Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, L&T Update

My eQuals

Scarlett Whitechurch to join Program Quality

This announcement from Zosh Pawlaczek, Director Program Quality and Development in the Office of the DVCE. 

I am delighted to formally announce that Scarlett Whitechurch will be joining my team on July 3rd in the role of Program Quality and Development Officer.

Scarlett has been working in quality in the tertiary sector for over eight years and will be bringing with her a focus and commitment to quality and development in education.  She has been at RMIT since 2011 and has been recently working in the Office of Executive Director VE as a project coordinator.  My team are keen to have these qualities complement the overall balance of our skill-set.  

In addition to this Scarlett is most likely RMIT’s most knowledgeable person with regards to the VET Funding Contract.  She has also been instrumental in developing and building out the recent ASQA delegation.

She is also looking forward to moving more into the Higher Education space as she has much to offer with her passion for education.  She has also recently (2016) graduated, with distinction, with a BA in Policy and Politics from Deakin University.  Congratulations that’s a fine achievement. 


New student complaints process

The Complaints Resolution policy and Student or Third Party Complaints process, will take effect in July 2017.  At the same time, we will implement a whole of RMIT University system for the online submission and management of student and third party complaints. The aim of the implementation is to:

  • Simplify and standardise practices across RMIT University, including RMIT Vietnam
  • Review complaint processes to improve them
  • Implement online complaint handling functionality
  • Embed complaint handling service level agreements as a part of the process review.

This will improve the student and staff experience of complaints and complaint handling:

  • Students will know where to go to have their complaint addressed.
  • Staff will understand their role in receiving and responding to concerns and complaints.
  • Staff will be supported to deliver consistent complaint handling practice to consistent service standards.
  • Reporting about complaints can be obtained simply and efficiently to determine trends, themes and inform future activities and actions.

 What is changing?

  • Consolidation of student, staff and third party complaints management under a single policy framework.
  • The introduction of a tiered approach to complaint management, which provides an emphasis on the resolution of concerns and complaints at the local level as a starting point and escalation for more serious complaints as required.
  • Introduction of the Service Management Platform (SMP) for managing complaints across RMIT, including RMIT Vietnam.
  • Students and third parties may lodge complaints via the RMIT Connect online student portal.
  • Complaints will be triaged in the SMP by trained staff to the responsible area for resolution.
  • Reporting functionality will be available in the SMP.
  • Complaint handling times will be established.

What is staying the same?

There will continue to be three tiers of resolution for managing complaints at RMIT, and complaint handlers will continue to take responsibility for resolving complaints for their area.

To prepare staff for implementation of the new policy and complaint functionality, the Academic Registrar’s Group will provide roadshows and training for staff in June and July.

Register for a roadshow

 Staff are invited to attend the following roadshows to receive more information on the changes to the student complaints experience and complaint handling work.  Staff are welcome to register for one or both sessions.

An introduction to the new complaints experience

  • Recommended for all staff to understand the university-wide changes involved in the complaint handling process.
  • This will cover the complaints experience at RMIT, and the new Complaints resolution policy and Student or third party complaints process.

Complaints handling, student conduct and the role of Safer Community

  • Recommended for staff who have been newly appointed to a complaint handling role, or staff already in a complaint handling role who wish to refresh their skills and knowledge.
  • This will cover the essential skills for managing complaints and creating good practice outcomes; also understanding the student conduct policy and the role of Safer Community at RMIT.
Location Date and time Roadshow
Brunswick 514.02.001 Tuesday 20 June

9:00 – 10:45 am

11:00 am – 13:00 pm


An introduction to the new complaints experience

Complaints handling, student conduct and Safer Community



Wednesday 21 June

9:00 – 10:45 am

11:00 am – 13:00 pm


An introduction to the new complaints experience

Complaints handling, student conduct and Safer Community



Tuesday 27 June

9:00 – 10:45 am

11:00 am – 13:00 pm


An introduction to the new complaints experience

Complaints handling, student conduct and Safer Community



Wednesday 5 July

9:00 – 10:45 am

11:00 am – 13:00 pm

An introduction to the new complaints experience

Complaints handling, student conduct and Safer Community

Please register your attendance using the google form.

What happened at June EdIQ Committee?

Strategic conversations included: 

  • Innovation in assessment practices led by Bev Webster
  • The RMIT microcredential framework led by Darien Rossiter.

