Herdsa 2009

Program: Wednesday Day 3 - Concurrent Session Six

Ka Whangaia, Ka Tupu, Ka Puawai: Kia Kotahi Te Takahi Haere Whakamua. (That which is nurtured grows then blossoms: Moving forward together) (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

E. Catherine Dickey
Maureen Tuia
And Students (Yet to be selected)

All from: Manukau Institute of Technology
Otara
Manukau City

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the philosophical underpinning of the BASW programme.
  2. Begin to consider the notion that tertiary institutes should reconsider their academic entry requirements.
  3. Participate in activities that promote or teach concurrently the academic skills needed for successful degree completion.
  4. Reflect on the enthusiasm of the students and staff for pedagogy that is based on peoples’ strengths and passion rather than teaching to fill deficits or to exclude.
  5. Interact with students and staff from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  6. Get the student ‘take’ on their experience of this pedagogical approach.
  7. Consider the physical learning spaces that exist now in tertiary institutions. Maybe it is time for change?
  8. Experience learning that is FUN yet remains respectful, accurate and robust.

Intended Audience

The staff of institutions both at grass-root level and in management that

About the Facilitators

E. Catherine Dickey M.Ed (Hons), DipEd, DipHort, TTC.

Cath Dickey is a Senior Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology. She has been there since 2004. Her passion is in the addressing of the unequal power relationships that often exist in the education system in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her particular interest is in making tertiary education a real option for those students who some label as ‘non traditional’ or ‘second chance learners.’ To help these students gain success in education at a tertiary level her objective is to first work with the strengths and attributes in people that can be identified that may make them suitable for a given profession or occupation, in this paper, social work, rather than putting the emphasis on gate-keeping academic qualifications.

Maureen Tuia BSW, MSW, ANZASW.

My ‘Samoaness’, which is mingled with Chinese and Tongan ethnicities has enabled me to relate to many of my students that I affiliate with on a daily basis. My academic education began in the United States of America where I gained my BSW and MSW in the field of Social Work. Much of my journey within the field of Social Work has brought an awareness of recognising ones own past as a significant contribution to my education. With my ‘Gafa’ (geneology), culture, religion and family and inter-relating this to social work practice allowed me to make this journey.

Student Representatives: At this time (Feb), the students have not yet decided who will present on their behalf. This is a collaborative presentation. In due course, the students will decide on their selection so as to reflect their diversity and in whom they have confidence to represent them well.

Background/Context

The degree programme in which these strategies are being developed is the result of a collaborative relationship between M?ori and non- M?ori, to address social issues, like poverty and abuse, which exist in the region, but fail to be dealt with appropriately. Many of those charged with undertaking this work have very different worldviews from those they are expected to assist. What were needed were professionals who could empathise with those in need of support. Many of those who had the necessary attributes to become social workers had the least formal education.

Brookfield (2000), suggested that adult learners had a number of hurdles to clear when they re-entered education. In particular, the notions of “ impostership, cultural suicide, incremental fluctuation, lost identity and community.” If we were to attract and retain the most appropriate students, these notions had to be revisited frequently, and their worldviews and life experiences be considered as strengths not deficits. The teaching team needed to find pedagogical approaches that enabled the students to practice or learn the required academic skills to complete their degree without increasing the time to do it. Thus the principle of concurrent contextualized, academic up-skilling was begun.

References

Bron, A. (2005). Understanding learning processes through adult education theory (pp.181-192). In M'hammed Sabour & Leena Koski (Eds.). Searching for meaning of education and culture. Joenssu: University Press.
Brookfield, S. (2000). Adult cognition as a dimension of lifelong learning. In J. Field & M. Leicester (Eds.), Lifelong learning: Education across the lifespan. Philadelphia: Routledge Falmer Press. Downloaded from http://www.open.ac.uk/lifelong-learning/papers /393CD0DF-000B-67DB-0000015700000157_StephenBrookfieldpaper.doc
Dickey, C. (2008, 2-4 July). Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai: That which is nurtured, grows, then blossoms. In Challenging Isolation: The role of lifelong learning. Conference at University of York St John. London: FACE.
Dickey, C., Henry, B., Luatua, F., Mayo, C., & Russell, C. (2008, 9-10 Oct). Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai: Kia kotahi te takahi whakamua. That which is nurtured, grows, then blossoms: Moving forward together. Proceedings of the New Zealand Association of Bridging Educators.
May, S. (2002). Accommodating multiculturalism and biculturalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Hamilton: University of Waikato.
Mezirow, Jack. (2003). Changing perspective: Theory and practice of transformative learning. In Tom Hagström (Ed.). Adult development in post-industrial society and working life. Stockholm: Ministry of Education, Stockholm University.
Ministry of Education (2005). Tertiary education strategy 2007-2012. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
Ruwhiu, Pirihi Te Ohaki (Bill), & Ruwhiu, Leland A. (2005). Ko te pae o te atua mai i nga whakaaro hohonu nei, hei oranga mo te ira tangata. Te Koromako (Hotoke),1-20.
Tinto, V. (2001). Developmental education learning communities. Downloaded from http://soeweb.syr.edu/ academics/grad/highereducation/vtinto.cfm on 12 January 2008.

