Policy Shorter Form Credentials Procedure

Shorter Form Credentials Procedure


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Intent

To provide clear guidance and processes for the design and use of Modules and Micro-units in shorter form credentials.  Shorter form credentials serve the needs of professional and community demand, and will enhance the JCU Brand.

Scope

The JCU Shorter Form Credentials Procedure applies to the development and use of all modules and micro-units.

This procedure applies to all new shorter form credential proposals from the date the procedure is approved, and all shorter form credentials offered at the University from 2022.

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure, the meaning of terms are as per the Policy Glossary.

Award:a degree, diploma or certificate contained in the list of approved Awards of James Cook University.

Module: A unit, topic, or segment of instruction, identified by a code, title, required volume of learning, assessment, and associated credit point value. Modules are aligned to an AQF level of study and usually discrete portions of a subject.

Micro-unit: A unit, topic, or segment of instruction, identified by a code, title and required volume of learning with a credential but not direct credit. This may include masterclasses, events, webinars, and workshops.

Non-award course: A combination of subjects and/or modules that does not lead to an award by the University.

Participant: A person who has enrolled in a micro-unit.

Short courses:   A single subject or specified combination of JCU subjects and/or modules that are for credit and may form a non-award course, and/or may contribution toward articulation or entry to an award course or enable credit toward an award course.

Shorter Form Credentials: A credential architecture that frames condensed or modularised content and acknowledges learning outcomes or achievements, as part of the process of recognition through statements of completion or attainment. Credentials can be for credit or not for credit.

Subject: a discrete portion of a course, identified by a code, title and credit point value.

Procedure

Offering and design of Modules and Micro-units

1. Module Design

1.1  Modules will meet the needs of professional and community learners and:

a) have a sound educational design and align with the Learning, Teaching and Assessment procedures;

b) be aligned with existing approved courses and subjects;

c) evidence achievement of specified learning outcomes through assessment;

d) be assigned credit point values in either .5 or 1 credit point and align to typical student workload values of 20-22 hours and 40-44 hours respectively;

e) be managed, recorded and archived in alignment with subjects;

f) be reviewed through student feedback; and

g) be listed in the JCU Credentials Catalogue.

1.2  Micro-units will meet the needs of professional and community learners and:

a) have a sound educational design and align with the Learning, Teaching and Assessment procedures;

b) may be derived from existing approved courses and subjects or derived from market needs and professional development;

c) evidence achievement of specified learning outcomes;

d) be aligned to typical participant workload values of less than 20 hours;

e) be managed, recorded and archived;

f) be reviewed through participant feedback; and

g) be listed in the JCU Credentials Catalogue.

1.3  Modularised study design is to be applied to all Modules and Micro-units and is informed by:

a) learning outcomes;

b) level of complexity– AQF standards, Continuing Professional Development requirements;

c) typical participant/student workload hours required by the participant/student (including assessment);

d) articulation with existing subjects and assessment items (where appropriate), and;

e) online, blended and independent learning pedagogy with a focus on self-centred and self-paced learning sequences.

1.4  A Module Outline that highlights quality markers for students is to be provided for all Modules. The Module Outline must be available 15 university working days before the commencement date of the prescribed study period or the commencement of scheduled activities for the module.  The Module Outline is considered published at this time. This outline uses nomenclature that is readily identifiable as a shorter form credential with the discipline (and where appropriate professional orientation), is easily recognised by stakeholders and markets, and has a national and international portability in recognition of effort and complexity of content.  The outline is core to the JCU Credential Catalogue and will include information about:

a) Certified learning – stated learning outcomes that outline what the student will know and be able to do based on their successful completion

b) Delivery – online only, onsite only, both onsite and online

c) Time commitment required – statement of hours of learning for a typical student (including assessment)

d) Supervision and identity verification – unsupervised or supervised; online and/or onsite

e) Endorsement – JCU and may include other agencies

f) Complexity of assessment and equivalent level

g) Articulation – required only for Modules

g) Fees, cancellation and refunds

1.5  A Micro-unit outline that highlights quality markers for participants/students is to be provided for all Micro-units. The Micro-unit Outline must be available 15 university working days before the commencement date of the prescribed study period or the commencement of scheduled activities for the module.  The Micro-unit Outline is considered published at this time. This outline uses nomenclature that is readily identifiable as a shorter form credential with the discipline (and where appropriate professional orientation), is easily recognised by stakeholders and markets. The outline is core to the JCU Credential Catalogue and will include information about:

a) Certified learning – stated learning outcomes that outlines what the participant knows and can do based on their successful participation

b) Delivery – online only, onsite only, both onsite and online

c) Time commitment required – statement of hours of learning for a typical participant

d) Supervision and identity verification – unsupervised or supervised; online and/or onsite

e) Endorsement – JCU and may include other agencies

f) Fees, cancellation and refunds

2. Credit for Modules

2.1  JCU will offer a range of Modules and Micro-units, established by the University or in association with a third party.

