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Management of Class Timetabling and Room Bookings Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) This Policy and the associated procedures and guidelines are concerned with the management of timetabling and room bookings across the University.

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Section 2 - Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Academic Calendar The official University calendar, comprising important information about the academic use of the year, including official semesters and teaching weeks.
Clashes Where a mandatory class is scheduled at the same time as another mandatory class within a set program.
Official Teaching Weeks Standard semester teaching weeks as identified in the Academic Calendar.
Timetable Services The central unit within Academic Services Division (ASD) that manages the use of centrally controlled teaching and learning spaces and coordinates the production and publication of class timetables.
Timetabling System The central database that collects timetabling information and produces a scheduled timetable.
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Section 3 - Policy Scope/Coverage

(2) This Policy applies to all staff at The University of Queensland. This Policy does not deal with the establishment of the Academic Calendar or the designation of associated official teaching weeks.

(3) This Policy and accompanying procedures and guidelines do not apply to shorter form credentials. 

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(4) The University seeks to maintain the highest standards of teaching and to provide students with an enriched learning experience. This experience comprises the quality of students’ programs of study, their learning environment, and the scholars who guide and teach them. In providing this framework, the University is committed to meeting its responsibility to produce the most effective timetable for students and staff, and to ensure optimal use of teaching resources.

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Section 5 - Timetabling and Room Bookings System

(5) All timetabled classes must be recorded through one system (unless otherwise approved) to maintain data consistency, to obtain realistic space utilisation statistics, and to avoid clashes and other potential disruptive issues.

(6) The timetable system is managed by the Timetable Services unit within the Academic Services Division (ASD). Timetabling data is collected and supplied by School and Faculty representatives and is then used by Timetable Services to produce a semester timetable. Teaching and Learning room bookings are maintained in the timetable system by Schools, Faculties, Institutes, and other departments.

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Section 6 - Timetable Development

(7) Students enrolled in a standard program must be able to attend mandatory classes in all core courses and, as far as possible, have a reasonable selection of electives from which to choose. To maximise the teaching and learning experience, the following principles apply when establishing the class timetable:

  1. Minimising clashes in student timetables;
  2. Ensuring class activities match appropriate teaching spaces;
  3. Meeting the competing needs of different degree programs; and
  4. Facilitating student attendance.

(8) Other factors that influence the development of the timetable include the availability of academic staff and the need to optimise the utilisation of teaching space.

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Section 7 - Official Teaching Hours

(9) Teaching hours are between 8am (start) and 10pm (finish) Monday to Friday.

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Section 8 - Timetabling Responsibilities

(10) Timetabling is a complex task which is a shared responsibility across the University. Many groups of staff strive for the creation of a timetable of the highest possible quality for the benefit of students and the use of teaching staff.

(11) Timetable Services has overall responsibility for managing the technical aspects of timetable production including support for central timetabling software. Timetable Services also supports, through the Senior Executive and associated committees, the maintenance and oversight of an institution-wide timetabling policy to ensure that the timetable optimises the student experience while recognising genuine pedagogical considerations and effective space utilisation.

(12) Executive members of staff in Faculties and Schools are responsible for ensuring timetabling efforts are resourced appropriately in their respective areas and that the academic requirements of their programs are identified accurately and in a timely manner.

(13) Timetabling Coordinators at Faculty and School level play a vital role in liaising with their academic colleagues to collate and enter data into the central timetabling system and to review and refine the output, while maintaining a challenging schedule for production of the timetable.