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Courses Lifecycle - Comprehensive Course Review (HE) Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure specifies the key stages and responsibilities involved in the comprehensive review of Higher Education (HE) coursework courses at Victoria University (VU).

(2) This Procedure should be read in conjunction with the Courses Lifecycle - Annual Course Monitoring (HE) Procedure.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(3) HESF: 1.4.1, 1.4.3 and 1.4.4 Learning Outcomes and Assessment; 5.3.1 – 5.3.4 and 5.3.7 Monitoring, Review and Improvement.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to all:

  1. HE Award coursework courses offered by, or on behalf of, VU in all domestic and off-shore locations.
  2. HE Award Course units offered by, or on behalf of, VU in all domestic and off-shore locations.
  3. HE ELICOS, Foundations and Bridging courses.
  4. HE Non-Award courses that are offered to international students both on and off shore.

(5) This Procedure does not apply to:

  1. Higher Degrees by Research Award courses.
  2. Vocational Education and Training Award courses.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Nil

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(7) Courses Lifecycle Policy

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibility
Dean of College (or equivalent) -  Responsible for the standard and quality of all courses offered by the College.

-  Responsible for the initiation, conduct and implementation of comprehensive course reviews for all award courses.

-  Ensures that the CCR team is resourced to enable a quality review outcome. 
Director, Learning and Teaching (College) -  Nominates the CCR Self Review Leader.

-  Determines the membership of the CCR team including all academic staff who are involved in the delivery at the main location and interstate; off-shore and online locations (as applicable).

-  Ensures input into the CCR from the First Year College, and other Colleges where they contribute to the design and delivery of the course.

-  Liaises with central service teams to advise and support the college through the CCR process.

-  Ensures the CCR team completes the Self-Review Report within agreed timelines.

-  Endorses the recommendations detailed in the CCR Self Review Report thus ensuring they align to College, university, and strategic initiatives.

-  Ensures the CCR Action Plan is implemented no more than 18 months after the validation process has concluded.
CCR Leader -  Consults widely to seek feedback from a broad range of stakeholders, including the First Year College.

-  Reviews previous CCR, ACM and course amendment actions and include details on the impact achieved.

-  Analyses the CCR and ACM course data snapshot and identifies course strengths gaps and areas for improvement.

-  Sources additional data from Data Analysis and Reporting that is not included in the CCR and ACM Data Snapshot.

-  Collaborates with the Partnerships Unit (or equivalent) and including location specific recommendations for interstate and/or off-shore locations.

-  Develops a succinct CCR Self-Review Report with assistance from peers as required and recommendations for course improvements.

-  Forwards the CCR Self-Review Report to the Executive Officer of the CCR Validation Panel by the agreed due date.
Academic Quality and Standards (AQS) -  Prepares customised resources, including the CCR Self Review Template, Course Review and Monitoring Data Snapshot, and Assessment Matrix.

-  Advises and supports the College to complete the CCR Self-Review process.

-  Provides Assistance with interpreting data; aligning to VU policies and strategies.

-  Reviews the draft CCR Self-Review Report and provides constructive feedback and suggestions for changes and/or inclusions.
Director, Academic Quality and Standards -  Plans and manages the CCR process.

-  Provides the central point of CCR advice and data analysis.

-  Maintains the five year CCR schedule and the repository of CCR information on VU’s CCR SharePoint page/intranet.

-  Collaborates with colleges and relevant stakeholders in relation to the CCR process.

-  Supports the College with focus groups (i.e. student, staff, graduate).
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students -  Initiates and oversees the CCR process.

Part B - Comprehensive Course Review Principles

(8)  The Comprehensive Course Review (CCR) is an integral part of the VU Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards (LTQS) Framework. The CCR process ensures continuous improvement and quality assurance of courses and is informed by the Annual Course Monitoring (ACM) process.

(9) All HE coursework courses are accredited for a period of five years. VU requires all active HE coursework courses (and the non-awards referred to earlier) to be comprehensively reviewed at least once every five years from the date of the first enrolment (not approval). In the penultimate year of the course’s accreditation period, the course will undergo a CCR to ensure the course reflects:

  1. VU’s teaching and learning strategic directions.
  2. The needs of graduates, professions and community.
  3. Best practice in curriculum design.
  4. External regulations and accreditation requirements.

(10) CCR applies to all active HE coursework courses (and as above) offered by, or on behalf of, VU at all domestic and off-shore locations. It takes into account course quality as experienced by significant cohorts of students.

(11) Where one or more College contributes to the design and delivery of the course, the administering college is responsible for the oversight of the CCR. 
(11)    Generally, courses will be reviewed as a single entity. It may be appropriate to group courses and/or locations for similar disciplines, or where there is a significant overlap of course outcomes and/or units.

(12) AQS maintains a five-year CCR schedule to ensure that all HE coursework (and as above) courses are comprehensively reviewed. Where possible, the CCR and internal re-accreditation processes will be scheduled in the same year as professional (external) accreditation processes.

(13) In October each year, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students will notify the College Dean and Dean of the First Year College of the courses that are scheduled to be involved in a CCR in the following year. As a result of this advice the College Dean can decide to:

  1. Seek course re-accreditation for the next five years (CCR must be completed).
  2. Develop a business case for a new course that will replace this course (no CCR required).
  3. Not seek course re-accreditation and commence the course cessation and transition process (no CCR required).

