Coursework Course Development Policy

Status


Approved

This policy describes the requirements and principles governing the College’s accredited coursework courses.

This policy:

  • Provides a framework to guide decisions regarding the (re)development of the College’s coursework courses;
  • Sets clear responsibilities and accountabilities for approvals and management of the (re)development of academic courses; and
  • Ensures that academic course structures, rules and approval processes are transparent, consistent and...

Public
visibility
Approved on: 10 Apr 2017
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Learning, Teaching and Research Committee

Approved by

Academic Board

Policy Contact: 
Secretary, Learning Teaching and Research Committee
Background: 

The College is committed to innovation and creativity in all aspects of college life. A crucial element in the development of the College is its ability to respond to governmental requirements as well as the shifting community and workplace needs without abandoning the values of academic excellence and theological integrity.

This policy replaces the Course Development Protocols used to develop New Courses, Majors, Minors or Specialisations. This replaces the Course re-accreditation Policy.

This policy is in part based on Swinburne University of Technology’s Courses and Awards Policy (http://www.swinburne.edu.au/policies/academic/courses.html) and the College’s Course Development Protocols for New Courses, Majors, Minors or Specialisations and in part on the flipCurric material by Dr Geoff Scott (http://flipcurric.edu.au/).

Purpose: 

This policy describes the requirements and principles governing the College’s accredited coursework courses.

This policy:

  • Provides a framework to guide decisions regarding the (re)development of the College’s coursework courses;
  • Sets clear responsibilities and accountabilities for approvals and management of the (re)development of academic courses; and
  • Ensures that academic course structures, rules and approval processes are transparent, consistent and fair.
Scope: 

This policy applies to all Accredited Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training courses. It is the same process for both development of new courses and re-accreditation of existing courses as the regulator requires the same paperwork though the re-accredited course may be based on existing materials.

Statement: 

1 Coursework Courses Approval Principles

When designing and approving coursework courses or making changes to courses the College shall be guided by the principles of:

  • Course design that supports strategic directions of the College as well as its vision, mission and values;
  • Course design informed by scholarship, industry requirements and external reference points, including relevant academic standards;
  • Course design that align learning outcomes, assessment and graduate attributes;
  • Compliance with relevant legislative and regulatory requirements;
  • Course entry requirements that are set to allow the College to admit to a course applicants who can undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success;
  • Course structures and rules that provide clear and consistent completion requirements; and
  • Regular evidence-based review, benchmarking and continuous improvement.

2 Protocols for the Proposal of New Courses

As the College is not self-accrediting, the College must seek (re)accreditation from the relevant regulator for all course accreditations. All new programs must undergo a clear and rigorous developmental and review process before seeking approval from the Academic Board and Governing Board before submission to the regulator.

2.1 Establishment of Need for New Course

The need for a new course must be established on a broad base involving:

  • Integration with the mission, vision and values of the College;
  • Market research including documented discussions with a range of stakeholders including employers and interested individuals and organisations (such as churches, counselling centres, schools etc) if applicable;
  • Documented discussions with relevant accrediting and governing bodies (denominational leadership, CCA, PACFA, Missions Interlink etc);
  • Demonstrated lack in current the College offerings; and
  • Discussion at relevant College Committees or working groups.

2.2 Establishment of Market for New Course and Impact Upon College

The proposal must include a Course Business Plan following the template provided by the College.

2.3 Presentation of Concept to Relevant Bodies for Approval

Before any work commences on the detail of a new course the concept of the new course must be presented to the following bodies for approval in this sequence:

  1. The Learning, Teaching and Research Committee who will assess the concept and create a Course Development Panel consisting of:

    • Staff for the relevant course,
    • interested Academic Staff,
    • the Director of Learning and Teaching, and
    • the Dean of Academic Administration.
  2. The Learning, Teaching and Research Committee will advise the Academic Board and the Governing Board.
  3. The Course Development Panel will provide an initial outline of the course and seek approval of the draft Course Business Plan from the Academic Board.

Revisions to concept may be required at any point in this sequence.

