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Subject Coordinators Procedure

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) Subject Coordinators are responsible for all aspects of a subject at La Trobe University.

(2) Each subject of the University will have a single Subject Coordinator with overall authority. Administrative processes may require delegation to professional or administrative staff, at the direction of the Subject Coordinator.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) Refer to the Course and Subject Coordinators Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Course and Subject Coordinators Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

New Subjects

(5) Prior to the development of proposals for a new subject, a Subject Coordinator must be appointed, to prepare the relevant documentation, and ensure that all approval processes of the Subject Lifecycle Policy (Expires 31/10/18) and associated Procedures are completed in a timely manner.

Appointment of the Subject Coordinator

(6) A Subject Coordinator is appointed by the Head of the relevant School/Department, in consultation with any relevant Course Coordinators.

(7) Subject Coordinators are usually appointed for a period of at least 12 months. 

(8) The names of Subject Coordinators are recorded in the Course Information management System (CIMS) and must be updated immediately when changed.

Criteria for a Subject Coordinator

(9) Criteria:

  1. Academic staff member normally holding a continuing or fixed term appointment at Level B or above
  2. Knowledge in the subject area
  3. Excellent organisational skills
  4. Excellent teaching skills
  5. Excellent interpersonal skills
  6. Excellent skills in working with and building teams
  7. Willingness to be the subject coordinator

Instances of Subjects and Instance Leaders

(10) Where there are multiple instances of the subject and it is taught at multiple locations, in multiple modes and/or by third parties, there will be only one Subject Coordinator. 

(11) A Subject Coordinator may also be an Instance Leader. 

(12) The Head of School/Department, in consultation with Campus Heads and Subject Coordinators, should appoint an Instance Leader for each instance of the subject.

Key Responsibilities

(13) The main areas of responsibility for subject coordinators are:

  1. Development and Design
  2. Delivery and Leadership
  3. Engagement 
  4. Review and Revision
  5. Administration and Subject Reporting 

Development and Design

(14) In conjunction with the relevant Heads of Schools/Departments, School Directors of Teaching and Learning, Course Coordinator(s) and Instance Leaders as necessary:

  1. Define the Subject Intended Learning Outcomes
  2. Where subjects have been identified as cornerstone, midpoint or capstone subjects, ensure that Graduate Capabilities are developed, scaffolded, assessed and reported
  3. Ensure that Subject Intended Learning Outcomes, learning activities and assessment tasks of core and core-choice subjects are constructively aligned with the Course Intended Learning Outcomes 
  4. Ensure that Subject Intended Learning Outcomes, learning activities and assessment tasks of subjects are constructively aligned and consistently aligned across all location and semester instances of the subject
  5. Ensure that consideration is given to flexible learning experiences, learning enrichment and a range of assessment tasks throughout the subject 

Delivery and Leadership

(15) Develop a collaborative Subject Teaching Team, including Instance Leaders, lecturers, guest lecturers and tutors as required (some of these may work for external partners) 

(16) Assist with the appointment of the Subject Teaching Team as required

(17) Ensure a consultative team environment by maintaining a regular contact network, including a specific meeting to discuss the finalising of grades and opportunities for subject revision each time the subject is offered 

(18) At least annually, review and submit to the Course Coordinator, Head of School/Department, and Director of Teaching and Learning the Course Information Management System entry and Subject Learning Guide for the subject (materials for subjects not considered core or core-choice should be submitted only to the School Director of Teaching and Learning)

(19) Create and manage the rolling over of the LMS site for the subject, ensuring that the LMS site, the Subject Learning Guide, and the materials at least for the first week of semester, are available for students to access two weeks prior to commencement of semester. 

(20) Moderate assessment tasks and the results of other subjects as required in accordance with the Assessment (Moderation and Integrity) Policy.

(21) In consultation with Course Coordinators and Instance Leaders as necessary:

  1. Ensure that assessment task due dates for core subjects are scheduled to spread student assessment workload as much as possible throughout the semester.
  2. Develop content and syllabus, reading lists, teaching activities including formative and summative assessment and assessment criteria, standards, rubrics and grading sheets.
  3. Identify teaching requirements and advising the Head of School/Department and relevant administrative staff on staff and teaching space requirements for the subject.
  4. Prepare tutorial materials in a timely manner, including setting questions and topics, preparing reading lists and handouts, co-ordinating availability of materials in relevant and accessible locations.
  5. Determine what Special Consideration will be available to students who have had their requests approved by Student Services and Administration staff.
  6. Ensure the special needs of students are accommodated as required following consultation with Equity and Diversity.
  7. Ensure that the subject meets the Subject Minimum Online Policy.

