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Section 1 - Overview
(1) The goal of the Intensive Schools Policy is to set out the parameters for defining, planning and conducting Intensive Schools for units and courses, in order to ensure consistency and minimum standards in approach across the University and to ensure that Intensive Schools will add value to the student experience. This policy will also help to ensure that students are fully informed about relevant Intensive Schools and that they are not disadvantaged by last-minute changes to arrangements. The University aims to provide a range of interactive learning experiences through which learning outcomes may be achieved, and Intensive Schools are one way in which this aim may be fulfilled.
(2) This policy must be read in conjunction with the Intensive School Guidelines which support this policy.
Section 2 - Scope
(3) This policy applies from the commencement of Trimester 1, 2017.
(4) This policy applies to all staff and students at UNE and all institutions, domestic and international, with which UNE has a partnership arrangement.
Section 3 - Policy
(5) The decision to hold a particular type of Intensive School must factor the following issues into the decision process:
- the appropriateness of the Intensive School mode for the relevant learning outcomes and other pedagogical requirements;
- equity issues that may inhibit certain categories of students from attending or achieving full value from the Intensive School; and
- resource implications (physical, staffing and financial) of the Intensive School.
(6) Decisions about the nature, content and goals of unit-based Intensive Schools are to be made by the Head of School in consultation with the relevant Unit Coordinator and, where appropriate, with the Course Coordinator.
(7) Decisions about the nature, content and goals of course-based Intensive Schools are to be made by the relevant Head(s) of School in consultation with the Course Coordinator.
(8) Decisions about the provision of an Intensive School for a particular unit or course in a particular year must be made at such a time as to meet published deadlines for the publication of any University materials, including the unit study guide, containing information about that unit or course for that teaching period.
(9) Length of Intensive School
- The minimum length of an Intensive School offered on-campus is two days; the maximum length is four days. The Head of School may approve an Intensive School of a duration of longer than four days, taking into account:
- professional accreditation requirements;
- course/unit requirements (e.g. for laboratory work, fieldwork, clinical activities).
- The minimum length of an Intensive School offered in a location other than the Armidale campus or offered in an electronic mode is one day.
(10) Intensive Schools Timetables
- Intensive School timetables should be structured such that learning activities are scheduled for students for at least five hours of each nominal eight-hour day or portion of a day of an Intensive School, or an equivalent amount averaged over the whole period of an Intensive School.
- All Intensive Schools requiring physical attendance on the Armidale campus must be timetabled to ensure that students attending have appropriate access to University services and facilities.
(11) The University may specify technology guidelines for the conduct of online Intensive Schools.
(12) Non-mandatory Intensive Schools
- Alternative activities
- Non-mandatory Intensive Schools that incorporate assessable activities must provide alternative assessment activities based on similar learning outcomes for those students who do not attend.
- The learning outcomes attainable through Non-mandatory Intensive Schools must also be attainable through appropriate alternative activities provided for those who do not attend. The Intensive School should in general provide the more attractive avenue for students to attain the relevant learning outcomes.
- Student Registration for Non-mandatory Intensive Schools
- The unit study guide will state the cut-off date for students indicating attendance at an Intensive School. The cut-off date can be no later than 4 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the Intensive School.
- The minimum number of student registrations necessary to run a Non-mandatory Intensive School requiring physical attendance is ten or more students as specified in the unit study guide, except where the Head of School otherwise approves.
- The Head of School will report to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the end of each teaching period on the number of approvals to run Non-mandatory Intensive Schools with less than the minimum number of student registrations.
- Alteration to Non-mandatory Intensive Schools
- The Head of School may cancel a Non-mandatory Intensive School which has been advertised to students, but for which the minimum number of student registrations has not been obtained four weeks prior to the scheduled date of the Intensive School. The Head of School will ensure that all students in the unit or course are advised:
- that the Intensive School has been cancelled due to insufficient numbers;
- of the alternative arrangements that will be made to ensure that the unit or course content that was intended to be delivered at the Intensive School will be taught to students.
- The Head of School will notify the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the end of the teaching period of the cancellation of the Non-mandatory Intensive School.
