Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/3.5 Academic leadership roles in teaching and learning

Contact Officer

Associate Director, Human Resources (Workplace Relations)

Approval Date

03/12/2007

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/12/2019

3.5.1 Overview
3.5.2 Associate dean (learning and teaching)
3.5.3 Course coordinator
3.5.4 Study area and program coordinator
3.5.5 Year coordinators and major coordinators
3.5.6 Unit coordinator
3.5.7 Workload and supervision for coordinator roles
3.5.8 Appointment of academic leadership roles
Related Documents
Modification History

3.5.1 Overview

QUT recognises a number of academic leadership roles in teaching and learning, courses and curriculum development. These include:

  • head of school (A/4.1)
  • associate deans (A/4.1)
  • course coordinators
  • study area and program coordinators
  • postgraduate coordinator (D/5.1.3),
  • year coordinators and major coordinators, and
  • unit coordinators.

It is acknowledged that there may be a limited number of approved equivalent positions (for example, portfolio directors in the Creative Industries Faculty are regarded as equivalent to heads of school in other faculties).

This policy should be read in conjunction with University policies on:

  • course quality assurance (C/4.6)
  • evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience (C/4.7)
  • courses and awards (C/3.1 for definition of the terms unit, study area and course).

The overarching roles and responsibilities of the various coordinators and associate deans (learning and teaching), together with workload, supervision and appointment processes, are outlined in the sections that follow.

The use of academic leadership role titles other than those described in this policy must be approved by Provost.

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3.5.2 Associate dean (learning and teaching)

(a) Role

Associate deans (learning and teaching) report to the executive dean of faculty and are responsible for strategic leadership of teaching and learning within the faculty.

In carrying out their responsibilities, associatedeans (learning and teaching) work closely with heads of school, course coordinators, and other senior faculty staff, in providing strategic advice to the executive dean of faculty and strategic leadership of teaching and learning within the faculty. Associate deans (learning and teaching) are members of the faculty executive team.

(b) Responsibilities

Associate deans (learning and teaching) will generally be expected to undertake the following:

  • Provide leadership on learning and teaching at University and faculty level.
  • Implement the University's Learning and Teaching Plan through the development and implementation of the faculty's Learning and Teaching Plan.
  • Monitor and report on achievement of key performance indicators relevant to teaching and learning for their faculty.
  • Develop and monitor internal policies, guidelines and procedures, to support the University's learning and teaching, course and curriculum policies and practices, and to ensure the adoption of good teaching practices.
  • Lead within the faculty the development, implementation and monitoring of faculty quality assurance and improvement strategies for teaching and learning consistent with University policy and requirements, with particular emphasis on:
    • course performance and improvement (award, non-award, customised, onshore and offshore) 
    • evaluation of teaching quality and student support
    • feedback to students in relation to evaluation of teaching and learning.
  • Exercise a continuing significant role in developing teaching quality within the faculty and the University including:
    • identifying, creating and promoting induction and staff development opportunities in the areas of teaching and learning and scholarship of teaching and learning in conjunction with Learning and Teaching Unit and Human Resources Department
    • providing strategic advice and support to academic staff in matters related to the development of teaching and learning practice and scholarship of teaching
    • supporting and promoting incentive schemes that reward and promote teaching excellence and innovation.
  • Promote effective learning environments that support student retention and learning success with particular emphasis on first year experience, real world learning and transition to professional practice.
  • Encourage and promote strong external community input into the faculty's academic programs including professional organisations and employers, and through professional accreditation processes, where appropriate.
  • Work with the faculty's business development and international unit to attract external partnerships in curriculum development and delivery.
  • Chair relevant faculty committees on teaching and learning and participate as a member of other relevant faculty committees.
  • Represent the faculty on University teaching and learning matters through participation on relevant committees and working parties.
  • Facilitate working relationships on teaching and learning matters within and across faculties and divisions.
  • Develop and oversee budgets for strategic funds allocated to teaching and learning initiatives.

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3.5.3 Course coordinator

(a) Role

Course coordinators provide leadership for a course within the University's teaching and learning environment through the development, implementation and ongoing review of award courses for the school / faculty.

Course coordinators can be a faculty or school level appointment and such appointments enhance interfaculty and intrafaculty course coordination.

