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Education

MITN supports innovative collaborations between top educators at Monash and Warwick. The Network has been designed to bring the latest research into the classroom through a series of ongoing projects. Click on the links below to find out more:

Collaboration 1: Portal Pedagogy

Collaboration 2: Global History

Collaboration 3: Developing Intercultural Competence

Collaboration 4: Embedding Cultural Literacy in Higher Education


Collaboration 1: Portal Pedagogy: Transnational and Transdisciplinary Teaching

Committee Members: Sarah McDonald (Monash) and Nick Monk (Warwick)

The International Portal located at the Caulfield campus at Monash and the Ramphal Building at Warwick, provides an exciting opportunity for collaboration through the co-delivery of curricula to students at both universities in real time. These rooms are purpose-built with both the technology and room layout specifically designed to deliver content to student cohorts at both Monash and Warwick seamlessly, giving the feel of being in one class.

Co-teaching experiences have received enthusiastic feedback from students. "They are with the group across the portal in a short space of time, and that creates a real dynamic," says Monash University's Dr Sarah McDonald, who co-leads the International Portal project with the University of Warwick's Dr Nick Monk.

"Some students who are unable to study abroad welcome the experience with lecturers and students from a different location," Dr McDonald says. "It gives them the opportunity to engage with a cohort they would not normally be exposed to."

The Portal also provides staff a means of exploring different approaches to teaching and student engagement in a new environment.

Co-taught units to date:

1. Forms of Identity

This module will:

  • help students to grasp abstract and complex ideas from a range of disciplines (=multidisciplinary), and to synthesize these into thoughtful intellectual responses (=interdisciplinary), that lead students to insights that may lie beyond the scope of a single discipline (=transdisciplinary).
  • help students understand the symbiotic potential of traditionally distinct disciplines.
  • engage students fully with 'active' learning. It will be faithful to the notion that participation and experiential learning foster a deeper understanding of complex material.
  • enhance and consolidate students' academic and research abilities, while also stimulating team-work and collaboration, thus creating a pool of transferable skills that students can acquire and practice.
  • make productive links between theoretical ideas and practical applications.

The unit aims by studying 'Identity' to encourage students to:

  • investigate in detail the means by which identities are formed, changed, or imposed - as seen through the lenses of different disciplines.
  • understand notions such as the nature of individual identity broadly, national identity, bodily identity, gender identity, racial identity, and spiritual identity.
  • reflect both upon the increasing prominence of consumer, hybrid, border, and marginal identities, and the notion that identity can shift, that it can be fragmented, and that a variety of identities can exist simultaneously.
  • develop an awareness of how their subject knowledge and disciplinary approach can be made accessible to a wider public.
  • explore the relationship between the mind and body in the formation of identity.

2. Global Connections

This module examines questions of cultural literacy through a variety of approaches from different disciplines. A rich and pluralistic appreciation of the challenges of understanding and acquiring cultural literacy will be relevant to all Warwick graduates in their personal and professional lives.

The module is designed via interdisciplinary study to enable student to make connections between their own discipline/s and the object of study, and so devise original research questions. The module encourages students to:

  • Investigate in detail the means by which different communities value, promote or impede the development of cultural literacy - as seen through the lenses of different disciplines.
  • Understand notions such as the nature of social inclusion/ exclusion, citizenship, cultural 'belonging', linguistic, ethnic, and gender communities.
  • Reflect both upon the means by which individuals and groups are excluded or included in other communities that include ethnic, gender, religious and national communities.
  • Develop an awareness of how their subject knowledge and disciplinary approach can be made accessible to wider publics.

