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Timetable Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Timetable Policy by stating detailed requirements for the preparation and use of the timetable and for casual bookings of learning and teaching spaces.

Scope

(2) This procedure has the same scope as the Timetable Policy.

(3) The University campuses for which the University carries out the timetabling, and to which this procedure and the Timetable Policy currently apply, are the Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga and Metro campuses.

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Section 2 - Policy 

(4) See the Timetable Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Responsibilities

(5) In addition to the approval authorities for timetabling as stated in the Timetable Policy, the following positions have responsibilities in relation to timetabling:

  1. Executive Deans will approve changes to the published timetable as stated in this procedure.
  2. Head of Schools or Associate Head of Schools (or equivalent) will:
    1. allocate staff to timetabling activities and ensure that they complete timetabling tasks according to the schedule set by Student Administration
    2. approve changes to the published timetable as stated in this procedure.
  3. Subject Coordinators will:
    1. ensure that the subject information in the enterprise course and subject design and approval system is correct before scheduling starts
    2. provide accurate subject scheduling requirements as per the current data collection process by the deadline in the timetabling schedule
    3. review the draft timetable for accuracy in relation to the delivery of their subject by the deadline in the timetabling schedule
    4. check the timetable and take any necessary action when notified of a change
    5. consult the relevant course director(s) before submitting any requests to change the draft timetable or published timetable, to ensure that the proposed change does not lead to timetable clashes for students in the relevant course(s)
    6. submit requests for adjustments to the draft timetable by the deadline in the timetabling schedule.
  4. Course Directors will provide course-level scrutiny of the draft timetable to ensure:
    1. an optimal experience for students enrolled in the course
    2. that the timetable will enable students to fulfil course requirements.
  5. Student Administration, and within that, the Timetable Team, along with the Technical Support Officer, will:
    1. manage the enterprise timetabling system and provide training to its users
    2. timetable on-campus intensive school classes
    3. collaborate with faculties, schools, the Facilities Management and Division of Information Technology (DIT) to meet the timetabling needs of students and staff
    4. manage casual bookings of learning and teaching spaces
    5. provide data on use of teaching space and teaching space requirements in collaboration with the Facilities Management.
  6. The Facilities Management will:
    1. audit and report on the use of learning and teaching spaces
    2. notify the Timetable Team when teaching spaces will be unavailable
    3. notify the Timetable Team of any changes to the availability, set-up, suitability or capacity of learning and teaching spaces.
  7. The Division of Information Technology will:
    1. notify the Timetable Team of any changes to equipment or set-up of learning and teaching spaces
    2. notify the Timetable Team of any changes to learning and teaching spaces required due to IT equipment failure.
  8. Accessibility and Inclusion Support will notify the relevant faculty of students registered with them who need specific types of room, so that the faculty can request adjustments to room allocations.
  9. Students must regularly check their online timetable for class scheduling changes that may affect their individual timetable.

Collaboration to ensure effective timetabling

(6) The Timetable Team will:

  1. hold regular sessions with discipline groups, schools, faculties, Facilities Management (FM), DIT and other timetabling stakeholders to coordinate timetabling processes and responsibilities
  2. encourage stakeholders to engage in discussion and provide feedback to ensure cross-unit collaboration and that timetabling works as best it can for all stakeholders.

Enterprise timetabling system

(7) The enterprise timetabling system is used:

  1. to schedule the teaching commitments of teaching staff
  2. to ensure classes are scheduled in the intended sequence
  3. for booking learning and teaching spaces.

(8) The enterprise timetabling system must be used to book any learning and teaching space for teaching, assessment or for other uses.

(9) The enterprise timetabling system contains all reference data required for the scheduling of on-campus classes of the University.

(10) Anyone changing the equipment, seating capacity or purpose of such a space must inform the Timetable Team.

(11) The Timetable Team provides training on the use of the enterprise timetabling system.