Engagement Outside the Subject Teaching Team

(22) Consult with students during and prior to their studies regarding subject rules, design, delivery, academic quality and other issues as may arise.

(23) Provide information and advice as needed about subject rules, design, delivery, academic quality and other issues as may arise with the subject.

(24) Ensure that 2 hours each week of consultation time is made available to students in each subject.

(25) Engage with third party providers to advise of changes in the subject(s) taught under that agreement.

Review and Revision

(26) In consultation with relevant Heads of Schools/Departments, School Directors of Teaching and Learning, Course Coordinators and Instance Leaders as necessary:

  1. Continuously improve the curriculum for the subject
  2. Review at the end of each teaching period, with other members of the Teaching Team learning outcomes, grades, retention and significant issues identified in student feedback.
  3. Ensure that the disciplinary content of the subject is regularly reviewed to maintain currency with research, technological change, current events and potential employment opportunities for graduates

Administration and Reporting

(27) The Subject Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the subject is delivered so that it meets all University policy and procedural requirements, TEQSA standards and other professional and accreditation requirements.

(28) In conjunction with staff of the College Education team and the College Governance Team, University Governance Office, School staff and staff of the Quality and Standards Office, as necessary:

  1. Establish and maintain Learning Management System (LMS) sites 
  2. Moderate assessment in accordance with the Assessment (Moderation and Integrity) Policy
  3. Prepare documentation for annual reporting required by the College and School/Department
  4. Ensure that any proposed revisions to the subject are documented using the University’s Subject Revision processes and relevant committees
  5. Propose casual workload allocations for the subject
  6. Collate, determine and submit the student results
  7. Complete the Subject Review Form (incorporating results of moderation and responses to Student Feedback) following any offering of the subject 
  8. Notify Academic Integrity Advisors of any possible Academic Integrity concerns in the subject

Instance Leaders

(29) Instance Leaders also have specific duties. Some of those are indicated in the sections above, where they are collaborating with the relevant Subject Coordinator.

(30) In addition to those duties, they are responsible for:

  1. Organising, coordinating, training and motivating tutors for their instance delivery
  2. Making arrangements to cover any absences and providing advice to students in such events
  3. Contributing to the subject materials prepared by the Subject Coordinator for their specific Instance 
  4. Assisting as required in the preparation of the assessment, co-ordination and collation of marks, subject reporting required by the College or School/Department and ensuring submission of final results within the time frame required
  5. Maintaining lists of tutorial students 
  6. Monitor the LMS for student needs and other actions required
  7. Respond to email queries, forum posts etc from students, and make at least 2 hours per week available for consultation with students for each subject

Differences Between Subject Coordinators and Instance Teaching Staff

(31) Where the Subject Coordinator and one or more members of the Subject Teaching Team (including Instance Leaders) are unable to agree on matters including the setting of learning outcomes, the assessment criteria and standards, activities and tasks, the Subject Learning Guide, information in the Course Information Management System, the textbooks to be used and/or the materials to be presented, the matter is to be resolved by the relevant Head(s)of School/Department concerned.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(32) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Instance: each distinct offering of a subject. Instances may differ in one or more particulars, for example: location, mode, length and intensity of teaching period, facilities and resources (e.g. staff, equipment, space).
  2. Instance Leader: provides co-ordination of subjects at instances other than the one for which the Subject Coordinator is also the Instance Leader
  3. Teaching Team: The Subject Coordinator, Instance Leaders and other staff teaching the subject, including sessional and marking staff.
  4. Subject Learning Guide: the document distributed or provided online to students at the beginning of semester with substance including details of subject content, expected learning outcomes, assessment and assessment criteria, reading guide, staff contact information, advice on plagiarism.
  5. Assessment Criteria: Used to measure the degree to which a student has achieved the intended learning outcomes for the subject. 
  6. Standards: The actual levels achieved by the students against the assessment criteria
  7. Assessment tasks: Examples include examinations, essays or other forms of writing, verbal presentations, clinical practicum performance, multi media or digital presentations, performance, portfolio development. See the Student Assessment Workload Guidelines for more examples.