Co-construction and collaborations in Education
Lunch Vox #5
A university education is an exercise in the meeting of minds; students explore the expert and curated knowledge of their educators, they deconstruct the theories of great thinkers, cultivate wisdom from industry exemplars, and contest ideas with diverse peers. But what happens when these minds meet to design the learning experience itself?
The fifth instalment of the ANU Lunch Vox examines the various permutations of collaboratively-designed learning experiences at the university.
- Professor Maryanne Dever (ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor - Education & Digital)
- Dr Alexandra Webb (ANU College of Health and Medicine)
- Ravinith Prasad (ANU Experience Accelerator)
- Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman (ANU College of Business & Economics)
Professor Desmond Manderson (ANU College of Law)
We will be asking the questions that any aspiring co-constructor wants to know:
- How do these productive partnerships start?
- How do you embark on a course in which the students are partners who design the course with you as the semester unfolds?
- How do you form partnerships with industry professionals and incorporate work-integrated learning?
- What does interdisciplinary learning look like and how can you stretch beyond the boundaries of your discipline and your College?
- And, of course, what benefits do these approaches bring to the learning experience?
ANU boasts a range of innovative courses and programs that generated from “Productive Partnerships” between disparate groups. For some, these collaborations correspond directly with the certification requirements for graduating students. The engineers, lawyers, and medical practitioners of the future, for example, need to develop skills and knowledge specific to the roles and environments they will inhabit.
The involvement of industry partners spans beyond the enforcement of certain requirements, to a deeper, work-integrated model of learning. This approach to teaching has been adopted by many disciplines that do not require industry certification, suggesting that students gain unique benefits from studying a course informed by external professionals.
Industry partners are not the only collaborative ventures enjoyed by students at the university. Enterprising academics across campus have engaged colleagues from different Colleges to design interdisciplinary courses. These courses reimagine students’ conception of their discipline and the way in which unexpected perspectives can widen their understanding of a field of study. Similarly, some educators have positioned students as partners in course design and disrupting the notion of authority in the classroom.