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Timetabling Procedures

Parent Policy

Timetabling Policy

Monash University undertakes to:

  • sponsor, provide, maintain and where necessary further develop an automated timetabling system for use by faculties;
  • provide policy coordination, training and access to users of the system;
  • be responsible for coordinating the timing of both inputs and the publishing of timetables;
  • coordinate the allocation of centrally managed teaching space and all general teaching space during the scheduling period.

Key Dates

  • Allocate+ open/close dates – as published each semester on the Allocate Plus website
  • First week of May: Program of data preparation requirements and deadlines issued to Faculties
  • 1 July: Callista unit rollover data finalised
  • 15 August: Faculties finalise course and unit offerings for forthcoming academic period
  • 1 September: DEST publishing date for course and unit information
  • Mid September: Preliminary release of timetable
  • Second Monday in October: Timetable published

1. Class Timetabling and Ad hoc bookings

1.1 Timetable Process

  • Understand and coordinate the timetable process from an institutional rather than a particular academic area perspective.
  • Oversee data entry and building of delivery structures
  • Provide timelines for preparation of the University timetable;
  • Responsible for final scheduling of the timetable;
  • Ensure that the needs of students are considered
  • Manage the online ad hoc booking system.

Responsibility

Manager, Timetable Systems

1.2 Ad Hoc Booking

  • Manage and coordinate ad hoc bookings of centrally-managed teaching spaces for conferences and one-off events (including Faculty and Departmental seminars, and Open Day) with teaching use;
  • Liaise with the Manager, Timetable Systems to ensure that teaching activities will be scheduled before ad hoc activities when producing the annual timetable.

Responsibility

Monash university Venues (MUV)
Campus Timetablers

1.3 User Groups

  • Consist of the Manager, Timetable Systems, and one representative from each Faculty, with campus timetablers to be invited to attend when required;
  • Assist with the setting of timetabling objectives;
  • Assist with the resolution of any inter-Faculty timetabling and allocation issues.

Responsibility

Syllabus Plus and Allocate Plus User Groups

1.4 Disability Support

  • Following interviews with each student at the beginning of each year, ensure that the Faculty Timetable Coordinators are made aware of any adjustments that may be required;
  • Notify Faculty Timetable Coordinators where there are additional support staff employed to assist students in classes.

Responsibility

Disability Liaison Officers

1.5 Student Information

  • Provide information and requisites as soon as possible after enrolment so adjustments required arising from circumstances such as disabilities or religious beliefs may be accommodated. Requests from students related to:
    • disability or medical condition are directed to the Disability Liaison Unit;
    • religious beliefs are directed to unit/course coordinators, School/Department Timetable Coordinators, Heads of School/Department or equivalent;
  • Use Allocate Plus to submit requests to attend particular teaching activities;
  • Read the published timetable on MUTTS and advise unit/course coordinators of concerns relating to issues such as clashes between core units, or unreasonable multi-campus travel to attend core classes;
  • Read the relevant published University Handbook that sets out course requirements;
  • Attend only those classes into which they are timetabled.

Responsibility

Domestic and International Students

1.6 Faculty Timetabling

  • Manage timetabling and associated business processes across the Faculty;
  • Prepare and distribute timelines for data preparation;
  • Provide timely advice to School staff and Heads of Schools/Departments of their requests regarding overall workload and equity issues, and ensure that these issues are reflected in the timetable;
  • Ensure provision of accurate data to the Faculty when the timetable is being prepared;
  • Ensure collection of accurate data from Schools/Departments, and enter it into Syllabus Plus;
  • Liaise with central timetabling and School/Department/unit coordinators to resolve timetabling anomalies and make adjustments to the draft timetable;
  • Read and check individual timetables when they are first published for checking;
  • Keep abreast of all timetabling related policies, procedures and processes and implement changes as necessary;
  • Coordinate Faculty ad hoc room bookings and ensure cancelled bookings are recorded;
  • Ensure a spread of classes such that late evening classes immediately followed by early morning classes, or early morning classes and late evening classes on the same day, or consecutive late evening classes or early morning classes are avoided;
  • Manage timetable and Allocate Plus changes;
  • Educate students to check the timetable for any amendments before the start of semester
  • Allocate teaching loads consistent with University policy, taking into account teaching staff's overall duties, and making reasonable adjustments for family responsibilities, religious beliefs, disability or medical condition;
  • Ensure a spread of classes such that late evening classes immediately followed by early morning classes, or early morning classes and late evening classes on the same day, or consecutive late evening classes or early morning classes are avoided.
  • ensure accurate data is provided when the timetable is being prepared;
  • make timely adjustments to the draft timetable including changes arising from staff or student requests for reasonable adjustments;
  • make timely adjustments to the published timetable if necessary.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator

Faculty Manager, Departmental Manager, Heads of School/Department
Teaching Unit Coordinator

1.7 Teaching Requirements

  • Provide timely advice to Heads of Schools/Departments of any requests regarding overall workload and equity issues (including times unavailable via the Staff Unavailability Form, the amount of time specified as unavailable being consistent with terms and conditions as agreed within the University's Enterprise Agreements and University policy);
  • Provide full and accurate information on specific timetable requirements for each unit in a timely manner;
  • Read and check the timetable for each unit they are involved in when it is first published and advise of any problems;
  • Educate students to check the timetable for any amendments before the start of semester.

Responsibility

Teaching Staff

2.1 Standards

2.1.1 Publication times and expectations

A preliminary release of the timetable will be prepared and published by early October. Faculties, Schools, and Departments are responsible for reviewing the preliminary release to ensure that:

  • adequate provision has been made for all offerings for the coming teaching periods;
  • all details of teaching activities have been entered correctly;
  • teaching staff are available; and
  • there are no clashes in students’ standard programs.

The final timetable will be published by mid October. The program of data preparation requirements and deadlines for the coming year will be issued to faculties, Schools and Departments by the first week of May.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Timetable Systems Officers
Manager, Timetable Systems

2.1.2 Publication location

The official timetable is published on the web at http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Responsibility

Timetable Systems Officers
Manager, Timetable Systems

2.1.3 Travel between campuses

Where possible, activities for student cohorts or individual staff will not be scheduled at different campuses on the same day unless requested. Where this is unavoidable, travel time will be allowed for in the schedule.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Timetable Systems Officers

2.2 Information required

2.2.1 Course and Unit Offerings

Courses and units being offered in forthcoming academic periods must be finalised before timetables can be prepared. Faculties must  finalise their course and unit offerings (i.e. formally approved, and lodged on CUPID and Callista) for the forthcoming academic period by 15 August at the latest. Callista unit offering option data must be finalised by 1 July.

Responsibility

Dean, Faculty Manager, Departmental Manager, Heads of School/Department
Faculty Syllabus+ Timetabler Coordinator/School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators

2.2.2 Student Sets

Student sets must guarantee that certain combinations of units will be possible from year to year so that single and combined degrees can be planned. The creation of student sets for the timetable is the responsibility of Faculties. The Timetable Systems Unit will provide initial extracts from the student system and carry out uploads to Syllabus Plus and MUTTS where necessary. Faculties are required to finalise this information prior to the scheduling of the timetable. Where units from diverse Departments are included in sets, each Department must agree to the inclusion of their units in the sets. In the event of disputes, advice may be sought at the Faculty level. A one-hour lunch break between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm will be allocated to all student sets.

Student sets will be reviewed annually and will have the following restrictions:

  • The total credit points of units within a student set must not exceed 24. Larger sets can be created in exceptional circumstances in consultation with the Timetable Systems Unit.
  • Student sets must not:
    • contain a unit which is a prerequisite for some other unit in that set
    • contain a unit which is a prohibition for some other unit in that set
  • Requests for specific exemptions to this rule can be managed in consultation with the Timetable Systems Unit.
  • All student sets must follow the agreed naming convention as set by the Timetable Systems Unit and the Syllabus Plus User Group.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Timetable Systems Officers

2.2.3 Double degrees

Monash University offers double degrees which require students to undertake degrees managed by two different Faculties/Schools/Departments. Faculties/Schools/Departments involved in offering double degrees must liaise with each other to ensure that students:

  • have sufficient teaching activities from which to choose;
  • have minimum need to travel between campuses.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators

