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Timetable Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy states the requirements of Charles Sturt University (the University) for:

  1. timetabling use of learning and teaching spaces
  2. adherence to the timetable once it has been published
  3. casual bookings of learning and teaching spaces.

(2) This policy is intended to ensure that:

  1. timetabling of space for on-campus classes supports a positive student experience
  2. students have as few as possible timetable clashes
  3. on-campus classes take priority
  4. timetabling is efficient
  5. all on-campus classes are included in the timetable
  6. full data on timetabling is available both for managing timetabling and planning to meet the University's needs.


(3) This policy applies to:

  1. all staff and students of the University
  2. external individuals, groups and organisations that use the University's learning and teaching spaces
  3. spaces on campuses where timetabling is carried out by the University (as listed in the Timetable Procedure) that are designated as learning and teaching spaces.

(4) This policy does not apply to:

  1. partner locations or campuses that are not listed in the Timetable Procedure
  2. space allocation for organisational units (see the Facilities and Premises Procedure - Space Management)
  3. exam timetabling (see the Assessment Policy and Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure)
  4. activities for online subjects, with the exception of on-campus intensive school classes.
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Section 2 - Policy

Timetabling principles

(5) Timetabling of classes will be guided by four fundamental principles. Timetabling will:

  1. contribute to an exceptional student learning experience through to course completion
  2. collaborate with staff across the University to understand requirements and resourcing for embedment into a student-centred timetable
  3. maintain an agile approach by efficiently assessing and incorporating unforeseen circumstances, responding to compliance requirements, seeking new opportunities, and aligning with the strategic direction and priorities of the University
  4. ensure effective and efficient use of learning and teaching spaces and associated resources required for course delivery.

Timetabling approval authorities

(6) Timetabling approval authorities referred to in this policy and the Timetable Procedure are set out in the following table.

Officer or body Authority
Director, Student Administration Approves the use of systems or processes other than the enterprise timetabling system for scheduling or casual bookings.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Executive Dean/Executive Director* Approves the displacement of classes for other events.
Executive Dean/Executive Director* Approves the scheduling of classes during the class-free period, with the endorsement of the Head of School.
Executive Dean/Executive Director* Approves the scheduling of classes outside of core teaching hours, with the endorsement of the Head of School.
Head of School Approves scheduling constraints for part-time or casual staff members’ availability to teach.
Executive Dean/Executive Director* Approves scheduling constraints for full-time staff members’ availability to teach.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Approves the scheduling of classes on non-core teaching days.
Head of School or Associate Head of School Approves changes to the published timetable as per the process stated in the procedure.
Executive Dean/Executive Director* Approves changes to the published timetable as per the process stated in the procedure.
*Executive Director of the teaching division, for courses and subjects managed by divisions.

Learning and teaching space

(7) Scheduling and casual room bookings apply only to learning and teaching spaces.

(8) The Facilities and Premises Guidelines - Space Management defines types of learning and teaching spaces. Student Administration will consult Facilities Management (FM) and Division of Learning and Teaching (DLT) when it needs to confirm whether a space is a learning and teaching space.

Enterprise timetabling system

(9) All scheduling and casual bookings of learning and teaching spaces are managed through the enterprise timetabling system, to ensure that the timetable provided to staff and students is complete, correct and as far as possible free of clashes.

(10) Timetabling staff must use the enterprise timetabling system to schedule spaces for all class and/or assessment activities as requested by teaching staff and for casual room bookings, unless an exception is approved.

Priorities for use of learning and teaching spaces

(11) The priority for scheduling learning and teaching spaces is as follows:

  1. In teaching weeks of sessions:
    1. first, teaching
    2. second, assessment
    3. third, other activities.
  2. In exam periods at the end of sessions:
    1. first, exams and other assessment activities
    2. second, teaching
    3. third, other activities.

(12) University activities such as graduation, intensive schools, exams and teaching take precedence over other room bookings outside of teaching periods.

(13) Once the timetable for a session has been published, or the requested booking is in a non-teaching or non-intensive period, casual booking requests can be made for spaces at times when no teaching activity is timetabled in the space.

