Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 1 December 20201 Dec 2020
Building an authentic online curriculum through industry connections
Carolyn King, University College
The Associate Degree in Applied Health and Community Support equips students to become ‘helping professionals’ who can support, manage and lead people in a broad range of contexts. The challenge of COVID-19 has been in providing opportunities for students to continue to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes required for working with people, in a fully online learning environment. With these challenges, however, have come opportunities to innovate.
One approach has involved partnering with a third-party organisation (Frontline Mind); purchasing and co-designing contemporary course materials to equip students with skills in problem-solving, decision-making, personal and professional resilience, working with complexity, sustainability and adapting to change; using COVID as an evolving case study. This approach allowed students, many of whom were already working in the sector, to explore, develop and apply contemporary and highly relevant principles and techniques to real-world contexts.
Another approach was to restructure our planned industry project unit; moving from a placement model to a consultancy model, where students effectively operated as consultants into organisations. By focusing on value-adding in areas of current organisational need, we were able to harness a genuine and significant appetite for industry collaboration, network building, and student talent identification; helping to bridge the gap between education and workforce needs.
By reimagining our connections with external organisations and industry, we have used the challenge of COVID to build a more authentic and contemporary curriculum.