 


Making Change: the place of universities in fostering civic engagement, agency and activism (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Tilly Hinton

Names and affiliations:
University of the Sunshine Coast

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

Intended audience

This workshop is intended for colleagues who have an interest in universities being sites for civic engagement and social activism.
About the facilitator

Tilly Hinton manages the Office of Learning and Teaching at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), where she has a particular interest in organisational capacity-building and institutional strategy and change. Tilly is also Project Leader for the University’s Promoting Excellence Project, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. From 2004 - 2005, she led a first year experience enhancement project at USC. Prior to this, Tilly worked in secondary education and community development, particularly with disadvantaged, migrant and youth populations. She is an organic gardener, a member of the Queensland Environmental Activist Network and a passionate campaigner for social and environmental causes. Since 2007, Tilly has been trialling social networking technologies to help save the Mary River in Queensland from a proposed mega-dam.

Background / Context:

University students are learning ‘for an unknown world’ (Barnett, 2004, p. 248). Society is grappling with climate change, economic instability, war, poverty and environmental degradation. This is a world in desperate need of civic attention. It is little wonder that the mandate for Universities to foster student civic engagement is strong. The Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance espouses the development of ‘engaged citizens’ (AUCEA, n.d.) and the Graduate Attributes of most Australian institutions include a civic engagement dimension (National GAP Project, personal communication, October 24, 2008). In the United States, the Presidents’ Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education has been adopted by almost six hundred institutions (Campus Compact, 2007).

The preparation of students for active citizenship is a ‘primary purpose of college [education]’ (Astin in Johnson, 2004, p. 172). A ‘large body of research shows that [...] experiences in adolescence and early adulthood permanently shape their attitudes, values, and habits in relation to politics and civil society’ (Kiesa et.al., 2007, p. 4) and yet ‘despite the known benefits of service learning [...] 75.1[% of students surveyed in 25 Australasian universities during 2007] reported never having taken part in a community-based project’ (Australian Council for Educational Research, 2008, p. 13). Making ‘civic agency’ a key part of the student learning experience is ‘the great challenge and promise of the new century’ (Boyte, 2008, p. 15).

References

Australian Council for Educational Research (2008). Attracting, Engaging and Retaining: New Conversations About Learning (Australian Student Engagement Report). Camberwell, Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.
Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance (n.d.). AUCEA Principles of University Community Engagement. (Retrieved 12/11/2008). http://aucea.med.monash.edu.au:8080/traction/permalink/Website352.
Barnett, R. (2004). Learning for an Unknown Future. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), 247-260.
Boyte, H. C. (2008). Against the Current: Developing the Civic Agency of Students. Change, 40(3), 8-15.
Campus Compact (2007). Presidents' Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education. (Retrieved 08/04/2008). http://www.compact.org/resources/declaration/Declaration_2007.pdf.
Johnson, D. I. (2004). Relationships between College Experiences and Alumni Participation in the Community. The Review of Higher Education, 27(2), 169-185.
Kiesa, A., Orlowski, A. P., Levine, P., Both, D., Kirby, E. H., Lopez, M. H. & Marcelo, K.B. (2007). Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Student Political Engagement. College Park, Maryland: The Centre for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).

