View Document

Learning and Teaching Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Governing Policy

(1) This Procedure is governed by the Learning and Teaching Policy and should be read in conjunction with the Assessment Policy and the Examination Policy.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope/Application

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. all learning experiences facilitated by ACU, including professional experience units, offshore units and those completed as part of a coursework research degree;
  2. students undertaking such learning experiences; and
  3. academic and/or professional staff with responsibility for designing, administering, or making decisions relating to learning and teaching.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Terms used in this Procedure are consistent with the Glossary of Student and Course Terms. The following specific definitions also apply:

Term Definition
Assessment the process whereby student learning outcomes are measured and developed, feedback is given to students on their progress and final results are awarded.
Asynchronous learning experiences engage students in learning at their own pace with no scheduled classes.
In person learning experiences take place in a physical environment as opposed to a virtual space.
Feedback methods may include rubrics, notations on assessment tasks, in-class/online discussion, feedback posted electronically discussing the strengths and weaknesses of students' answers generically or individually.
Horizontal integration designing experiences that are linked across units that students engage in during the same time period. 
Learning outcomes what students should be able to demonstrate they know, understand, or can do at the completion of a learning experience, unit, or course.
Online students are physically separate from the teacher and learning activities are mediated remotely by a range of technologies. Learning may be synchronous, asynchronous or a combination of both.
Quality assurance activities that serve to improve the quality of learning, teaching, and assessment. As a process, the quality assurance cycle involves planning, implementation, evaluation, and action to improve. 
Scaffold learning activities, resources, and assessments support learning in a developmental way that aligns with adult learning theory. For example, helping students to progress from learning content, to concepts, and then to developing the ability to apply these.
Synchronous learning experience in which students are participating simultaneously.
Vertical integration designing experiences that are linked across units that students engage in as they progress through different levels.
Work Integrated Learning integrates the theory of learning with the practice of work.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Structure of the Procedures

(4) Procedurally, learning and teaching of ACU’s units is cyclical in nature, with the following core activities as the basis of the cycle:

  1. unit design;
  2. unit preparation;
  3. facilitating learning;
  4. accommodating flexibility and supporting equity; and
  5. evaluation and quality enhancement.

(5) While these activities will often follow on from each other, the order is not fixed, and activities may at times be completed together or in an alternate sequence.

(6) The core learning and teaching activities provide the primary structure for these procedures. When reading this Procedure, reference is made to aspects of the Assessment Procedure. These two procedures are focussed on the student experience and achievement of learning outcomes.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Phase 1: Unit Design

Vertical and horizontal integration

(7) Teaching activities must be aligned to learning outcomes.

(8) A variety of learning and teaching strategies and resources should be provided across units within one year level.

(9) The complexity of materials should increase as students advance through program levels.

(10) The unit learning outcomes should be mapped to the graduate capabilities across the program.

Unit development

(11) Curriculum should be designed as a scaffolded experience that sees learning developed across the whole of the curriculum journey. Academic staff should be aware that different cohorts can be enrolled in units of study and where a unit sits in the larger learning journey.

(12) Learning and teaching activities should build progressively in complexity across an individual unit to promote attainment of higher-level learning outcomes.

(13) Collaboration should be promoted through teaching materials that aim to facilitate the development of students’ social skills and promote connectivity and inclusivity.

(14) Compulsory or minimum levels of attendance may be prescribed where attendance is integral to achievement of the learning outcomes of the unit.

Learning Management System (LMS)

(15) Learning materials and resources must be available in the LMS and developed from the current published version of unit outline on the Course Browser or Handbook.

(16) The LMS must be the primary communication platform between teaching staff and students.

Units delivered across multiple campuses

(17) Units must operate according to the approved curriculum and have equivalent and equitable learning experiences regardless of the mode or location of delivery.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Phase 2: Unit preparation

Scheduling and timetabling.