The module leaders will attend all of each session, to integrate and stimilate the interdisciplinary learning. The module will consist of nine 2 hour sessions, for no more than thirty students (in 2015 - then to be reviewed from across the University's Departments. The teaching and learning approach will embody an interdisciplinary emphasis, using IATL's Open-Space Learning pedagogies balanced by methods, including reflection and discussion, with which students are more likely to be familiar. The core design is that each week a subject specialist will deliver 60 minutes of discipline-grounded material; this section is followed by a further 60 minutes in which the students and module leader will develop the learning in an interdisciplinary style, including using the week's set text/film.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/activities/modules/ugmodules/globalconnections/

Check out a brief video clip of a Global Connections taster session, featuring IATL Teaching Fellow Naomi de la Tour:

3. Digital Humanities

Digital humanities sits at the intersection of traditional arts study and computational technologies and techniques. It expands research paradigms in the humanities, but does so by communicating problems to computer scientists and IT professionals and reaching collaborative solutions. At its heart it’s an interdisciplinary endeavour – bringing people together from disparate areas to work on common problems and subjects. And it’s transformative, in more than one way.

Digital humanists at the forefront in a range of disciplines are using and combining techniques such as analysing texts through corpus linguistics, using numerical data effectively, visualising data in new and innovative ways, and analysing/incorporating the spatial both as data and visually. And, importantly for those of you who don’t think they are IT-literate – the tools that make all of this possible are increasingly easy to use: point-and-click, intuitive, and free!

But this isn’t just about bringing digital skills and methods into the humanities – digital humanities has also changed the nature of some humanities study itself. For instance in literary studies the work of Franco Moretti and others, which uses computers to read and critique texts, has raised questions about what it means to read a text in the first place – can a research project which uses a computer to read 2,000 texts produce greater insight into the history of literature than a scholar’s close and context-driven analysis of text? Are these approaches complementary, different, or mutually exclusive…? In a number of humanities fields, digital techniques are igniting debate about how and what we study.

In this module, as well as engaging with some of these debates, we’ll show you a variety of ways in which digital humanists work. You’ll learn to use some new tools and build your confidence with IT, review existing resources, work collaboratively with a student cohort from the other side of the globe, and, as your main assessment piece, contribute something to the world of Digital Humanities research. Students will be getting involved in research projects based on two live databases- and this work will emphasize two key aspects of the Digital Humanities enterprise, collaboration and openness. Projects will be carried out by groups working collaboratively, and the key output will be shown to academics working on the data sources you use, and shared within the student cohort at Warwick and Monash.

The Monash International Portal:

Monash International Portal







The Warwick International Portal:

Warwick International Portal

Warwick International Portal

Click here for a brief slideshow about the International Portal.


Collaboration 2: Global History - co-developed curriculum with a suite of resources taught independently at both universities

Committee Members: Adam Clulow (Monash) and Giorgio Riello (Warwick)

In 2011, The School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash and Warwick University’s Global History and Culture Centre commenced a joint Global History project. The goal of this collaboration is to develop a number of resources to promote the teaching of Global History at both universities but also more broadly.

Outcomes

Global History Annotated Bibliography: A list of readings that covers the broad expanse of the field. Readings are divided broadly according to theme. The annotated bibliography is intended as a resources for students but it is not comprehensive. Rather, it represents a snapshot of the field.

Global History Reader: The Global History Reader was developed by staff at Monash and Warwick to provide a set of 20 readings capable of introducing students to key debates, issues and approaches in the field.

Global History Teaching Modules: These stand-alone teaching modules, each roughly 4 weeks long, consist of self-contained packages of lecture notes, primary and secondary sources, images and external links. They can provide a comprehensive introduction for new Global History courses, and can be combined in various ways.

Global History Research Modules: The goal of this exercise is to produce research modules designed to facilitate independent student research.



Collaboration 3: Developing intercultural competence using a 3-stage approach

Committee members: Jo Angouri (Warwick) and Nadine Normand-Marconnet (Monash)

Intercultural Competency 3-stage training is the flagship project included in the Monash Warwick Alliance Education Strategy for 2015-2017. Delivered both online and through interactive workshops, this programme is designed to maximise students’ mobility experience by providing opportunities to reflect upon their intercultural competence before, during and after their chosen activity while also gaining a valuable vocabulary to articulate their skills for employability. Online resources and face-to-face workshops were designed in 2015 and implemented at both institutions as a pilot in 2016.

