Charles Sturt StoriesOct 19, 2020
Girls Day Out in STEM - Dr Kylie Press
In this episode, we catch up with Dr Kylie Press from the CSU Pt Macquarie campus. Kylie shares with us her recent experience with the annual Girls Day Out in STEM event for local school students in the region, including how COVID19 had forced some significant changes on the logistics for the day.
Journeys of cultural competence: maintaining wellbeing and building resilience (Robinson, Lewis, Skinner, Hill, Bilton, O’Shea, Stenlake)
This Podcast will explore themes which emerged from a cross-sectional survey about cultural competency knowledge of 101 health and social care academics. Three of these themes have particular relevance to maintaining wellbeing and building resilience, in what have been uncertain times during the Covid-19 imposed restrictions - reflection on self; enabling positive conversations; and building capacity.
Covid-19 has highlighted the value of human relationships and connection. These survey themes speak to the importance of understanding self and the importance of conversation and communication. This connection with like-minded people is vital to the development of communities of practice at Charles Sturt, enabling the sharing of experience in learning and teaching.
The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have provided an opportunity for time away from face to face contact on campus affording a space for self-reflection, including reflection on the meaning of ‘wellbeing’ and a recalibration of the work-life balance. It is an interesting paradox that whilst Covid-19 has restricted our physical inter-connectivity, it has expanded the possibilities of communication unbounded by space and place. Additionally, living and working in relative isolation has heightened awareness of our and others’ wellbeing. The different ways in which people have coped during this time illustrates so clearly human diversity and the importance of ‘Active listening. Asking not assuming’ (survey participant anon.). Resilience is built through experience in a supportive environment. Conversations about cultural competency have extended beyond a meeting room, enabling access for a broader audience within and outside the institution.
The vision to implement an Indigenous curriculum across the ‘whole of institution’ will require interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-cultural collaboration at scale. Facilitating the development of communities of practice across the institution is a vital mechanism to meet the support needs identified by health and social care academics and to reduce the uncertainty which is associated with journeys of cultural competence. If the institution is committed to maintaining the wellbeing of staff and building resilience, attention must be directed to the experiences shared by this group of health and social care academics who have illuminated important issues and offered potential solutions.
Going Beyond: Learning from collective voices, informing safer spaces (Lewis, Robinson, Skinner, Hill, Bilton, O'Shea, Stenlake)
The purpose of this Podcast is to discuss and reinforce the increasing emphasis on the need for cultural safety, which has become increasingly evident amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. A critical reflection on the meaning of cultural safety is timely for all staff across the institution and particularly in the context of conversations, collaboration and relationships in online spaces.
Grounded in survey research from 101 health and social care academics across 15 disciplines in 2019, two of the emergent sub-themes highlight cultural safety issues: ‘institutional racism and a lack of institutional support’ and ‘the lack of a safe space for conversation’.
Non-Indigenous people who think they know best and impose their ideas on us about what is 'best' (survey participant anon.)
The data, themes and outcomes from this study, and the current situation globally, urge us all to (re)consider our prejudices and subjectivities by asking ourselves questions around unconscious bias and cultural safety. For example; What assumptions do I make about cultural safety? How do my personal values, beliefs, actions and behaviours affect or shape safety, and support mental health and wellbeing through times of crises? In what ways do these voices inform the manner in which we can plan to come out of Covid-19 and make for a more just society? Participants will be invited into a safe space to learn from diverse voices and shared experiences.
We aim to provoke further dialogue where all can share, learn and be heard in supportive environments. This may include more “Active listening. Asking not assuming” (survey participant anon.). The development of academics’ cultural capabilities is foundational to enabling the timely implementation of CSU’s Indigenous Australian Content in the Curriculum (IACC) policy and more broadly, assisting the institution in addressing the National Best Practice Framework for Indigenous Cultural Competency in Australian Universities, and the Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020.
Beyond First Year: embedded academic skills support (Wheeler, Sack, Davidson & Cross)
The Division of Student Services promotes an embedded and integrated approach to literacy support that is considered best practice (Maldoni & Lear, 2016; Wingate, 2006; Wingate et al., 2011) and relies on collaboration between literacy professionals and discipline experts to be optimally effective (Harris & Ashton, 2011; McWilliams & Allan, 2014).
The Academic Skills and Online Study teams work collaboratively with discipline experts within subjects to support the staged development of reading, writing, language, learning, and online study skills appropriate for subject and course requirements. The aim is for students to attain a professional level of literacy by the end of their course. The first time students encounter an essay, for example, the Academic Skills team might provide a contextualised and embedded workshop that addresses foundational skills of structuring paragraphs, synthesising evidence, and referencing accurately. Explicit teaching of these skills improves performance, alleviates anxiety, and permits closer attention to the content.
To date, much of the work done to engage students with the wealth of skills support available to them has been targeted at first year undergraduate students. However, even a well-designed approach to literacy development cannot be all-encompassing and does not obviate the need for further support. In fact, many students do not ask for assistance with writing or literacy in their first year (Lawrence, 2005; Cleary et al., 2017), and it is not until the content becomes more challenging and the expectations increase that skills gaps become more obvious. Those teaching in post-graduate courses will understand the diversity of students’ skills and experience and the importance of supporting the development of their literacy and digital skills, especially if it has been some time since they last studied.
Listeners will learn about the ways in which academics at Charles Sturt University are making use of the resources provided by the Academic Skills and Online Study teams to support students beyond first year. You will hear from academics currently teaching across a range of disciplines about the particular needs of their students, how Academic Skills support has been effectively utilised and embedded, and outcomes that have eventuated.
