The Unit Coordinator is the Murdoch Academic Staff member principally responsible for a unit’s continuity, quality, content, delivery and administration. The Unit Coordinator is not only integral to the successful delivery of the TNE units, but is ultimately responsible for their running, submitting results and moderation reports to the Results Committee.
Unit Coordinator Responsibilities
A unit should normally be coordinated by continuing staff or staff on at least a one-year contract. Each unit offering must have a Unit Coordinator who is responsible for the unit offering and who must ensure that the unit offering is consistent with the unit as approved through the academic planning process. In the event that a unit has more than one Unit Coordinator (for example one Unit Coordinator for a Singapore offering and another for Dubai), they must work together to ensure all facets of the unit are academically equivalent regardless of its location of delivery or coordination responsibility. The principal Unit Coordinator of units with multiple coordinators, lecturers and/or tutors/affiliates must provide a marking guide for each assessment item to all markers in the unit to maximise consistency of marking across all student cohorts.
For more information on Unit Coordinator roles and responsibilities, please see the Units Policy and all of its attachments in the Policy & Procedure Manager. Please also see the Affiliate Management section below. TNE-specific advice and guidance to Unit Coordinators can be found in the TNE Guide for Communication between Unit Coordinators and Affiliate Lecturers.
are requested to appoint their Unit Coordinators for the TNE units at
least four months prior to the commencement of each teaching period.
Delay in doing so will have a negative trickle-down effect on the
running of the TNE unit if important preparation deadlines are not met. If
you are unsure of your upcoming Coordination responsibilities, you
should contact your Academic Chair and/or Head of Discipline.
The late appointment of the Unit Coordinator will lead to the late submission of unit materials and resource requirements, or changes to unit materials that have already been provided to Transnational Partners. This means that Affiliate Lecturers will have less time to prepare for the units, which may possibly impact their quality of teaching and affect student learning outcomes. Furthermore, Transnational Partners will have less time to order textbooks and in some cases may have to reorder new textbooks or new editions (or may have already ordered copies based on information previously provided). Affiliate assessments will also potentially be delayed, which is a particular concern in Singapore due to the requirement of the Committee for Private Education (CPE) that all affiliate staff are registered at least seven days prior to the actual deployment. The late appointment of the Unit Coordinators would also mean that they would have little time to communicate their teaching and learning expectations of the unit to the Affiliate Lecturers.
University’s partner institutions are responsible for the nomination,
appointment and employment of appropriate affiliate teaching staff to teach
Murdoch University units as per the respective partnership agreements. Potential
candidates are sourced by our partners and are put forward to the respective
Deans (or their delegates) for assessment in a process that is usually
completed in consultation with the relevant Unit Coordinators and Heads of
Discipline as necessary. Discipline Leads in the Murdoch Singapore Office also
often teach and/or Coordinate TNE offerings as required.
A Two Stage Process
Affiliate selection is a two-stage process. Stage One involves the TNE Liaison Team compiling lists of previously approved affiliates to provide to Unit Coordinators to see if they are still appropriate to teach their respective unit(s). Often the affiliate pool for a given unit is satisfied by this step, as Partners are provided with a pool of pre-approved affiliates based on these previous approvals in order to promote continuity with teaching staff and limit new assessments. Stage Two involves any new affiliate assessments (if required). Partners source potential affiliates against a unit's Recruitment Guide and then propose the potential affiliates to the TNE Liaison Team who then liaise with the relevant parties to see if the proposed affiliate is appropriate for the suggested unit.
In order to assist our Partners in sourcing/recruiting appropriate affiliates to teach Murdoch units, the TNE Liaison Team has developed a Recruitment Guide. A comprehensive and detailed recruitment guide will assist partners in the earliest stages of the recruitment process, reducing the number of mismatched affiliate nominations for the Discipline to assess and decrease turn-around time on candidates submitted for assessment. For this reason it is important that Unit Coordinators are as thorough as possible when filling in the Recruitment Guide and review it periodically.
Recruitment Guide Outlines include:
- required qualifications;
- required teaching experience;
- required professional experience; and
- any knowledge, attributes and/or skills that are required to effectively deliver a unit (ie knowledge of particular software packages etc).
Prior to start of teaching
It is the responsibility of Unit Coordinators to communicate the teaching and learning expectations of their unit(s) as well as mentor, coach and assist with the professional development of Affiliate Lecturers. Any guidance in teaching and learning matters should include explicit guideline and instruction on:
- delivery methods
- assessment and standard of student work (including marking guides/rubrics); amount of feedback required on assignments; and consistency of approach to extension requests (it is strongly recommended that all extensions are handled by the Unit Coordinator)
- timeliness of assignment return; and
on discipline and culturally specific codes of conduct that facilitate
the appropriate handling of student misdemeanours.
The Units Policy stipulates that the principal Unit Coordinator of a unit taught by affiliate staff must provide a unit specific teaching guide. While there is no prescribed format for such guides, suggested templates and further information is available from the Educational Development Unit website. For more information on Coordinator roles and responsibilities, please see the Units Policy and all of its attachments such as Unit Coordinator: Role Description in the Policy & Procedure Manager.
Communication between the Unit Coordinator and Affiliate Lecturer should ideally start as soon as the TNE Liaison teams provides Unit Coordinators with a deployment list, at least a month prior to the start of the teaching period. This is the time when the TNE Liaison team will organise LMS access for all affiliates. Communication can be via email, phone or Teams/Zoom as appropriate. While email may be the preferred mode of communication due to convenience and cost, face-to-face communication is encouraged to create close and productive teaching relationships. This has been continually demonstrated in TNE research as it provides better quality outcomes for academics, Affiliate Lecturers and students. The University uses Microsoft Teams as a teaching tool and it is a preferred mode of communication. For an overview of communication between the Unit Coordinator and Affiliate Lecturer, please go to Transnational Education: A Guide for Communication between Unit Coordinators and Affiliate Staff.