Part C - CCR Stage

(14) There are three stages involved in the CCR process:

  1. Stage One: CCR Self-Review
  2. Stage Two: CCR Validation
  3. Stage Three: CCR Implementation and Action

Stage One: CCR Self-Review

(15) Self-review is a collegial and consultative process that is designed to enable all staff associated with the course to critically review the performance of the course.

(16) At the commencement of the Self-Review process, AQS will provide the CCR team with:

  1. CCR Self-Review Report template;
  2. Course Review and Monitoring Data Snapshot.

    The Data Snapshot provides evidence of course performance, student experience and outcomes from data sets, including (but not limited to):
    1. Demand; 
    2. Enrolments; 
    3. Progress; 
    4. Retention/Attrition; and 
    5. Completions. 
  3. Unit level data which provides information on the performance of each unit including (but not limited to):
    1. Pass rates; 
    2. Multiple fails; and 
    3. SEU mean.
  4. QILT Data, including GOS and SES survey results at study area level and course level.
  5. Course and Unit Performance Data Report.
  6. Course Curriculum analysis.
  7. Course Amendment Report, which details all major course amendments for the previous five years.
  8. Course Assessment Matrix: current assessment methods, and their weighting, for all units in the course.

(17) The CCR team will provide current students and recent graduates with an opportunity to provide feedback and input on their experience with the course and areas for improvement.

(18) The CCR team will undertake external referencing in accordance with the requirements External Benchmarking Procedure (Pending). External referencing is undertaken against appropriate comparator institutions and must use comparison data that is credible, tenable and recent. It should include:

  1. course design and methods of assessment;
  2. student achievement of learning outcomes;
  3. cohort analysis of student performance data, including analysis of variations in retention, progression and completion rates by entrance pathway and international students compared with domestic students;
  4. where relevant, course information provided to applicants.

(19) Utilising all the data provided and obtained, CCR teams complete the self-assessment report, which asks them to consider:

  1. The current course, including:
    1. Course Overview;
    2. Course Learning Outcomes; 
    3. Course Completion Rules;
    4. Course Structure;
    5. Approved Pathways;
    6. Victorian Competitors.
  2. Internal course performance data, including:
    1. Course Applications;   
    2. Course Enrolments;
    3. Course Progress Rates; 
    4. Course Retention;
    5. Course Completions;
    6. Unit Pass Rate Summary;
    7. Multiple Fails By Unit;
    8. Student Evaluation Of Unit (SEU). 
  3. External (QILT) study area and course performance data, including:
    1. Student Experience: Undergraduate/Postgraduate;   
    2. Graduate Satisfaction: Undergraduate/ Postgraduate; 
    3. Graduate Employment: Undergraduate/Postgraduate;
    4. Student Experience: Course Level.
  4. Review of Course Curriculum, including:
    1. Course Design and Structure;
    2. Course Delivery;
    3. Assessment;
    4. Work and Community Based Learning;
    5. Course Staffing And Leadership;
    6. Student Support;
    7. Learning Facilities And Environment;
    8. External Benchmarking And Referencing;
    9. Professional Accreditation;
    10. Feedback From ACM.
  5. Challenges and Opportunities, encompassing:
    1. Emerging Developments in the Field of Education/Discipline;  
    2. Changing Needs of Students and Modes Of Delivery;
    3. Identified Risks to the Quality of the Course;
    4. Internal Conditions and Challenges;
    5. Future Directions for the course (Next 5 Years).

(20) The CCR Self-Review Report is endorsed by the Director of Learning and Teaching (or equivalent) and approved by the College Dean (or equivalent).

(21) The CCR Self-Review process must be completed within eight weeks of the review commencing.

Stage Two: CCR Validation

(22) A CCR Validation Panel will be convened to consider the information provided by the college in the CCR Self-Review Report.

(23) The CCR Validation Panel will, as a minimum, comprise:

  1. Chair: Nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students, the Chair is a senior academic staff member who is not directly involved in the College or course under review.
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students (or representative).
  3. Chair, Academic Board (or representative).
  4. Director, Academic Quality and Standards.
(Larger panels can be convened where particular expertise is required.)

(24) An Executive Officer, from AQS, will be appointed to support the panel.

(25) It may be appropriate for the panel to review CCR Self-Review reports as a group for similar disciplines, or where there is significant overlap in course structure and curriculum.

(26) A CCR Validation Panel Report will be developed as an outcome of this process and will document the panel’s:

  1. endorsement (or not) of the CCR recommendations;
  2. comments and suggestions for further actions; and
  3. affirmations and commendations.

(27) The CCR Validation process must be completed within four weeks of the CCR Self-Review report being submitted to the panel.

Stage Three: CCR Implmentation and Action

(28) CCR recommendations will be implemented and noted in the CCR Action Plan. This will be developed by AQS in collaboration with the College. It will detail:

  1. the endorsed CCR recommendations;
  2. proposed timelines for completion; and
  3. activity and impact achieved.

(29) CCR recommendations will be actioned via:

  1. Internal course re-accreditation (and external re-accreditation where applicable); and
  2. Annual Course Monitoring or other quality assurance processes undertaken by the College.

(30) The CCR Action Plan must be fully implemented within 18 months from the conclusion of the CCR Validation process.

(31) AQS is responsible for the maintenance of all CCR records, including:

  1. CCR Schedules;
  2. CCR Self Review Reports;
  3. CCR Validation Panel Reports; and
  4. CCR Action Plans.

Part D - CCR Reports

(32) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students will report on an annual basis to the Learning and Teaching Quality Committee and Academic Board on completed CCR reviews and action plans.

(33) The Academic Board standing committees will monitor the implementation of the CCR Action Plan.