2.4 Writing of New Course

  1. When the Course Business Plan has been approved by the Academic Board,drafting of the new course can commence.
  2. The primary developer is a representative from the School who will deliver the course. The primary developer will facilitate the consultation, writing and development of the course. In certain cases such as when the School lacks the requisite expertise or knowledge, a suitable consultant may be appointed the primary developer of the course.
  3. The Dean of Academic Administration must be consulted on matters pertaining to academic standards and should be provided with regular updates - including documentation - to ensure all government regulations are being met.
  4. Academic staff and sessional lecturers will be consulted as necessary and may be requested to write specific sections of the documentation.
  5. The Director of Learning and Teaching will facilitate good learning and teaching in the documentation.
  6. The Principal must receive regular updates including documentation and regular briefings on the progress of the submission.
  7. When the course documentation is completed, it will be reviewed internally and then by one or more expert(s) in the field for external peer review.
  8. Course documentation will include the following:
    • A course title, and abbreviation (in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework);
    • The purpose of the course and expected graduate or employment outcomes;
    • Reason(s) to include or exclude reference points to determine course, major or minor outcomes 
    • Course learning outcomes and a demonstration of how these align with the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework;
    • When the course includes majors and/or minors, major and minor learning outcomes and a demonstration of how these align with the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework
    • Validation of course, major or minor outcomes by stakeholder feedback and/or external peer review
    • Details of total volume of learning expressed as credit points and/or hours of delivery and EFTSL, and total duration of the course;
    • Demonstration of how the course matches any professional accrediting body requirements (accreditation submission to the accrediting body would be sufficient)
    • Benchmarking of the course against any professional accrediting body requirements (accreditation submission to the accrediting body would be sufficient)
    • Benchmarking of the course against any reference points other than the Australian Qualifications Framework
    • Course structures and rules;
    • Details of units of study including unit learning outcomes, assessment tasks for formative and summative assessment, learning resources, requisites, content and assessment structures;
    • Minimum entry requirements including English Language Proficiency;
    • Details of academic staffing and any special facility requirements; and
    • Mode of delivery: face-to-face, online, blended, workplace.
  9. Upon review of the completed course by an external expert the Course Development Panel will discuss any suggested changes and submit documentation to the Learning, Teaching and and Research Committee for approval
  10. The Learning Teaching and Research Committee will assess the proposal and if endorsed recommend it to the Academic Board for approval.
  11. Academic Board will assess the proposal and if endorsed recommend it to the College Governing Board.
  12. The College Governing Board will assess the recommendation in light of adherence to both the vision and plan of the College and before granting approval for the course.

2.5 Critical Components in the Writing of a New Course

The Director of Learning and Teaching, the Dean of Academic Administration, and the Chief Operations Officer shall satisfy themselves and any other course developers that:

  • the Business plan is up to date and sound;
  • the course being proposed meets the standards set by the Australian Qualifications Framework;
  • that it is comparable with similar courses, if any exist, in the Australian tertiary education marketplace; and
  • that the staff and resources needed (including library and online resources) to teach the course effectively are identified and that the Chief Operations Officer is aware of these needs so that they can be included in planning; and that any impact of the new course on existing courses is noted and where possible quantified.

2.6 Final Approval

Final approval of the course will be recommended by the Learning and Teaching Committee to the Academic Board and then by the Academic Board to the Governing Board.

2.7 Changes during the Accreditation Process

It is recognised that accrediting agencies or the regulator may request clarifications or changes to the courses. The Dean of Academic Administration in consultation with the School is authorised to make these changes. These changes will subsequently be ratified by the Academic Board after being agreed upon by the accrediting agency or regulator or approved by the Academic Board before being sent to the accrediting agency or regulator.

3 Accreditation of Courses

3.1 Accreditation of Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses

VET Courses are formally accredited when added to the scope of registration by the regulator.

3.2 Accreditation of Higher Education Courses

Higher Education Courses are formally accredited when notified by the regulator and where accreditation is required by an accrediting agency, the accrediting agency.

4 Post-Accreditation of Course

4.1 Implementation of Course

The implementation of the course is the responsibility of the relevant School or Schools. In this phase the employment of qualified Academic staff, the production of unit guides, marketing, and the provision of adequate resources must be done in accordance with College policy.

The School will ensure all staff are briefed on the new course.

