Initiate. Collaborate: the best project kick off you’ve ever had!

Teaching and Learning Conference

Workshop Presenter: Steve Reay

Collaboration across academic disciplines and practices draw on disparate paradigms relating to how knowledge is created and disseminated. Whilst the value of bringing different disciplines together is increasingly becoming more vital to solving the complex challenges that face society and the world, the reality is that this can be fraught with complexity. 

An example of this is in design for health collaborations. Within design for instance, disruption and risk are regarded as creative catalysts, which can lead to the generation of new insights. Within healthcare, risk is frequently seen as a negative force and to be avoided at all costs. With this comes an emerging diversity of approaches and perspectives as to what might be most appropriate or successful when aspiring to make impact in a healthcare environment. Coupled with a divergence around the use of co-design or co-creation from healthcare, means there remains a tentativeness relating to the design and health field. 

This is not just in relation to the paradigms and methods designers and health-practitioners utilize, but extends to more fundamental questions. These include what is the role of design and design research in the context of health? How and when should designers be involved? How do the value systems underpinning the disciplines interact and how can the mechanics of working in complex multi-disciplinary teams be managed? Such questions are not just specific to design and health collaborations, but applicable to all projects involving groups of people with different perspectives. 

Attendees at this interactive workshop will gain hands on experience with Initiate; A toolkit for collaboration, which uses  series of crafted challenges to offer attendees the opportunity to explore these tensions and to work together to identify different routes and ways forward. 

Dr Steve Reay is an Associate Professor in Art and Design and Director of Good Health Design, a collaborative design studio at AUT. As one of a multidisciplinary team, whose aim is to develop better health and wellbeing experiences, Steve’s research focuses on how the design of products and services may have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Good Health Design enables designers to engage with industry professionals as well as researchers from other disciplines, to share and test ideas and develop unique solutions.

Modelling Leadership

Teaching and Learning Conference

Showcase Presenters: Steve Cox & Lexie Matheson

Within their teaching and curriculum design, Steve and Lexie place emphasis on exposing their students to better ways of thinking and learning and support this with an understanding of Kaizen; the concept of ‘continuous change’.

MGMT721 is facilitated by the two educators of HOSP503 and EVNT603. The paper combines principles of Jungian Critical Self Reflection and Constructivist Theory where individuals construct their understanding and knowledge of their environment through experience and reflection.

The first assignment involves development and evaluation of formal leadership theory. 

Assignment two encourages learners to find the leader within and identify the theories that resonate with them as individuals, through development of a critically reflective personal profile. Assignment three is a collaboration where learners share leadership knowledge with their team to collectively design a new theory. They are then tasked to turn this new theory into an artefact, and present as a verbal exegesis. 

Attendees at this showcase will actively engage with the authentic elements of this paper.  Attendees will be provided with data defining six leadership theories and asked to select which theory resonates with them. Once grouped into teams, individuals will combine their choices to build a new theory which they will name. Teams will discuss what this might look like if turned into a three-dimensional model. Creating the model is the artefact and the explanation is the exegesis.

Dr Stephen Cox and Lexie Matheson ONZM are lecturers in the School of Hospitality and Tourism, Steve in Hospitality and Lexie in Events. They have been working in the Leadership space for a number of years and share a student-centred kaupapa using artefact, exegesis and self-assessment models.

Authentic Achievement Through Interdisciplinary Teamwork

Teaching and Learning Conference

Showcase Presenters: Meenal Rai & Aaron Evans

Health and Environment is a required level 5 paper for all new non-clinical health students. The paper’s main assessment, a semester-long team project, encourages students to form connections and think critically about human health and the various environments influencing it. We propose that the team project is a form of authentic assessment and learning.

The team project requires students to develop higher-order thinking around critiquing current health initiatives and existing gaps in Aotearoa New Zealand. It also encourages them to develop problem-solving skills as they design a novel (hypothetical) health/environmental initiative or solution and discuss logistics through various environmental lenses, ensuring it is appropriate within the socio-political context of Aotearoa. 

By grouping students randomly and introducing them to new ideas and worldviews, this assessment encourages authentic interprofessional learning. Students must combine their abilities, plan together, focus on multiple tasks simultaneously, and learn and overcome the challenges of working in a team, as they learn with, from, and about their peers.

