Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Five Yearly Course Review - Terms of Reference and Committee Composition Guidelines

Establishment: Academic Senate, 14 March 2012
Last Amended: Academic Senate, 4 May 2016
Nature of Amendment: Amendments to the provisions for topic evaluations and academic calibration
Date Last Reviewed:  May-June 2014
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

The  Form (DOCX 24KB) should be completed and forwarded for approval, giving consideration to the guidelines, in accordance with the relevant clauses of the Policy on Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Academic Programs and Teaching. 

2.6  The terms of reference of a course review will be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on the recommendation of the relevant Executive Dean/s and, in the case of offshore programs, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International).  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will publish guidelines on the range of matters to be included in the terms of reference.

2.7  The composition of a course review committee will be subject to approval by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), using the specified Guidelines and form, on the recommendation of the relevant Executive Dean/s. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will publish guidelines on the membership to be considered when recommending the composition of the review committee.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference of a course review will normally include the following matters.  Any variation to these terms of reference must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on the recommendation of the relevant Executive Dean/s.

(i) Strategic and Management Matters

  • the contribution of the course to the University's strategic objectives;
  • the relationship of the course to other University courses, including the extent of cross-disciplinary, cross-School and cross-Faculty collaboration in course delivery;
  • the course management arrangements as governed by clause 3.2 of the Policy on Course and Topic Development, Approval and Management;
  • the level of consultation undertaken with relevant external parties including employers, professional organisations, graduates and community organisations as required by clause 3.3 of the same Policy;
  • where relevant, the external professional accreditation status of the course.

(ii)  Content and Quality Matters

  • an overall assessment of the academic quality of the course and of the academic standards attained by course graduates, including consideration of:
    • evidence that benchmarks the course against other comparable courses
    • evidence that course graduates meet threshold academic standards as specified, where available, in national discipline standards statements
    • the academic content and structure of the course, including the appropriateness of its educational aims and learning outcomes;
    • the extent to which the curriculum is appropriately internationalised;
    • the range, level and relevance of the topics available in the course, and the appropriateness of the teaching and learning methods, the utilisation of educational technologies and the assessment practices in the key topics;
    • where the course features significant course components (such as major sequences), the quality and ongoing relevance of these components;
    • comparability of content, standards and other relevant factors where a course is delivered offshore or in a flexible mode of delivery (e.g. fully online and/or distance mode);
    • for undergraduate Bachelor courses:
      • the provision of Work Integrated Learning opportunities;
      • the extent to which the course can demonstrate that it develops the University's declared Graduate Qualities;
    • where appropriate:
      • opportunities for preparatory or bridging studies by commencing students from a variety of educational backgrounds;
      • the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives within the curriculum;
      • the results of external moderation of Honours assessment, in accordance with the Policy on Honours Programs

(iii)  Sustainability and Resourcing Matters

  • an overall assessment of the viability and sustainability of the course, including consideration of:
    • student demand, progress rates and attrition rates;
    • any significant resourcing issues arising from continuing to offer the course or from any proposed course changes;
    • where the course features significant course components (such as major sequences), the viability of these

Composition of review committees

The guidelines below detail the University’s standard expectation of the composition of a review committee.  The composition may be modified with the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on the recommendation of the relevant Executive Dean/s, where the terms of reference of the review committee warrant a numerically smaller number of review committee members.

  • A chairperson, who will be either a senior member of the academic staff of the University who does not teach in the course and is not a member of staff of any School involved in offering the course, or a person external to the University;
  • Current students and recent graduates of the course;
  • At least one member external to the University from a relevant academic or professional background;
  • At least one member external to the University representing a relevant employer, employer group, or professional body;
  • At least one member of the teaching staff from a related area in the University;
  • At the discretion of the relevant Faculty, one or more staff members who teach in the course;
  • Other persons as appropriate.

Information to be provided to Five-Yearly Course Reviews

The following information will normally be provided to Course Review Committees for consideration:

1.  A copy of the University policy on Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Academic Programs and Teaching.

2.  A copy of the Course Accreditation Standards from the Higher Education Standards Framework (the Threshold Standards).

3.  A submission to the review from the School administering the course. The School’s submission should address the terms of reference for the review and analyse the performance of the course over the over the previous five years, taking into account the following:

  • Key Accountability Measures (KAMs) data;
  • The views of academic staff peers, students, graduates, employers and other stakeholders;
  • The report of most recent five-yearly review (where applicable), the School and Faculty response to it, and progress with respect to the resulting implementation plan;
  • Where the course is externally accredited, the report of most recent external accreditation review, the School and Faculty response to it, and progress with respect to the resulting implementation plan;
  • Academic standards benchmarking data, including, where available, reports arising from the IRU Academic Calibration process of the calibration of topics available in the course.

4.  Background Information

Strategic

  • University, Faculty and School strategic/ operational/ teaching and learning plans;

Course management

  • Terms of Reference and membership of course advisory/ management committees;
  • Course fees information;

Offshore programs (where the course being reviewed is available off-shore)

  • Contractual arrangements with any third parties;
  • A summary of Offshore Program Coordinator Annual Reports to PVCI;
  • Evidence of benchmarking/ moderation of academic standards/ assessment (where appropriate to the delivery model);

Course Design and Content

  • The Course Rule(s);
  • A summary of topic monitoring processes and outcomes (as provided under clause 3.4 of Policy);
  • Distribution of Honours results for 3 years (where applicable);
  • Course-specific and School-specific Flyers/Brochures/ Handbooks;
  • List of any formal credit/articulation arrangements;
  • Staff profiles – key staff teaching in the degree;

5.  Submissions to the review from staff, students, employers and other stakeholders.