The greatest thing about this Fellowship (if I had to choose one thing) is that it’s scaffolded how I can put my learning from my PhD into research directions that will continue to have impact on students’ lives, and hopefully, organisational learning and teaching culture.  

Presenting this in OER21XDomans this past week also reinforced the strength of networks like GOGN and the OER community to create great ideas and more opportunities for shared work into what OEP can look like.  

It is informing a bright new path for linking OEP to motivating outcomes for students; as well as work-ready and industry-relevant criteria the Australian HE sector is becoming increasingly beholden to….  more about that in my next few publications and conference presentations I have planned.  

Summer semester being entirely online gave a wider scope to the final cycle of evaluation for the fellowship. I am still collating student evaluation responses and gathering permission to use student work samples. So far, 26 students have returned consent forms (out of 80 or so) for using their end-of-semester praxiographies). I will be continuing to analyse this data for months, I think! I’ve also just been given ethical clearance to gather one more semester’s’ worth of the same data, leading to an entire calendar years’ worth of information for this work. 

The data shared in this blog post is purely from the workforce development-focussed feedback from the last big ‘Aussie’ lockdown semester in the second half of 2020I shared some of this with the learning design and teaching/learning interactions data in the last post.  

This blog is focussed more on workforce development (WFD) evidence of the evaluation of materials, and I was not disappointed! Here are some initial findings from the criteria-based evaluation I did on the content of the unit, including design and interactive elements which affect students’ ability to manage their own learning; 

  • Synchronous / asynchronous offerings: there is still a recordings and access issue in students not using all the modes of learning created. Maybe this is also an independent/active learning issue; one that a physical presence in the classroom may address via the assumed authority for ‘delivery in an institutional setting’ vs that which students are encouraged to take for themselves.  
  • Starting the new semester, we are working with a wonderful new colleague who is still ‘Covid-stuck’ in North America and has yet to be allowed to travel to Darwin; having implications for the time we schedule class and therefor the spaces available on campus. These factors have also determined there is no space big enough to house all 150 ‘internally enrolled’ students. As a result, I needed to priorities the space for students with individual requirements (some physical, accessibility, and legal) to be in physical attendance.  Last week we only had 6 students show up physically, so I hope they are getting what they need from our HyFlex model ; analytics might help tell this story too… 
  • An antidote to this is that we are teaching this unit in a super-hyflex mode, with Darwin classroom, Sydney and Champaign, Illinois online lecturers as part of the team! We hope to model what working collaboratively looks like given this opportunity.  
  • A few students came back with preferences to stay in class citing bad outcomes from online learning; and validating two things: 
    • Some students just feel better coming to class/ (working in a physical office for various reasons?) 
    • Sometimes online learning is still difficult for some (as does working remotely sometimes/ for various reasons?) 

Given my own preferences coming out of last year’s flexible working at home arrangements, I can say I love the choice to work at home. But, like many personal preferences, can accept that some people prefer not to. As long as we don’t turn this into another form of ‘learning styles…’ 😊 

Content analysis and WFD skills criteria still met; 

  • time management and scaffolding each assessment in weekly instalments, 
  • written comprehension; 3 different writing genres are covered in assessments 
  • active learning; the more they engaged the better the outcome; even if it was lurking 
  • Negotiation; increasingly offering some students flexibility in negotiating their assessment topics; but difficult given 500+ students.  

Special criteria to continue to focus on (all listed by multiple government agencies and professional associations as standard competencies;  

  • Critical Thinking  
  • active listening and reading  
  • information ordering  
  • complex problem solving 
  • social influence and leadership 
  • digital and Information / Web literacy  
  • collaboration 
  • consent and language use across knowledge systems (I added this one) 

Student Feedback nuggets from end of lockdown semester:  

It’s a pity the Government does not require its staff to do this course before sending people to work cross– culturally like in remote Indigenous communities  

I walked away from it with a lot of different perspectives that I had not thought about. It was enjoyable because it challenged my beliefs in a constructive way and showed a lot of examples of being culturally aware in circumstances that I would have otherwise been ignorant about.  

It forced me to ask myself the hard questions and become more aware of my own privilege and biased in ways I was never challenged before. I am conscious every day of my behaviour and words thanks to the knowledge I gained. 

I definitely felt that I improved as a person after all the reflections.  

It was definitely a good idea to include this unit for freshmen as it certainly teaches highly valuable life lessons. Thank you!  

Have significantly changed my paradigm, approach, and engagement in culturally specific topics.   

I now have the power of language and researched evidence to identify and deeply discuss the plethora of positive and negative aspects, within all the facets of culture and the interactions within them. I can now use them to effectively to facilitate change within my workplace, studies and future workforce as a teacher.   

The awareness and confidence to move forward and be able to make a difference and hopefully at least in my classroom make a change to classroom dynamics and power relations.   

Very relevant content that every student needs to understand  

Best aspect is the long–term benefit of this unit.   

The way it made me reassess all my daily interactions and relationships, both personally and professionally. I’ve grown and learned so much through this unit.   

The content was important learning for professional development. How clear and thorough the information was I learned a lot about my own behaviours in the workplace and became very aware of others behaviour.   

The information I have gained in this unit will be extremely beneficial in the future  

Culture is very important to learn about especially nurses who will be working with different people 

The unit was quite engagingand provided many new ways of thinking.   

It was very interesting learning all this information having heard and participated in cultural awareness through workplaces, getting to the theory behind cultural capabilities and then being required to analyse a situation was an excellent experience.  

I will say that this unit is fundamental important not only for my learning journey in university, but for my life practices as well.   

I learnt a lot as someone who is studying nursing and would like to take care of my patients in future. This was a great unit.  

All of it relevant not just to professional and academic environments, but my life in general. I cannot fault the subject at all. The content is beautiful as are the teachers. I’ve felt very supported through this subject and feel it’s use of Learn line great! 

Written work nuggets from end of lockdown semester: 

This Unit has impacted the way I see my studies and profession in future by the way it has evoked a part in me that will always try to see things from different angles not just the one I consider normal.  

Working collaboratively in a culturally safe environment enriched my learning experience. As a future educator, generative interactions and safe spaces are essential to providing an environment where all children are respected, valued, and awarded equal opportunities. 

It was one diverse group working together as a team. I feel confident now to participate more actively in the future, not only in my further studies but also at my workplace. 

I can also use this knowledge as the instructional material in order to work in a constructive environment and regard for compassion. The easiest way to build harmony at work is to take the opportunity to connect. 

due to the open conversation around different viewpoints in each class, the platforms that allow the opportunity to converse with other students and teachers to discuss different matters and the support systems put in place for students both new and experienced to assist their adjustment.  

have to cross a new subcultural border and adjust myself to the online learning environment and also the academic expectations.  

As a Nurse student, I feel the benefits of learning from different tutors as they all have their own perspective about the given topics. At work, the diversity in people’s ideas helps to develop better results for our clients.  

Professionally and academically, I believe I build learning relationship with people through communication.  

Well scaffolded for a new student which was important to me . Intercultural relationship building for a just, equitable and all-inclusive society.  

Fantastic collaboration and peer support. Changed the way I think, speak and my perspective. 

As for this my final reflection blog, this is feeling more like a start to something bigger. I’m partnering with staff from the Engineering and IT college are wanting to work to provide complementary resources and industry input to better prepare students for workplaces. I’ve also got some more contacts in Accounting and Business to work with on this.  There’s way more data where that came from, so apologies for the content ‘dump’…I’m just too excited that I can share some of it. 😊 

GOGN, if you were a cult, I would drink the cool aid. Maybe it’s too late! 

Johanna

Cover photo by Johanna