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Monash University Policy Bank

Timetabling Policy

Purpose

To achieve coordinated and consistent timetabling practices across Monash University in facilitating timely production of a single University timetable.

Scope

Applies to the timetabling of all teaching activities at Monash University, and therefore to all students enrolled in those activities and staff who teach those activities.

Policy Statement

The primary requirement of the timetable is to ensure that it enables students to complete core units in a course level, to satisfy course rules and to complete elective combinations that are specified by course regulations to fulfil the requirements of the award. Beyond this requirement a number of other considerations affect timetabling, not least of all the availability of academically sound combinations of units.

The timetabling of university teaching activities is governed by the following principles:

2.1 Teaching activities will be scheduled at times and in places that are consistent with:

  • university policies in relation to work, life and family, equity and diversity (refer to “Related policies” below)
  • appropriate pedagogical practice
  • facilitating student attendance and maximising student choice
  • the use of specialist teaching space for its designated purpose
  • occupational health and safety and fire code regulations (e.g. room capacity restrictions, staff working conditions)
  • utilising teaching space and resources effectively and efficiently, consistent with allocations being equitable for staff and students and compatible with pedagogic requirements.

2.2 Activities will be scheduled in patterns that produce manageable teaching times for staff and allow staff appropriate time for other activities such as research, administration and post-graduate supervision.

2.3 Day unit offerings will be scheduled between 8:00am and 6:00pm and evening unit offerings scheduled between 6:00pm and 10:00pm to ensure that part time students are able to attend classes after working hours. Students will be expected to be available to attend and teaching staff available to teach classes during these times, unless mutually agreed otherwise. A one-hour lunch break between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm will normally be allocated to all teaching staff and student sets. All teaching activities will preferably be scheduled in full hour units and timetabled to commence on the hour.

2.4 The timetable for a forthcoming academic period will be published on the second Monday of October every year to permit all students to be informed of the timetable when selecting the units in which to re-enrol and enrol.

2.5 Changes to the timetable after final publication will be kept to a minimum as students use the timetable to make enrolment decisions that best fit their academic interests as well as their family and work commitments.

2.6 Ultimate responsibility for resolving conflicts which arise from Faculty timetabling decisions rests with the relevant Head of School/Department.

2.7 Students enrolled in a standard program should expect to attend all core units and have a reasonable selection of electives from which to choose.

2.8 While the University attempts to accommodate student choices, the timetable may not allow for every student to attend their preferred combination of units.

2.9 Auto-scheduling aims to achieve the best match for changes in teaching and delivery methods, the efficient use of teaching spaces and technology, and to maximise student choice. The process of auto-scheduling will take place on a regular basis as deemed necessary by the University but no more than once every two years.
In years when auto-scheduling is not run, a timetable rolled over from the previous year will apply.

2.10 When producing the annual timetable, teaching activities will be scheduled before ad hoc activities.

2.11 The University's requirements for rooms and facilities will take precedence over their use by external persons, groups or bodies. No adjustments to the academic timetable will be made to accommodate external use except in those exceptional circumstances specifically approved.

2.12 Facilities and Services are responsible for setting the room capacity and layout for all University teaching spaces.

Supporting procedures

Timetabling Procedures

Supporting guidelines

Responsibility for implementation

At the University wide level:
• Director, Education Business Services
• Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services
At the Faculty level:
• Faculty Managers
• Faculty Timetable Coordinators

Status

Revised

Key Stakeholders

• Director, Education Business Services
• Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services
• Monash University Venues (MUV)
• Syllabus Plus User Group
• Disability Liaison Officers
• Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
• Domestic and International Students
• Faculty/School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
• Deans, Faculty Managers, Departmental Managers, Heads of Schools/ Departments
• Teaching Unit Coordinators, Teaching Staff

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 3/14
Date: 04-June-2014
Agenda item: 11.1

Endorsement body

Name: Learning and Teaching Committee
Meeting: 3/14
Date: 06-May-2014
Agenda item: 7.1

Definitions

Ad hoc bookings: Any casual booking of University space not intended for regular teaching activity.

Allocate+: Online class allocation system accessible from any computer in the world that has Internet access. Students can browse available timeslots for all enrolled activities and specify personal preferences.

Auto-scheduling: Timetable auto-scheduling is the process of producing the university timetable based on student, staff, location and unit constraints. This will take place at regular intervals as necessary, with the aims of maximising: • student choice • the inter-relationship of Syllabus Plus with other University corporate systems • the impact of teaching technology • the efficient use of resources including the processes by which the timetable is prepared.

Campus timetablers: Staff in campus managers’ offices, ad hoc booking offices and any other areas with responsibility for managing ad-hoc bookings on the campus on which they are based.

Clash: An occurrence when students are allocated to two or more teaching activities that run at the same time or which overlap.

Core unit: A mandatory unit taken to fulfil the requirements for an award.

Course: The accumulation of units, according to a set of rules, that leads to the award of a qualification (eg Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science). In the case of a double degree, this course of study can lead to the award of two qualifications.

Elective unit: An optional unit taken to fulfil the requirements for an award.

Offering: A unit available for enrolment in the forthcoming teaching period.

Preliminary release: The version of the timetable provided four weeks before final timetable publication to enable academic and administrative staff to identify and resolve problems before the final timetable is published.

Resources: Teaching rooms and teaching equipment including audio visual facilities.

Rollover timetable: The current year’s timetable data which forms the basis of the timetable for the following academic period.

Specialist space: Teaching locations designed for specific purposes, e.g. scientific laboratories, dance studios, editing rooms, drawing rooms. Normally controlled by a faculty/school/department but some or all activities using the space are timetabled centrally.

Student set: A combination of units which should not clash due to a high likelihood of students doing this combination, or published as a highly desirable combination for any set course.

Students/staff requiring adjustments: Students/staff who require reasonable adjustments to their timetable arising from their disabilities, religious beliefs or family responsibilities.

Suitabilities: Factors that indicate the nature of a teaching space, the pedagogic possibilities and the teaching equipment available.

Syllabus Plus: Syllabus Plus along with Allocate+ are used for space management, timetabling and class allocation.

Teaching activity: Any event such as a lecture, tutorial, laboratory session, etc that makes up the time requirement for a unit.

Teaching space: Any location used to conduct classes.

Teaching staff: Academic staff with responsibilities for teaching.

Timetable: A schedule listing the day and time at which teaching activities (lectures, tutorials, etc.) are expected to take place at a scheduled location.

Timetabling: The act of scheduling all teaching activities (lectures, toutourials, etc.) into suitable teaching spaces taking into consideration availability of teaching locations, staff and ensuring students are able to attend classes for core units in a course level to satisfy course rules and to complete elective unit combinations that are specified by course regulations to fulfil the requirements of the award.

Unit: The basic component of a course in which a student will enrol to undertake study in a particular discipline.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

Monash University Act 2009 
Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Related policies

Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures 
Equal Opportunity Policy 
Occupational Health & Safety Policy 
Space Management Policy 
Work Life Family Policies

Related documents

Building Code of Australia
Ad Hoc Bookings Guidelines

Date Effective

04-June-2014

Review Date

04-June-2017

Owner

Director, Education Business Services

Author

Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

Content Enquiries

Time Table
Education Policy Unit

University Policy Use

Version Number: 2.0

Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu

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