Other topics included:

  • An update on RMIT initiatives to promote academic integrity, including the updated RMIT website for staff, the academic integrity awareness microcredential available in Canvas, the Easy Cite referencing tool, and a Google+ community to share resource and updates.
  • The results of the university-wide consultation on the refreshed Graduate Attributes.
  • High level results of the CES for Semester 1, 2017 indicating improved response rates and GTS and OSI uplift.


Contract cheating

Some headlines below from the preliminary analysis of national data collected in the OLT project Contract Cheating and Assessment Design.

As we move into Canvas we have a unique opportunity to review assessment design across all our programs and strengthen our practices in this area. The DL Team’s How To series on Assessment and Feedback in Canvas provides resources to support this work. As always our Senior Advisors, L&T can provide tailored advice and examples of effective assessment and feedback design.

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Comprehensive Review – update

This update from Zosh Pawlaczek, Director Program Quality and Development:

  • The comprehensive, five-year review for HE programs will be piloted with 27 programs in semester 2.
  • The DDLT and relevant program managers have been notified. 
  • Templates to support the review process are currently being finalised. 
  • A website and shared drive will provide access to all relevant resources.

If you would like further details please contact Jane McGlashan, DSC Quality Manager or Zosh.


Program approval process – an update

A new governance process for HE program approval was approved at Academic Board in late 2016 and implemented at the start of 2017.  This aligns with the new Program and Course Policy, which has just come into effect.

The new process for program approvals (both HE and VE) requires a planned roll-out, which includes new processes and a collaborative approach to making a case, conceptually and then, developing both an academic and business case simultaneously. From concept to approval there is an intention for this new process to take no longer than 6 months.  Perhaps even quicker!

Given our very full L&T dance card, the implementation of this project has been postponed to 2018.  However, in the meantime the following will take place to set us up for success:

  • Requirements gathered for an automated program approval process, including aiming to streamline both the Program Lifecycle Register and the Program Proposal List.
  • Rebooting the Program Approval Panel so that it is renamed, framed in terms of reference and representation is made to include curriculum, systems and administration requirements.

Pedagogy in the Pub with Dr Jessica Gerrard

Pedagogy in the Pub

A series of monthly discussions about education, training, and young people

What is the promise of education in a post truth world?

Dr Jessica Gerrard 

Senior Lecturer in Education, Equity and Politics 

Melbourne Graduate School of Education 

Pedagogy in the Pub is a series of monthly discussions, facilitated by some of the keenest educational thinkers from Australia and abroad.

In June, the discussion will be led by Dr Jessica Gerrard, Senior Lecturer in Education, Equity, and Politics at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Her research examines the relationship of education to social change and politics.

Jessica is currently working on a research agenda on the ‘uneducated’ and unemployment. She is the author of the forthcoming monograph from Palgrave: Precarious Enterprise on the Margins: Work, Poverty and Homelessness in the City.

Jessica will discuss notions of being ‘educated’ and ‘uneducated’ and link this to current debates around truth and post-truth.

Before you come, learn more about Jessica’s work:

Please note that registration is required for this event.

Click here to register

Pedagogy in the Pub is open to all

Please circulate among your friends and colleagues

Keep an eye out for details about Pedagogy in the Pub in July:

Fazal Rizvi, Professor of Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne

TEQSA Report: First Year Attrition

Over the last 20 years, there has been significant interest in factors leading to student drop out (attrition) from first-year higher education studies. The factors identified include a range of personal attributes of the students themselves as well as academic and administrative aspects of higher education institutions’ operations. Concern over attrition is primarily centred on financial and reputational issues, for governments and for the institutions. But the issue is of considerable significance for the students themselves, in terms of wasted time and personal debt.

Released yesterday, this TEQSA reports examines the Characteristics of Australian higher education providers and their relation to first-year student attrition. The report lists attrition rates for all institutions. At 12%, attrition at RMIT is amongst the lowest across the sector; well worth celebrating.

The analysis of variables impacting on attrition makes for interesting reading.

In summary, the whole-sector model shows that, in general, the following characteristics of institutions are associated with higher levels of attrition:

  • institutions admitting a larger proportion of students on the basis of prior VET education
  • institutions with a lower percentage of postgraduate students
  • institutions smaller in size
  • institutions with a higher percentage of external enrolments
  • institutions having a lower percentage of senior academic staff, and
  • institutions with a higher percentage of part-time enrolments.

Links between lower ATAR and higher attrition were not supported. See the report for a more nuanced reading of factors across different types of institutions.

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