4.1 Administration of Course

The College will ensure the following occur:

  • The College Application form is updated
  • Enrolment forms are updated
  • The College website is updated
  • Tuition Assurance Arrangements through agreements with various bodies such as TDA
  • Course Assurance Arrangements with partner institutions
  • Centrelink approval
  • Commonwealth HELP approval.

​5 Re-Accreditation of Course

When a course is to be reaccredited the process to reaccredit the course will be similar to that of a new course.

5.1. Ongoing Need for Course

Ongoing need of the course must be demonstrated by

  • Statistical data provided by the Dean of Academic Administration showing for the period since the last accreditation

    • intake by year
    • uptake of units
    • uptake of majors and minors (where offered)
    • completions
  • Ongoing match with the College’s mission and vision
  • Stakeholder feedback including course suitability for industry requirements

5.2. Review and Development Process

The Learning, Teaching and Research Committee will assess the ongoing need for the course, majors and minors.
Where ongoing need for a course, major or minor is not demonstrated the College will either:

  • manage the teaching out of a course, major or minor according to the Course Transition and Teaching Out Policy.
  • develop a new course, major or minor as specified by this policy, for affected students to transition to according to the Course Transition and Teaching Out Policy

Where there is ongoing need the Learning, Teaching and Research Committee will create a Course Development Panel consisting of:

  • Staff for the relevant course,
  • interested Academic Staff,
  • the Director of Learning and Teaching, and
  • the Dean of Academic Administration.

The Course Development Panel will review and update as necessary:

  • development notes already logged in course profile system (UGBOOT)
  • course structure (core units, majors, minors)
  • course entry requirements
  • course outcomes
  • enrolment in units or the previous period of accreditation
  • individual units - outcomes, content, textbook, mode of delivery
  • benchmarks against other institutions
  • benchmarks against the AQF
  • the fit of the majors/minors into the course as a whole
  • learning outcomes and rationale of the majors and minors and their relationship to the course rationale and outcomes
  • the alignment of the course to the AQF

The Course Development Panel will present a report of their findings and recommendations including proposed course documentation 
Where necessary to meet industry need or the aims of new majors or minors the Course Development Panel will create:

  • New majors
  • New minors
  • New units

Completed documentation for the reaccredited course must meet the same requirements as those for a New Course (2.4.8).

External peer review of the reaccredited course must occur as for a New Course (2.4.9).

Final Approval for the reaccredited course will be the same as a new course (2.6).

Changes to the reaccredited course during its accreditation process will be the same as a new course (2.7)

6 Validation of Course, Major or Minor Outcomes

Validation of course, major or minor outcomes will occur when either:

  • External peer review of the program outcomes, including the reasons for the reference points approves the program outcomes in response to the validation questions
  • Stakeholder feedback indicates that there is a need for such a course, major or minor

6.1 Validation Questions

The questions asked at validation will be:

  1. Does the course, major or minor outcomes meet the AQF requirements for its AQF level?
  2. Are the course, major or minor outcomes coherent?
  3. Are the course entry requirements suitable?
  4. Is there a justified need for the course, major or minor?
  5. Overall, do you feel this is a course, major or minor that should be moved forward in the internal accreditation process? If not why not?

6.2 Stakeholder Feedback

The questions asked of stakeholders will be:

  1. Are the course, major or minor outcomes coherent?
  2. Is there a justified need for the course, major or minor?
  3. Would you want people who would be employed by you to have this award? Or would you want changes?

External Peer Review of Course, Major or Minor Outcomes

  • The questions asked of external peer reviewers of courses, majors or minors will be:

    1. Do you believe there is a need for a course such as this? Why or why not?
    2. Do you believe there is a student demand for a course such as this? Why or why not?
    3. Do you believe this course meets the requirements of the AQF? Why or why not?
    4. Are the entry requirements appropriate? Why or why not?
    5. Are the articulation and exit pathways appropriate? Why or why not?
    6. What could this course emphasise more to improve it?
    7. What should be removed from this course to improve it?
    8. For each of the units:
      • Are the unit learning outcomes appropriate? Why or why not?
      • Is the unit at the right AQF level? Why or why not?
      • Will the assessment tasks assess the unit learning outcomes?
      • Are the resources up to date?
      • Are there resources that should be added? Why?
      • Are there resources that should be removed? Why?
    9. Overall, do you feel this is a course that should be moved forward for accreditation? If not why not?