71 UACC Guiding Principles, above n 4, 4. prominentIndigenouslegalacademic. TheNCISisco-locatedwith theLawSchool,wherelawstudentscanandareencouragedtodeepen theirengagementwithIndigenousstaffandwitharangeofpractical Indigenous issues and research interests. Such engagement includes undertaking shortresearch projects forcredit, possiblycreating optionsinthelonger term forinternships,orbeing supervisedfor their honours or higher degree research programs by Indigenous academics. TheprogramsconductedattheNCIScanalsoprovide students with the option of direct experience with such research and projects.
Theresourceintensivenatureofbroadexperientiallearningdoes not, however, help to broaden the base of the number of students acquiring ICC. On the other hand, all of these teaching methods wouldreasonablyhelptoimprovestudents’ ICCasdefinedinthe UACC Report. EAssessment Regime The theoretical framework and methodology applied to the unit assessmentregimeisaformofthatarticulated byMiller,employed here as it is used generally at theANU. It is described below.72
The first limb of the ICC definition requires the acquisition of requisiteknowledgeandunderstanding.Knowledgeofthesetreadings and case law is assessed in many ways, including by questioning studentsinclassthroughoutthesemester. Topromoteengagement, marksareallocatedforstudents’ activeparticipation.73 Students’ levelofsophisticationofanalysisisoftenacademicallyrigorous and insightful. Evidence ofdeeper learning and understanding are assessed through research papers, which include set topics and relatedissuesnominatedbystudents. Thereisnofinalexaminthis unit; assessment is continuous to encourage on-going engagement withthematerialandtobestassessthestudents’growththroughout the unit.
ThesecondlimboftheICCdefinition requirestheskilful applicationoftheknowledgeandunderstandingacquiredinthe firstlimb.Students’abilitytoapplythelawisassessedthroughcase studiesandonline writingaswellasbythesubmissionofseveral short pieces selected from among a range of scenarios. Role-plays givestudentstheopportunitytodemonstratetheirappreciationofthe variousstakeholders’interests,perspectivesandpositions.Students arenotexpectedto‘own’aperspective,onlytobeabletoarticulate
73 Allocationofmarkstoanactivityincludingbonusmarksappearsgenerallytobe the single most effective motivating factor for students to engage. andpresentaclient’spositionasbesttheycan,andforwhichagrade is awarded.
According to the feedback, the exercises and debriefing were bothdescribedasinformativeand‘fun’—anindicationthatan atmosphereconducivetodeeplearningwaslikelytobetakingplace.74
Itisalsoaclearmarkerofstudents’productiveengagementwiththe unitmaterial.The‘studentshowshow’aspectsarealsoassessedin plainEnglishstatements.Forexampleinonecaseasubmissionwas madeto a ‘live’on-going enquiry, and in anothera letterwas sent to the editor of a local newspaper on an Indigenous issue.
Finally, while not a direct element of Miller’s methodology, buildingempathywithIndigenouspeoplesasclients,stakeholders or citizens is an implied element of the second limb of the ICC definition. Empathy is about understanding another’s perspective anddemonstrating thisunderstanding. Empathy isassessedthrough reflective postssubmitted online, if necessary privately, where studentscanbeopenandhonest,expressingtrue-to-characterviews, as long as the work is well researched, thought out and considered. VEVALUATIONOFTEACHINGANDLEARNING ANUevaluationofunitsiscarriedoutbytheStudentEvaluation of TeachingandLearning(SELT),anadministrativesectionofthe universitythatisindependent ofthefaculties. Standardisedunit evaluationsareadministered, collated, andanonymisedbySELT. Resultsareprovidedtoteachers inastandardised format. Unless otherwiseindicated‘studentfeedback’inthispaperreferstoquotes taken from anonymous feedback.
Since evaluations changed from paper to a computer-based system,theresponseratesgenerallyhavedroppeddramatically.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,therelaxednon-judgmentalatmosphereoftheclass,andthe useoffilm,musicandhumourstimulatedandincreasedthestudents’ owninterestandloveforthesubject.Manystudentscommentedthat thiswastheirfavouritelawunitsofar,andthisarguablycreates a desire for further learning and engagement with the Indigenous community—atleastforthesestudents.Ideally,universitystudents willacquirealoveforlifelonglearning,includingforIndigenous legal issues.
74 Foradiscussionofdeepasopposedtoshallowlearningsee:MichaelHead,‘Deep Learningand“TopicalIssues”inTeaching AdministrativeLaw’(2008)17(1&2) Legal Education Review 159 Thispaperemploy’sBiggs’staxonomy75toexaminetheoperation oftheteachingapproachtakenintheunitandwhetheritachieves its stated (and aspirational) aims, broadly speaking, of increasing ICC. Theunitisconsideredasalawelectiveandcountsaspartof thestudents’lawprogram. Allwrittenworkandessaysaremarked according to Law School standards. A Presage Learning Environment and