fractured timeframe of casually employed sessional staff, and for those at the satellite campuses or international locations. Feedback1 from both Subject Coordinators and sessional teachers clearly indicates that use of the Tutors’ Forum saves the coordinator valuable time in reaching the whole team and receiving quick feedback and indications of potential problems. From the coordinator’s perspective the Forum is for communication, sharing good teaching practice, providing professional support and facilitating quality assurance processes.

From their perspective, teachers say that the Tutors’ Forum offers a space to connect, communicate and share with others in the team. As a result, they suggest that their motivation in relation to teaching practices significantly sharpens and their sense of belonging in a cohesive team strengthens. Research into tutors’ use of the facility indicates that they prefer:

    • dropping in to see what people are saying and thinking (in particular how the experienced teachers are handling things)

    • using the discussion space as a sounding board; sharing suggestions on tutorial plans

    • sharing current and past experiences

    • reporting in on the state of the class and the students’ progress and responses to activities

    • using it as a source of enrichment and ideas on strategies and resources

    • using it as a source of information and support network, particularly if there is a problem

    • The Tutors’ Forum consolidates a team approach to teaching and facilitates engagement throughout the semester. Research into the Tutors’ Forum indicates that it can be a powerful micro-practice that can build a strong sense of community and team engagement with the subject. The identified critical success factors for engagement were: an egalitarian style of leadership; professional respect; a sense of trust such that teaching problems can be openly discussed; and peer engagement and shared learning with teaching practices (Beaumont, Stirling & Percy 2009).

Good Practice Example 5: Inclusion of teaching team members’ expertise

Good practice can include ways for the teachers to share their own expertise and knowledge. In some subjects sessional teachers are offered the opportunity to present a lecture, case study or expanded perspectives from the field of their own study and research where this is relevant to the subject.

Training and Professional Development

  • 1. To encourage the professional development of team members, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. encourage team members to attend faculty induction and CPD (Learning and Teaching) Induction;
      • b. build on the formal faculty induction by enabling peer learning at the teaching team level;
      • c. enquire about the professional development and specific training needs of the teaching team as individuals and as a unit in team discussions, by reference to the CPD Framework;
      • d. encourage team members to engage in peer evaluation processes;
      • e. encourage on-going training relevant for competence with multiple technologies and associated teaching strategies;
      • f. encourage integration of team members into faculty and university activities; and
      • g. encourage and support teachers applying for teaching and learning and research grants.

Good Practice Example 6: Using team meetings to foster professional learning

MacDonald and Edwards (2008)2 researched teaching team meetings over a three year period with sessional staff who were engaged with large first year classes, including practical classes that had high attrition rates. The team meetings sought to integrate reflective practices into procedures and thereby to develop into Teaching Communities of Practice.

Following a two day paid workshop, which was collaboratively run by educational developers and faculty staff, fortnightly teaching team meetings were convened for each unit; these focused on sharing experiences, discussion of big ideas coming up in that subject and collaborative planning of teaching methods. The emphasis was on reflecting on teaching practices which led to student learning.

Both teacher satisfaction and student outcomes rose with teaching approaches becoming more student focused and interactive. Through building team relationships, participants were able to develop a shared understanding of key concepts about learning and the objectives of the subject and skilful teaching practice. Most of the learning happened in the meetings. The initial workshop was regarded as essential and gave a shared language and framework for talking about educational issues in the subject. This was crucial to initial understandings and unpacking on-going experiences.

  • 1. To facilitate their own leadership development, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. reflect on their own interpersonal communication;
      • b. seek peer mentoring on team leadership from an experienced and successful colleague;
      • c. seek support and guidance when taking over a new subject;, and
      • d. reciprocally offer and provide support and guidance when handing over a subject for which they have been responsible.

Quality Assurance

  • 1. To develop sound quality assurance practices, the Subject Coordinator should:
      • a. institute formal processes to ensure the consistency of subject delivery and equity of learning and teaching standards;
      • b. design and seek required approval for subjects that clearly link meaningful assessment tasks with subject content and learning outcomes and, where relevant, major study and course learning outcomes;
      • c. develop personal and team teaching strategies that are sensitive to cultural diversity, support student learning and encourage participation in a range of learning activities;
      • d. take steps to ensure consistency and equity of standards in subject delivery;
      • e. ensure assessment rubrics for the subject are clearly communicated to students and subject teachers;
      • f. establish processes to promote consistency in marking and in the amount and quality of feedback to students consistent with the Assessment Quality Cycle detailed in the Teaching and Learning – Assessment and Feedback Policy; and
      • g. monitor the quality of delivery of the subject at least annually as provided in the Teaching and Learning: Subject Delivery Policy.

Good Practice Example 7: Marking equity

This good practice example is from subject code CENV112, the core (and compulsory) subject in the Bachelor of Arts (Community, Culture and Environment) delivered to the South Coast and Southern Highlands satellite campuses.

A random double marking process is used for selected assessment tasks. The Tutors’ Forum facility on the subject web site is used to organise the process. All additional marking is factored into the teachers’ marking pay scale.

For each assessment, each tutor is allocated a marking partner to whom they pass on four selected graded assignments (one from each graded category of Pass, Credit, Distinction and High Distinction). The person they receive extra marking from and the person they pass their assessments onto will not be the same person for each assignment. Any additional marking is factored into the teacher’s remuneration scale.

All Fails are discussed with the marking team and the Subject Coordinator (normally inside the Tutors Forum). Any disagreements between marking partners about an assigned grade are also discussed by the team in the Tutors’ Forum.

At the end of the semester, using two of the allocated paid meeting hours for this purpose, the team meets to discuss borderline grades, a selection of high distinctions, and all fails. The team then has lunch where they discuss issues that have arisen within the subject over the semester and any possible changes for the next iteration of the subject.

1 See Beaumont, R., J. Stirling and A. Percy (2009). Tutors’ Forum: engaging distributed communities of practice. Open Learning: Journal of Open and Distributed Learning, 24 (2), 141-153.

2 MacDonald, I. and T. Edwards (2008). Developing Teaching Communities at the Program Level. In Percy, A. et al. (2008). the RED report, Recognition - Enhancement - Development: The contribution of sessional teachers to higher education. Sydney: CADAD & Australian Learning and Teaching Council. (pp 49-51) Retrieved February 28, 2009 from http://www.cadad.edu.au/sessional/RED/

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