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Short Forms of Learning Policy

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Policy statements

Policy ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References

1. Purpose

1.1 The Short Forms of Learning Policy (the policy) establishes a framework for the development, delivery, governance and management of short forms of learning at UTS.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all UTS staff and affiliates (hereafter staff) involved in the development, delivery, management and recognition of short forms of learning at, or on behalf of, UTS.

2.2 This policy does not apply to UTS award courses and non-award study as defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

3. Principles

3.1 Short forms of learning must have an identified owner faculty that is responsible for course development, approval, delivery and maintenance.

3.2 Faculties can offer short forms of learning to the external market within their discipline based on approved short forms of learning business case applications as described in this policy.

3.3 Short forms of learning must be approved in line with this policy before they are advertised or promoted.

4. Policy statements

Short forms of learning at UTS

4.1 UTS has two categories of short forms of learning: microcredentials and short courses.

4.2 Microcredentials are short forms of learning that align with the academic standards of subjects offered in award courses (hereafter subjects). Microcredentials:

  • must be aligned to a new or existing two, three, four, six or eight credit point subject (meaning the microcredential must reflect the identical volume of learning, description, intended learning outcomes and assessment as the aligned subject (refer Short forms of learning business case process (SharePoint, access must be requested from the New Business team) for further guidance))
  • may have different admission (or enrolment) requirements to either the aligned subject requisites and/or the award course that contains the aligned subject
  • result in a UTS microcredential certificate of attainment (see definitions) on successful completion of the required assessment, or a UTS short course certificate of attendance (see definitions) where the assessment is not successfully completed but attendance requirements are met
  • may be used for recognition of prior learning towards a subject of equivalent volume of learning
  • cannot be recognised for partial credit towards a subject with a larger volume of learning than the microcredential.

4.3 Short courses are short forms of learning that:

  • are not microcredentials
  • include, but are not limited to:
    • professional development, executive education or staff development courses
    • academic bootcamps
    • student support courses
    • free courses including tasters
    • study tours delivered by faculties, UTS International or division of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) for the purposes of recruitment, engagement or enterprise learning
  • have enrolment requirements appropriate for the purpose and intended learning outcomes of the short course
  • may result in a UTS short course certificate of completion (see definitions) for the successful completion of any required tasks or a UTS short course certificate of attendance for meeting attendance and/or participation requirements.

4.4 Any short form of learning may be offered as enterprise learning through an enterprise learning contract with an organisation.

4.5 Short forms of learning have terms and conditions that outline participant entitlements and obligations.

4.6 Short forms of learning participants must comply with all applicable laws and UTS policies, including but not limited to those related to student conduct and academic integrity and section 16, Student Rules.

4.7 Short forms of learning are managed via UTS Open, the university system for this purpose approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students).

4.8 Short forms of learning open to participants under the age of 18 must operate in line with the Child Protection Policy.

Approval of short forms of learning

4.9 Short forms of learning are approved through a two-stage business case process:

  • Stage one: Opportunity validation
  • Stage two: Academic design and financial viability.

4.10 The following items are addressed in the stage one and two business case forms (available at Short forms of learning business case process (SharePoint, access must be requested from the New Business team)):

  • alignment to the strategic direction of UTS and fit within the ecosystem of all UTS offerings
  • market demand, internal and external competition
  • target audience profiles including legal considerations with respect to:
    • offshore participants
    • partnerships under the Foreign Arrangements Scheme (SharePoint, staff only)
    • participants under the age of 18
    • third party relationships
    • intellectual property
  • financial modelling, pricing and discounts, short and long-term costs, benefits and financial viability (the modelling should specify the financial arrangements between any collaborating faculties, including ownership of revenue)
  • academic design, including teaching/facilitation arrangements
  • resourcing, including design, development and teaching/facilitation
  • risk management
  • records management
  • complaints resolution
  • feedback surveys
  • quality assurance.

4.11 Stage one is a universal form and outlines the business case covering course information, strategic fit and market demand. This form must be completed for all short forms of learning and submitted to the dean or equivalent (hereafter dean), or their nominee, for endorsement to proceed to stage two.