(18) Unit offerings will be scheduled in sufficient time to ensure unit offerings are published and available for students in line with the Guideline for Offering Units.

(19) Unit timetabling data will be provided by the relevant staff in line with the timelines detailed in the Timetabling of Learning and Teaching Activities Procedure and its governing policy, the Timetabling of Learning and Teaching Activities Policy.

(20) Individual learning requirements of students outlined in an EIP should be accommodated.

(21) On occasions where there is no other option but to cancel classes, this must be communicated to students in a timely manner via the LMS. As deemed appropriate by the School, arrangements for alternative or make-up activities must be made and communicated to students via the LMS.   

LMS sites

(22) Each unit must have at least one LMS site. Within this site students must be able to view unit requirements, access learning materials, communicate with teaching staff, launch online synchronous and / or asynchronous learning sessions, and view / submit assessments.

(23) The number of LMS sites used where a single unit in a single teaching period is being taught in multiple delivery modes or campus locations is determined by the National Lecturer in Charge (NLIC).

(24) LMS sites must be made available to all enrolled students 2 weeks prior to the first day of a teaching period. Information required at this point includes assessment due dates, required readings, and teaching staff contact information. 

(25) Each LMS site should be reviewed by the NLIC against the checklist in ACU's Canvas Experience Guide, which details the essential items that should be present in each LMS site at ACU.

(26) Content must:

  1. meet the requirements of the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines;
  2. comply with copyright laws;
  3. contain Cultural Sensitivity Statements where appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Islander students;
  4. comply with privacy laws as outlined in the Privacy Policy; and
  5. be ACU branded to minimise intellectual property or copyright breaches.

(27) Teaching staff should consider potentially confronting material and may signal this material with a content statement. The LMS will provide information on where students can access support, independent of individual teaching units.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Phase 3: Facilitating learning

Blended experiences

(28) Except for purely online offerings, learning is generally a blend of approaches. The three main approaches within this blend are in person, online, and work integrated learning experiences. The appropriate blend is determined by learning outcomes and student needs. These learning approaches are distinct from ACU’s admission descriptions.

(29) Regardless of the blend chosen, each approach included must also meet minimum requirements of each facilitation approach as detailed in clauses (30) to (41).

Online experiences

(30) For all online learning experiences, the LMS is to be used as the primary digital learning platform.

(31) Electronic learning platforms outside of the LMS must be approved by Information Technology (IT) and the Centre for Education and Innovation (CEI).

(32) The LMS must be the primary platform of communication used for unit level announcements, discussion boards and generation of emails.

(33) Active student-centred approaches to learning and teaching are used as the primary vehicle for facilitating learning experiences for students in learning facilitated through the LMS.

(34) Where people not enrolled in a unit appear in video recordings or images captured in classes, a Guest Presenter Consent to Recordings/Photographs form should be signed and retained.

In person facilitation

(35) Active student-centred approaches to learning and teaching are used as the primary vehicle for facilitating learning experiences for students in face-to-face learning.

(36) Where possible, group approaches to learning are embraced to facilitate the development of students’ social skills and promote connectivity and inclusivity.

(37) A variety of teaching methods should be considered within a unit to accommodate diverse student learning preferences and accommodate inclusivity.

(38) Physical teaching environments must have appropriate equipment and resources to facilitate learning and teaching to achieve relevant learning outcomes.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Community Engagement (CE)

(39) Where appropriate, work integrated and community engagement approaches can be incorporated into units and courses to facilitate authentic learning, engage students with opportunities to connect with industry and community, and meet the standards of accreditors.

(40) Where Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and / or Community Engagemnt (CE) is integrated into learning, there is an appropriate preparatory process for students. WIL / CE activities are quality assured, appropriate support is provided to students undertaking WIL/CE, and learnings are appropriately capitalised upon in post WIL / CE learning opportunities.

