Xceptional Learning Experiences (XLE) Framework
Consisting of a framework of three pillars, XLE draws inspiration from the complex fields of practice and environments that our students are moving into and shapes how we think about formal and informal learning experiences at AUT.
Work & Social Connection
The Work & Social Connection pillar ensures that the learning experience for our students is informed by (and informs) the communities and environments that shape our lives, and that our curriculum designs are relevant to the current needs of our communities, here in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. It sets the scene for authentic, relational and inclusive interdisciplinary collaboration and informs the design of authentic assessment tasks.
Such connections can provide opportunities to build student’s confidence in professional practice and for students to gain a greater appreciation of the importance of employability skills and secondly, through the development of skills such as teamwork, professional judgement, communication, and problem solving (Rowe & Zegwaard 2017).
The Interdisciplinary Collaboration pillar recognises that our graduates will work in diverse teams to explore and develop creative approaches to the complex problems and issues that they will face in the workplace and the wider community.
This pillar also celebrates the different approaches to knowing, doing and being that underpin our relationships within and across our society, cultures, disciplines and learning spaces.
There is growing evidence that students benefit from engaging in collaborative and dialogic enquiry, whereby each individual’s prior assumptions are challenged through interaction with others as well as with the object of study (Fung 2017).
AT AUT we are challenging ourselves to design assessments that are authentic. Assessment tasks, whether assignments or controlled tests and exams, that reflect the kinds of tasks or practices that our students will be doing in the workplace and in the community. As Boud (1995) reminds us, ‘assessment is the most significant prompt for learning’. It is what students consider important and is at the heart of the student learning experience.
The Authentic Assessment pillar provides a way of thinking about assessment, as we consider the optimum ways in which to evidence the learning experiences that connect with the pillars of Work & Social Connection and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. As with all good curriculum design, it is important that any assessment tasks are aligned to your learning outcomes and are supported by the learning activities.
Together, the pillars create opportunities for
Advancing mātauranga Māori
Cultivating an adaptive and responsive mindset
Novel interactions and shared learning
Stretching and challenging
Learning inspired through research and inquiry