a) Modules can afford entry to, or formal credit towards, JCU award qualifications in accordance with award rules;

b) Micro-units do not require completion of assessment and do not afford credit towards JCU award qualifications.

c) Where Micro-units have been designed to aggregate into Modules, or with subjects, applications can be made for credit for previous study through Recognition of Prior Learning.

3. Module Administration

3.1  Short courses and Modules are to utilise existing study periods for consistency in administration, participant/student monitoring, coordinated marketing and staffing commitments. Available study periods for Modules are listed in Schedule 1.

3.2  Modules are for credit and are administrated in the LMS with students provided a JC identity, login and email, as well as access to JCU resources and services.

3.3  Micro-units are created from Open Education or industry or professional development materials and are housed in the LMS, along with participant’s personal identification and registration.

4.  Module Credentials

4.1  The university may recognise completion of Modules and Micro-units through shorter form credentials:

a) Participants who complete a Micro-unit and pay all associated fees (where appropriate) will be issued with a Statement of Completion.

b) Students who pass the required assessment tasks of a Module and pay all associated fees will be issued with a verified digital Statement of Attainment.

4.2  Statements of Completion will be produced and distributed by the College/Unit that delivers the Micro-unit and will be consistent with the Statement of Completion template approved by Education Committee each year.

4.3  The College/Unit that delivers the Micro-unit, will maintain records of issued statements to comply with the Queensland Records Act and facilitate reissuance if required.

4.4  Statements of Attainment, drawn from the SMS, will be produced and distributed by the Examinations Office and be consistent with the Statement of Attainment template approved by Education Committee each year.

4.5  Where the learning outcomes of the aggregated modules satisfy all subject learning outcomes for a particular subject, credit may be awarded for successful completion equivalent to 3 credit points of study with a typical participant/student workload of 130-hours, and within maximum completion of time constraints;

4.6  Where the learning outcomes of the aggregated modules and micro-units satisfy all subject learning outcomes for a particular subject, may be awarded for successful completion equivalent to 3 credit points of study with a typical participant/student workload of 130-hours through Recognition of Prior Learning.

Approval of, and amendment to Shorter Form Credentials

5.1  Approval of Modules follow the subject approval, amendment and disestablishment procedure (see section 8 – Curriculum Approval, Accreditation, Monitoring, Review and Improvement Policy).

5.2  Modules must have the Dean’s oversight and endorsement administered by Colleges, and

a) are assigned a level code commensurate to the subject level code it is aligned with to differentiate AQF applicability by Division, as follows:

  • MO1…(AQF5)
  • MO2…(AQF6)
  • MO3…(AQF7)
  • MO4…(AQF8)
  • MO5…(AQF9)

b) are approved by Chair, Academic Board

5.3  Micro-units are endorsed by Deans and administered by Colleges or Units and:

a) are assigned MO coding by Division as follows:

  • MO0… (Micro-unit)

b) are approved by Director of Academic Quality and Strategy

5.4  Amendments and disestablishment of micro-units are endorsed by Deans and approved by Directors of Academic Quality and Strategy to ensure a regular and nimble review process.

Module Results

6.1  Final results for modules will utilise ungraded codes in accordance with the Student Results Policy.

6.2  Module moderation and results are managed by the same processes as subjects, and comply with the Learning, Teaching and Assessment procedures outlined in sections 3.6 and 3.7; and the Student Results Policy.

Monitoring and Quality Assurance

7.1  The Directors of Academic Quality and Strategy will report annually to Education Committee on the range and quality assurance of JCU Shorter Form Credentials and plans for improvement in design, approval or development processes.

7.2  Deans will report annually on JCU Shorter Form Credentials and plans for improvement in design, approval or development processes in Divisional plans submitted to the Vice Chancellors Advisory Committee.

Related policy instruments

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedure

Administration

NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor Students

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor Students

Version no

21-1

Date for next Major Review

6 April 2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

21-1

06/10/2021

11/10/2021

Procedure established to direct processes for the design and use of Modules and Micro-units in shorter form credentials.

Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement.

Keywords

Short courses, modules, micro-units, assessment, recognition of prior learning

Contact person

Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement