It is important that you have an understanding of the overarching legislative environment that higher education institutions in Australia (such as JCU) need to comply with, as well as the JCU policy environment. These influence the way courses are structured, designed and delivered, and the information (e.g., subject outline; course handbook) that is mandatory for each subject and course.
In Australia, there are several quality and legislative frameworks in higher education that exist to ensure the quality and reputation of the higher education sector. All Australian higher education providers need to be accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA).
JCU is authorised under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act (2011), to self-accredit each course of study that leads to a higher education qualification that it offers or confers. A course of study that is self-accredited may also be ‘accredited’ by a professional body for different and separate purposes. JCU has developed a suite of policies and procedures that contribute to meeting the requirements of these quality and legislative frameworks. The JCU Learning and Teaching Policy Library is a useful resource. You should ensure that you keep updated about the policy suite and any updates that occur from time to time.
One of the primary policies that you will refer to in your everyday role will be the JCU Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy and the associated Procedures. The Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Policy underpins JCU’s approach to excellence by assuring the quality of learning, teaching and assessment so that students have every opportunity to achieve academic success. The LTA Procedures specify how the policy must be enacted. The LTA Policy is driven by four principles related to students, the curriculum, assessment, and teaching.
When engaging with the JCU Learning and Teaching Policy Library, underpinned by TEQSA requirements, you will notice some common themes regarding the online course and subject design requirements. These themes include, but are not limited to:
- The requirement for subject and course learning outcomes must be achievable, measurable and appropriate for the level of learning;
- Assessment, learning activities, and subject content must be constructively aligned to the subject and course learning outcomes;
- Course and subject design, including all learning materials and assessments, must be inclusive and accessible for all students.
Before exploring teaching with technology in more detail, it is important that we review the fundamentals of learning outcomes and constructive alignment. We will further explore inclusive and accessible subject design in a later chapter.