Timetabling website for staff

(12) The timetabling website for staff provides:

  1. a list of the University's learning and teaching spaces with their location, capacity and suitabilities
  2. an interface for staff to view the University timetable filtered by parameters such as room, subject, staff member or course
  3. an interface for staff to access the timetable allocation system
  4. induction resources and instructional videos on how to access and utilise the functionality of the University Timetable and the Allocation System.

Preparation of the timetable

(13) The timetable process is conducted twice a year with timetabling split into two periods: January to July and July to December. The teaching faculty or school will inform the Timetable Team of the timetabling contact for each course prior to the commencement of each timetabling process.

(14) The teaching faculty must:

  1. enter their subject and class offerings in the enterprise course and subject design and approval system and subject availability listing for timetable preparation by the deadline
  2. advise the Timetable Team of all newly approved courses or subjects, and all changes to existing courses and subjects.

(15) Faculties and schools must submit requests for learning and teaching spaces by the relevant deadline for timetable preparation as published by the Timetable Team.

(16) The Timetable Team will utilise data from the same period of the previous year to inform initial timetable planning.

(17) Faculty and School staff responsible for timetabling must record and review all information necessary to construct the timetable as per the current data collection process, including:

  1. projected enrolments
  2. delivery of subjects
  3. details of classes(delivery structure, equipment, room type and teaching requirements, variations to teaching week pattern).

(18) The Timetable Team will accommodate schools’ preferences for time and location of classes wherever possible.

Timetabling constraints

(19) When scheduling classes the Timetable Team will consider the following constraints:

  1. Staff availability.
  2. Student availability.
  3. Student experience.
  4. Room availability.
  5. Room suitability (including the capacity of a room).
  6. Sequencing (e.g. lecture before tutorial).
  7. Timeframes between classes.
  8. Specific requirements around day and time an activity needs to run.
  9. Institutional constraints (e.g. core teaching times, class-free periods).
  10. Resource breaks (e.g. lunch breaks).
  11. Patterns of enrolment and subjects that cannot be scheduled at the same time.
  12. Maximum teaching hours under the Enterprise Agreement.
  13. Maximum consecutive teaching hours under the Enterprise Agreement.
  14. Partner integrated course structure requirements.
  15. Complex courses that require manual scheduling. 

Constraints on staff availability

(20) It will be assumed that staff are available for full-time scheduled classes unless the Timetable Team is notified using the staff unavailability form. 

(21) Where staff availability is already constrained by the terms of the staff member’s part-time contract or casual contract, the staff member (or school on their behalf) will submit details of the constraint using the staff unavailability form, for:

  1. approval by the Head of School
  2. entry into the enterprise timetabling system by the Timetable Team.

(22) Where staff wish to have a timetabling constraint placed on their availability to teach: 

  1. they must submit a request to their Head of School (or equivalent) for endorsement using the staff unavailability form 
  2. if the Head of School (or equivalent) endorses the request, they will then forward it to the approval authority
  3. in considering requests for timetabling constraints on staff availability to teach, both the Head of School and approval authority will take into account:
    1. the effect of the constraint on the student experience
    2. the needs of staff with caring responsibilities, disability or ill health
  4. if the constraint is approved, the faculty must forward the request to the Timetable Team by the relevant deadline in the schedule for timetable preparation.

Core teaching hours

(23) When constructing the timetable, the Timetable Team will:

  1. schedule classes within the core hours of 8 am–6 pm
  2. where possible, move classes between 9 am-5 pm to support a better student/staff experience
  3. where possible, schedule first year classes between the hours of 9 am-5 pm
  4. consider the availability of public transport on each campus.

(24) Because of space constraints, it will sometimes be necessary to schedule classes outside core teaching hours.

Scheduling rules

(25) The timetable will be scheduled to ensure that, as far as possible:

  1. classes will not be scheduled in the class-free period
  2. each staff member’s teaching timetable meets the conditions specified in the University's enterprise agreement for matters such as minimum lunch break and minimum break period between teaching on one day and the next day, and
  3. each student has at least a one-hour lunch break.