- Students must be advised in the unit study guide to make refundable travel arrangements wherever possible in the event that a Non-mandatory Intensive School is withdrawn or the minimum number of student registrations is not obtained.
- For unit-based Non-mandatory Intensive Schools, once an Intensive School has been advertised to students and the minimum number of student registrations obtained, alteration to that Intensive School (cancellation, change of dates or alteration in any way of the advertised Intensive School program) requires:
- the written approval of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on request of the relevant Head of School;
- the Head of School must communicate clearly the change and the reasons for the change to all students in the unit immediately following approval of the request by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
- For course-based Non-mandatory Intensive Schools involving the interests of more than one School, once an Intensive School has been advertised to students and the minimum number of student registrations obtained, alteration to that Intensive School (cancellation, change of dates or alteration in any way of the advertised Intensive School program) requires:
- the written approval of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on request of the relevant Course Coordinator;
- the Course Coordinator must communicate clearly the change and the reasons for the change to all students in the unit immediately following approval of the request by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
- The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) must report all cancellations under Sections v and vi to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
(13) Mandatory Intensive Schools
- For unit-based Mandatory Intensive Schools, the Unit Coordinator is responsible for monitoring all attendance requirements.
- Students who do not attend a unit-based Mandatory Intensive School should withdraw from the relevant unit and will receive a W (Withdrawn) result from the unit.
- Students who do not withdraw from the relevant unit and who do not attend a unit-based Mandatory Intensive School will receive an NI (Fail incomplete) result for the unit.
Students who demonstrate to the Unit Coordinator through work experience and/or credentialed learning that the learning experiences and outcomes of a Mandatory Intensive School have been achieved (and that those are current) may apply to the Unit Coordinator for an exemption of attendance at a Mandatory Intensive School. The decision of the Unit Coordinator about the currency of the work experiences and credentialed learning, and of any conditions to the exemption is final.
- For course-based Mandatory Intensive Schools, the Course Coordinator is responsible for monitoring all attendance requirements.
- Students who do not attend a course-based Mandatory Intensive School will not be permitted to graduate from the course.
- Once stipulated in the Course and Unit Repository, on CRICOS or in promotional materials, a Mandatory Intensive School may not be cancelled.
- No Mandatory Intensive School requiring physical attendance is to be held offshore unless approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
(14) Offers of admission will include advice to students that units or courses may include a Mandatory Intensive School, which they must attend.
- Admission offers will confirm that where attendance at a Mandatory Intensive School is required within a teaching period, the dates and location of the school will not be altered by the University for that teaching period.
- The unit and course catalogue web link will be included in all offers of admission to enable students to access information about Mandatory and other intensive school requirements.
(15) Full-time international students on campus in Australia may only enrol in a unit involving an intensive mode with permission of the Director, UNE International, or nominee.
(16) A student who has a complaint regarding adherence to any of the requirements in this policy in relation to a given unit should be referred to the Student (Related) Grievance Handling Policy and the procedures of the School responsible for the unit.
(17) Amendment or revision of this Policy and related Procedures and Guidelines must be approved by Academic Board's.
(18) The Academic Board will ensure that the effectiveness of this policy is measured through:
- benchmarking the University's standards with those adopted elsewhere;
- information available from course and School reviews;
- feedback from students.
(19) A perceived breach of this policy by a staff member should be reported to the relevant Head of School and will be dealt with consistent with the relevant UNE Academic Staff — Union Collective Agreement.
Section 4 - Definitions
(20) Intensive School means a mode of teaching and learning that brings students together at a particular physical or virtual location for a period of intensive interactive learning experiences. This term encompasses all types of Intensive School, whether held on or off campus or online.
(21) Mandatory Intensive School means an Intensive School that provides learning outcomes that cannot be achieved in any other way. All students enrolled in a unit or course must attend, and no exemption is possible.
(22) Non-mandatory Intensive School means an Intensive School that provides an alternative way of achieving learning outcomes. Students enrolled in a unit or course may either attend voluntarily, or be provided with substitute activities that achieve the same learning outcomes.