 


Culture, Communication and Customs of Learning (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Nicola Woods
University of Wales, Newport Newport UK

Outcomes

Topic and focus

Demographic shifts, social inclusion policies, the international agenda, the move towards greater indigenous education - all these are factors leading towards an increasingly diverse student population. How can the challenges raised by these changes be met in a way which improves learning and teaching and, consequently, enhances the student experience?

This workshop examines how the multicultural character of the modern HE classroom can be used to advantage in order to develop students’ cultural literacy and intercultural competence, enhancing their effectiveness in our increasingly diverse societies.

Interaction with participants

The workshop adopts interactive methods and enquiry-based activities, modelling the type of teaching session that can be effectively used for raising students’ intercultural competence.

A selection of seminal sources is presented, together with evidence from modern research. The workshop also features, for example, illustrations and photographs, along with pod and vodcasts.

References

Lakoff, George (1990) Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind. University of Chicago Press.
Scollon, Ron and Suzanne Wong Scollon (2001) Intercultural Communication. Blackwell: Oxford, second edition.
Street, Brian (ed.) (2005) Literacies Across Educational Contexts: Mediating, Learning and Teaching. Caslon Press: Philadephia
Woods, Charlotte (2007) Researching and developing interdisciplinary teaching: towards a conceptual framework for classroom communication. Higher Education 54: 853-866.
Woods, Nicola (2006) Describing Discourse: a Practical Guide to Analysis. Hodder Arnold: London

 


Can `Threshold Concepts' help us to identify level descriptors in undergraduate degrees? Or... why is this course so hard? (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Amanda Gilbert
Victoria University of Wellington Wellington New Zealand
David Crabbe
Victoria University of Wellington Wellington New Zealand

The Pathways Project at Victoria University of Wellington has been set up to improve the experiences of all students by focusing on the progression along an education ‘pathway’ to graduation.  The project is studying issues such as curriculum alignment with graduate attributes and improving students’ experiences within large first year core courses.

One area of interest that links these huge fields of study is the identification and characterisation of levels of courses.  Although academic staff are believed to have an implicit understanding of what constitutes levels of study for undergraduate courses (Morgan, Watson, Roberts, McKenzie, & Cochrane, 2004), there is little evidence of either clear policies or useful definitions available even within disciplines. 

Furthermore, existing beliefs are rarely made explicit to students.  As a result, some papers or majors gain a reputation for being “hard” while others are perceived as being “easy as”.

The aim of this workshop is to gain a greater understanding of levels of study in undergraduate courses.  What makes a course 100 level and how does it really differ from 200 and 300 level courses?  Participants will discuss this question using theoretical tools from the higher education literature.  Different perspectives for characterisation of ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ courses will be considered. 

Participants will also explore the notion of threshold concepts (Meyer & Land, 2003) as a way of understanding levels of study and complexity and the role of students’ expectations in mediating this.

Keywords:  level descriptors; curriculum; threshold concepts

References

Meyer, E., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge: Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practising within the Disciplines. ETL Occasional Report 4. (Retrieved 18/02/2009) http://www.tla.ed.ac.uk/ettl/docs/ETLreport4.pdf
Morgan, C. K., Watson, G. K., Roberts, D. W., McKenzie, A. D., & Cochrane, K. W. (2004). Scholarship neglected? How levels are assigned for units of study in Australian undergraduate courses? Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(3), 283-298.

 


Writing oral histories and memoirs of academic development in Australasia (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Peter Kandlbinder
University of Technology Sydney
Catherine Manathunga
University of Queensland

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

Intended audience

This workshop is intended to prompt interested members of the HERDSA community to further investigate the process of documenting the experiences of the early Australian academic developers in Australian universities so that their work in improving the student experience through working with university teachers will not be lost or forgotten. It will be appropriate to anyone interested in writing their own stories or journeys into academic development, including 'newer' academic developers who may have many years of experience in the field but may not yet enjoy the same reputation of those recognized as founding figures in the field.

About the facilitators

Peter Kandlbinder is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has been working in the field of academic development for over 15 years with experience in support academics in developing their capabilities in assessing student learning, problem-based learning, postgraduate supervision and other forms of small group learning. Peter's broad research interest is in using the research traditions from the arts and humanities to investigate questions in higher education teaching and learning. In 2008 Peter co-edited the HERDSA publication Making a Place: An oral history of academic development in Australia with Alison Lee and Catherine Manathunga.

