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Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The purpose of this policy and its associated procedures is to ensure that VU's learning and teaching activities:

  1. are aligned with the vision, mission, values and behaviours expressed in Victoria University's (VU) Strategic Plan and with all requirements of unit(s) of competency from National Training Package qualifications or other externally accredited Vocational Education (VE) courses;
  2. comply with relevant regulatory frameworks, including the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015; and
  3. are congruent with all related university policies and procedures.

(2) The principles underpin the design, conduct and evaluation of learning and teaching quality and standards. Courses also need to meet any relevant external regulatory and accreditation requirements.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) This policy applies to all areas of the University learning and teaching activity, including the delivery of Higher, Vocational and Further education; award and non-award courses.

(4) In undertaking a holistic approach to quality assurance and standards, this policy applies to all areas of the University that provide the environment for learning and teaching, as well as those directly involved in course delivery. This includes all corporate services functions that support the delivery of learning and teaching activities.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(5) Nil

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

Part A - Overview

(6) As part of its mission as the University of Opportunity, VU is committed to ensuring that it systematically undertakes quality assurance and quality improvement strategies in relation to course delivery and the student learning experience for its diverse student cohorts.

(7) For this purpose, the University specifies in its procedures and guidelines the key quality measures that will be used to:

  1. judge success;
  2. identify student cohorts whose success will be monitored via those measures; and
  3. identify the learning & teaching instruments which will be used to carry out quality monitoring.

(8) Within the context of national standards for learning & teaching and as part of the university continuous improvement approach, the Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Policy and its associated procedures and guidelines specify the guiding principles and expectations that underpin evidence-informed quality assurance and improvement in learning & teaching at VU.

(9) It is intended that implementation of this Policy will provide the context for continuous improvement of learning and teaching and operate in support of the overall student experience at VU.

Part B - Key Principles

(10) Learning and teaching quality and standards are an intrinsic and central focus for the University.

(11) The University holds expectations for the quality of learning and teaching experiences, particularly that high quality curriculum, materials, environments, courses and services and teaching practice support student learning.

(12) As such, VU utilises a Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework to assure quality and standards in learning and teaching; to provide guidance on decisions about the alignment of quality assurance mechanisms and systems; and to provide staff and students with robust and transparent mechanisms for both feedback and evaluation.

(13) In line with this framework, the university abides by the following guiding principles:

  1. Quality and standards are holistic, comprehensive and focused on the overall student experience. This means that:
    1. All aspects of the student experience are taken into account in the evaluation of courses and learning and teaching quality, including evidence of infrastructure and support quality.
    2. Course design, delivery and support mechanisms are mutually reinforcing and aligned with desired standards and outcomes.
    3. All practices and processes assure the equivalence of design, delivery and support of learning and teaching quality for all modes of delivery and locations.
    4. Ongoing quality assurance is supported by a coherent set of development and management activities, governance roles and accountabilities.
  2. Learning and Teaching quality assurance is evidence-based. This means that:
    1. Robust and appropriate data is provided regarding course and unit performance, supported by analysis of trends and identified points for review or commendation.
    2. Course design and delivery meet the requirements of appropriate reference points such as national standards and expected graduate capabilities.
    3. Continuous improvement processes take account of a comprehensive and robust range of data sources, including student feedback and complaints, peer review, benchmarking and industry/professional body feedback.
  3. Quality assurance is an inherent, visible and continuous part of all learning and teaching activities. This means that:
    1. All Colleges have in place appropriate mechanisms for the academic review of learning and teaching quality matters, including new course proposals, course management, assessment and other matters impacting the quality of student experience.
    2. Moderation, validation, external review and benchmarking activities are a consistent component of all courses, including the use of external advisory groups to inform course evaluation and development (see also Assessment for Learning Policy).
    3. Regular, local, evidence-based review of student experience and outcomes takes place for all courses.
    4. Staff are provided guidance and support on quality and standards assurance processes, including learning and teaching principles and approaches to evidence-based enhancement.
    5. Consistent and reliable information is provided to students about their courses and units, along with information about improvements made as the result of student feedback and continuous improvement strategies.
  4. Quality and standards evaluation is effective, streamlined and empowers staff to engage in continuous improvement. This means that:
    1. Periodic in-depth review of courses builds on semester and annual course monitoring and improvement processes, and is utilised to inform internal reaccreditation and/or professional accreditation submissions.
    2. The University provides all teaching staff with regular opportunities to engage in learning and teaching professional development regardless of their location or contract status.
    3. Course approval processes empower staff to undertake timely and continuous improvement of units and courses, while assuring the overall coherence and quality of the course experience.
    4. Academic management and governance bodies monitor academic standards, taking account of all domains of the quality and standards framework.
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Section 5 - Procedures

(14) Nil

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(15) Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework

(16) Minimum Standards for Online Presence Guide

(17) Unit of Study Guide template

(18) Graduate Capabilities Guidelines

(19) VU Standards for the Design of Formal Learning Spaces