(26) Where timetabling constraints mean that it is necessary to schedule a class across a lunch hour, the Timetable Team will consult the subject coordinator and offer them other options, such as outside core hours.

(27) The minimum time period for a room booking for a class is one hour.

(28) Each class will start five minutes past the hour and end five minutes to the hour.

(29) If there are no enrolments in a class by census date, the Team Leader, Timetabling may approve the deletion of the class. 

(30) Where a class would occur on a public holiday, the subject coordinator may:

  1. accept that the class will not be able to proceed
  2. request that the Timetable Team schedule a replacement class if possible. This must be done prior to the release of the published timetable.

Review of space assignment decisions

Criteria for deciding competing demands for space

(31) Where two or more clients ask to use the same learning and teaching space at the same time(s), the Timetable Team will use the following criteria to assign the space. These criteria will also be used by those who review scheduling and casual room booking decisions:

  1. Students’ needs.
  2. Whether one client needs the space to accommodate a student with a disability.
  3. The importance of the activity to the University.
  4. The reasons given by the clients for needing the location/time.
  5. Whether the space is designed for a client’s specific needs.
  6. The availability or unavailability of alternative learning and teaching space/time.
  7. Impact of changing the allocation on other staff and students.
  8. The possibility of clients sharing the space and/or taking turns in it.
  9. Whether a larger group of students can be accommodated by allocating the space to one client.
  10. Whether allocating the space to one client will enable the client to occupy the space for a longer period of time than the other client.
  11. Impact of changing the allocation on partner integrated course structure requirements.

Review process

(32) See the Timetable Policy for requesting a review of timetabling decisions.

Intensive schools

(33) The Timetable Team will liaise with the Faculty subjects team to obtain intensive school information such as dates, locations as per the deadline in the timetabling schedule.

(34) Intensive school scheduling is published by faculties on the intensive school website. For more information refer to the Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure.

Publication of the timetable

(35) Student Administration will publish the timetable for all on-campus classes in a session at least four weeks before the session start date.

(36) The timetable will be published to students via the student timetable interface, which students access from the Student Portal. Teaching staff can search the published timetable for their own timetabled classes using the staff interface to the timetable, which they can access from the timetable web page for staff.

(37) Other staff, intensive school students and the public can access the timetable via the University website.

(38) Where a school teaches subjects outside session dates, the school must notify the relevant students of the teaching dates and times.

Allocation of students to classes

(39) Where there is only one instance of a class for a subject, the student will be automatically allocated to the class via the allocation system.

(40) Where there is more than one instance of a class for a subject:

  1. teaching staff or the Timetable Team may use the student timetable interface to allocate students where there is a pedagogical reason for doing so, or
  2. students may allocate themselves using the student timetable interface.

(41) All on-campus classes that students are expected to attend as part of their course of study should appear on their personal timetable.

(42) Student attendance at intensive schools will be managed by the teaching school.

Clashes

(43) Timetable Team will use patterns of enrolment, pathways, student sets, and other information provided by course directors, to ensure that as far as possible students have a clash-free timetable.

(44) If a student does have a clash, and the Timetable Team cannot resolve it in other ways, they may instruct the student to vary their enrolment to:

  1. replace a clashing elective subject with a different subject, or
  2. change to an online study mode enrolment in one of the clashing subjects.

Changes to the timetable

(45) Requests for changes to the draft timetable can be submitted as per the current draft amendment request process as communicated by the Timetable Team.

(46) Changes to the published timetable will only be approved for the following reasons (see the Timetable Policy for approval authorities):

  1. Unexpected staff turnover.
  2. Rise or fall in student numbers.
  3. A location that is a health or safety risk.
  4. A course or subject that is no longer viable.
  5. A reasonable adjustment to accommodate a student with disability.

(47) Changes for the above reasons may be approved by the Head of School or their delegate. Changes for any other reason must be approved by the relevant Executive Dean/Director.

