Engaged Learning Incubator
The 'Engaged Learning Incubator' is a project being delivered by SCU Engagement with the Centre for Teaching and Learning as an outcome from the Community Engaged Learning Forum held in 2015. The project has links to a range of important SCU strategic priorities including the new Strategic Plan, the Curriculum Renewal Green Paper and the new draft Assessment Policy. The 'Engaged Learning Incubator' project aims to embed engaged learning practices and experiences into relevant curricula through customised support for academic staff in a two staged process:
- 1. Authentic Curriculum Design Workshops;
- 2. Customised Co-design Processwhere units selected on a merit basis via an Open invitation Expression of Interest process.
Through the 'Engaged Learning Incubator' we are looking to assist academics who may be interested in making changes to their units to move from hypothetical learning activities to activities or assessments embedded in the needs of community and industry partners where Live Ideas can be used for support.
"Let's Make It Real"-Authentic Curriculum Design Workshops
The Centre for Teaching and Learning with SCU Engagement delivered a series of workshops during September with a focus on support and resources for curriculum design in the areas of authentic problem and project-based learning. The "Let's Make It Real" - Authentic Curriculum Design Workshops were open to unit assessors and their teaching teams providing resources on engaged learning approaches, authentic learning design, project based learning and importantly embedding supporting processes for students including the use of authentic assessment. Facilitated by Jonathan Purdy (Centre for Teaching & Learning), and Kristin den Exter (SCU Engagement) the workshops were held across all three campuses. Download the workshop slides.
The Incubator Co-design Process
The second phase of the project consists of the Incubator, a co-design process, where selected Unit Assessors will work one on one with staff from CTL and SCU Engagement to:
- redesign part or the whole of a unit
- link to Live Ideas as a supporting mechanism
- renew content & update assessment where appropriate
- focus on support and resources for curriculum design in the areas of authentic problem/project based learning.
All Unit Assessors interested in designing for engaged learning are welcome to apply with the support from their Head of School.
SCU launched Live Ideas in 2015 to support the increase in community engaged learning by streamlining the process for partner organisations to propose staff and student projects. Live Ideas provides opportunities for SCU students and staff to work with community partners for mutual benefit.
Anyone can submit a project idea, and any SCU staff or student can apply to join a project. Once your application to join has been approved by the Live Ideas team you will be provided with detailed information on the project and the partner organisation's contact information.
Watch this short video from SCU lecturer Beth Mozolic-Staunton in the School of Health and Human Sciences on how Live Ideas can be used to support engaged learning.
Links to SCU Strategic Priorities
The 'Engaged Learning Incubator' project aligns to both Goals 1 and 4 of the University's Strategic Plan 2016-2020:
- Goal 1: We will equip our students for diverse futures and global careers that enrich society.
- Goal 4: We will create distinctive opportunities for engaged learning and research which will become a hallmark of the SCU experience.
The project also links to one of the pillars described in the Curriculum Renewal Green Paper - From Teaching to Learning, and Learning Centred, as well as the draft Assessment Policy. The "From Teaching to Learning, and Learning Centred" pillar (page 28 of the Green Paper for Curriculum Renewal) encourages us to "use 21 century pedagogy, methods and technologies to deliver a personalised learning environment for students that is learning centred in every course and unit". The Green Paper proposes that "every course will incorporate the following elements:
- authentic assessment designed using both a whole of course approach and the principle of constructive alignment;
- opportunities for students to develop digital literacy skills;
- relevant content made available through media rich mechanisms via the Learning Management System;
- student learning facilitated by synchronous and/or asynchronous academic - student interactions;
- cultural competency;
- engaged learning;
- introductory business and entrepreneurial skills".
Further that "students make discoveries in lively and creative environments and within and across supportive learning communities. These communities include their peers and indeed anybody with whom they wish to engage. Schools and Colleges will strive to incorporate graduate enhancing skills through incorporating activities during a course such as:
- opportunities for study abroad;
- research experience;
- community engagement."
Draft Principle 3 of SCU's Assessment Policy also has direct relevance to the Engaged Learning Incubator project: "Assessment will be powerful and authentic, and will be designed to challenge students, to support deep learning approaches, and to promote academic integrity and minimise opportunities for academic misconduct and dishonesty."