(b) Responsibilities

A course coordinator, in consultation with the associate dean (learning and teaching) and heads of school, and with the support of the study area coordinators, program coordinators and unit coordinators, will generally be expected to undertake the following:

  • Provide leadership in course development and approval processes, curriculum development and implementation, course quality assurance and improvement, and professional accreditation where appropriate.
  • Provide leadership at a course level for implementation of QUT teaching and learning priorities, such as first year experience, real world learning and transition to professional practice.
  • Support the development and implementation of the faculty's Learning and Teaching Plan.
  • Promote the development of innovative teaching and learning practices in delivery of the course ensuring the integration of graduate capabilities at course level.
  • Develop and monitor efforts to improve the course continually, and report through faculty governance processes (eg. faculty academic board) on course improvement projects, key performance indicators and other evaluation data relevant to the course performance.
  • Recommend to the faculty academic board, study areas/units to be offered in the course in order to provide an appropriate range of studies in accordance with the objectives and structure of the course.
  • Determine appropriate course plans and advanced standing in consultation with partnering faculties and executive dean nominees (eg. associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school and other coordinators) for students transferring to the course from another course or institution and, once precedents have been determined, register these with Student Business Services for ongoing administration.
  • Consult and liaise with other faculties and relevant divisions on course development and review in conjunction with the associate dean (learning and teaching).
  • Market the course through contributing to presentations, promotional materials and events.
  • Ensure processes are implemented, reviewed and maintained to:
    • provide appropriate information on the course and promote the quality and range of students enrolled in the course
    • record approved evolutionary course changes for reference in the course development and approval process
    • provide timely and effective feedback to students in relation to student evaluation of units and teaching in the course
    • monitor and analyse first year retention rates both generally and for specific cohorts
    • identify and analyse reasons for student withdrawal.
  • Work with relevant professional staff in the day-to-day management of course matters such as advanced standing, enrolment, graduation and timetable issues that may impact on student progression.
  • Manage and where appropriate approve other relevant academic matters connected with the course including alternative arrangements for assessment and variations by a student to the standard enrolment program for a particular course.
  • Consult with the associate dean (learning and teaching) in negotiating with relevant heads of school, centre directors and other faculties regarding teaching, cross faculty teaching and other relevant course issues.
  • Develop collaborative environment within faculty and divisional staff team supporting the course.
  • Attend meetings of the faculty/school advisory committee as required.

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3.5.4 Study area and program coordinator

(a) Role

Study area and program coordinators provide leadership in the development and review of study areas or programs within award courses and provide assistance to the course coordinator in course development and implementation.

(b) Responsibilities

Study area and program coordinators, in consultation with the relevant course and unit coordinators, will generally be expected to undertake the following:

  • Provide leadership in study area or program development within the course and assist the course coordinator in course development and approval processes.
  • Initiate and implement study area or program improvements with advice from the course coordinator.
  • Provide leadership in the study area or program for implementation of QUT teaching and learning priorities, such as first year experience, real world learning and transition to professional practice.
  • Market the study area or program through contributing to presentations, promotional materials and events.
  • In conjunction with the course coordinator and other relevant staff, resolve operational academic and administrative matters.

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3.5.5 Year coordinators and major coordinators

Year coordinators and major coordinators have responsibilities similar to those of study area and program coordinators but focused on the year or major, and are appointed via a similar process (see B/3.5.8 below).

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3.5.6 Unit coordinator

(a) Role

Unit coordinators have responsibility for the development, implementation and review of learning and teaching in units.

(b) Responsibilities

Unit coordinators, in consultation with the relevant study area, program and course coordinators, will generally be expected to undertake the following:

  • Provide leadership in unit development within the course, in conjunction with the study area coordinator, program coordinator and course coordinator.
  • Employ strategies that support the organisation and quality of teaching in the unit and ensure that unit teaching staff operate as a team.
  • Reflect on evaluation data to inform continuous improvement processes.
  • Initiate and implement unit improvements to enhance learning and teaching quality, with advice from the study area coordinator, program coordinator and course coordinator.
  • Organise curriculum, teaching and assessment materials for the unit, paying particular attention to student needs (eg in first year unit design, attending to the special learning needs of first year students).
  • Prepare the Unit Outline and other related unit information in accordance with the directions of the course coordinator.
  • Moderate the application of standards and quality of marking within a unit.
  • Foster students' progress in the unit and, particularly in first year units, monitor for signs of student disengagement / weak performance.
  • Provide advice to inform decisions on exceptional unit enrolment requests and credit for transferring students.
  • Assist in resolving operational and administrative matters associated with the unit, such as timetabling matters, in cooperation with the study area coordinator, program coordinator and course coordinator.
  • Apply University and faculty policy to deal with academic matters including academic dishonesty cases, applications for extension to due date for assessment and informal review of grades.
  • Develop and maintain appropriate online environments for teaching and assessment materials for the unit (eg Blackboard).
  • Communicate with students on unit development and changes to unit resulting from student feedback.

