'Changing Writing' is a three year research project in CHED. It aims to investigate the changing status and forms of writing in Higher Education in a digital age with a focus on student access and diversity. Contemporary writing is marked by an increasing multiplicity and integration of different forms of meaning-making, including images, sound, layout. Technological changes are transforming how writing is produced, distributed and accessed. This has implications for teaching writing particularly as writing remains the main mode of assessment. As we are at the beginning of the project, five key concepts will be explored as theoretical building blocks for the study. These include: Affordance (Nicola Pallitt), Precedent (Christine Price), Multimodal Competence (Akisha Pearman), Voice (Arlene Archer) and Stance (Rachel Weiss). Through PechaKucha style short presentations, we explore how these concepts can be applied to a range of Higher Education contexts, texts and practices, and how these concepts allow us to think more deeply about student access and diversity through changing dominant writing practices in Higher Education spaces and interpretive events such as assessment.
The Curriculum Change Working Group (CCWG) will share its journey of engaging members of the university community at the University of Cape Town on decolonizing the curriculum during 2016-2017. While this process was aimed at facilitating a university-wide dialogue, spaces which invited the CCWG to engage were at times unexpected, opening up fascinating reflections on where we are and where we are going. Key concerns such as the role of a public university in Africa, disciplines and curricula proved urgent. Also, experiences of working with students and tutors on decolonial practices of inclusivity challenged both traditional hierarchies and modes of engagement. This and more to be shared in this panel discussion on curriculum change.
The metacurriculum of a course is the sum of the messages which influence students’ attitudes, approaches and success in the course. Some messages the lecturer may be unaware of while others may be conveyed intentionally. The intended metacurriculum can be conveyed in a study skills module or by integrating it into course content. In this workshop, we will present the results of two studies which investigated the intended metacurricula of different courses, and facilitate the mapping of the metacurricula of participants’ own courses.
Both studies asked the question: what is the intended metacurriculum and how is it communicated? The first study focussed on physics service courses and the second looked at ADP science courses. In the first study, the discipline was the same but the students differed (medical, engineering and science), whereas in the second study, the students overlapped but the disciplines were different (biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics and physics). We each mapped our intended metacurriculum, indicating both the content and the way in which we communicate it. We then met to workshop and refine our representations A grounded analysis showed that our metacurricula include constructivist views of learning, self-image and identity in the disciplines, overall student well-being, and study strategies. The means of communicating the metacurricula vary according to lecturers’ individual teaching styles, and include stories, current issues, quotes, metaphors, and ‘mantras’. We found value in sharing and analysing our ad-hoc additions to our courses in this way. Further studies could investigate student take-up of the metacurriculum.