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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 Timetable webpage
  • First week of May: Schedule for data preparation requirements and deadlines issued to Faculties
  • First week of May: Callista unit rollover data finalised
  • Last week of June: Faculties finalise course and unit offerings for forthcoming academic period
  • 1 August: Reporting course offerings for the Campus File
  • First week of September: Preliminary release of timetable
  • Early September: Preliminary release of timetable
  • 1 October: Publishing date for course and unit information
  • 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, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

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, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services 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 Group

  • Consist of the Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services, representative(s) from each Faculty, a representative from Facilities and Services Division, a representative from audio visual support and optional attendance by campus timetablers;
  • Assist with the determination of timetabling objectives;
  • Assist with the resolution of any inter-Faculty timetabling and allocation issues.

Responsibility

Syllabus Plus User Group

1.4 Disability Support

  • Following interviews with each student, ensure that the Faculty Timetablers are made aware of any adjustments that may be required.

Responsibility

Disability Liaison Officers

1.5 Student Information

  • Information related to a disability or religious belief, which will require adjustments to a timetable, must be provided as soon as possible after enrolment. Requests from students related to:
    • A disability, medical or mental health issue should be directed to the Disability Liaison Unit;
    • A religious belief should be directed to unit/course coordinators, School/Department Timetablers, Heads of School/Department or equivalent;
  • Use Allocate+ to submit preferences to attend particular teaching activities;
  • Refer to the published timetable 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 University Handbook that sets out course requirements;
  • Attend only those classes into which they are allocated.

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 within the Faculty;
  • Provide timely advice to School staff and Heads of Schools/Departments of their requests regarding overall workload and equity issues, and ensure that these are reflected in the timetable;
  • Ensure the 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;
  • Review 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 ad hoc room bookings into Faculty owned spaces;
  • 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+ 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;
  • Make timely adjustments to the draft timetable including changes arising from requests for reasonable adjustments;
  • Make timely adjustments to the published timetable if necessary.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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 via the data capture tool (including times unavailable, 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 via the data capture tool;
  • Review 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

The program of data preparation requirements and deadlines for the coming year will be distributed to Faculties, Schools and Departments by the first week of May.

A preliminary release of the timetable will be prepared and published by early-September. 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.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.1.2 Publication location

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

Responsibility

Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

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 mid-August at the latest. Callista unit offering option data must be finalised by the last week in June.

Responsibility

Dean, Faculty Manager, Departmental Manager, Heads of School/Department
Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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. Faculties are required to finalise this information prior to the scheduling of the timetable. Where units from different Schools/Departments are included in sets, each School/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 Scheduling Services - Education Business Services.
  • 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 Scheduling Services - Education Business Services.
  • All student sets must follow the agreed naming convention as set by the Scheduling Services - Education Business Services and the Syllabus Plus User Group.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

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;
  • develop student sets to reflect the course structure including the recommended progression;
  • have minimum need to travel between campuses.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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;
  • minimum need to travel between campuses.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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 Malaysia 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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.3.2 Avoiding clashes

Elective units will not be guaranteed a clash-free timetable. 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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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 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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
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 auto-scheduled 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.

Faculties may be required to move scheduled classes to a different suitable venue where there is a need to accommodate another class activity.  This change will be required where there are clear resourcing and pedagogical reasons for the change.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.3.5 Teaching space

  • All general teaching spaces on Australian campuses - except Parkville - are centrally scheduled by Scheduling Services - Education Business Services during the auto-scheduling period;
  • All changes to teaching activities will be made after the scheduling period, when advised by Scheduling Services - Education Business Services;
  • 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. 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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.3.6 Production Schedule

  • Activities will not routinely or necessarily be timetabled at the same time every semester/year. Auto-scheduling of the timetable will take place on a regular basis as deemed necessary by the University, but no more than once every two years or where the need exists on individual campuses.
  • Where a significant number of units have been changed or added for a teaching period, a request to re-schedule all teaching activities offered at a specific campus can be submitted to the Timetable User Group for approval and action.
  • 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 Timetabler of each area affected must accompany the request for change.
  • A timeline of events will be published in early May each year by Scheduling Services - Education Business Services outlining data requirements, processes and dates required for the production of the timetable for the following year.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.4 Ad hoc room/location bookings

  • Timetabled teaching activities of the University take precedence in room bookings, over any other bookings until two weeks before semester commences, 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.
  • Ad-hoc bookings for the following year, for the months of January and February, can be entered into Syllabus Plus from 1 August of the current year. If a venue booked for an ad-hoc event is then required for a teaching activity, the ad-hoc booking will be moved to a different venue. This does not apply after the two weeks before the start of semester as specified above.
  • 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.
  • Ad hoc bookings will not be made for ongoing 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 in consultation with Scheduling Services, Education Business Services.

Responsibility

Faculty/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services
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/ School/Department Syllabus Plus Timetablers
Teaching Unit Coordinators
Heads of School/Department
Manager, Scheduling Services, Education Business Services

2.5.1 Student changes using Allocate+

Students must be correctly enrolled in their selected units before using Allocate+. It is recommended that students who are required to use Allocate+ for their class allocation consult the published timetable to plan their personal timetable prior to entering their preferences or allocations. Students with a disability may contact their Faculty for assistance with class allocation. Students with a disability should register with the DLU.

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. 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

Content Enquiries: Time Table or Education Policy Unit

University Policy Use Only:

Version Number: 2.0Effective Date: 06-June-2014Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu