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Annual Course Monitoring Procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘CDU’, ‘the University’) is committed to ensuring that Higher Education (HE) courses are designed, accredited, and reviewed against key performance-based indicators aligned to the strategic objectives of the University.

(2) In accordance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021, the University will undertake annual course monitoring and interim review practices within an accreditation cycle to ensure the viability of a course and to identify actions to continuously improve a course to enhance student learning and the student experience.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This procedure outlines the Annual Course Monitoring (ACM) process at the University.

(4) The procedure must be read in conjunction with the University’s Higher Education Course Accreditation Procedure.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) The procedure applies to:

  1. all HE coursework awards offered by the University;
  2. non-award courses that receive government funding; and
  3. non-award courses that are offered to international students.

(6) This procedure does not apply to:

  1. vocational education and training courses;
  2. higher degrees by research award courses;
  3. HE courses undergoing a 7 yearly comprehensive course review for re-accreditation;
  4. the first year of delivery of a brand-new course i.e., a course that has no delivery history or course data; and
  5. courses where an extension or waiver is approved by the Academic Board.
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Section 4 - Procedure

(7) Annual Course Monitoring is an interim review process which is used to mitigate future risks to the quality of a HE course, the education provided and to guide and evaluate enhancements within the relevant College and/or course change proposal. It also enables evidence-based performance monitoring of courses against internal and external benchmarks.

(8) Annual Course Monitoring is a four-stage process that runs from March to May each year:

  1. analysis and review of course data;
  2. development of quality improvement strategies;
  3. monitoring of actions; and
  4. reporting on outcomes.

Analysis and review of course data

Course Data

(9) Annual Course Monitoring dashboards provide Colleges with course data for the review and analysis of student performance and feedback against internal and external benchmarks within a seven (7) year accreditation cycle.

(10) The Director Planning and Performance is responsible for creating ACM dashboards for each College and each course within scope.          

  1. ACM dashboards are made available to Colleges in the first week of March each year.
  2. The data will be made available to College Deans, Associate Dean Learning Futures, College Quality Managers, Course Coordinators, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education Strategy (PVCES), Director Educational Quality and Excellence and Manager Quality Assurance and Enhancement.

(11) Course data on the dashboard includes:

  1. conversion and growth opportunities;
  2. student progression, completion, and retention data;
  3. pass rates, grade distribution;
  4. admissions standards;
  5. student and course experience data; and
  6. graduate outcomes, including graduate survey data.

Analysis and review

(12) In March of each year, the PVCES reviews course performance data for each College with the Associate Dean Learning Futures.

(13) The PVCES and Associate Dean Learning Futures review:

  1. key strengths and successes of the course;
  2. areas for improvement and development; and
  3. consideration of future opportunities.

(14) Following the review of the College performance data, the Associate Dean Learning Futures holds a meeting with the Course Coordinators to:

  1. consider and comment on the quality of the course, annual course data, issues and priorities for improvement, areas of strong performance and proposed course amendments;
  2. identify any necessary changes to address results of the analysed data and make evidence-based improvements.

(15) Following the meeting with the Associate Dean Learning Futures, Course Coordinators must organise the review and consider the following participants:

  1. external representatives who are either community or industry-based depending on the type of course;
  2. members of a professional accreditation group, where the course in accredited with a professional body;
  3. a current student of the course; and
  4. relevant staff members from Education Strategy and Planning and Performance who can assist in understanding the data.

Extension or waiver

(16) The PVCES makes decisions about extensions or waivers for ACM on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Associate Dean Learning Futures must submit a proposal to extend or waive ACM for a course before the end of March.
  2. The PVCES confirms the outcome of the request with the Associate Dean Learning Futures  within five (5) days of receiving the proposal.

Development of quality improvement strategies

(17) As part of the course review the Course Coordinator must develop a Quality Improvement Plan which includes actions to address the quality and performance of courses.

  1. The College Dean approves the Quality Improvement Plan and submits it to the PVCES by the end of May.

(18) The Associate Dean Learning Futures submits the Quality Improvement Plans to the College Learning and Teaching Committee in May each year.

Monitoring of actions

(19) The Course Coordinators monitor implementation of the Quality Improvement Plan.

(20) Course Coordinators are responsible for implementing the course actions from the Quality Improvement Plan and reporting progress to the Associate Dean Learning Futures.

(21) The Associate Dean Learning Futures must provide a written report on the progress of the implementation of actions to the PVCES in October each year.

Reporting on outcomes

(22) The Manager Quality Assurance and Enhancement must submit a report to the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee (LTAC) and Academic Programs Committee (APC) in June.

  1. The report summarises any potential risks to quality of courses and student experience for consideration by the LTAC and APC.

(23) Academic Board reviews the outcomes of ACM in July each year. 

  1. LTAC and APC provide annual recommendations to Academic Board on proposed actions to mitigate systemic risks to quality.
  2. The PVCES provides an annual summary of the courses reviewed over the previous year to Academic Board. This summary includes the recommendations from the course reviews and progress on implementation, major trends, and issues of concern.
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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(24) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures.

(25) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.