An additional ‘train-the-trainer’ package has been created and successfully delivered for the first time for Monash Malaysia staff in May 2016. Sessions are scheduled in Australia and in the UK during the second semester this year.

Project team

Warwick: Prof. Helen Spencer-Oatey, Dr Sophie Reissner-Roubicek, Dr Daneil Dauber, A/Prof Jo Angouri, Claire O’Leary, Catherine Gordon

Monash: Dr Nadine Normand-Marconnet, Jacob Thomas, Dr Catherine Sell, Dr Catherine Burnheim

A case study of Monash Prato:

The development of personal and professional intercultural competencies in short-term study abroad programs and their impact on employability outcomes

This Strategic Initiative Project is coordinated by A/Prof Cecilia Hewlett, Dr Nadine-Normand-Marconnet and A/Prof Libby Tudball to expand the evidence-base of employment outcomes for students undertaking short-term international study programs. The project successfully obtained $17k of funding from the Better Teaching, Better Learning agenda. At the conclusion of the project in September 2016, the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) will be presented with a series of recommendations to maximise the link between study abroad, intercultural competencies and employment outcomes. A survey tool has been developed as part of the project, including online surveys and face-to-face interviews. A mixed method approach is used to analyse quantitative and qualitative data, and can be adapted for wider university-use for students undertaking study abroad programs.


Collaboration 4: Embedding Cultural Literacy in Higher Education

Committee members: Gabriel Garcia-Ochoa (Monash) and Sarah McDonald (Monash)
Definitions

Cultural Literacy: the ability to forge meaning in the face of uncertainty using analytical and interpretative skills from Literary and Cultural studies. We teach students how to develop their Cultural Literacy skills through a range of “destabilization” and “reflection” techniques.

Destabilization: a teaching strategy that propitiates both a conceptual shift in students, and a more instinctive, ‘visceral’ form of unrest that is aimed at unsettling their views on culture, identity, and the world at large. The purpose of destabilization is for students to understand how they approach, both conceptually and empirically, what they do not know.

Reflection: destabilization must be followed by carefully scaffolded reflection. Through reflection students learn to apply skills inherent to Literary and Cultural Studies in order to create ‘structures’ that facilitate the readability of cultural artefacts, enabling them to draw meaning out of such artefacts.

Relevance

We live in an age where students and professionals are required to engage increasingly in cross-disciplinary and multicultural collaborations. In the very near future technological developments and increased mobility will only intensify this state of affairs, to the point where interdisciplinary, multicultural collaborations will become implicit, everyday elements of everyone’s professional life. Most of us, in fact, are already there. This presents Higher Education institutions with a very specific set of challenges in relation to preparing their graduates and staff to live and work in environments that are both transdisciplinary and transcultural. The ways of doing this are varied and each term may carry slightly different nuances – “Global competency”, “Cosmopolitanism”, “Global citizen”, “Cosmopolitan capital” – but in the context of Higher Education the intent is essentially the same: to provide students with the skills sets that will give them the mobility and flexibility to be able to operate efficiently in a variety of cultural and professional contexts. The need to build capacity in these shifting environments can be understood as a need to build culturally literate graduates.

We propose that developing proficiency in Cultural Literacy will allow graduates and staff to transcend both disciplinary and cultural boundaries, with the aim of increasing understanding, openness, respect and responsibility for self and others. In this sense, we see Cultural Literacy as an approach to education, a modus operandi for students and professionals alike.

Projects

Workshop: Prato, July 2016: colleagues from the universities of Milan and TH Köln joined us to discuss techniques on how to apply Cultural Literacy to their current teaching practice, and the possibility of collaborating on a number of new and existing projects.

Workshop: University of Leeds, October 2016: This workshop will be delivered long distance to staff members of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Leeds. The aim is to provide an introduction to Cultural Literacy, and how this can be applied to their existing teaching practice.