4.12 Following endorsement of the stage one business case, proposers should complete the appropriate stage two academic design and financial viability form for approval to the authorised delegate (refer UTS Delegations).

4.13 Short forms of learning conducted offshore must be approved in line with the additional requirements of the Offshore Policy.

4.14 Short forms of learning courses can be approved for up to three years and must seek re-approval thereafter (or earlier, if the approval period is shorter).

4.15 Enterprise learning contracts must be completed and approved in line with the Enterprise Learning Guidelines (available at Short Forms of Learning: Resources (SharePoint, staff only)) and Delegations.

4.16 Study tours developed and managed by UTS International are managed according to the study tours protocol and procedures developed by UTS International.

Recognition of prior learning

4.17 Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is determined and managed in line with the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures and section 6, Student Rules.

4.18 Microcredentials may include or be part of an identified and approved articulation arrangement as defined by the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures.

4.19 The Student Administration Unit, in consultation with faculties, will maintain a precedent register for the recognition of microcredentials.

Governance, reporting and quality assurance

4.20 Faculty short forms of learning pipeline reports (SFL pipeline reports) are provided to both the Short Forms of Learning Committee and Enterprise Learning Committee as requested. SFL pipeline reports provide information on:

  • current courses – including the total number of short forms of learning offered, including the type of course (microcredential/short course) and course names
  • future courses – including numbers of new or projected offerings, name and type of course (where known), and
  • management information – revenue (actual and projected) for each current and future planned short forms of learning.

4.21 The chairs of the Short Forms of Learning Committee and Enterprise Learning Committee provide an annual report to the Teaching and Learning Committee and Academic Board.

4.22 Participant feedback is sought in line with the Student Feedback Survey Vice-Chancellor’s Directive provided in an annual summary report to the Short Forms of Learning Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee and Academic Board.

4.23 Deans must ensure that staff who deliver short forms of learning at or on behalf of UTS, have the necessary disciplinary knowledge and teaching skills to deliver the course in line with the Academic Standards Framework, available at Academic Board documents.

4.24 Deans must report to the Short Forms of Learning Committee and/or Enterprise Learning Committee as advised by the relevant committee chair.

Recordkeeping

4.25 Faculties are responsible for ensuring participant records including levels of attainment, completion and attendance are managed in line with the Records Management Policy and Privacy Policy.

4.26 Records for participants awarded with microcredentials must include enough information to allow for RPL assessment.

Policy breaches and complaints

4.27 Breaches of this policy or the short forms of learning approval forms are considered a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct and will be managed under the code.

4.28 Participant complaints are managed in line with the Student Complaints Policy and UTS Open terms and conditions (reviewed from time-to-time) or the enterprise learning contract as appropriate.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owners:

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for enforcement of and compliance with this policy, ensuring its principles and statements are observed. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor is also responsible for:

  • approving associated university-level procedures
  • approving the short forms of learning approval forms
  • approving short forms of learning platforms in line with the Delegations
  • oversight of the New Business team, which has overall responsibility for the administration of short forms of learning, including use of central curriculum management and payment systems, records management and obtaining, analysing and reporting on feedback, and
  • chairing the Short Forms of Learning Committee, which retains governance oversight for all short forms of learning at UTS and for the review and maintenance of this policy.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) is responsible for:

  • approving the Enterprise Learning Guidelines (PDF, SharePoint), and
  • chairing the Enterprise Learning Committee, which retains governance oversight for the development and delivery of enterprise learning packages and contracts.

5.2 Policy contacts:

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is also the policy contact and is responsible for the implementation of this policy and acts as a central point of contact for its provisions.

Deans and faculty boards (or equivalents) are responsible for the management, quality assurance and approval of short forms of learning in line with this policy.

6. Definitions

The following definitions apply for this policy. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Affiliates is defined in the Code of Conduct.

Articulation arrangements is defined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Assessment for the purpose of this policy is a broad term and includes but is not limited to tests, essays, assignments, projects, practical work, creation of digital products, examinations, reports, presentations, demonstrations and other work whether written or otherwise. This is based on the definition provided in Schedule 1, Student Rules. This definition applies for the participants assessed under this policy.

