Code of Practice for Learning and Teaching

D7 Code of Practice for Learning and Teaching

Status:      Adopted by the 16th Academic Board Meeting in May 2009 for inclusion in the Student Handbook for all programmes of the University.

The 29th Academic Board Meeting in December 2013 endorsed the Code for inclusion in the Wheel of Academic Law.

1 Introduction

1.1 Teaching and learning activities in all Colleges and Institutes of the University shall be governed by the codes of practice for students and staff set out below. The statement of the responsibilities at all levels of the University is to provide guidance on student and staff behavior, rights in teaching and learning activities, and to show how the responsibilities at different levels complement each other. The responsibilities of students, and the responsibilities of staff at different levels, are regarded as reciprocal, so the responsibilities of one group imply the rights of the other.

2 Responsibilities of Students

2.1 Students of the University have the following responsibilities to:

2.1.1 apply themselves to their studies to the best of their abilities;

2.1.2 become familiar with the rules and regulations governing the programme in which they are enrolled, and to ensure that the modules selected meet the degree requirements;

2.1.3 be aware of the policies and practices and expectations of the University set out in the University’s Wheel of Academic Law and of any College/Institute and department in which they are enrolled and which are contained in the programme handbook, module materials and information made available to them;

2.1.4 be aware of, and act according to, the rules and regulations concerning the use of College/Institute computing, library and other facilities, and so to respect the rights of other users;

2.1.5 meet deadlines for module work to be submitted;

2.1.6 take the initiative to consult appropriately when problems arise in any module;

2.1.7 submit original work for assessment without plagiarizing or cheating;

2.1.8 attend all organized teaching/learning activities, including professional placements, for each module in which they are enrolled (on-campus students) and, for off-campus students, to consider thoroughly all programme materials and participate in all prescribed residential schools;

2.1.9 accept joint responsibility for their own learning along with the teaching staff;

2.1.10 provide feedback to staff about (a) teaching and learning practices and (b) the quality of modules as well as to contribute to the development of university programmes and policies as appropriate;

2.1.11 be aware of the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and to demonstrate tolerance and respect for all members of the university community including respect of the right of staff members to express views and opinions; and

2.1.12 respect the working environment of others in all areas of the University.

Note: Infringement of responsibilities 2.1.4 and 2.1.7 may lead to disciplinary action.

3 Responsibilities of the Staff

3.1 Staff of the University have the following responsibilities to:

3.1.1 ensure the publication and distribution to students of clear, accurate and timely information concerning relevant regulations, policies, procedures and expectations of modules, and on other matters affecting students’ studies;

3.1.2 develop students’ knowledge, understandings, skills and attitudes as defined in the objectives of the University, programme and modules, by providing them with teaching programmes, course materials, activities and tasks appropriate to the development of these attributes;

3.1.3 provide students with opportunities to be involved in the structuring of their own learning experiences, and encourage them to take joint responsibility for their own learning;

3.1.4 take into account the prior knowledge, abilities and backgrounds of students in planning teaching activities;

3.1.5 assist students to learn from assessment tasks by providing them with timely and constructive feedback especially during the delivery of a module;

3.1.6 attend all classes as timetabled and where this is not possible to ensure that a colleague, competent in that area, will act as a substitute teacher;

3.1.7 be available to discuss learning, including assessment tasks, with students or to arrange for a fully briefed delegate to be available for that purpose, or academically engage the students, or make alternative appropriate arrangements in consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs and Heads of Departments and/or Programme Leaders;

3.1.8 encourage and enable students to evaluate their own and each other’s work critically;

3.1.9 make time available to advise and supervise individual students;

3.1.10 strive for excellence in teaching, and to seek and pay attention to feedback from students about the effectiveness and appropriateness of teaching and of the quality of the modules;

3.1.11 ensure that all students, regardless of their background or characteristics, have an equal opportunity to learn and to demonstrate that learning;

3.1.12 respect students’ right to express views and opinions;

3.1.13 demonstrate concern for the welfare and progress of individual students; and

3.1.14 ensure that they do not give undue advantage when engaged in assessing or supervising the work of students with whom they have a relationship.