2.2.4 Service teaching

Some Faculties/Schools/Departments offer units that are taken as core or elective units by students in other Faculties/Schools/Departments. Service provider Faculties/Departments/Schools and service recipient Faculties/Schools/Departments must liaise with each other to ensure that students:

  • have sufficient teaching activities from which to choose;
  • have minimum need to travel between campuses.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators

2.2.5 Allocation of staff

Academic staff must be allocated to all activities before a timetable can be produced. Where a Department or Faculty is yet to recruit the staff member who will teach a particular unit, they will be required to enter a dummy profile for the prospective staff member in order to produce the timetable. It is then expected that the newly recruited staff member will teach at the times already allocated during timetabling, unless there are exceptional reasons for change.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators

2.3 Timetabling requirements

2.3.1 Standard teaching times

Classes will be scheduled from 8:00am to 10:00pm, Monday to Friday. 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. When a course is available in a full-time mode, classes may be scheduled any time during these hours. Activities may be scheduled outside this time frame at the request of the Department or Faculty to suit a particular student population, teaching arrangement or campus. The following conditions also apply:

  • activities are programmed to start on the hour but teaching will commence at 5 minutes past the scheduled start time and end at 5 minutes prior to the scheduled end time;
  • all classes must vacate the teaching venue 10 minutes prior to the starting time of the next class (see dot point above);
  • duration of classes should preferably be in multiples of 60 minute blocks;
  • a one-hour lunch break between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm will be allocated to all teaching staff and student sets;
  • occupational health and safety policies must be observed;
  • classes will be spread evenly over a full week - faculties that adopt patterns of timetabling that do not utilise all days of the week and late afternoons may be given lower priority in room allocation.

Classes in courses advertised as being available for part time students will be scheduled such that there are sufficient classes at times suitable for students to complete the course at a normal progression rate for the part-time mode of the course.

For Monash University Sunway campus the standard teaching day is from 8:00am to 10:00pm, Monday to Friday and for Monash University South Africa the standard teaching day is from 7:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Timetable Systems Officers

2.3.2 Avoiding clashes

Optional units will not be guaranteed clash-free. All Faculties are required to nominate clash-free paths for the most common activities for a course. After the preliminary release of the timetable, and after the timetable has been published, a Faculty/School/Department that initiates a change is responsible for avoiding clashes, and must liaise with other Faculties to avoid clashes where possible. Ultimate responsibility for resolving conflicts which arise from Faculty timetabling decisions rests with the relevant Head of School/Department.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / Faculty Allocate+ Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Heads of School/Department.

2.3.3 Resolving clashes

In resolving timetable clashes, the following guiding principles will be considered:

  • access for students with disabilities takes precedence over other considerations, unless this causes unjustifiable hardship;
  • larger classes have precedence over smaller classes;
  • first year units have precedence over later year units;
  • activities which occupy large blocks of time have precedence over those which occupy small blocks of time;
  • specialist teaching space shall be used for its designated purpose;
  • activities requiring specialised teaching facilities (eg. media equipped lecture theatres) have precedence over those requiring standard facilities;
  • the extent to which the alteration of existing arrangements will impact on other staff and students.

Where these principles come into conflict, Faculty Timetable Coordinators will negotiate with their School/Department on internal Faculty issues and with the relevant Faculty Timetable Coordinator on inter-Faculty issues. If a clash is unable to be resolved to a student’s satisfaction, he/she will be offered options such as withdrawal from the unit by the appropriate census date.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator /School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Heads of School/Department.

2.3.4 Room allocation for teaching activities

Room allocation is the responsibility of central timetabling staff up to the point at which the timetable is published for an autoscheduled timetable; after this point, room allocation is the responsibility of the Faculty Timetable Coordinator. For a rollover timetable, the Faculty Timetable Coordinator is responsible for room allocation. Small classes are prevented from occupying large lecture theatres unless they have requirements only served by such theatres.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Timetable Systems Officers

