Dear Student, Re: Petition to re-evaluate the EDAR308 Unit We are two 3rd year students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (Primary). We decided to take action as a result of our disappointment with the EDAR308 unit we completed last semester. We petition to have the unit and its assessment re-evaluated so as to make it appropriate and fair for all students. In accordance with the assessment policy and procedures of ACU, we are attempting to raise our concerns regarding the assessment and organization of the unit promptly. How can you help 1. READ: Read the petition information below. 2. SIGN: If you agree with what has been put forward, add your name to the petition. Your signatures will be anonymous. Only the names and emails of myself and my fellow student will be passed on to relevant administration and university staff. 3. WRITE: If you wish to assist our petition by writing a letter outlining your experiences or issues with EDAR308, that would be greatly appreciated. These letters would also be anonymous, unless you wish otherwise. Please email them to email@example.com. Thank you! --------------------- The issues we would like to address are as follows: **Organisation** - Unit Outline: At the commencement of the unit, no unit outline was available for EDAR308. When a unit outline was made available, the assessment component was altered a number of times. This led to much confusion for many students in terms of the expectations and requirements of each of the assessment tasks. According to section 6.1.4 the 2009 ACU Academic Regulations, 'By the end of the first lecture week, the Lecturer-in-Charge of the unit will make a Unit Outline available to each student enrolled in that unit. The Unit Outline includes details of unit objectives, assessment tasks, percentage of marks allocated to assessment tasks, dates for the submission of assessment, and any special requirements of that unit'. This is also outlined in section 3.1 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures. The ACU Policy on Quality Learning and Teaching also states that the university 'ensures the clear communication to students of expectations, requirements and ways in which they can achieve their potential'. - Teaching Staff: The Art component of the EDAR308 unit was disrupted by changes in teaching staff. This made it difficult for students involved, as the teachers were inconsistent in what they were teaching, how it was taught, and their learning and teaching foci. - Unit Evaluation: There was no official unit evaluation in order for students to pass on their feedback. There were informal questionnaires or reflections for the Music and Art components, but unfortunately, these were only for the interest of the tutors and lecturers. The questions were based around our own learning, not our constructive criticism on the unit and how it ran. These informal reflections that we completed were not passed on to the faculty or university. The ACU Policy on Quality Teaching and Learning states that among its priority goals for quality assurance that 'systematic feedback on teaching and learning quality will be incorporated into all courses offered by the University'. It also states that ACU 'takes into account feedback from students about their learning and the perceived effectiveness of teaching strategies, obtained regularly through a range of formal and informal evaluations'. Where no formal feedback was taken into account, and the faculties were not privy to our informal feedback, it is hoped that this petition will assist in this area. **Assessment** - Changes to Assessment Tasks: After finally receiving a unit outline, the number and types of assessment were explained. Feedback from the students led the lecturer in charge to change it again. According to section 3.1.V of the ACU Assessment Policy and Procedures Outline (as the responsibility of the Lecturer-in-charge) in exceptional circumstances, the assessment tasks can be altered with the approval of the Head of School, as long as it does not 'result in disadvantage to any student', and as long as 'all students [are] advised, in writing by email, of approved changes'. To our knowledge, we received no written communication about the changes, aside from the altered unit outline. These changes were only discussed briefly in tutorials, creating an extreme disadvantage to all students. - Results: According to the ACU website, results for Semester One should have been available as of 4:30pm on the 9th of July, 2009. Results were initially posted on Student Connect after the specified date, and were revoked soon after, as they were incorrect. This created confusion for many students who received marks below or high above their expectations. As of Monday the 10th of August, correct results for the EDAR308 unit have still not been posted. - Assessment Feedback: The feedback for the Music component of EDAR308 was minimal. After completing a significant amount of reflection, analysis and research for the music journal, a small slip of paper was available for collection to students. This contained only a small amount of feedback, with the students name and one or two sentences stating whether or not the student was at the required level. For some, it had no constructive criticism and no suggestions for furthering the student's understanding. According to section 7.2 of the the ACU Assessment Policy and Procedures Outline, feedback should be in both a quantified form, such as scores or grades, and a qualitative for such as comments, model answers or suggested readings'. In writing this petition, we certainly understand that there were factors beyond the control of the tutors and lecturers before the commencement of the unit, as well as during the early stages of the unit. Taking this into consideration, we feel that these circumstances could have been dealt with earlier and more effectively for the benefit of the students. It should be the responsibility of the faculty to recognize problems (both ongoing and initial) and alert staff and students to these in a timely manner.