Scaling up intercultural curriculum and cooperative learning and assessment

Presenter: Luke Feast


This session will present insights into scaling-up the assessment approaches in DIGD507_2020 Mahitahi | Collaborative Practices, the proposed new DCT faculty-wide first year undergraduate common course. The course aims to provide educative experiences that integrate collaborative project-based work with tikanga and mātauranga Māori. The course represents an interesting educational challenge because of its large scale and unique curriculum.

Large scale papers that include project components normally incur high costs due to the large staffing resource required. Because cooperative learning and teaching leverages students’ capabilities to learn and teach each other, it might support the viability of large-scale project-based courses. Cooperative learning encourages students to be active in their own learning and make decisions for themselves, which may encourage students to become the types of graduates who can apply skills in critical self-review and continual improvement in their professional careers.

I utilised flipped classroom pedagogy to support the intercultural aims of the course. I produced videos of stories from Māori mythology told by members of Te Ipukarea Research Institute to contribute to a curriculum that included both Māori and Pākehā voices in dialogue. And I drew on Assessment for Learning theory to support constructive alignment of the learning outcomes and assessment strategies.

An intercultural curriculum aims to provide skills and knowledge for effective communication and interaction with different cultures, and support students to obtain metacognitive skills in reflecting on their own thinking and implicit worldview. Interculturalization and internationalisation is important in Aotearoa New Zealand education because the student population is drawn from of several different ethnic groups. Furthermore, knowledge production in universities in Aotearoa New Zealand rely largely on methods and assumptions developed in Western European contexts, even though most of our universities have incorporated commitments to honouring the terms of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.