Catherine Manathunga is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education in the UQ Graduate School and the Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI) at the University of Queensland. She has been working in the field of academic development for 10 years, principally in the area of supervisor development. She has published a co-authored monograph on educational history, A class of its own: a history of Queensland University of Technology, and has published in Australian, Irish, American and British journals in the fields of international relations, research training and academic development. She has acted as an educational consultant to several Australian universities and two universities internationally. In 2008 Catherine co-edited the HERDSA publication Making a Place: An oral history of academic development in Australia with Alison Lee and Peter Kandlbinder.

Background / Context

Many members of the academic development community have made a major contribution to the enhancement of student learning and to key research into the student experience but as yet there has been no systematic study of the field’s history. Those who work in the field of academic development remain largely unaware of its histories and trajectories, and there is a risk that many of the experiences and understandings of key people in the field will be lost to the next generation of people working in the field unless their stories and recollections are collected and analysed (Grant et al., 2009).

HERDSA has begun to collect oral histories and memories of academic development in Australasia to ensure that the stories of the key founders of academic development do not disappear. The HERDSA publication Making a Place (Lee, Manathunga & Kandlbinder, 2008) was the first stage in putting on the record the experiences and memories of key figures in the history of academic development in Australian universities. More stories of the origins of Australian academic development need to be told.

References

Douglas, L.; Roberts, A.; & Thompson, R. (1988). Oral history: a handbook. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Friedlander, P. (1996). Theory, method and oral history. In Dunaway, D. & Baum, W. (Eds.) Oral history: an interdisciplinary anthology. Walnut Creek & London: Altamira Press, pp. 150-160.
Goodson, I. & Sikes, P. (2001). Life history research in educational settings: learning from lives. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Grant, B, Lee, A, Clegg, S, Manathunga, C, Barrow, M, Kandlbinder, P, Brailsford, I, Gosling, D & Hicks, M (2009) Why History? Why Now? Multiple accounts of the emergence of academic development, Research note, International Journal for Academic Development, Vol 14, No 1, pp 83-86
Lee, A, Manathunga, C & Kandlbinder, P (eds, 2008) Making a Place: an Oral history of Academic Development in Australia. Milperra, Sydney, HERDSA
Rhodes, C. (2000). Ghostwriting Research: Positioning the Researcher in the Interview Text. Qualitative Inquiry, 6 (4), 511-525

 


Getting a bigger bang for your buck: working with staff and first year students(Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Alison Holmes
University Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

Intended audience

The workshop is designed to be suitable for both academic developers and discipline-based teachers.

About the facilitators

Alison Holmes is currently Director of the University Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury, previously she worked in higher education in the United Kingdom where she was a national co-ordinator for disciplinary teaching development projects where the greatest learning was often achieved when projects were struggling to meet their intended outcomes, but were attaining other positive outcomes. She is an experienced workshop facilitator.

Background / Context

Prebble et al (2005) identified that there was little systematic research which connected the impact of the work of academic developers to the success of students. To address this gap a three year collaborative Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funded project in New Zealand was developed and is now coming to an end. The objective was to establish the linkage between the work of academic developers with teaching staff and the improvement of student learning outcomes of those teachers’ students. A range of research informed teaching and learning enhancement initiatives (TLEIs) were designed by academic developers working with staff teaching students in large first year classes across a range of disciplines at 7 of the 8 New Zealand Universities. We established that the impact of the TLEIs on student learning was positive, according to our measures. In addition, we also achieved unanticipated outcomes from the project. One of these was the identification of “ripple effects” from the different TLEIs. Ripple effects are the downstream consequences and subsequent actions of participants in this study. Ripple effects touched the academic developers, the teaching staff and the students in a variety of ways but they did not happen in direct proportion to the success of the original objectives of the project.

