The Life Cycle of a Course


Before your course begins: Preparing and Planning to teach your course


More information

Where can you find it or who could you talk with?

Find and read the Graduate Outcomes /Profile




Find and read your Course Descriptor



Read the Learning Outcomes (LO’s) and consider how they contribute to the graduate profile


The Graduate Outcomes are what the learners should know and be able to do once they have completed and passed the required credits/courses


The Course Descriptor is the NZQA approved document information about your course that contains:

·     Course number/name

·     Aim

·     Credits

·     Learning hours

·     Learning outcomes

·     Topics

·     Assessment information

·     Assessment weighting

·     Assessment Type

·     Learning Outcome connected to each assessment

Graduate Outcomes are in your programme document which can be found on H drive

2. Academic Development\E-Academic Library\3.0 Programme Library


These versions of the documents are the most up to date


Your school SQA (School Quality Administrator) can help you find these



·       Previous CEPs  (Course Evaluation Plan) (note any recommendations, challenges or issues)

·       Student feedback

·       Student results

The CEP captures your reflection on the course that you teach. The purpose is to capture what is working and what might need changing.


What does the student feedback tell you about your course?


What do the student results tell you about your course?

The Course Evaluation Plans (CEP) are found on the BI Academic Quality dashboards.  Alternatively they should be stored on the H drive - School/Programme/CEP/year/semester


For CEP support contact Sue Crossan from TKK Te Korowai Kahurangi

CEP Nest page

Check the learning hours match the timetabled hours

Learning hours are hours that NZQA have approved for a course.

As a guide, there are 10 hours of learning for each credit. For example, a 15-credit course will have 150 hours allocated. The hours are allocated across directed, self-directed and workplace.

You can find the learning hours on your Course Descriptor stored here:

H drive- 2. Academic Development\E-Academic Library\3.0 Programme Library

 Your school SQA (Senior Quality Administrator) can help you find these

Assessment types & weightings.


Check that the assessments meet the information on the Course Descriptor:

·       assessment type

·       allocated learning outcomes

·       weighting (%)

The most up-to-date versions of the documents are stored in the e-academic library on H drive:

2. Academic Development\E-Academic Library\3.0 Programme Library 

Your school SQA (Senior Quality Administrator) can help you find these

Read the Programme Regulations (section 6) & check the assessment rules, e.g., resubmissions, extensions, Assessment Concessions (AC)

Programme regulations contain the rules for assessment for your programme. The most useful to notice will be the extensions, resubmissions, and the Assessment Concessions (AC), which students can apply for if extenuating circumstances prevent them from submitting an assessment by the due date.

These can be found in your definitive document on H drive

2. Academic Development\E-Academic Library\3.0 Programme Library

Your school SQA (Senior Quality Administrator) can help you find these

Who are your students?

Where have they come from? Why are they here? What do they hope to achieve?



Is about relationships and, in this context, about the relationships needed for learning

How will you get to know your students?

Your students need to know that you care about them as people,

- who they are, where they come from,   and who they bring with them

- that you care about their learning.

-  protocols/ways of working that will be important in your class

These things need to be ongoing throughout your course and not just done in the first week.

How you might use whanungatanga to support learner success

Unpack the Learning Outcomes to guide what you teach.


Learning Outcomes outline what a student should know, be able to do, and/or be by the end of the course. They have been approved by NZQA and cannot be changed unless there is a type 2 change.

Learning Outcomes will also have an action verb indicating what the students need to do with the knowledge and/or skills. 

What knowledge skills and dispositions will students need to know and be able to do/show?

What will they need to do with the knowledge, skills and dispositions. (Look at the action verbs in the learning outcomes) 

It is a useful exercise for both teacher and student to understand what the learning outcome requires.

What knowledge, skills, and/  or dispositions are required, and what action verb (e.g., describe. evaluate, apply) is used i.e., what will students do with the knowledge and or skills?

Your TPA (Te Puna Ako) liaison can help



Plan what and how to teach, then develop a Course




Plan the sequence in which you will teach the knowledge, skills, and dispositions. 

The course outline includes:

·       Course learning outcomes

·       week by week outline of what will be taught

·       Assesssment due dates

·       Resources

Set assessment dates in collaboration with other courses on the same programme so students don’t have them all due at the same time. 

Your TPA (Te Puna Ako liaison can help with this. 

Action verb definitions 

If you are using a PowerPoint to share knowledge, it is useful to get the students to do something with the knowledge. Using active learning to engage students with the knowledge is considered good practice.

What resources might help the students understand a concept and or skill? If you use a reading, video, infographic, or other resource, ask the students to do something with the resource to have a focus. This might include using cooperative reading squares, H5P Moodle activities, summarising the resource, applying knowledge to another context, etc.

Develop lesson plans.

See template Appendix A

Your TPA liaison person can help with this

Moodle set up 

Check that your Moodle is set up to reflect

·       Moodle standards

·       A teaching format that allows students to be self-directed in their learning

Moodle is Unitec’s learning management system that provides learning activities, resources, messaging, and assessment submission for students.



Use this link to check your Moodle course.

Setting up Moodle 

Ask your TPA liaison about Moodle standards.

Keep your Moodle course clear, consistent, and correct.

Set up Peoplesoft Gradebook

Look at the mark each assessment is out of. Check that this matches the Gradebook entry.


Your Discipline lead/coordinator and or your SQA (Senior Quality administrator) can help you do this

Moderation of Assessment Materials

The moderation of assessment materials is to confirm that:

·       even if a learner achieves the minimum pass mark in each assessment in a course, the learner will achieve all the learning outcomes of the course

·       the assessment task and marking schedule are aligned with allocated learning outcomes and assessment type

·       the task is clear, fair, and valid.