This team project provides both an authentic experience through disciplined research enquiry enhancing the individuals’ capabilities of working collaboratively throughout their future careers. Students leave Health and Environment having gained a broader understanding of the world around them, the value of sustainability in a changing world, and the skills to form authentic interpersonal connections.

Attendees at this showcase will learn how interdisciplinary student teams allows students to not just meet the learning objectives of the assessment, but also valuable insights. The assessment challenges students’ personal and collective skills as the learning is assessed at both the team and the individual levels. We have observed certain limitations within the design and execution of this assessment and a discussion with the audience may allow resolution of issues and refinement of concepts.

Dr Aaron Evans and Meenal Rai (PhD Scholar) are tertiary educators in Inter-professional Health Studies, with close to three decades of teaching experience between them. Aaron strives to deliver his content in a relatable way to promote a more engaging classroom environment. Meenal focuses on creating team-based assessments to align educational content with assessment design. 

Authentic Team Assessments: Learning about Learning

Teaching and Learning Conference

Showcase Presenter: Carolyn Ward

The AUT Business School Strategy (2016 – 2020) has a strategic priority to equip graduates to thrive in uncertain futures. Through authentic practice-based learning we aim to mirror complex work environments. 

A core feature of authentic assessment is the need to facilitate student learning in a group or team context, as team working is a common workplace practice. To align teaching and learning to the Business School’s strategic goals, changes were made to the training and development paper (renamed learning and development) as part of the 2017- 2018 review. 

A key aspect of the paper is to help students to be ‘industry ready’ in the field of Human Resource Management. Two team assessments embedded on the paper embrace important authentic assessment principles and encourage play-based learning and reflection-in/on-action. Teams learn new skills in a pre- assessment team learning challenge and acquire a learning facilitator persona requiring student teams to train the class. These practical experiences help students make links to appropriate theories, models and concepts taught on the paper. This approach also helps scaffold learning experiences between the assessments. Feedback anecdotally and via Student Paper Experience Questionnaires suggest enhanced engagement with the tasks, increased understanding of foundational learning theories and the creation of a positive learning environment. 

Attendees at this showcase will gain experience on the application of play-based learning theory, a relatively underdeveloped learning theory applied to adult education. Practical ideas and examples of active learning strategies to consider in their own classroom. Ideas for creating authentic team-based assessments. 

Carolyn Ward is a Senior Lecturer in Business, Economics and Law and has worked in academia since 2004. Her interests lie in strategies to engage and motivate students to become active, reflective and critical learners. She takes a learn-by-doing mantra to her teaching. Central to her academic citizenship role is her continued involvement with the Ako Aronui programme where she mentors AUT employees and assesses fellowship applications.

Feedback – “I would like to know what I have done well”

Teaching and Learning Conference

Showcase Presenter: Denise Atkins

Authentic assessment encourages students to be more engaged in their learning, especially when supported by constructive feedback. Hattie and Clarke [1] suggest that feedback is arguably the most critical and powerful aspect of teaching and learning. By providing an opportunity for the co-construction of marking criteria between students and teachers, students gain ownership over their learning and clearly understand assessment expectations.

Providing feedback that is relevant and in a form that is appropriate for the individual student has its challenges. Too often it is easy to take the path of least resistance – providing feedback under the guise of a generic A, B, C or D grade. This ‘appropriateness’ (or not) is what Carless and Boud [2] consider essential for students in order to be able to judge for themselves whether they can meet learning expectations and outcomes within a paper. 

Attendees at this showcase will be posed with the concept that feedback is the bridge between assessment and learning, taking the participants on a journey to validate good assessment practice and the place feedback has in enacting this. The presenter will share early findings from a project undertaken in a Level 7 paper that focuses on co-constructing assessment criteria and negotiating expectations of the feedback process with students. 

Denise Atkins is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Recreation and an academic development advisor within Health and Environmental Sciences.  She leads the HPE major in the BSR and is a passionate educator, with over 30 years experience teaching in schools and at tertiary level.  Denise’s research interests are in professional learning and teaching, health education, physical education and children’s voice.  

[1] Hattie, J., & Clarke, S. (2019). Visible Learning: Feedback. Oxon, England: Routledge.
[2] Carless, D., & Boud, D. (2018). The development of student feedback literacy: Enabling uptake of feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(8), 1315-1325.