Note: Infringement of responsibilities 3.1.6, 3.1.11 and 3.1.14 are considered serious and may lead to disciplinary action.

4 Responsibilities of Departments

4.1 These responsibilities are exercised through the Head of Department and/or Programme Leader. They may be delegated to a module coordinator or be exercised through a departmental or programme committee. Such delegations should be clearly defined.

4.2 The Department has the responsibility to:

4.2.1 encourage staff to participate in professional development in teaching and learning (including those that relate to teaching cross culturally and acquiring skills in non-discriminatory teaching practice) organized by the College/Institute and/or University;

4.2.2 ensure workload amongst departmental staff are equitable, where that workload consists of teaching, research and service;

4.2.3 encourage academic staff to spend at least 20% of their time on research;

4.2.4 provide accurate, written information concerning the objectives of each module, attendance and assessment tasks, the methods of assessment to be used, and the weighting of that assessment during the first week of the commencement of a module;

4.2.5 ensure that all classes as timetabled have staff present for teaching and learning to take place;

4.2.6 provide access for students, by appointment, to academic staff outside timetabled class time;

4.2.7 ensure that student learning is informed by research, contemporary information and is properly referenced;

4.2.8 ensure that modules use relevant teaching and learning strategies, including, where appropriate, student-centred approaches and learning technology tools;

4.2.9 return assessed written work (excluding examination scripts) with constructive comments provided in a timely manner;

4.2.10 ensure that all assessment is appropriately related to the learning outcomes of the module;

4.2.11 make special arrangements where performance is adversely affected by documented illness, disability or other serious cause; and

4.2.12 follow up on anonymous student evaluations of teaching and module evaluations with the teaching staff concerned.

5 Responsibilities of Colleges/Institutes

5.1 Colleges/Institutes have the responsibility to:

5.1.1 ensure that applicants for admission to candidature are properly qualified with respect to the minimum requirements for entry to the programme concerned, and with respect to the particular programme of study proposed;

5.1.2 ensure the appropriate timing of compulsory modules and the availability of sufficient optional modules so that a student passing all modules at the first attempt may complete the programme of study within the specified minimum time;

5.1.3 provide the framework for module, programme and curriculum development through conducting regular evaluation processes, including anonymous student evaluations of teaching and learning and of modules;

5.1.4 ensure that workloads across departments are equitable;

5.1.5 provide the resource framework for optimal learning conditions across the College/Institute including adequate library facilities;

5.1.6 encourage all staff members to value the work of general staff as essential to the work of the University;

5.1.7 adhere to the procedures laid down by the Academic Board for developing new programmes, reviewing or making major changes to existing programmes.

5.1.8 encourage consultancy services in the colleges, subsequent upon University’s approval;

5.1.9 ensure that the students and staff are aware of, and abide by national and University policies on occupational health and safety.

6 Responsibilities of the University

6.1 The University has the responsibility to:

6.1.1 ensure that appropriate University policies in respect of teaching, learning and assessment are developed, reviewed and are effectively disseminated;

6.1.2 abide by national and University policies on occupational health and safety so that students study and staff work in a safe and healthy environment;

6.1.3 ensure that resource provision across Colleges/Institutes is equitable and based on principles established for this purpose;

6.1.4 ensure that adequate development opportunities in teaching, learning and assessment practices are available to staff through the Centre for University Learning and Teaching, and/or through programmes developed by departments and Colleges/Institutes;

6.1.5 ensure that clear policies exist with respect to the intellectual property rights of students and that students are aware of those rights;

6.1.6 ensure that all students are free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, gender, age, political or sexual preference, marital status, religion, disability or personal beliefs in all matters related to enrolment, assessment and membership of the University community;

6.1.7 ensure quality learning environment, including appropriate and properly maintained facilities; and

6.1.8 uphold the University’s Code of Learning and Teaching.