References

Boud, D. (1988) Developing student autonomy in learning. Kogan Page London,
Prebble, T et al (2005) Impact of student support services and academic development programmes on student outcomes in undergraduate tertiary study: a synthesis of the research Ministry of Education, Wellington New Zealand
Tinto, V. (1993) 2nd ed. Leaving college : rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition University of Chicago Press, Chicago
Viskovic, A. (2006) Becoming a tertiary teacher: learning in communities of practice in Higher Education Research and Development Vol 25 No 4 p 323-340
Warhurst, R., (2006) “We really felt part of something: participatory learning among peers within a university teaching-development community of practice” in International Journal of Academic Development Vol 11, No 2 p111-122
Yorke, M. (2008) Grading student achievement in higher education : signals and shortcomings Routledge London Reference list

 


Enhancing undergraduate experiences through research and inquiry (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Angela Brew
Macquarie University Sydney Australia

Engaging undergraduate students in research and inquiry, develops important graduate attributes, engages students meaningfully in higher education and prepares them for a twenty-first century world of work in which knowing how to inquire and critically evaluate knowledge is of increasing importance (Brew 2006). I have been awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellowship designed foster student engagement through developing and sharing protocols for good practice in engaging undergraduate students in research and inquiry in different disciplines.

It is relatively easy to establish the desirability of enhancing students’ engagement by involving them in various forms of research and inquiry, but the establishment of mechanisms for them to do so are less easily developed. There are now in existence, in publications and websites, many case studies of good practice.

Case studies provide ideas about what to develop, but not how to develop initiatives and policies. My experience in developing research-enhanced learning and teaching in Australia and overseas suggests that what is needed, and what this Fellowship will provide, are various kinds of models, strategies, protocols and artefacts which show how undergraduate research and inquiry have been and can be implemented; which provide practical guidance to bridge the gap between existing practice and inquiry-based practice in courses; which ease the transition of academics, academic managers and policy-makers to a more research and inquiry based higher education.

In this workshop, following a brief introduction, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with engaging students in research and inquiry. They will then be invited to examine and discuss specific protocols, artefacts and resources that have been collected from international best practice. These will be trialled in a number of universities across Australia in Semester 2. Participants will have the opportunity to amend resources and so contribute to this Fellowship in a very tangible way.

Reference

Brew, A. (2006). Research and Teaching: Beyond the Divide. London, PalgraveMacmillan.

 


Drawing Bridges beyond Grammar (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Grace Conti

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

Intended audience

Any lecturer/tutor, particularly academic study and language support staff, who is keen to engage students in writing better sentences.

About the facilitators

Grace Conti lectures and consults at The Learning Centre, Curtin University of Technology. Since 2000, when Grace first co-piloted PowerPlus Writing with Head of The Learning Centre and author, Jeanne Dawson, the program has been delivered face to face in class sizes ranging from 10 to 80 students. Grace’s academic interests are in study skills, language learning and teaching, Internationalisation, and adult education. The foundation of her experience is in teaching and study skills, writing and language advising in Australian high schools, TAFE, International colleges, and since 1999 also lecturing in communication studies and learning enhancement at Curtin University of Technology.

Background / Context

The PowerPlus Writing program develops and enhances sentence structure for academic writing. The workshop presented for HERDSA focuses on the face to face introduction of the program to tertiary academic students who wish to write better academic sentences. The introduction of the program is founded in constructivist theory (Vygotsky, 1962, 1978) with firm recognition and acknowledgement of student presage in Biggs’ 3P model (Biggs, 1996). Although the initial part of the program is grounded in constructivism, the remainder of the program also employs a transmission approach (Good & Brophy, 2000) through rules and models of academic sentence structure.

To introduce the program to the students, it is first contextualised outlining its purpose and its intended audience. To enhance students’ confidence and motivation (Entwhistle, 1998; Fulford, 2009) in the program, it is emphasised that the program has been developed in view of their academic writing needs: of various language backgrounds, higher education level, work and cultural experience. From here, the lecturer introduces language as structure. Students exercise presage by contextualising language as structure through exchanging examples of structure: physical, organisational, and social – highlighting that almost everything around us has structure.

