Timetable policy

Intent

This policy defines the principles and accountabilities for developing timetables.

Scope

The policy applies to all timetabled classes at the City, Bundoora and Brunswick campuses of RMIT.

Exclusions

The policy does not apply for programs and courses offered outside Australia on regional campuses or programs and courses offered in distance or single course mode. It also does not apply to short courses, ad-hoc events and industry / partner activities delivered on the Melbourne campuses.

Objectives

To provide a timetable which supports students in their program of study by being flexible and facilitating their learning, while maximising efficient use of learning and teaching resources.

Policy provisions

1. Timetable Principles

1.1. The timetable process includes the:

  • Scheduling of classes;
  • Timetabling of classes;
  • Registration / allocation of students to classes; and
  • Publication of timetable.

1.2. Learning and teaching activities will be scheduled to achieve learning outcomes, maximise the use of the University’s facilities and teaching resources, and maximise efficiencies for academic and teaching staff while providing outcomes that enhance the student experience.

1.3. Learning and teaching activities will not necessarily be timetabled at the same time every year or semester.

1.4. The collection of well defined constraints, during the engagement period, will guide the timetable development.

1.5. The timetable will support student completion of a standard program structure in minimum time.

1.6. Programs will be designed to ensure that students can attend required classes as described in the program structure. Students who enrol in courses outside the published program structure may not be guaranteed a clash-free timetable.

2. Prescribed Timetable System

2.1. All scheduled classes offered by the University must be timetabled on the University’s Timetabling System.

3. Class Scheduling

3.1. Schools will complete class scheduling in accordance with the RMIT accredited program and course approval calendar;

3.2. Class scheduling must align with actual delivery dates;

3.3. Schools will comply with the Class scheduling instruction.

4. Control of Teaching Space

4.1. All lecture theatres and generic classrooms will be centrally managed.

4.2. All teaching computer laboratories will be booked via prescribed timetabling system including any blocks set aside for student open access/private study.

4.3. Specialist teaching space will be used for its designated purpose and be assigned and coordinated by Timetabling Services

5. Timetabling considerations

Timetabling considerations include, but are not limited to, the principles outlined below:

5.1. Larger classes will be timetabled prior to smaller classes, as there are fewer spaces to accommodate these classes;

5.2. First year classes have precedence over later year classes, to support students transition to tertiary education;

5.3. Classes that occupy large blocks of time will be timetabled prior to those which occupy small blocks of time, as it is more difficult to find suitable spaces available for large blocks of time;

5.4. Classes requiring specialised facilities in multi-use space, have precedence over those that require the standard facilities in the same space; and

5.5. Access for students and or staff with disabilities takes precedence, matching resources with accessibility.

6. Timetable Planning

6.1. Classes will normally be timetabled within the spread of University’s standard teaching hours Monday to Friday between the hours of 8.30am and 9.30pm on each campus.

6.2. To improve room availability, multi-hour classes are scheduled to maximise utilisation commencing from 8:30am.

6.3. Classes will be allocated to resources as per the academic requirements provided, i.e. room size, equipment, teaching style.

6.4. Programs or Courses having periods of professional experience will be timetabled only for those weeks when campus resources are required. The rooms concerned may be timetabled for other purposes when students are undertaking such off-campus activities.

6.5. Intensives and other non-standard booking patterns will be coordinated to minimise the amount of timeslots that are unavailable for standard semester classes.

6.6. Teaching periods will commence on the half hour, with the exception of the Bundoora East campus where teaching periods will commence on the hour. This is to facilitate student and staff movement between Bundoora East and West campuses.

6.7. Classes will end ten (10) minutes prior to published end time to enable room changeover and allow students to move to the next class.

6.8. Breaks in the timetable will be scheduled between the hours of 11.30am and 2.30pm for staff and students.

6.9. A staff member’s timetable will operate in accordance with their employment terms and conditions.

6.10. Timetabling Services will seek to minimise the need for students and staff to travel between campuses on the same day.

6.11. Timetable Services will seek to clump student classes within their student timetables, to minimise the spread of classes and avoid large gaps of time for students across the day.

7. Timetable Publication

7.1. Full year timetables will be published three (3) weeks prior to the earliest relevant enrolment period to permit students to make informed choices about course selection.

8. Timetable Changes/Room Changes

8.1. Changes to the timetable post-publication will be minimised. Valid reasons for changes include:

    8.1.1. Unexpected academic or teaching staff changes,

    8.1.2. Unexpected surge/decline in enrolled student numbers,

    8.1.3. Health or safety hazard,

    8.1.4. Adjustments required to accommodate staff or students with special needs,

    8.1.5. Late changes to Vocational Education Training Packages,

    8.1.6. Changes to student placement arrangements.

8.2. Changes to the published timetable relating to a change of day and/or time will require the approval of the School Manager / Manager, Planning and Resources.

8.3. Approved changes will be updated on the published timetable with appropriate notification provided to staff and students as necessary.

9. Timetable Responsibilities

9.1. Timetabling Services are responsible for ensuring that the University’s timetabling process is conducted in a coordinated, efficient and effective manner.

9.2. Program Managers will provide program specific information to ensure the timetable meets all requirements.

9.3. Academic and Teaching staff will be responsible for submitting course teaching requirements and their hours of work unavailability through the prescribed channels.

10. Timetable Clash Resolution

10.1. Timetable clashes will be resolved by negotiation between the parties concerned and Timetabling Services. Problems not able to be resolved in this manner will be referred to the Manager, Timetabling for resolution, using the timetable considerations (refer item 4).

11. Environmental Consideration

11.1. When classes are scheduled on evenings, weekends and public holidays, rooms will be consolidated where possible into energy efficient spaces and buildings rather than spread across teaching facilities on a relevant campus, to support the University’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 25%.

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