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Timetabling Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This policy describes how University timetables are developed and managed.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This policy applies to timetabling for all teaching areas at all Victorian campuses. Scheduling of all other activities is covered by the Hire of Facilities Policy.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Draft Timetable: a working document provided to Teaching areas prior to Timetable publication to be reviewed to ensure activities are in line with initial requests.

(4) Published Timetable: the official version of the schedule of classes published to current and prospective students.

(5) Teaching Activity: an activity associated with a unit where students have to attend a specific place at a specific day and time, including placements off campus where these occur on a set day.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(6) In the development of timetable, the University aims to recognise the needs and interests of all stakeholders. Therefore this policy is based on the following principles:

  1. The timetabling process will be student focused.
  2. Scheduling of teaching activities and allocation of venues will endeavour to support the most effective teaching and learning practice.
  3. Scheduling of teaching activities will make efficient use of teaching space and resources.
  4. Timetable information will be published in an accessible, timely and accurate way allowing students to take account of the timetable when enrolling or changing their enrolment and to align with other University processes.

Part A - Timetabling Priorities

(7) Teaching Activities take precedence over non-teaching activities. Bookings for non-teaching activities may be requested as part of the timetable construction process however, due to the demand on teaching space for Teaching Activities there is no guarantee that rooms requested will be available.

(8) Classes will be scheduled so as to best utilise resources equitably. Resources include teaching resources, Academic Staff and facilities. Teaching activities will not be arbitrarily scheduled at the same time every year or, in instances where a unit is delivered in more than one teaching period, at the same time in both teaching periods. Where external venues are used or students are engaged with external providers (e.g. school and clinic placements) at specific times these constraints will be taken into account.

(9) While the University attempts to accommodate student unit choices, the timetable might not be able to provide for every possible combination of units.

Part B - Scheduling of Teaching Activities

(10) All Teaching Activities must be timetabled in the Central Timetabling System, regardless of whether they take place in General Teaching Space, Specialist Teaching Space or off campus. This enables provision to staff and students with a complete timetable and ensures clashes are avoided.

Teaching Hours

(11) Day unit offerings will be scheduled between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday and evening unit offerings scheduled between 6:00pm and 10:00pm Monday to Friday. Classes may be scheduled any time during these hours.

Teaching activities scheduled outside core hours, on weekends, or in non-teaching weeks

(12) Classes may be scheduled on weekends or outside normal semester weeks where specifically requested by the teaching area.

Staff Availability

(13) It will be assumed that academic staff are available to teach during ordinary hours as defined in the relevant enterprise agreement. The following teaching time exemptions may apply but will require approval from the relevant Dean:

  1. Part-time and Sessional Academic Staff will only be scheduled to teach during the time they are paid to teach.
  2. School Seminars or Staff Meeting.
  3. Allocated Day for Research for Academic Staff in research-active positions.
  4. Other approved School/College commitments.
  5. Health Issues or Religious Beliefs.

Start and Finish Times

(14) Classes will normally start on the hour, however, in some circumstances may start on the half hour.

(15) Classes should start five minutes after the scheduled start time and finish five minutes before the scheduled end time in order to allow students and staff time to attend their next class.

Part C - Timelines

(16) Timelines for the timetabling process for each year shall be set by the Central Timetable Unit in the previous year.

(17) Timelines for each campus may be different depending on the courses offered at that campus but will apply to all teaching areas at that campus except by agreement with the Central Timetable Unit.

Part D - Timetable Publication

(18) The Published Timetable will be published so that students can take account of the timetable when enrolling, changing their enrolment or registering for classes.

(19) A Draft Timetable will be prepared for staff to review prior to the Published Timetable. Teaching areas will review the Draft Timetable to ensure that:

  1. Activity requirements have been adequately provided for all unit offerings, and are in line with initial teaching area's requests;
  2. All details of activities have been entered correctly; and
  3. Any clashes are reported to the Central Timetable Unit.

(20) Changes to the Published Timetable will be kept to a minimum. Changes will only be considered if:

  1. student enrolment numbers exceed the capacity of the scheduled venue or require additional classes to be run;
  2. a unit or group is no longer deemed viable to run;
  3. there is a need to accommodate reasonable adjustments for students with a disability or medical condition;
  4. staff allocated to any activity has changed.

(21) Where a teaching area wants to make a change to the Published Timetable that does not meet the above criteria, the Dean of the College may submit a request to the Director, Facilities giving the reason for the requested change. The Director, Facilities or nominee may approve the change (if it is possible to do so); however minimising impact to student timetables will be the primary consideration and change requests that unnecessarily affect student timetables will be rejected.

Part E - Use of Teaching Space

(22) Space will be allocated for teaching purposes in accordance with the Space Management and Allocation Policy.

(23) The Director, Facilities will arrange for regular audits to monitor the use and utilisation of teaching space.

(24) Where an inappropriate use of teaching space has occurred, the Director, Facilities may charge the organisational area a fee of $1000. Inappropriate use may include, but is not limited to:

  1. not using a booked teaching space;
  2. using a room for a Teaching Activity without a prior booking;
  3. booking a room for much longer than the required time (e.g. a whole-day booking with only two hours actual use);
  4. refusing to vacate a room that has a scheduled booking.

(25) New Teaching Activities and changes or cancellation of existing Teaching Activities can be requested subject to clauses (20) and (21).

(26) The Director, Facilities will give the organisational area two (2) written warnings before charging a fee for inappropriate use.

(27) The Director, Facilities will provide heads of organisational areas with relevant audit reports, advise them of any charges they have incurred, and give them the opportunity to dispute any findings or seek exemptions for special circumstances.

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Section 5 - Procedures

(28) Nil

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(29) Nil