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Learning and Teaching Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of the Learning and Teaching Policy is to work with the Assessment Policy to guide the design and adoption of valid learning and teaching practices that shape and support the best possible student learning experience and outcomes.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. all courses delivered by ACU, including professional experience units, off-shore units and those coursework units completed as part of an honours or research degree;
  2. academic and/or professional staff with responsibility for designing, administering or making decisions related to learning and teaching.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement and Principles

(3) This Policy aims to promote high-quality learning and teaching by ensuring that:

  1. all learning and teaching practice is informed by a set of principles of good practice; and
  2. all academic and professional staff with responsibility for designing, administering, or making decisions relating to learning and teaching have a shared understanding of the practice implication of these principles.
These principles align with the ACU Mission, Identity and Values and embed principles of Catholic Social Thought.

(4) The student experience is central to all university functions. Within this Policy, the student experience is conceptualised across a lifecycle with four key elements. These elements are interdependent and combine to optimise the student experience. They also underpin a continuous quality improvement cycle.

Student experience is central to all aspects of the lifecycle

(5) To promote equity and dignity, learning and teaching is undertaken in a manner which is responsive to diverse demographic and learning needs of students.

(6) Learning environments and student support interfaces embrace technology to promote flexibility for students.

(7) The complex challenges faced by students as members of the broader community are used to inform teaching and curriculum design to ensure they reflect global perspectives, current challenges, future employment, community engagement and environmental sustainability.

(8) Learning and teaching is equitable across campuses promoting similarity of outcomes whilst remaining sensitive to geographical and jurisdictional variances.

Curriculum is designed to create opportunities for students to flourish

(9) Curriculum is designed and renewed to ensure real world relevance and reflect the learning needs of students preparing for dynamic communities and workplaces.

(10) Partnerships with students, industry, regulatory/professional bodies and community are used to inform curriculum design and development.

(11) Learning theory and transition pedagogy inform the design and development of all curriculum.

(12) Curriculum is designed to reflect multiple world views including global perspectives and Indigenous Knowings, perspectives and pedagogies.

(13) Discipline knowledge and competencies are developed through curriculum and teaching which integrate skills for interdisciplinary transferability and life-long learning.

Teaching is evidence based and scholarly

(14) Staff use learning theory to ensure teaching is student centred, active and provides a safe, inclusive and respectful environment within which students can maximise their potential.

(15) Learning outcomes, learning activities and assessments are aligned, clear, accessible and reflect real world needs and applications.

(16) Digital learning environments are used to promote flexibility and optimise learning.

(17) Scholarly evidence is used to inform teaching practice and discipline content.

Staff engage in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) as a quality improvement practice.

(18) All staff adopt a reflective, and collaborative approach by drawing upon a broad range of evidence from multiple perspectives to evaluate their performance and inform ongoing development.

(19) Staff are part of a learning community and engage in opportunities to improve their professional, discipline, teaching, research, community engagement and collegial capacities.

(20) Staff are acknowledged and rewarded for efforts to support the student experience and share scholarly outcomes within the teaching community.

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Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities 

(21) Approval Authority: Academic Board

(22) Governing Authority: Provost

(23) Responsible Officer: Director, Centre for Education and Innovation

(24) Other relevant stakeholders:

  1. Deputy Provost
  2. Faculty Boards (or equivalent)
  3. National Heads of School (or delegate)
  4. Lecturer in Charge
  5. Centre for Education and Innovation
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Section 5 - Review

(25) In line with the Policy Development and Review Policy, this Policy is scheduled for review every five years or more frequently if appropriate.

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Section 6 - Further Assistance

(26) Further support for this Policy and Learning and Teaching Procedure can be found on the Learning and Teaching website.

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Section 7 - Definitions

(27) Terms used in this Policy and associated procedures are consistent with the Glossary of Student and Course Terms. The following specific definitions also apply: Nil.

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Section 8 - Associated Information

(28) For related legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines and any supporting resources please refer to the Associated Information tab.