Copyright Conversations: flexible approaches to engaging learning and teaching experiences (Allman & Humphreys)
It’s important to strike a balance between fulfilling the needs of academic staff who are designing engaging lesson plans and course content, while also meeting copyright and licensing requirements of online resources. Earlier this year, Librarians, Kate Allman and Jane Humphreys, assisted CCI academics, Dr Sam Bowker (Art History/Visual Culture) and Rachel Walls (Animation and Visual Effects), in providing easy access to films for students studying online, pre- and post-COVID. In Sam’s case, he had planned to screen films both online and on campus, which required us to explore the copyright and licensing issues around broadcasting online. While we were getting in touch with copyright owners, distributors, and streaming giants, COVID hit and it was clear nothing could be offered on campus, so we had to re-orient the entire program. For Rachel, her plan was to screen personally owned, rare DVDs for her Animation students, which started a conversation on how to maintain best practice regarding copyright and flexible access for students. This podcast expands on these two instances and explores the possibilities in collaborating with the Library. Also, it may begin to demystify the processes involved with using the resources you want while maintaining copyright compliance. While Sam’s and Rachel’s experiences are in CCI subjects, we will discuss more broadly how Librarians can help to navigate different types of resources in all subject areas and advise on how to appropriately incorporate them in teaching and learning activities. This conversation doesn’t aim to explain the ins and outs of copyright regulation, but it does discuss the reality of working with licensed material and resolving tricky situations to maximise student success. Touching on the use of digital tools like Leganto ‘Readings and resources’ lists and Zoom rooms, we will talk about how copyright shouldn’t present a barrier to creating engaging learning and teaching environments. Going forward, listeners can feel confident in contacting their Library Faculty Teams to discuss the choices available for accessing learning resources and opportunities for further collaboration to create more flexible teaching spaces.
Using Charles Sturt's Radio Expertise to Support Podcasting (Cameron, Van Heekeren, O'Connor & Wotzko)
This podcast builds on ideas developed through a learning and teaching project more than a decade ago that explored the potential for podcasting as a learning and teaching tool at Charles Sturt. The 2010 Scholarship in Teaching project was titled 'Lessons from the "explaining voice": Radio broadcasting as a model for effective and distinctive educational podcasting'. It considered ways in which Faculty and Division staff on all campuses might work more closely with the University's Bathurst-based radio station 2MCE-FM to develop an engaging and effective educational podcasting model for Charles Sturt. As Charles Sturt undergoes significant transformation in 2020, with a view to ensuring sustainable delivery of high-quality educational experiences into the future, it’s timely to consider the still growing popularity of podcasting as an informational and educational medium.
The podcast considers how more recent trends and developments in podcasting might contribute to reimagining learning at Charles Sturt, and how this might be supported by utilising existing resources and expertise in radio broadcasting within the University. The podcast includes interviews with current staff and students about their experiences with podcasting as learning and teaching content.
One outcome for listeners will be an understanding of some of the background to using radio and podcasting as an educational tool. Listeners will also be equipped with ideas and information about radio production activities, resources and expertise already available to the CSU community that might be used to support effective educational podcasting.
Melanie Sugumaran - Student Teacher Placements & Resilience during COVID19 (FoAE)
In this episode we catch up with Melanie Sugumaran (WPL coordinator for BTeach and Mteach student placements), along with Jon, Manori and Franca - students at Charles Sturt who have recently completed their practicum during COVID19. Join us as we chat about each student's prac experience during COVID, the challenges in securing placements in the 1st instance, remote teaching, cats zoom bombing and much more!
Celia Connor - Moving Prac Exams Online for BIO100 (FoS)
In this episode we catch up with Celia Connor from the School of Agriculture and Wine Science. Celia talks through the transition that her face-face and distance cohort subjects needed to make, in order for the traditionally on-site pracs and subsequent practical exams to still be run during COVID19.
Tommy Griffiths - Future Moves and COVID (DSS)
In this episode we meet the Tommy Griffiths from the Future Moves team, unpacking the changes that 2020 has had upon the normally face-face community engagement program.
To talk to Future Moves about how to get involved in some of their workshops, talk about creating engaging online content, and showcasing your course, contact: email@example.com
Peter Vitez - Digital Media Technologist (DLT)
In this Charles Sturt story we meet Peter Vitez in his Blue Mountains 'bunker'. Peter is a digital media tech with the Division for Learning & Teaching who is heavily involved in creating interactive learning objects ('interactives') that go into our subject sites.
Professional Learning and Cabana (Prue Gonzalez & Lachlan Kalache)
In this episode we catch up with Prue Gonzalez, Academic Lead (FoS) and intrepid purveyor of professional development workshops throughout 2020. Prue and Lachlan recount some of their pre-csu life experiences and unpack their feelings around building substantial blocks of PD in the online learning and teaching space.
Video Production and Dentistry (Tony Kavanagh - DLT)
In this episode of Charles Sturt Stories we meet Tony Kavanagh, Digital Media Technologist with the Division of Learning and Teaching. Tony walks us through some of his experiences in television and film production prior to joining the university and then dives into some of the challenging work in media creation he’s been doing with the School of Dentistry in recent times.
AAUT Award Nomination - Islamic Art for Regional Australian Students (Sam Bowker - FoAE)
In this Charles Sturt Story, we catch up with Sam Bowker for the School of Communications & Creative Industries (FoAE), who has recently been nominated for an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT). Sam unpacks his particular passion around Islamic Art and developing that knowledge into a subject area specifically for regional university students.
Online Study Groups (Kim Bailey - BJBS)
In this episode we chat with Kim Bailey, teaching academic at large in the Bachelor of Laws at Charles Sturt University. Kim has introduced online study groups as an opt-in set of tools for her students to use, as they attempt to unpack the veritable mine-field that is Torts Law.