(48) Where a change to the published timetable occurs three days or less before the class is to take place, the teaching School must:

  1. notify all students of the change
  2. display signs at the original location directing students to the new location/time
  3. remove the signs at the end of the class.

(49) Where the timetable is changed after publication, the relevant classes may:

  1. not be allocated to the preferred space
  2. have to be split between two spaces if no single space is available for the whole session
  3. have to be scheduled in a different time slot when a suitable space is free.

(50) The Timetable Team will retain the timetable change request form and record of the approval for 12 months after the approval date.

Casual room bookings

(51) Casual room bookings are used for non-teaching activities, meetings or activities of student clubs.

(52) Requests for a casual room must be submitted on a business day and, at a minimum, 24 hours prior to the commencement of the activity.

(53) To request a casual room booking:

  1. staff should complete a casual room booking form on the University website
  2. students must ask a staff member to submit any casual room bookings on their behalf
  3. external individuals, groups and organisations may request a casual room booking by contacting the Events team via eventsww@csu.edu.au. External bookings of rooms may incur a fee for the use of the room.

(54) Bookings from external individuals or groups must:

  1. not impede use of the space for teaching or assessment
  2. not require a change to the timetable unless approved (see the Timetable Policy)
  3. be compatible with the University's strategic objectives, goals and policies.

(55) Casual room bookings can be requested in advance, but cannot be confirmed until:

  1. the working day before the booking if the activity will take place in the first two weeks of a session
  2. after the timetable for the session is published if the activity will take place in the third week of the session or later.

(56) Where a casual booking uses a space in which there are faculty resources and/or equipment, these resources must be used carefully. At the end of the booking, the group using the space must notify the relevant faculty or school of any breakages, missing or faulty equipment.

(57) If the group using the space has damaged the faculty resources or equipment in the space, the Executive Dean of the faculty may invoice them for the cost of repair or replacement.

Unused space

(58) Where a scheduled space is left unused, the Timetable Team will liaise with the subject coordinator or person who booked the space to obtain details on why the space was not used.

(59) If a space is found to be repeatedly unused by the same subject or casual user the space may be reassigned after consultation.

Learning and teaching space maintenance

(60) As far as possible, FM or the DIT is expected to schedule refurbishment and maintenance of learning and teaching spaces outside standard university teaching times.

(61) FM and/or DIT will notify the Timetable Team, with as much notice as possible, when learning and teaching spaces will be unavailable, stating:

  1. the relevant location(s)
  2. the dates/times when they will be unavailable
  3. the reason for the unavailability
  4. contact details of a staff member to whom queries can be directed.

Emergency response plan

(62) When a critical incident results in the closure of part or all of one of the six main campuses or prevents students from attending a campus, the emergency response plan will be enacted. A critical incident may include but not be limited to natural disaster, pandemic response or security threat.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(63) Nil. 

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Section 5 - Glossary

(64) This procedure uses terms defined in the Timetable Policy, as well as the following:

  1. Allocation of students – the process of assigning individual students to timetabled classes, to construct the students’ individual timetable.
  2. Class free period – 3 pm to 5 pm Wednesday.
  3. Core teaching days – Monday to Friday during teaching weeks of sessions. However, where a campus restricts teaching to specific weekdays, only those days are considered core teaching days.
  4. Core teaching hours – the hours between 8 am and 6 pm on core teaching days.
  5. Pattern of enrolment – a group of subjects in which students in a course typically enrol to fulfil the requirements of the course. Patterns of enrolment are entered as ‘programs of study’ in the enterprise timetabling system so that their subjects are scheduled to avoid timetable clashes.
  6. Student set – the group of students in a course or subject, as identified in the enterprise timetabling system. 
  7. Student timetable interface – online functionality that enables a student to view the scheduled classes to which they have been allocated, and a staff member to allocate students to a scheduled teaching activity.
  8. University timetable interface – a complete display of all activities scheduled in the timetable. Used by internal stakeholders to review timetables and room bookings. Also accessible by students and external stakeholders.