Organising excursions, etc.
|ADMINISTRATION||LEARNING & TEACHING||SUPPORT|
|Efficient organisation||(Not relevant to this topic)||(Not relevant to this topic)|
|OHS, insurance, duty of care|
In some faculties, field trips, excursions and “pracs” are part of the curriculum, and all students are required to participate. In many other faculties they are offered as optional extras which students may choose to undertake in order to further their studies or expand their knowledge of the discipline.
In this section we use the terms ‘excursion’, ‘field work’ and ‘pracs’ to refer to any situation where students travel outside the University as part of their learning program or unit of study (UoS).
Whether excursions are a required part of your unit or something you organise to enhance the student’s learning experience, there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration, in order for them to run smoothly and efficiently.
Check your faculty requirements
Before organising any excursion, check with your head of department and admin officer to see if your faculty has any specific requirements for UoS activities that occur off-campus.
Setting up efficient ways to organise excursions will save time, particularly if you have large classes of students to coordinate.
- Announce the excursions or fieldtrips in lectures and by email. This is also a good time to let students know about prerequisites and preparations, and how they will sign up to participate.
- Organising the excursions through eLearning may be the most efficient method. Depending on the situation, you can use your eLearning site to email all students with instructions.
- If students sign up for any trips during their tutorial time, establish some ground rules to follow. This will reduce intrusion into their class time, and you could email students in advance with this information to make the process more efficient.
- Set deadlines for signing up to and paying for excursions, including one for pulling out with refund.
- If there is a cost per student, set up a facility for students to make any payments and ask them to provide evidence (usually a receipt) that they have paid.
- Set up a waiting list if all of the places have been filled so that if people pull out late a replacement can be found quickly.
Your duty of care towards your students means that when you organise any excursion for students, as part of your unit of study, you will need to assess the risks involved and consider ways of managing any risks.
- Have a look at the Fieldwork Safety Guidelines from OHS
- The University’s Risk Management System details the 5 step process to assessing any risks that students or staff may be exposed to when off-campus on field trips, etc.
- The Audit and Risk Management resources include page links to the University Risk Management Policy, and the Risk management Matrix for assessing levels of risk.
- The University has different insurance policies to ensure staff and students are covered in the case of field trips and excursions. Check the website for details.
It is important to ensure that it is very clear who is participating on field work. This is because the University needs to be able to respond to inquiries quickly in the case of an emergency such as a natural disaster. As some students may pull out at the last minute or just not show up at the start of the field work, it is important to have procedures in place.
- Record all student and staff names and contact details (including emergency contacts) in a central place that can be accessed while the field work is in progress.
- Update those records with any last minute changes up to the time that the field work starts.
- Ensure that the records are accessible to your faculty administration when the field work is taking place.
The University Risk Management policy details the University’s commitment to managing risks encountered by staff and students.