Award course is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Credit point is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Enterprise learning means a contractual agreement between UTS and an enterprise partner for the delivery of learning opportunities by UTS. Enterprise learning may be developed specifically for UTS staff. The purchase of an individual or group booking by an organisation in a short form of learning course, outside of an enterprise learning contract, is not an enterprise learning arrangement.

Enterprise partner means the external organisation that engages UTS as part of an enterprise learning contract.

Microcredential is defined in statement 4.2 of this policy.

Microcredential certificate of attainment means the recognition of a UTS microcredential following successful completion of the relevant assessment tasks and attainment of the intended learning outcomes.

Non-award study is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Offshore for the purposes of this policy, means a short form of learning delivered in line with the Offshore Policy.

Organisation means an entity with a workforce or membership, including but not limited to corporations of any size, local councils, government departments, defence force, state owned corporations, professional bodies and local health districts.

Participants means a learner undertaking a short form of learning. Participants are not classified as UTS students as defined by Schedule 1, Student Rules. Individuals who are concurrently enrolled in an award course or non-award study and a short form of learning will be defined as a UTS student for the award course or non-award study and a participant for the short form of learning.

Short course is defined in statement 4.3 of this policy.

Short course certificate of attendance means the recognition of completed short course or microcredential attendance where no acquired learning has been demonstrated and attendance requirements have been met.

Short course certificate of completion means the recognition of a short course following successful completion of any necessary tasks or assessments to demonstrate acquired learning.

Short forms of learning mean all forms of learning outlined in this policy that are not part of the formal award course and non-award study as defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Study tours are normally delivered onshore to international participants and facilitated by UTS. Study tours are developed and approved following a request to attend UTS for a program of study and/or to facilitate a program of activities, as international visitors. Some study tours may involve offshore elements, or components delivered off-campus within Australia, for example, incorporating visits to other states or sites. Study tours are specifically designed, agreed by contract following a risk assessment and may be offered in the form of a short course or can include a microcredential element.

Taster courses (or tasters) are free, fully online, self-paced short courses that offer participants a small amount of UTS learning content and do not result in any certificate.

UTS Open means the systems and processes used by UTS to support the delivery and management of short forms of learning. This includes course management and administration, supporting software and ecommerce functions, customer relationship management, course records, participant records and participant interface functions. UTS Open is used to support all short forms of learning, including enterprise learning.

Approval information

Policy contacts Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date 2024
File number UR19/1920
Superseded documents Short Courses Policy (UR09/433)
Short Courses Vice-Chancellor’s Directive (UR09/787)
Short Forms of Learning Procedures (UR19/1921)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Academic Board (AB/19-3/53) 31/07/2019 01/01/2020 New policy.
2.0 Academic Board (AB21-3/49) 28/07/2021 13/09/2021 Full review of policy after one year of implementation. Includes consolidation of the Short Forms of Learning Procedures.

PDF version

Short Forms of Learning Policy (PDF 200KB)

References

Short forms of learning approval forms

Available at Short forms of learning business case process (SharePoint)

Short forms of learning guidance documents

Enterprise Learning Guidelines (PDF, SharePoint)

Microcredential attribute in CASS, available at Resources: CASS documents (Staff Connect)

Recognition of Prior Learning Guidance (SharePoint, access must be requested from the New Business team)

Volume of Learning Guidance (SharePoint, access must be requested from the New Business team)

UTS Open

UTS policies, rules and delegations

Academic Records Policy

Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Procedures

Award Course Approval Policy and Procedures

Child Protection Policy

Code of Conduct

Commercial Activities Policy and Procedures

Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Policy

Coursework Assessments Policy and Procedures

Facilities Hire Policy

Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures

Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures

Risk Management Policy and Procedures

Student Feedback Survey Vice-Chancellor’s Directive

Student Rules: section 6, section 16, Schedule 1

UTS Delegations

External documents

Australian Qualifications Framework