The purpose of this policy is to define what constitutes interdisciplinary collaborative teaching and outline the principles that underpin collaborative teaching at Australian Catholic University (ACU) and to ensure the provision of high quality and relevant teaching by staff recognised as expert in a given subject area through collaboration between the discipline expert and the School providing the program.
The provision of high quality service teaching removes unnecessary duplication of units and provides benefits to the University in supporting the ACU Enrolment Planning process and ensuring the efficient use of resources, including staff, finances, equipment and teaching spaces.
This Policy applies to all courses and units at ACU. It excludes ACU College courses and units of study.
Terms used in this policy and associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. The following specific definitions also apply:
Program Owner means the School, Faculty or other organisational unit, that owns the program(s) into which the service unit or collaborative teaching is being delivered.
Provider means the School, Faculty or other organisational unit providing the service unit or part of the service unit;
Interdisciplinary collaborative teaching describes any arrangement for the design and/or provision of a unit or part of a unit to students from another School or Faculty in order to achieve the objectives of the program.
Service unit means any unit included in a program that is delivered by a Provider other than the Program Owner.
4.1 All actions under this policy are to be based on values that are consistent with the University Mission.
4.2 University strategy and identity must be considered when determining fair and appropriate collaborative teaching arrangements.
4.3 The interests of ACU students will come first in ensuring they are taught by experts in the discipline as well as in contextual application of the discipline.
4.4 High quality and relevant learning and teaching will be enhanced by:
- consultation and collaboration between the discipline experts and those offering the program on the content, objectives, learning and teaching arrangements and assessment of service units; and
- ensuring that the most appropriate Providers contribute to the teaching of a unit or a program where interdisciplinary study is required to meet learning objectives.
4.5 The interdisciplinary collaborative teaching model will be transparent, as will the data and metric on which the model is based.
4.6 The interdisciplinary collaborative teaching model will be aligned with enrolment planning, load allocation and budgetary processes.
4.7 While it is expected that issues will be resolved at School or equivalent level, a transparent dispute resolution process will enable escalation of issues, should that be required.
4.8 Ongoing review and quality control of Collaborative Teaching Agreements (CTA) will be incorporated into the ACU course approval, amendment and review processes.
5. Discipline Expertise
5.1 Recognised disciplinary expertise is demonstrated by a provider's:
- specialisation in the discipline; and
- tradition of teaching, at both introductory and advanced levels, in the discipline or closely related areas as defined in the Australian Government Field of Education Types; and
- substantial evidence of research in the discipline.
5.2 Providers with the appropriate disciplinary expertise will normally contribute to the teaching of units in the discipline concerned.
6. Collaborative Teaching Agreement
6.1 When interdisciplinary collaborative teaching is required, a Collaborative Teaching Agreement between the Program Owner and the provider must be in place, which aligns with the ACU Enrolment Plan and associated budgets.
6.2 The CTA must detail:
- the program(s) into which the collaborative teaching is required;
- the specific units, or parts of units, to be designed and/or delivered;
- start and end dates for the agreement;
- Program Owner and Provider responsibilities, including responsibility for curriculum design and teaching and assessment;
- contribution of each service unit to course learning outcomes
- the number of hours to be taught;
- the planned number of students;
- teaching requirements (e.g. location and study mode);
- the use of materials developed for the unit, including any future use;
- resource arrangements, including:
- funding/budget allocation, payment and/or other financial arrangements
- timetable arrangements, including any requirement for specialised resources.
- the requirement and processes for communication and negotiation of any changes to the collaborative teaching arrangements;
- mechanisms for quality assurance, and the evaluation of teaching;
- process for review of the Collaborative Teaching Agreement; and
- sign off from Program Owner and Provider.
6.3 Once established, a CTA may be varied by agreement between the Program Owner and Provider.
7. Funding and Financial Arrangement
7.1 Financial arrangements for interdisciplinary collaborative teaching will be subject to ACU budget processes. These will normally be based on:
- the percentage contribution to teaching in the service unit(s) based on sessional rates: or
- taught load as agreed during Enrolment Planning process and associated budget development.
8. Dispute Resolution
8.1 Disputes may arise between the Program Owner and the Provider related to the CTA. Reasons for dispute may include:
- unit closure;
- unacceptable standards of teaching or curriculum content;
- revisions to courses or units.
8.2 Where a dispute arises, the following processes should be followed:
- In the first instance through discussion between the relevant Heads of School, or equivalent, leading to a documented resolution and any necessary amendment to the CTA.
- If a resolution cannot be reached under section 8.2a, the matter will be escalated to the relevant Executive Deans for resolution.
- In the event of the matter not being resolved under section 8.2b, the matter will be escalated to the Provost, providing details of the dispute, strategies which have been undertaken to resolve the matter and a summary of the consultation and negotiation process to date.
- The Provost will provide a final decision on the matter under dispute.
9. Quality Assurance
9.1 All interdisciplinary collaborative teaching arrangements must be reviewed as part of the ACU course approval, amendment and review process, or as required by Academic Board via Courses and Academic Quality Committee.
9.2 Where it is determined that a reduction or withdrawal from an interdisciplinary collaborative teaching arrangement is required through course review or amendment, adequate notice and consultation between the Program Owner and the provider must be undertaken. Evidence of such consultation will form part of the documentation associated with the course review or amendment.
10. Record Keeping and Notification
10.1 Faculty Boards, or equivalent of Program Owners and Providers must keep a record of all documentation, CTAs and any decisions made under this policy.
10.2 Decisions regarding the outcome of disputes under this policy will be recorded by the Office of the Provost.
10.3 Records related to interdisciplinary collaborative teaching will be maintained in accordance with the ACU Records and Archive Management Policy and Records and Retention and Disposal Schedule.
|Policy applies to||
|Policy Status||Revision of Existing Policy|
|Approval Authority||Academic Board|
|Responsible Officer||Chair, Academic Board|
|Date of Last Revision||28/11/2018|
|Effective Date of Last Revision||01/01/2019|
|Date of Policy Review *||01/09/2021|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
- Academic Programs offered across Multiple Locations and/or in Multiple Study Modes Policy Academic Qualifications and Equivalency Policy Australian Government Field of Education Codes Course Approval, Amendment and Review Policy TEQSA Higher Education Threshold Standards ACU Records and Archive Management Policy Records and Retention and Disposal Schedule.
Page last updated: 2019-08-21
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/310720