Program and Course Design and Development

Programs and courses are designed, developed and approved through defined university governance and approval processes.

As part of continuous review and improvement, and in response to university strategic initiatives, existing programs and courses can be developed and updated to incorporate changing disciplinary needs, industry demands, accreditation requirements and student feedback.

Key Takeaways

Understand DSCs program development process

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Understand Course Guide guidelines and approval processes

Find information and resources on program & course design

Program Development

What is Program Development?

Program development refers to any minor or major amendment to a program as well as the introduction of new programs and offerings.  

The DSC Quality Enhancement team provides governance and oversight of the program development process, coordinating a collaborative approach between College and Schools to steer program development proposals through the necessary committees for approval. 

Minor amendments such as program structure changes, adding/removing courses and course title changes require approval by the DSC College Executive Committee. 

New programs and offering proposals, major amendments and discontinuations require need to be submitted to DSC College Executive Committee initially, followed by submission to Programs Committee and Academic Board 

Visit the DSC Program Development Sharepoint

The DSC Program Development Sharepoint has been established for document collaboration between Schools and the College.

This site also contains information on the program development process and downloadable document templates. 

Program Development in DSC

The governance and oversight of program development work in DSC is coordinated by the DSC Quality Enhancement team within the broader DSCLTQ College team.

Schools are supported to develop program development submissions, with consultation and review processes embedded to ensure high quality submissions to approval committees.

Click here to see the Program Development Process via the DSC Program Development Sharepoint.

 

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Where to next?

Templates, Forms and Resources for Program Development are available via the DSC Program Development Sharepoint.

To register a program development proposal please contact dscprogramapproval@rmit.edu.au and a DSC Quality staff member will be in touch. 

Course Guides

What are Course Guides

At RMIT, course guides have two parts: 

  • Part A – contains overarching course information (such as Course Learning Outcomes and assessment tasks and weightings) that cannot be changed except via DSC’s Part A approval process ahead of time – ask your Program Manager if you would like to change major components of your course. 
  • Part B – contains details of the way the course is to be delivered, some of which can be changed / updated before publication each semester – ask your Program Manager if you are unsure what you can change or how to do it. See information below for publication timelines for Part Bs. 

The course guide informs students what they will learn (CLOs Course Learning Outcomes), when, how and the assessment details, as well as a range of other vital information. As such, Course Coordinators have to ensure that their course guides are current and to deliver the course according to the course guide, the policies detailed in it, and in alignment with the broader program guide. 

A published course guide can be considered as the contract with your students, and the information in the course guide outlines the requirements and outcomes of the course. Students make enrolment decisions based on this information. Therefore, it becomes your teaching guide, and any changes must be made in line with the DSC L&T Parameters and the relevant Course Guide Approval processes. In addition, all information in Canvas sites must accurately reflect Course Guide information. 

Courses offered in multiple locations

Courses offered in multiple locations share the same Part A (i.e. the same course description, course learning outcomes and assessment overview). Course Coordinators and Program Managers across locations should establish and work collaboratively to ensure equivalence and comparability, and to discuss any proposed Part A changes. Guidelines have been developed to support the discussions across locations.  

Guidelines for programs and courses across locations 

Course Guide Templates

Templates for the Course Guide Part A and Part B provides School and College staff with recommended guidelines and supports best practice when writing Course Guides. The DSC L&T team can work with academics who plan to submit Course Guide developments and amendments. 

You can access these templates, guidelines and other Course Guide Resources on the DSC Quality Resource Hub.

Course Guide Approval Processes

Part A course guide amendment and approval processes 

Changes to Part A course guides undergo a review and approval process. 

A DSC Part A Change Request Form has been created to register Part A change requests so that they can be registered, reviewed, approved and processed by the relevant College and School teams.  

The Part A Amendment Approval Workflow shows the levels of change and the approval workflow.  

DSC L&T teams review most Part A change requests to ensure alignment with University and College policies and procedures prior to Associate Dean Discipline approval. 

If you are coordinating a course, please discuss any proposed changes with your Program Manager and obtain their agreement before using the Part A Change Request Form. 

Part B course guide updating and approval processes 

Part B course guides are updated prior to the delivery of each offering. Schools manage the updating, reviewing and publishing of Part Bs prior to the start of the offering. 

DSC Quality Enhancement provides reports to School on the publishing status of Part B’s leading up to the main semester deliveries.  

Course Guide Amendments and Publishing Timelines

Part A Course Guides do not need to be updated for each offering. However, when a change is needed, the Part A should be updated early, prior to developing the Part B, and with consideration of other offerings of the course that are taking place, and the timelines required for implementation in those offerings. 

Part B Course Guides are updated for each offering.  Schools provide their staff with a publishing timeline which takes into account the time needed to write, review and publish the Part B course guides. As a guide, Part B course should be published at least 1 week prior to the commencement of classes (this is also when Canvas site for the course should be published).  

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Where to next?

Download the Part A Amendment Approval Workflow to learn more about how to make changes to your Part A Course Guides.

Professional Accreditation 

What is Professional Accreditation?

Professional bodies accredit or recognise programs as meeting professional and academic standards deemed to be essential for a new graduate entering into that profession.

The Centre for Academic Quality and Enhancement (CAQE) has established a central register and document storage repository for professional accreditation documents.  This detailed, centralized professional accreditation register enables more comprehensive reporting, and oversight for all stakeholders. The register supports university governance processes to enable reporting to Academic Board on the status of professional accreditation for RMIT Programs. 

Why do you need to know this?

In DSC, Associate Deans are responsible for the management of the relationship with accrediting bodies. 

The DSC Quality Enhancement works directly with Schools and CAQE to support the governance and record keeping processes of professional accreditation. The Quality Enhancement Team collates and records information and documentation on DSC programs’ accreditation status and submit this annually to CAQE’s register. 

Programs in DSC that are accredited are asked to keep the DSC Quality Enhancement team informed of any changes to the accreditation status and forward any documents. You can email dsc.quality@rmit.edu.au with any updates.

If a program undergoes a program amendment, the School needs to ensure that any changes to the program will not impact its accreditation status. 

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Where to next?

Send you queries or requests for support to: 

  • Dsc.quality@rmit.edu.au – minor / major amendments, new courses/programs/offerings, approvals and Quality matters 
  • Dsc.lt@rmit.edu.au – course/program L&T design, mapping, assessment and moderation