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Unit Outline and Learning Guides Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy aims to describe the basic framework of student-focussed documentation related to learning and assessment in units.

(2) The University's approach is to describe the learning and assessment requirements for each unit within two key resources - namely, the:

  1. Unit Outline
  2. Learning Guide

(3) This policy describes the requirements for the preparation, approval and dissemination of these key resources.

(4) This policy should be read and understood in conjunction with the University policies, including, but not limited to:

  1. Assessment Policy - Criteria and Standards-Based Assessment
  2. Student Misconduct Rule
  3. Examinations Policy
  4. Award Courses and Units Approval Policy
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Section 2 - Definitions

The Unit Outline

(5) Purpose - provides prospective students with clear and concise information about the unit of study that has been approved through the courses and units approval process:

  1. in summary form to a prospective student about what the student would expect to learn from studying the unit;
  2. about the formal status of the unit in the curriculum, including credit points, unit level, prerequisites for study, and mode of study;
  3. about the approved assessment requirements for the unit;

The Learning Guide

(6) Purpose - provides detailed information to students to support them in their learning:

  1. supplements the Unit Outline and details the fundamental mutual obligations and responsibilities of the University and students, in relation to the unit;
  2. makes explicit the links between the unit and course learning outcomes;
  3. makes explicit the links between each assessment activity and the unit learning outcomes;
  4. provides information about each assessment task, including due dates, instructions for submission, and details about the assessment criteria and standards;
  5. gives a clear description of what is expected in order for students to achieve particular grades in the unit;
  6. describes how content, assessment and learning activities are linked.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(7) The University is committed to making clear to students what they are expected to learn and how they will be assessed.

(8) The framework of student-focussed documentation relating to units will comprise the Unit Outline and Learning Guide.

(9) Unit Outlines are prepared for each individual unit offered by the University, and contain information that has been approved by the University in accordance with the Award Courses and Units Approval Policy. When changes to units are approved, the Unit Outline is updated accordingly.

(10) Unit Outlines conform to standards set out in the Guidelines [Section 5].

(11) Access to Unit Outlines is not restricted, and they are therefore available to both current students and prospective students.

(12) Learning Guides are developed by the academic staff responsible for the unit, and provide more extensive details about learning and teaching activities and assessment than provided in the Unit Outlines.

(13) Learning Guides are approved by the Deputy Dean of the School or nominee(s).

(14) The Deputy Dean is responsible to ensure that there are quality assurance processes in place for the approval of Unit Outlines and Learning Guides.

(15) The material included in the Learning Guide must be consistent with the Unit Outline. The Learning Guide must conform to mandatory content as set out in the Guidelines [Section 5].

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Section 4 - Procedures

Unit Outline Publication, Access, and Authoritative Version

(16) Unit Outlines produced in accordance with this policy will be publicly available, two weeks prior to the commencement of each session in which the unit is taught, through an electronic repository.

(17) Access to Unit Outlines is through the University's official repository located on the University Library web site.

(18) All Unit Outlines should be stored in the University's official records management system.

(19) The publicly available electronic version will be the authoritative version of the Unit Outline.

Learning Guides - Publication and Access

(20) Learning Guides will be available a minimum of one week before commencement of each session in which the unit is taught.

(21) The Learning Guide will be made available to enrolled students in the University Learning Management System (vUWS) and on the Library website.

(22) The Learning Guide should be stored in the University's official records management system.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Unit Outline

(23) A Unit Outline will contain content in each of the following fields:

  1. Unit name and code
  2. Unit coordinator/eDAP name
  3. Teaching session for which the Unit Outline applies
  4. Handbook summary
  5. Credit point value
  6. Pre-requisites
  7. Co-requisites
  8. Unit incompatible with and not to be counted for credit with
  9. Unit level
  10. Assumed knowledge
  11. Attendance requirements
  12. Enrolment restrictions
  13. Unit learning outcomes
  14. Unit content
  15. Mode of delivery
  16. Assessment items and weighting
  17. Prescribed unit text book
  18. Essential readings
  19. On-line learning requirements
  20. Special requirements:
    1. Legislative pre-requisites
    2. Essential equipment.

Learning Guide

(24) The scope, scale and content of Learning Guides may vary widely and creatively for different units. In keeping with the definition in clause (6), Learning Guides are assessment-focussed and aim to give students the optimum opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes. It is critical for staff to actively engage with students about the content of their Learning Guide on a regular basis throughout the session.

Mandatory Content

(25) It is mandatory for all Learning Guides to have content that covers the following topics:

Sections Topics
Section 1 - Unit Information Unit Name
Unit Coordinator or eDAP
Credit points
Teaching session for which the learning guide applies
Key contacts (if tutor/s not known, a school administrative contact, school librarian etc. to be listed)
Arrangements for student consultation
Special requirements or materials (e.g. calculator, lab coat etc.)
Recent actions to improve this unit (e.g. student feedback, review process etc.)
Section 2. Assessment Information Course learning outcomes
Unit learning outcomes
Explanation of how the unit learning outcomes related to the learning outcomes of the course
Assessment summary
Assessment details
General assignment submission requirements
Section 3. Teaching and Learning Activities Learning and teaching schedule
Section 4. Learning Resources Prescribed text
Essential readings
Literacy and/or numeracy resources
Referencing and citation requirements
Additional resources (e.g. web links, additional materials or readings)
Section 5. What is expected of you and what you can expect from staff at the University Expectations of students (student responsibilities and code of conduct)
Expectations of University staff (staff responsibilities and code of conduct)
Raising concerns
Links to key policies and information affecting students

(26) Samples of Learning Guides may be found at the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic web page.