(41) WIL / CE activities must comply with the requirements of the Third Party and Educational Partnerships Policy and Third Party and Educational Partnerships Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 8 - Phase 4: Accommodating flexibility and supporting equity

(42) To support the individual needs of a diverse range of students, reasonable modifications to learning activities may be necessary. The amount of modification required will vary depending on how much a student is impacted by an adverse event or requires reasonable adjustments to accommodate impairment to their ability to succeed:

  1. the needs of equity groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and other identified cohorts should be taken into consideration in modifying learning activities;
  2. the safety of students should be a key consideration in developing learning activities;
  3. where students are unable to meet an assessment deadline, students may submit an Extension Request Form form at least 24 hours prior to the due date;
  4. where participation has been significantly hampered by exceptional and unforeseen circumstances students may submit a Special Consideration Application with a view to adjusting learning activity requirements;
  5. reasonable adjustments are required as per the Students with Disability Policy and Students with Disability Procedure;
  6. reasonable adjustments are required for Elite Athlete and Performer students in line with the Elite Athlete and Performer Program Policy; and
  7. any adjustments made need to meet inherent requirements, accreditation standards and learning outcomes associated with programs.
Top of Page

Section 9 - Phase 5: Evaluation and Quality Enhancement

Evaluation on unit completion

(43) All ACU units of study are evaluated at the end of teaching periods in relation to the quality of the unit and teaching. Refer to the Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Policy for details.

Change recommendations

(44) Cyclical monitoring activities per the Course and Student Monitoring Policy determine whether modifications may be required to learning and teaching materials based on evidence generated through their implementation. Changes may occur where a unit does not meet quality and satisfaction benchmarks identified in the ACU Internal Benchmarks Schedule of the Course and Student Monitoring Policy. Where a unit’s learning and teaching strategy and resources meet quality and satisfaction benchmarks identified in the ACU Internal Benchmarks Schedule, no changes need occur:

  1. recommendations based on evidence on the quality and effectiveness of learning and teaching materials should be considered after the delivery of a unit;
  2. determination is made as to whether changes are required to enhance the quality of learning and teaching materials. The appropriate change process required should be identified (this may be at implementation level only or require a governance level change process);
  3. a change process required to modify learning and teaching materials is initiated where triggered by benchmarks outlined in the ACU Internal Benchmarks Schedule of the Course and Student Monitoring Policy and Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Procedure;
  4. where professional development needs for staff are identified, staff are referred to appropriate supports. These needs should be reported to CEI to enable an informed approach to resource development to meet emerging needs; and
  5. CEI will maintain an up-to-date service catalogue detailing support offerings for teaching staff using ACU’s digital learning environment.
Top of Page

Section 10 - Student participation and engagement

(45) It is the responsibility of students to engage actively in the learning process, to participate according to relevant course, unit, and assessment requirements, and to adhere to this and other related University policies and procedures.

(46) Students are expected to:

  1. regularly check their University email account and LMS sites;
  2. consult with the Lecturer in Charge if seeking advice or clarification regarding learning requirements in a unit;
  3. engage in learning in accordance with the Student Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Student Academic Misconduct Procedure;
  4. contribute to group work tasks;
  5. notify the Lecturer in Charge in a timely manner and provide evidence should there be any difficulties or concerns with group work;
  6. actively engage with all synchronous and asynchronous activities as outlined in the LMS. This includes a visual presence in online tutorials when requested by teaching staff;
  7. satisfy all compulsory or minimum attendance requirements specified in the LMS; and
  8. engage in learning through review and action on feedback received on assessment tasks.
Top of Page

Section 11 - Revisions made to this Procedure

(47)  In line with the Policy Development and Review Policy, this Procedure will be reviewed in line with the governing policy and is scheduled for review every five years or more frequently if appropriate.

Top of Page

Section 12 - Further Assistance

(48) The Centre for Education and Innovation (CEI) provides a wide range of resources to enable high-quality, engaged learning experiences. For further support or queries please email CEI@acu.edu.au.

Top of Page

Section 13 - Associated Information

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