1. Purpose of policy
The purpose of this policy is to identify the objectives and operational principles that underpin the production of the University’s academic timetable and the use of learning and teaching space for teaching activities. The primary objective is to produce a coordinated timetable that is equitable, effective and student focused and that will maximise the efficient use of the University’s learning and teaching space and resources.
2. Policy scope and application
2.1 This policy applies to the timetabling of all learning and teaching activities of the University of the Sunshine Coast, excluding central examinations.
2.2 Where courses are delivered by a third-party provider, the principles of this policy apply, however the timetable for that particular location is developed and managed by the third-party provider, to meet contractual obligations with the University. Note: The associated Academic Timetable – Procedures focus on the operationalisation of these principles for USC managed facilities only.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to these procedures and are critical to its effectiveness.
Class means a lecture, tutorial, workshop, computer laboratory, laboratory session, field trip, practicum and other context in which face-to-face teaching occurs.
Curricular and co-curricular activities refer to formal teaching activities (lectures, tutorial, laboratory sessions, etc.) and those additional activities that support student learning (enabling courses, Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), academic skills classes).
4.1 Student focused timetabling principles
4.1.1 The timetable is structured to provide an experience that optimises student learning and supports a broad range of contemporary pedagogical practices while providing scope for the future evolution of such practices.
4.1.2 The University will ensure that the timetable is published in sufficient time to enable students and staff to make informed decisions regarding teaching commitments and study options, and to make necessary personal arrangements.
4.2 Space management timetabling principles
4.2.1 All USC learning and teaching spaces must be incorporated into the timetabling system.
4.2.2 The timetable is structured to make use of available resources in a manner that provides appropriate facilities for the pedagogical needs of courses and supports the most effective learning and teaching practices.
4.2.3 Curricular and co-curricular activities take precedence over the activities of external organisations in regard to the use of University teaching spaces and resources.
4.3 Development and publication timetabling principles
4.3.1 Production of the timetable takes into account academic requirements, constraint parameters and estimated enrolments data. In addition, historical enrolment data is used to validate predictions of estimated enrolments. All known requirements and constraints on the timetable should be applied prior to its production.
4.3.2 The timetable is developed based on the teaching periods identified in the University’s academic calendar. A timetable is produced for each University teaching period.
4.4 Scheduling principles
4.4.1 Teaching activities are scheduled at times and in places that are:
- consistent with University policies and procedures relating to:
- equity and diversity
- health, safety and wellbeing, and
- space management
- consistent with best pedagogic practice
- sensitive to the needs of new curriculum and curriculum renewal
- consistent with facilitating student attendance and maximising student choice
- responsive to student feedback
- consistent with utilising teaching space and resources efficiently and sustainably
- consistent with the requirements of the USC Enterprise Agreement (or relevant conditions of employment for teaching staff not directly employed by USC)
4.5 Evaluation and on-going improvement of the timetable
At the conclusion of each timetabling exercise, feedback is sought on the space and timing of the offering of courses to determine any improvementsrequired for the next offering.