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Course Reviews

Background

The review process is an integral part of the University's quality assurance system. The responsibility for ensuring the quality and standards of individual courses lies with the faculties.

On 9 March 2011, the University Learning and Teaching Committee, in consultation with the Executive Deans, endorsed a common approach for all course reviews across all faculties. It was agreed that Executive Deans will:

  1. Ensure that course reviews are conducted and that the recommendations from these reviews are implemented.
  2. Develop a schedule for course reviews, determining which courses require an in-depth review.
  3. Ensure that courses are reviewed every three to five years and that consideration is given to course performance, assessment outcomes, topics taught and quality of materials.
  4. Provide an annual report of course reviews conducted and the key outcomes of these reviews to the DVC&VP(A).
  5. Ensure that feedback on the course review is provided to students.

Since that time, it has also been made a requirement that high fail rate courses be the subject of an in-depth review (regardless of when they are next due for their cyclical 3 to 5 yearly review).

Current Process

Faculties and/or schools determine an annual schedule of course reviews so that each course is reviewed every three to five years.

High fail rate courses, as identified according to the University’s definition (fail rates of ≥ 20% occur at least twice during the preceding 3 year period) must receive an in-depth review.

The type of review (light touch or in-depth) is otherwise at the discretion of faculties, however other factors that may influence the type of review include:

  • SELT data
  • Curriculum reviews
  • Program and accreditation reviews
  • Low or decreasing enrolment numbers
  • High attrition rates.

Faculties are required to annually report a summary of course reviews undertaken in the previous year to the second meeting of the Quality and Enhancement Committee (normally in June). LQS provide faculties with a template, pre-populated with the high fail rate courses for this purpose (normally in March of each year).

Questions?

Please email any queries to lqseducompliance@adelaide.edu.au.

Course Review Procedures

  • Identify courses to be reviewed

    Every course taught by a school must be reviewed every three to five years.

    Every course identified as a High Fail Rate Course must be reviewed.

    • Faculty/School establish processes to identify courses to be reviewed each year.
      Possible approaches could be to:
      • focus on particular level courses;
      • review courses offered at a particular location;
      • identify courses forming a major sequence within a program;
      • use SELT reports to detect under-performing courses;
      • may be influenced by external accreditation processes

    Course performance measures should guide the choice of courses for review.
    (Particularly refer to the High Fail Rate reports – email lqseducompliance@adelaide.com.au for assistance.)

  • Identify the type of review

    Faculty/School to decide if an in-depth or light-touch review is required.

    • In-depth reviews are indicated for:
      • Core courses
      • Courses appearing in the High Fail Rate report
      • Course being offered for the first time.
    • Other possible factors to consider when deciding if an in-depth review is desirable:
      • Program and accreditation review outcomes
      • Low or decreasing enrolments
      • High attrition rates
      • Previous review outcomes (follow-up investigation may be desirable).

    The following Course Review Templates may be used for guidance:

  • Convene a Course Review Committee

    Each school needs to convene a committee to undertake course reviews. This can be on an ad hoc basis, be added to the work of an existing standing committee or a new standing committee may be established. The review convenor could be the Course Coordinator.

    This committee undertakes the review. (The Course Review Guidelines can provide assistance.)

    The committee submits the outcomes of the review to the Head of School for approval.

  • Gather material for the review

    For each course to be reviewed compile the following information (print or electronic):

    • Course outline (see Course Outlines website)
    • SELT results (if available)
    • Relevant page from the teaching school's Course Review Book. (Staff-only access)
      • Remember to choose the relevant half year.
      • Individual course titles appear in the table of contents and link to the relevant course page.
      • Print only the page for the course under review.
      • Fill in the details for 'Use of MyUni/Online' and 'Course Offerings' on this page.

    Note: Course Review Book and Course Summary & Results files are updated annually on the website as follows.

    • First half year - from August of the current year
    • Second half year - from January of the following year
  • School Reporting

    Schools need to provide an annual overview to their faculty Executive Dean.

    • A Course Review School Overview Template is provided as an example.
    • If not using the template provided, the report should contain:
      • Course name
      • Catalogue number
      • Recommendations / Actions identified (these require implementation by the school)
      • Approach (in-depth / light-touch)
      • Date of review.
  • Faculty Reporting

    Executive Deans are responsible for providing an annual report to the DVC&VP(A) of course reviews conducted, and for ensuring that identified recommendations are implemented. These reports should be sent to Learning & Quality Support, email lqseducompliance@adelaide.com.au. A reminder will be sent in March each year.

    • A Course Review Faculty Summary Template is provided for the annual report, although existing faculty documentation may be used.
    • If not using the template provided, the report should contain the same information as for the school overview above.
    • Each school in the faculty needs to be listed separately in the faculty summary.
  • Feedback to students

    Feedback on the outcomes of course reviews should be provided to students.

    • This feedback should be incorporated in the course outline or other general course information so it is available to current and future students.
    • Feedback can identify the key actions identified in a review and the implementation plan for these.

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Division of Academic and Student Engagement
Address

The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
Australia

Street Address

Level 7, Wills Building
North Terrace Campus
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

Contact

T +61 8 8313 5901
F +61 8 8313 8333

dvca@adelaide.edu.au