All assessment materials should be moderated at the same time before the course begins. 

This must be completed:

·       whenever assessments are first designed

·       following any changes to any of the assessments in a course

Te Aka/Nest page 

It is useful to check with your Senior Quality Administrator (SQA)

During your course


More information

Where can you find it or who could you talk with?

Student support services

Learning Advisors provide help in several ways including workshops, one-to-one, and group consultations covering a wide range of academic support. The learning advisors are available for all students, with some specific support also available for for Māori, Pacific, Numeracy and Postgrad students. 

The Study Toolbox also has a range of resources to support academic study.

Learning advisors


Study tool box

Tracking students/pastoral care



Identifying students who may need further support is an important part of the teaching and learning process. The earlier they are identified, the earlier support can be provided. Identify these students through: 

·       attendance (SEAtS)

·       Moodle engagement

·       marks/grades from first assessments.


Talk to your APM/Programme Co-ordinator/Discipline Lead about pastoral care for your Programme

Check for student understanding

Just because you taught it doesn't mean they have learnt it. It is useful to check for understanding as you teach throughout your course.  This may mean spending more time on knowledge and concepts that are more challenging or spending less time if students have “got it”.

Some ways of doing this are by using things like Moodle quizzes, exit tickets, mind maps of learning

Moodle Quizzes


Exit tickets

Continue to plan lessons


See planning template Appendix A

Explicitly plan to support students with assessment

Teach students how to unpack an assessment task that includes

·  what they need to do

·  how they need to do it

·  how it will be marked

Involve students in understanding the marking criteria with activities to

·  understand the difference in the range of marks

·  use exemplars

·  self assess own work

·  peer assess work

· develop feedback literacy that includes knowing how to action feedback


Active Learning

Active learning are teaching strategies and activies that engage students in the learning process.  It encourages students to work with and or do something with the knowledge and or skill.

Talk to your TPA liaison advisor about active learning strategies


Using questions to develop student understanding

Use of wait time

Question matrix

Question activities

Mid-semester survey/check-in & feedback

Checking in with students to see how the course is going from their point of view is a useful process and provides feedback to the lecturer. Reflect on what is working well and what might need adapting. This does not mean a long list of questions – rather, a short snapshot of where students are at. It may be a survey and or a small group activity.

An important part of the process is "closing the feedback loop”. This means that we acknowledge what students tell us, and we give feedback to them about what was done: 

“You said” “We did”

Your TPA liaison can help with this.





Assessments throughout the course.


As you mark each assessment, it is useful to keep notes on a blank assessment/mark schedule to capture

·     what students did well

·     where they didn’t do so well

·     if the mark schedule was easy to use


Check marking & releasing marks on Gradebook

Each assesssment needs to be check-marked to confirm that assessments have been appropriately marked. It can provide helpful feedback if you are new to teaching a course. 

If you have a large class, you may want to have this done after you have marked a few to ensure you are on track.

If you have more than one marker (assessor), it is also useful to check in early on to ensure there is a consistent approach. 

This process is also useful if you are a new lecturer on a course, even if you don't have a large class. 

Once assessments have been checked-marked, grades can be placed into gradebook and released to students.

Check with your Programme Co-ordinator/Discipline Lead/Senior Quality Administrator for guidance.

Useful link for moderation information

Unitec course survey

Provide students time in class to complete surveys. The course surveys are sent out to students towards the end of the semester. The questions are pre-set, and responses are displayed on a dashboard. Remind students their feedback is important in shaping the future of the course.

Course surveys Nest page

After you finish teaching your course


More information

Where can you find it or who could you talk with?

Reflection on the course


·  What activities did students engage in?

·  What content/big ideas/ knowledge did students struggle with?


·      What did students do well and what did they find the most challenging?

·      What feedback did you get from students about the assessments?

·      How have you dealt with that feedback and what actions came from it?

Moodle course

·      Did the Moodle course encourage self-directed learning?

·     Was it easy to navigate for students?

·     Was Moodle used as a learning tool?



Find out if your course is scheduled for internal or external moderation

Te Aka/the Nest moderation information 

Talk to your Programme Co-ordinator/Discipline Lead/Senior Quality Administrator

Keep all student assessments for at least a year

All students' work must be kept for at least 12 months unless required by an external accreditation body (e.g., Nursing Council, etc.)

This may mean ensuring you download them from Turnitin or Moodle before the course closes.

If you have had posters or other visual information – this may need to be scanned or photographed for storage.  Most work can be filed on your programme and course file in H drive.

Nest page on retaining assessments

 Ask your Programme Co-ordinator/Discipline Lead where student assessments are filed

Grades on Peoplesoft Gradebook


All student grades must be uploaded to gradebook before the PAQC grade ratification meeting (within 3 weeks of the course end date). There must be no “gaps” or missing grades. Use DEF (Deferred) if a student has an Assessment Concession (AC)  approved. or DNC (Did Not Complete),   which may mean the student has not handed in any work.

Your SQA (Senior Quality Administrator) can help with ensuring results are completed and checking there are no missing grades.

Course Evaluation Plan (CEP)



Once the course has finished, complete the CEP within 3 weeks of the course completion date.. Note: Course results must be published (following grade approval ratification) before the results data is displayed for questions 1 & 2 in the CEP.

CEP data is stored on the Power BI dashboard but you can also download a PDF for filing when it is completed.

Follow up DEFs



Follow up on any DEF grades to see if students need support or to check that they are able to submit work for assessment on time.

When a student has completed a deferred assessment, you must complete a Change of Grade application once it has been marked.

Check with your Senior Quality Administrator (SQA) for the Change of Grade process.

Last modified: Thursday, 15 February 2024, 2:55 PM