Learning and Teaching

Learning and Teaching Policy

Policy Code: LT1353

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide academic direction to enhance the quality of learning and teaching at Federation University Australia

Scope

Federation University Australia provides learning and teaching opportunities in vocational education and training, higher education and research. This policy applies to staff within the University and Partner Providers involved in education and training provision to students of the University while also acknowledging that the total student experience depends on all aspects of the University's Learning and Teaching Plan. Whilst it is acknowledged that unique differences exist across the dual sector university, this policy applies to the provision of all Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) qualifications/units/courses/ programs.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
    • Statutes and Regulations:
      • Statute 2.2 Academic Board
      • Statute 5.1 Academic Awards and Courses
      • Statute 5.2 Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolment
      • Statute 5.3 Assessment
      • Statute 5.4 Exclusion for Reasons of Unfitness
      • Statute 5.6 Admission to Academic Awards
      • Regulation 5.1 The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Masters Degrees by Research and Professional Doctorates
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (as amended)
  • National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
  • The Australian Quality Training Framework: Standards for Registered Training Organisations (2007)
  • Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition January 2013
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
  • Disability Standards for Education (2005)
  • Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (as amended)
  • Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001
  • The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (The National Code)
  • Victorian Qualifications Authority Act 2000
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010

Definitions

Policy Statement

This policy describes the principles and practices that underpin effective learning and teaching across Federation University Australia. These principles incorporate both learning processes and learning outcomes.

The critical component of the University's Learning and Teaching Policy is that the adoption of any of these principles and practices is based on the particular needs of learners and on the learning outcomes relevant to the program. This policy is reflected and actioned in the regularly updated Learning and Teaching Plan.

The following principles of learning and teaching are derived from the scholarship of teaching and learning and are informed by current practices across the higher education/VET sectors:

1. Engaging Students in Learning

Students are at the heart of our University - Federation University Australia is committed to student engagement and success and recognises and values cultural and ethnic diversity.

Student engagement is achieved through the implementation of active and cooperative learning approaches which:

  • are intellectually challenging, stimulate curiosity and develop critical awareness;
  • ensures that programs prepare students for their chosen occupation
  • meet the diverse needs of students from different life experiences;
  • respect, recognise and build on students' current knowledge and experience and provide appropriate opportunities for the formal recognition of prior learning;
  • recognise individual learning needs and extend the student's range of approaches to learning;
  • provide a variety of meaningful strategies and contexts to enable students to construct and apply new knowledge and skills;
  • encourages and enables students to learn and practise attributes, or vocational competencies which underpin graduate/or industry setting;
  • create opportunities for regular feedback about learning progress which acknowledges individual learning achievements;
  • encourages students to critically reflect on their learning experiences and relate these understandings to theoretical models and explanations, relevant fields of practice and/or workplace contexts;
  • encourages and enable students to take responsibility for their own learning; and
  • allow apprentices opportunity for contextualised workplace learning in industry current and relevant settings.

2. Creating Supportive Learning Communities

Students' success is built on their whole-of-University experience - it is the responsibility of all staff of Federation University Australia to contribute to a positive student experience.

The diversity of our students is recognised and welcomed - opportunities will be offered to all students to succeed through engagement, reflection and commitment to learning.

Open communication builds shared understandings - transparent, timely, explicit and mutually respectful communication is important between and among staff and students.

A supportive learning community is achieved through the development, implementation and evaluation of:

  • inclusive learning environments and learning partnerships that create a sense of support and belonging by recognising and valuing the diverse abilities, contributions, experiences, backgrounds and efforts through interaction of students and all staff;. Such environments may be face-to-face and/or mediated by appropriate information and communication technologies.  All will be characterised by reasonable adjustments to enable full student participation;
  • the explicit advance information provided to students about learning activities and assessment tasks using commonly accepted terminology and appropriate language;
  • responsive, flexible courses and programs that increase the level of student-centredness, control and access through a range of delivery options including flexible and online learning, and the inclusion of workplace and work integrated learning;
  • systems, materials and services that are designed to support the learning and teaching activities of the University; and
  • responsive to employer and industry needs to support apprenticeship delivery whether on the job or off the job.

3. Designing, Delivering and Evaluating Programs

Programs are developed with clear learning outcomes, coherent structure and manageable workloads for students.

Teaching that develops learning is well organised and enhanced through the cyclical process of reflection, revision and improvement.

Through a cycle of development, implementation and evaluation of programs ensure that:

  • programs are customised and/or contextualised appropriately to meet the needs of the learner and reflect industry trends;
  • program development incorporates the development of academic skills and graduate attributes/capabilities, and where appropriate is performed in collaboration with CLIPP and the library staff;
  • programs are designed with clear evidenced based assessment outcomes;
  • learning activities and assessment are clearly aligned with stated learning objectives;
  • assessment procedures and practices are valid, fair, flexible, reliable and authentic; incorporating clearly defined assessment criteria;
  • delivery of assessment is designed to recognise requirements of AQF;
  • the use of assessment practices reflect and follow relevant university policy and procedures;
  • students have access to seamless educational pathways and networks that encourage and support lifelong learning; and
  • learning and teaching processes to create a continuous cycle of improvement, that follow relevant university policy and procedures as well as regulatory requirements.

4. Enhancing and Recognising Teaching

Approaches to teaching are varied and adaptive to new demands in learning and will include effective use of appropriate technologies and innovation.

Effective teaching is inspiring, motivating.

Enhanced teaching is achieved through:

  • recognition of excellence in teaching;
  • support for innovative and inclusive learning and teaching practices;
  • supportive and sustained professional/educational development/scholarship that is meaningful, applicable, cooperative and collegial; and
  • critical inquiry and research into aspects of HE/VET teaching, education and training which links teaching practice with research.

5. The Review of Learning and Teaching Practices

The Review of Learning and Teaching Practices is achieved through:

  • the use of diverse models of peer enhancement;
  • the use of peer enhancement models that are embedded throughout existing learning and teaching related roles, and are referenced in relevant policy and procedures;
  • annual learning and teaching quality assurance processes which lead to the integrity of assessment and awarding of Testamurs;
  • continuous reviewing of the link between professional development, research and scholarship and learner outcomes and other relevant survey data;
  • cyclic course and program reviews;
  • acknowledging and capitalising on the educative expertise and judgement of university teachers in their fields

Responsibility

Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy

Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Academic Board

Academic Secretariat is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Chair, Academic Board

Promulgation

The Learning and Teaching Policy will be communicated throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the 'Recently Approved Documents' page on the 'Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University' website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  • Academic Board
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Faculty meetings
  • Academic Induction Program

Implementation

The Learning and Teaching Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • the Learning and Teaching Committee
  • inclusion in the Academic Induction Program