Coursework and Ethics Guideline and Tool

The following resources have been developed to assist staff to identify their responsibilities when coursework intersects with intellectual property and human research ethics.

Students and staff in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (ABP) can become involved in a wide range of creative and exploratory learning activities through built environments education and research. These opportunities can offer great scope for discovery and for ‘authentic’ learning experiences. They may also align with research activities, and with community or industry interests. These opportunities can offer great outcomes for a wide range of stakeholders. ABP staff have a responsibility to ensure that coursework activities undertaken by students are designed principally for student learning and in accordance with Faculty and University policies. This includes awareness of potential conflicts of interest, duties of care to students, respecting student intellectual property rights, and adhering to Human Ethics requirements.

The Coursework and Ethics Guidelines were developed to assist staff to identify their responsibilities when coursework intersects with intellectual property and human research ethics. The guidelines do not introduce new requirements but provide links to information and resources relevant to an identified opportunity and related University or Faculty requirements.

The Coursework and Ethics Guidance Tool was developed as an educative approach for staff. Responses by users of the tool help to identify some of the relevant issues for an opportunity type. The tool delivers a tailored "to do" list for the opportunity type and provides guidance and links to relevant resources.

This link outlines 11 scenarios that describe some of the types of opportunities that staff may have in relation developing coursework experiences and/or using coursework in research. Each scenario provides a summary of the options that should be selected in the Coursework + Ethics Guidance Tool to generate specific guidance about the opportunity. More complex opportunities identified by staff may include elements from a number of scenarios. In this case, it is necessary to read the full Coursework + Ethics Guidelines document to identify all the guidance and implications that are relevant.

Additional Resources

The following links open documents that staff can use in accordance with the advice in the Coursework and Ethics Guidelines.

  • Advice about Ethical Conduct is a resource that can be given to students, which outlines how they should conduct themselves when engaging in a learning activity that involves interacting with humans
  • Student Project Description and Participant Consent is a resource that can be given to students, which they use to gain consent from the people whom they are interacting with as part of the learning activity.
  • Letter Agreement is a resource that should be used where an external party participates in a Faculty of Architecture and Planning teaching program by providing practical/’real life’ experiences or contributions to undergraduate or postgraduate student projects or learning, and where it is foreseeable that students may produce project outcomes of interest to the external party. The document is flexible so that it can accommodate the variety of forms that practical experiences can take, as well as the variety of ways in which students can participate in the Practical Program. It is intended to recognise the contributions of the parties, and can be used at the beginning, or during the teaching program as the need arises.
  • How to use a Letter Agreement

    In order to put this Letter Agreement in place, the ABP staff member should follow the following steps :

    1. Clarify the involvement of the external party, and the necessity for an agreement in this form;
    2. Confirm subject coordinator support for the arrangement and activity;
    3. Complete the highlighted sections of the standard form Letter Agreement, including the Schedule;
    4. Arrange for signature by the external party/participant;
    5. Send details of the arrangement and agreements (#1-4 above) with a request for signature by the Dean / delegate;
    6. A copy of the signed agreement should be held by the Faculty office, the subject coordinator, and staff member, and provided to the external party.

    Please note that the subject coordinator, working with tutors or teaching staff, is responsible for alerting students to their confidentiality and privacy obligations within the program, and for providing students with a general induction program if students are to attend the external party’s premises.

    Please contact Legal Services if the external party seeks to negotiate any amendments to this document. Legal Services can advise on negotiations and has an editable version of the agreement.