The Unit Coordinator is not only critical to the induction process of the Affiliate Lecturer but is also required to give ongoing support throughout the Trimester, so it is important that they are approachable and responsive to queries. They should maintain regular contact with the Affiliate Lecturer throughout the teaching period to ensure that they are carrying out their responsibilities in relation to teaching, marking and moderation. Unit Coordinators should also be available as a mentor and source of dispute resolution should issues occur amongst students and/or affiliates. If there are problems that cannot be resolved at this level, the Unit Coordinator should discuss solutions with the Head of Discipline or Dean as well as the TNE Liaison team so that they can liaise with the partner as required.
TNE students are Murdoch students in all respects regardless of location and it is not necessary to distinguish them from the general student body. They are governed by the same University legislation as other students and are therefore entitled to benefits comparable to those enjoyed by onshore students. For this reason it is important that TNE students have ongoing access to teaching staff. The first point of contact should always be the local Affiliate Lecturer, but students can also contact their Unit Coordinator after first consulting their Affiliate if need be. Both Murdoch staff and Affiliate staff will be responsible for making known their availability to TNE students, and the Unit Coordinator should provide guidance to local teaching staff in regard to student support. Individual assistance given should be given at a level consistent with the learning needs of the student cohort.
Once the marking, moderation and finalisation of final exams and/or assessments is complete, results must be tabulated/finalised and submitted to the Results team. Moderation reports must also be submitted to the Results Committee at the end of each teaching period by submitting an online moderation report. This is then tabled at the relevant Results Committee meeting for further discussion as required.
For more information on the policy, rationale and process of moderation in TNE please see Formal Moderation.
Murdoch University is contractually required to provide TNE partners a
list of unit resources for each unit being offered in the upcoming
teaching period 12 weeks prior to the start of teaching. The list must
include any essential and/or recommended texts, software, hardware and
movies/documentaries that are required for the effective teaching of the
unit. The information supplied later in the Unit Information and
Learning Guides must be consistent with that provided initially in the
Unit Resource List.
The Unit Coordinators should provide the details of the unit resource requirements to the TNE Liaison Team; The TNE Liaison Team will then generate the list of unit resources and provide to the Transnational Partner.
The Unit Coordinator should provide the textbook list 12 weeks before the commencement of each unit. The Unit Coordinator will also need to provide the following information on the textbook to ensure that the Transnational Partner is able to source the correct texts for the students:
- Text requirement: essential or recommended;
- Author’s full name;
- Year of publication;
- Version/edition; and
- 13 digit ISBN.
changes after the confirmed text list has been delivered (12 weeks
prior to the commencement of teaching) must be agreed between the
University and the Transnational Partner. The Unit Coordinator should
bear in mind that the Transnational Partner may have already purchased
the previously confirmed text.
the software required for the unit must be purchased by the
Transnational Partner or students, the Unit Coordinator will need to
provide the details to the TNE Liaison Team, including the software
title, version number or website. The requirements should be provided 12
weeks before the commencement of the unit.
the unit requires specialised hardware that is not already provided by
the Transnational Partner (e.g.: scientific calculator), the Unit
Coordinator will need to provide the details to the TNE Liaison Team,
including the make and model. The requirements should be provided 12
weeks before the commencement of the unit.
If the unit requires special setup, e.g. computer labs, lecture room, access to internet/AV equipment, the Unit Coordinator will need to provide the details to the TNE Liaison Team, including the setup and equipment required. The requirements should be provided 12 weeks before the commencement of the unit.
While the current practice is for the Unit Coordinator to develop
and supply all unit materials, it is recommended that the Unit
Coordinator obtain input from the Affiliate Lecturers as well.
Currently, the version of the unit run at the offshore location should
be the same as that most recently delivered at the home campus. The TNE
Delivery Model, however, recommends that units have exactly the same
learning outcomes both onshore and offshore, while some content may
Murdoch University’s contractual agreements with
Transnational Partners require that all unit materials must be provided
no less than four weeks before the commencement of the unit. It is also a
requirement from Murdoch University’s contractual agreements with
Transnational Partners that all unit materials be made available through
As a minimum, the unit materials delivered to Transnational Partners will consist of the following:
- A unit specific teaching guide
- Unit Information and Learning Guide, including session outline and activities;
- PowerPoint slides for lectures, if slides are used at South Street, or other support materials, as appropriate;
- Teaching notes, where necessary and available;
- Past examination papers (or an indication of where they can be found), where available; and
- Readings available on My Unit Readings.
Affiliate Lecturer will rely on unit materials provided to effectively
teach the unit. Unit materials such as a unit specific guide, slides,
teaching notes and other support materials will enable the Affiliate
Lecturer to adequately prepare and deliver the unit. The Unit
Coordinator should also update unit materials such as the PowerPoint
slides regularly. Further information about the preparation of these
materials is available from the Teaching at Murdoch intranet page.
materials should be in a non-editable format to ensure that no changes
are made without consultation with, or permission of, the Unit
Coordinator. It is important to ensure that units delivered at
transnational locations are comparable across each offering, and that
the Unit Coordinator retains control of all teaching materials used.
Any material that is subject to copyright should be lodged in My Unit Readings. Please see Copyright and Teaching at Murdoch for more information.
The responsibility for ensuring that Unit Coordinators make necessary unit materials available remains with the School Dean.