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3.5.7 Workload and supervision for coordinator roles

The role of a coordinator as defined within this policy is recognised as service which encompasses academic leadership at QUT and is to be considered and included in workload allocation discussions and arrangements for the staff member appointed to the role.

The overall academic workload for coordinators is dependant on the size and complexity of the course, study area, year, program or unit.

The staff member appointed to a coordinator role will report to the supervisor of their substantive academic appointment for performance planning and review and workload management purposes.

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3.5.8 Appointment of academic leadership roles

(a) Associate dean (learning and teaching)

Associate deans (learning and teaching) are appointed by the relevant authorising officer following a due recruitment process involving a selection panel (B/4.2.2 (b) and Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations).

The appointment of an associate dean (learning and teaching) will normally be full-time at SSG level, otherwise at associate professor or professor level, on a fixed-term appointment of three to five years (renewable). The associate dean (learning and teaching) will be a member of the QUT senior management development program group.

(b) Course coordinators

Course coordinators are appointed by the executive dean of faculty on the recommendation of the head of school following a due recruitment process involving a selection panel (B/4.2.5(c)). A separate coordinator may be appointed for each registered award course. Where a course is jointly offered by two or more faculties, the course coordinator is selected by agreement from the participating faculties having regard to the contributing disciplines in the course.
Course coordinators are appointed from among the full-time senior lecturers, associate professors and professors of the faculty. A head of school does not normally undertake course coordination duties.

Courses which have large numbers of students, involve multiple discipline areas (eg. multiple study areas in different schools or faculties) or are master degree courses will normally be coordinated at associate professor/professor level. Courses with smaller numbers, or having single discipline or professional focus, will normally be coordinated at senior lecturer level.

Course coordinators serve a renewable term of up to three years, and would normally serve two terms.

If there is no suitable applicant for the role, the executive dean of faculty, in consultation with the relevant head of school, will assign the duties of course coordinator. If no senior lecturer, associate professor or professor is available, then a lecturer will be appointed as course coordinator and paid at senior lecturer level for the duration of the appointment.

(c) Study area, program, year and major coordinators

Study area, program, year and major coordinators are appointed by the executive dean of faculty or nominee, following consultation with relevant course coordinators, heads of school and associate deans (learning and teaching) (B/4.2.5 (c)).

Study area, program, year and major coordinators are appointed from among the lecturers, senior lecturers, associate professors or professors of the faculty. If an associate lecturer is appointed, they will be paid at lecturer level for the duration of the appointment.

Study area and program coordinators serve a renewable term of up to three years, and would normally serve two terms.

(d) Unit coordinators

Unit coordinators are appointed by the head of school following consultation with the relevant course coordinator. Where the course is a faculty level course, unit coordinators are appointed by the executive dean of faculty or nominee
(B/4.2.5 (c)).

Unit coordinators are appointed from among the academic staff of the faculty at or above Associate Lecturer (Step 6 on the salary scale).

Unit coordinators serve a renewable term of up to three years.

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Related Documents

MOPP A/4.1 Principal officers and organisational structure

MOPP B/5.2 Vice-Chancellor's Performance Fund

MOPP C/3.1 Courses and awards

MOPP C/4.3 Graduate capabilities

MOPP C/4.6 Course quality assurance

MOPP C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

MOPP C/6.2 The First Year experience

MOPP D/5.1.3 Higher degree research courses

MOPP E/4.3 Enrolment programs

MOPP Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

09.01.19 All Director, Governance and Legal Services Policy revised to include approved position title change from assistant dean/s to associate dean/s
19.02.11 All Vice-Chancellor Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit

03.12.07

All

Vice-Chancellor

Revised and re-named policy (formerly B/3.5 Course, unit and subject area coordinators); incorporates former policy B/4.7 Appointment of course coordinators (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 31.10.07)

24.03.06

B/3.5.6

University Academic Board

Editorial amendment consistent with new policy on unit outlines (C/7.10)

25.08.05

All

Secretariat

Updated duties of Course Coordinator and Unit Coordinator consistent with Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (as approved by Council 07.04.04)

12.07.05

All

Secretariat

Renumbered policy to B/3.5 - formerly B/5.1

31.01.01

All

Human Resources Department

Updated

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