2.3.5 Teaching space

  • All general teaching spaces are centrally scheduled by Timetable Systems during the scheduling period;
  • All changes to teaching activities will be made after the scheduling period, when advised by Timetable Systems;
  • All spaces are to have a set of suitabilities specified that indicate the nature of the space, the pedagogic possibilities and the teaching equipment available;
  • All spaces are to have a capacity associated with them which is consistent with public safety and access requirements as specified in the Building Code of Australia;
  • Activities will be allocated to spaces by matching requirements to suitabilities and matching estimated student numbers to capacity. Larger classes take precedence over smaller classes. The numbers to be taught in any particular unit are to be initially assessed as being the figures achieved the last time the unit was offered. Faculties are responsible for modifying this figure up or down prior to the final timetable being published;
  • Laboratories and other designated specialist teaching areas containing specialised equipment that require expert supervision will only have activities scheduled therein which require use of this equipment;
  • Teaching spaces identified as specialist space will be reserved for use by classes conducted by the specialist School/Department. Other Schools/Departments wishing to use specialist space must make arrangements with the School/Department that controls it before they can be timetabled to use the space.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Timetable Systems Officers

2.3.6 Production Schedule

  • Activities will not routinely or necessarily be timetabled at the same time every semester/year. Autoscheduling of the timetable will normally take place every three years from the 2005 timetable, but more often where the need exists on campuses.
  • Schools/Departments which do not meet all required deadlines for submission of timetabling data will not be included in the initial timetable publication. These requirements will be processed after the publishing date.
  • Once a unit timetable is published within the timetable, the scheduled time is protected against impacts generated by late changes in other units. Impacts arising from changes within a published unit are to be implemented around unchanged units, but within the same published day if at all possible.
  • When a change to a scheduled class will affect students (e.g. by creating a clash) from another Faculty/School/Department (double degrees, combined classes), written agreement from the Faculty or School/Department Timetable Coordinators of each area affected must accompany the request for change.
  • A timeline of events will be published in early May each year by Timetable Systems outlining data requirements, processes and dates required for the production of the timetable for the following year.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Timetable Systems Officers
Manager, Timetable Systems

2.4 Ad hoc room/location bookings

  • Timetabled teaching activities of the University take precedence in room bookings until two weeks before semester commences, over any other bookings, including non-teaching academic engagement with students. This is necessary as there is always a degree of adjustment required to the teaching timetable in response to changed imperatives - e.g. more or fewer enrolments in units, which require changed teaching facility size. Non-teaching activities in teaching periods from Semester 1 through the remainder of the year can be entered into Syllabus Plus in central space two weeks before the start of Semester 1.
  • Once timetabling for the full year has been completed, the remaining free time in any space can be booked through the ad hoc booking system.
  • Teaching activities will have priority over ad hoc bookings when scheduling the annual timetable; ad hoc bookings will not be made for on-going teaching activities.
  • No adjustments to the timetable will be made to accommodate bookings by external persons, groups or bodies, except in those exceptional circumstances specifically approved by MUV or campus timetablers.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Timetable Systems Officers
Monash University Venues (MUV)
Campus Timetablers

2.5 Timetable changes

Changes to the timetable after publication must be kept to a minimum. To achieve this, requests for change must be authorised by the Dean or his/her designated nominee of the requesting Faculty. It is the responsibility of Faculty staff to ensure that information used to prepare the University timetable is accurate and subsequent changes to the timetable that affect scheduled day, time or campus are only made for valid reasons which include:

  • unexpected staff turnover
  • unexpected change in enrolment numbers
  • a location being withdrawn, or facilities being temporarily out of commission or becoming inappropriate
  • a quota not being met.

Where changes occur with little notice, Faculties/Schools/Departments must advise all students appropriately.

Responsibility

Faculty Syllabus+ Timetable Coordinator / School/Department Timetable Coordinator
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Heads of School/Department
Timetable Systems Officers

2.5.1 Student changes using Allocate Plus

Students must be correctly enrolled in their selected units before using Allocate Plus. It is recommended that students who are required to use Allocate Plus for their class allocation consult MUTTS to plan their timetable prior to entering their preferences. Students with a disability may contact their Faculty for assistance with class allocation.

In most cases, students are required to rank attendance preference for each of their on-campus classes. At a date published in advance, those preferences are sorted and personalised timetables which can be accessed on the web are produced. Both preferences and allocations are placed and viewed using a web browser. As the allocation process takes into account both student preferences and actual seat availability, there is no guarantee that a student will receive their highest ranked preference. Students must be prepared to attend any activity scheduled for the unit in which they are enrolled.

Responsibility

Domestic and International Students

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