References

Ballard, B. & Clanchy, J. (1991). Teaching Students from Overseas: A brief guide for lecturers and supervisors. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.
Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32, 1-18.
Brown, D. W. (2008). Curricular approaches to linguistic diversity: code-switching, register-shifting and academic language. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Michigan, USA.
Dawson, J. (2004). Academic Writing and the Art of the Possible. 3L Journal of Language Teaching, Linguistics and Literature, 9, 81-94.
Dawson, J. (2003). The Writing Construction Manual: The busy person’s guide to writing better sentences. Curtin University of Technology: CEA Publications.
Dawson, J. & Conti-Bekkers, G. (2002). Supporting International students’ transitional adjustment strategies. In A. Bunker and G. Swan (Eds.), Focussing on the student. Perth: Edith Cowan University.
Entwhistle, N. (1998). Motivation and approaches to learning: motivating and conceptions of learning. In S. Brown, S. Armstrong & G. Thompson (Eds.). Motivating students. London: Kogan Page, SEDA.
Francis, E. J. & Yuasa, E. A multi-modular approach to gradual change in grammaticalization. J. Linguistics, 44(2008) 45-86. Retrieved April 8, 2009 from ProQuest database.
Fulford, A. (2009) Ventriloquising the voice: writing in the university. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 43(2), 223-237.
Good, T.L. & Brophy J.E. (2000) Looking in Classrooms (8th ed.). New York: Longman.
Mugglestone, L.C. (1997). The English Language: Structure and Development by S. Hussey [Review]. The Review of English Studies, Oxford: Aug 1997, 48 (191), 366-367.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society: the development of higher psychological processes (Edited by M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner & E. Souberman). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

 


Computer-Aided Argument Mapping as a Teaching and Learning Tool (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Dr Martin Davies
Faculty of Economics and Commerce, University of Melbourne

Outcomes

By the completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

Intended audience

The workshop will benefit academics in all disciplines who want their students to learn the skill of critical thinking and argumentation. It will provide academics with a better understanding of the impediments to critical thinking that some students face and a way of remedying these problems. It will also benefit learning advisors interested in improving students’ critical academic literacy.

About the facilitators

Martin Davies holds doctorates in Philosophy from the University of Adelaide (2003) and Flinders University (1996) He won the $22,000 H. J. Allen Prize in Philosophy from the University of Adelaide in 2002. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Deputy Director in the Teaching and Learning Unit in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce at the University of Melbourne and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Economics. Martin has published three books and is the author of many scholarly articles on a range of topics including computer-aided argument mapping. Martin is presently working on two ALTC grants: "Enhancing the English Language Growth of International Students" (with Monash, Edith Cowen, Macquarie and Deakin universities) and "Measuring the Student Experience: Relationships between Teaching Quality Instruments (TQI) and Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)" (in conjunction with Tasmania, Wollongong and Flinders universities, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and Graduate Careers Australia (CGA)). He is also an ALTC assessor.

Background / Context

A description of no more than 200 words that situates the workshop focus within the literature

Critical thinking is an essential skill (Ennis, 1985, 1990). It is a skill that is sought by employers in the “knowledge” economy and is of economic and social importance. Surveys of employers consistently show that a key skill is “critical thinking”("Graduate Outlook," 2006). An employer survey found that “capacity for independent and critical thinking…sets apart successful from unsuccessful [job] applicants…but it is rare” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000). Most universities stress the acquisition of critical thinking skills as a key “graduate attributes”. They claim to foster critical thinking, however, this is usually done by indirect means; i.e., by absorbing subject content. This often means a gap in terms of what employers want, and the skills taught to graduates at university. Critical thinking has recently been called a “wicked” attribute owing its difficulty in being taught and assessed (Knight & Page, 2007). CAAM claims to improve critical thinking by developing generic skills of reasoning. Empirical studies demonstrate CAAM’s effectiveness in different discipline areas, and the resulting improvement of critical thinking abilities as measured by a standard critical thinking test (Davies, 2009, 2009 forthcoming; van Gelder, Bissett, & Cumming, 2004). (Donohue, van Gelder, Cumming, & Bissett, 2002; Harrell, 2005; Hitchcock, 2003; Solon, 2001, 2003).

