A Connectedness Learning Approach
Edited by Ruth Bridgstock and Neil Tippett
Chapter 13: Integrating connectedness learning into institutional program review processes in an Australian regional university
Sara Hammer, Peter Ayriss, Marita Basson, Beata Batorowicz, Jo Devine, Melissa Forbes, Alexander Kist, Tessa McCredie, Amanda McCubbin and Bill Wade
This chapter describes a pilot initiative in a Creative Arts and an Engineering program in a regional Australian University. We integrated Connectedness Pedagogies into institutional program review and enhancement processes and enabled wider institutional connections by including Careers and Employability staff. We used a qualitative social constructionist approach to review the effectiveness of this process and the experiences of select stakeholders. Findings highlighted the benefits of integrating connectedness learning into existing curriculum review and enhancement processes including the identification of relevant strengths, gaps and opportunities, the foregrounding of teaching and learning approaches, and the potential for conception change related to perceived curriculum and teacher roles. Challenges that emerged as a result of the way the integration process was implemented in each School highlighted the importance of balancing top-down visioning and cohesion with collaborative, inclusive review and design activities. Furthermore, whilst there were tangible benefits on both sides to Careers and Employability staff involvement, more work is needed to formalise their role in the program review and enhancement process.
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