Ting indigenous cu



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71 UACC Guiding Principles, above n 4, 4.
prominent Indigenous legal academic. The NCIS is co-located with the Law School, where law students can and are encouraged to deepen their engagement with Indigenous staff and with a range of practical Indigenous issues and research interests. Such engagement includes undertaking short research projects for credit, possibly creating options in the longer term for internships, or being supervised for their honours or higher degree research programs by Indigenous academics. The programs conducted at the NCIS can also provide students with the option of direct experience with such research and projects.

The resource intensive nature of broad experiential learning does not, however, help to broaden the base of the number of students acquiring ICC. On the other hand, all of these teaching methods would reasonably help to improve students’ ICC as defined in the UACC Report.
E Assessment Regime
The theoretical framework and methodology applied to the unit assessment regime is a form of that articulated by Miller, employed here as it is used generally at the ANU. It is described below.72

The first limb of the ICC definition requires the acquisition of requisite knowledge and understanding. Knowledge of the set readings and case law is assessed in many ways, including by questioning students in class throughout the semester. To promote engagement, marks are allocated for students’ active participation.73 Students’ level of sophistication of analysis is often academically rigorous and insightful. Evidence of deeper learning and understanding are assessed through research papers, which include set topics and related issues nominated by students. There is no final exam in this unit; assessment is continuous to encourage on-going engagement with the material and to best assess the students’ growth throughout the unit.

The second limb of the ICC definition requires the skilful application of the knowledge and understanding acquired in the first limb. Students’ ability to apply the law is assessed through case studies and online writing as well as by the submission of several short pieces selected from among a range of scenarios. Role-plays give students the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation of the various stakeholders’ interests, perspectives and positions. Students are not expected to ‘own’ a perspective, only to be able to articulate


72 George E Miller, ‘The Assessment of Clinical Skills/Competence/Performance’

Academic Medicine, (‘Invited Reviews’ September, 1990), 65(9):S63–7.

73 Allocation of marks to an activity including bonus marks appears generally to be the single most effective motivating factor for students to engage.
and present a clients position as best they can, and for which a grade is awarded.

According to the feedback, the exercises and debriefing were both described as informative and ‘fun’ an indication that an atmosphere conducive to deep learning was likely to be taking place.74

It is also a clear marker of students’ productive engagement with the unit material. The ‘student shows how’ aspects are also assessed in plain English statements. For example in one case a submission was made to a ‘live’ on-going enquiry, and in another a letter was sent to the editor of a local newspaper on an Indigenous issue.

Finally, while not a direct element of Millers methodology, building empathy with Indigenous peoples as clients, stakeholders or citizens is an implied element of the second limb of the ICC definition. Empathy is about understanding anothers perspective and demonstrating this understanding. Empathy is assessed through reflective posts submitted online, if necessary privately, where students can be open and honest, expressing true-to-character views, as long as the work is well researched, thought out and considered.
V EVALUATION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
ANU evaluation of units is carried out by the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning (SELT), an administrative section of the university that is independent of the faculties. Standardised unit evaluations are administered, collated, and anonymised by SELT. Results are provided to teachers in a standardised format. Unless otherwise indicated ‘student feedback’ in this paper refers to quotes taken from anonymous feedback.

Since evaluations changed from paper to a computer-based system, the response rates generally have dropped dramatically. Since

2010 much of the data collected by the computer-based systems, particularly for smaller classes, is too limited to be statistically significant. However, they are still indicative.

The general feedback for the unit was that the enthusiasm for teaching, the relaxed non-judgmental atmosphere of the class, and the use of film, music and humour stimulated and increased the students’ own interest and love for the subject. Many students commented that this was their favourite law unit so far, and this arguably creates a desire for further learning and engagement with the Indigenous community at least for these students. Ideally, university students will acquire a love for lifelong learning, including for Indigenous legal issues.


74 For a discussion of deep as opposed to shallow learning see: Michael Head, ‘Deep Learning and Topical Issues” in Teaching Administrative Law’ (2008) 17(1&2) Legal Education Review 159
This paper employs Biggss taxonomy75 to examine the operation of the teaching approach taken in the unit and whether it achieves its stated (and aspirational) aims, broadly speaking, of increasing ICC. The unit is considered as a law elective and counts as part of the students’ law program. All written work and essays are marked according to Law School standards.
A Presage Learning Environment and

Student

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