Core area 3: The wider context

Candidates should demonstrate their awareness of and engagement with wider issues that inform their practice.

Candidates must cover at least one legislative area and either a second legislative area or a policy area. That is you need to cover a minimum of two areas, at least one of which must be legislative.

a) Understanding and engaging with legislation, policies and standards

One of the key issues that we have to grapple with in New Zealand is the implications of our founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi to our teaching.

This is reflected in the University of Auckland strategic plan where one of our key aspirations is to:  Benefit Māori and the University through partnerships that acknowledge the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

In 2016 I was seconded as a CleaR Fellow.  CLeaR Fellows form a multi-disciplinary community of practice dedicated to researching and disseminating effective teaching strategies around a common theme.

In 2016 the theme was "Engaging with ELearning" and as part of that I undertook a study of how academic staff could leverage the analytics that our new learning management system (Canvas) could help our Māori and Pacific students.    One of my key findings was that many of our Māori and Pacific students appeared to have limited access to internet off campus and, as such, were at a disadvantage when it came to engaging with elearning materials.

This hasn't meant that we need to abandon the use of elearning materials.  Rather it has forced us to look at strategies for enabling our students to gain access to internet facilities.  

b) Policy

The University of Auckland's Learning & Teaching Plan 2017-19 outlines a number of priorities for developing the educational environment for students and teachers. 

One of the themes is:  Digitising teaching and assessment practices where appropriate

Managing the assessment process is an integral part of most courses and often a substantial component of a teacher’s workload. Receiving timely and quality feedback on assessment can also enhance a student’s learning experience. A priority will be to test the use of online assessment and feedback tools where they will improve the educational process for both teachers and students. 
— University of Auckland's Learning & Teaching Plan 2017-19

As a champion of online assessment and feedback tools I have been extensively involved in this priority.  I'm a key member of the Teaching and Learning working group that has been set up to investigate how to enable this.

One of the key things I have learnt working with  this working group is the need to consider a much broader perspective than I am used to as the actions that this group recommend will impact on all of our staff and students.  I have found that I have become somewhat more sympathetic and empathetic towards my colleagues who are slow to embrace new technologies in learning and teaching.