References

Commonwealth of Australia. (2000). Employer Satisfaction with Graduate Skills. ACT: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA).
Davies, W. M. (2009). Not Quite Right: Teaching Students How to Make Better Arguments. Teaching in Higher Education, 13(3), 327-340.
Davies, W. M. (2009 forthcoming). Computer-Aided Argument Mapping: A Rationale Approach. Higher Education.
Donohue, A., van Gelder, T., Cumming, G., & Bissett, M. (2002). Reason! Project Studies 1999-2002. Melbourne: The University of Melbourne.
Ennis, R. H. (1985). Critical Thinking and the Curriculum. National Forum, 65, 28-31.
Ennis, R. H. (1990). The Rationality of Rationality: Why Think Critically? In R. Page (Ed.), Philosophy of Education 1989 (pp. 402-405). Bloomington, Ill.: Philosophy of Education Society.
Graduate Outlook. (2006). Graduate Careers Australia Retrieved 12/10/07, from http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/content/view/full/52
Harrell, M. (2005). Using Argument Diagrams to Improve Critical Thinking Skills in 80-100 What Philosophy Is. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Carnegie Mellon University.
Hitchcock, D. (2003). The Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Instruction in Critical Thinking. Paper presented at the Informal Logic: Proceedings of the Windsor Conference, Canada. Available from
Knight, P., & Page, A. (2007). The Assessment Of "Wicked" Competencies: Report to the Practice-Based Learning Centre. Retrieved 5/6/07, from http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/getfile.cfm?documentfileid=11063
Solon, T. (2001). Improving Critical Thinking in an Introductory Psychology Course. Michigan Community College Journal, 7(2), 73-80.
Solon, T. (2003). Teaching Critical Thinking! The More, the Better. The Community College Enterprise, 9(2), 25-38.
van Gelder, T., Bissett, M., & Cumming, G. (2004). Enhancing Expertise in Informal Reasoning. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 142-152.

 


 

Beyond Awareness: Strategies for teaching International students (Workshop)

Presenters/Facilitators

Marian Williams
Bond University Gold Coast Australia
Amy Kenworthy
Bond University Gold Coast Australia
Louise Mulligan
Bond University Gold Coast Australia

In our vastly changing world, universities are faced with adapting traditional methods of education to more encompassing methods that ensure education remains useful and empowering. International Students, in 2006, made up 25% of all students studying in Australian Universities (ABS, 2006). The figures for that same time period at Bond University showed an International student population of 53%. It is projected that minorities (multicultural individuals) will comprise 47% of the population by 2050 (Guild & Garge, 1998). These figures made it critical to ensure that the educational needs of International Students are recognised and accommodated. Although many university faculty members are cognizant of the need to accommodate the various learning styles of their students, many are not trained or aware of strategies that accommodate the Cultural Learning Styles (CLSs) of International Students. CLS's are the ways in which individuals, or a group of people, within a society or culture tend to learn and pass on new information based on his/her cultural background and upbringing (Heredia, 1999; International, 1999). The CLS varies from the traditional definition of learning style which refers to the way in which a person learns best - a measure of preference or habit (Guild & Garge, 1998). In addition to CLS, challenges ranging from homesickness and culture shock to accommodation/visa issues to specific academic problems experienced within the classroom, often affect academic performance. Surveys of International students, domestic students, and faculty at Bond University provided evidence that a 'tool' was needed that could be used in an online setting to assist all Higher Education teaching staff in their approach to teaching International & domestic students. As a result, a website, which features five videos, was created. The intent of the website and videos is to raise awareness by identifying misconceptions, misunderstandings and bad information relating to the learning experiences of International Students and to instil within the academic community more inclusive attitudes which embrace the International Students contribution as enriching the academic experience of all students. During this workshop, presenters will show portions of the videos. The audience will then be divided into groups to discuss the various issues identified in the videos as key problem areas when teaching students from various geographical and cultural backgrounds. The intent of the workshop will be to create a pool of ideas on how the International student population is accommodated and enriched at various educational institutions. This workshop aligns with the conference theme of 'The Student Experience' and each of the main focus areas by demonstrating how the videos and website being presented: aid in the development of training of faculty to improve student engagement in the tertiary classroom; assists in the acquisition of a 'beyond awareness' approach to the accommodation of student learning experiences of a diverse student population; and showcases an exemplar of technology being used to engage and motivate faculty.

References

ABS, 2007, Australian Social Trends (2007) International Students in Australia Cat No. 4102.0, ABS Canberra Guild, P. B., & Garge, S. (1998).
Cultural Learning Styles: promoting learning within a diverse classroom. Retrieved 5/15/08, 2008, from http://www.odu.edu/vhosts/studentservices/mss/archive/2003/cultural%20learning%20styles.htm Heredia, A. (1999).
Cultural learning styles. Retrieved 5/15/2008, 2008, from http://library.educationworld.net/a12/a12-166.html International, S. (1999).
What is a cultural learning style?, from http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/literacy/ReferenceMaterials/glossaryofliteracyterms/WhatIsACulturalLearningStyle.htm