(14) In exceptional circumstances, an event of strategic importance to the University (internal or external) may displace a learning or teaching activity. To minimise disruption, bookings in this category (e.g. Explore Days) may be incorporated in the development of the class timetable.

Timetabling constraints

(15) When scheduling classes, the Timetable Team will consider institutional, staffing and student constraints. The Timetable Procedure lists these constraints.

Class-free period

(16) A period of two hours per week will be kept free for non-teaching purposes such as meetings and student activities. The day and time will be the same across the University. Exceptions may be approved where constraints on timetabling make it necessary to schedule a class in the class-free period.

Specialised spaces

(17) Where a class needs a specialised teaching space, equipment or software, the enterprise timetabling system will prioritise the class in the specialised space during scheduling.

  1. Users may need to complete an induction to use the specialised space/equipment/software and/or have support from staff with appropriate knowledge of the space, to ensure they use the space and its equipment safely and correctly.
  2. Where a space is so specialised that its use needs to be controlled by a faculty or school, the faculty or school will schedule the space outside of the enterprise timetabling system.

Preparation and publication of the timetable

(18) The Timetable Procedure states requirements for preparing the University's timetable.

(19) The Director, Student Administration or their nominee will issue a detailed schedule of dates and requirements for preparing the timetable. These dates will align with data availability and the time required to create and publish the timetable.

(20) Staff involved in preparing the timetable must comply with the schedule and requirements.

Adherence to the timetable and casual bookings

(21) Where a space has been timetabled:

  1. only the space identified in the room booking confirmation can be used
  2. it can only be used:
    1. at the specified dates and times
    2. for the purpose for which it has been booked.

(22) Classes must vacate the space by five minutes before the hour at which the booking ends.

(23) If two parties arrive to use a space in the same time slot, the party with the scheduled activity in the enterprise timetabling system is entitled to use the space and the other party must vacate it promptly.

(24) Where a space is found to be unused once, the user must provide an explanation. Where a user is found not to have used a timetabled space repeatedly, the space may be reassigned after consultation.

(25) The Timetable Procedure provides more details of these consequences.

Timing of teaching and online learning activities

(26) Classes should be scheduled during core teaching days. Where this is not possible, scheduling of an activity on a Saturday or Sunday may be approved within scope of the current Enterprise Agreement. Approval will only be given for the following reasons:

  1. Pedagogical.
  2. Improved student experience.

(27) The timetable comprises only on-campus classes. Accordingly, staff who set classes for online subject offerings must:

  1. only set times for online learning activities after the timetable for the relevant session has been published, and
  2. ensure that the times for online activities do not clash with the on-campus timetable commitments of students in the online class.

Changes to the published timetable

(28) To reduce the impact or inconvenience to students, changes to the published timetables must be kept to a minimum. It is the responsibility of school and faculty staff to ensure the information used to prepare the University timetable is accurate and subsequent changes are only made for valid reasons. Valid reasons for changes are listed in the Timetable Procedure.

Review of scheduled space

(29) The Manager, Timetable and Completion will review a decision on assignment of a space in the timetable or in a casual room booking, if the requester asks for it to be reviewed.

(30) Where the review decision of the Manager, Timetable and Completion does not satisfy one of the parties, an appeal will be assessed by the Director, Student Administration.

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Section 3 - Procedure

(31) The Timetable Procedure states detailed requirements for timetabling and casual booking of spaces.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(33) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Casual room booking – means an ad hoc booking to use a room for purposes other than scheduled class activity for coursework.
  2. Class-free period: two hour timeslot per week.
  3. Course – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  4. Enterprise timetabling system – means the University's timetabling software.
  5. Intensive school – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  6. Learning and teaching space – means the learning and teaching facilities at the University's campuses including lecture rooms, tutorial rooms, laboratories and other specialist teaching spaces.
  7. Scheduling – means the activity of assigning classes to spaces to construct the timetable for a session.
  8. Scheduling constraint – means any restriction on a staff member’s availability to teach or on the type or location of space in which a class can run: examples are size, location or audio-visual requirements.
  9. Subject – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  10. Teaching period – as defined in the policy library glossary.
  11. Timetable – means the University's record of on-campus classes scheduled in learning and teaching spaces and other casual bookings of these spaces.
  12. Timetabling – means the activity of preparing the timetable.