Recently, we highlighted the support available to academics for embedding IGAs into their courses. We are now showcasing case studies from UTS academics in a new blog series on the process and outcomes of using this IGA support system to effectively embed the attributes. In this first part, Alice Loda discusses her experience embedding IGA as part of her review of the Bachelor of International Studies.
The IGA embedding experience
I was not confident at all when I started working at our IGA implementation plan and I was also very new to Degree Coordination back then. At the same time, I felt really excited and honoured to have the opportunity to study our UTS IGA framework, to engage with it in-depth, and to collaboratively implement it across the Bachelor of International Studies. The process has been very important for me to critically reflect on my teaching and scholarly practices as well.
I have learnt immensely from this experience and from its various stages, in different forms. First of all, the UTS IGA Curriculum Framework is extremely clear with its articulation in three stages. It invites a whole-of-course approach and the critical reflection it generates allows us to reflect on professional practices and industry standards in our respective fields.
It was suggested by Annette (Gainsford, Associate Dean Indigenous Teaching and Learning) to start from designing a realistic and specific I-CILO and map the IGA through the subjects and across the three progressive levels: knowledge, skills, application. This helped us embed the framework in, what I think, is an authentic and meaningful way.
I think this has been the most important project in my career so far and I could not be more grateful for the support received from our Indigenous Teaching and Learning team, in particular A/Prof Gainsford and Sally McCarthy.
I was impressed by the range of support we received through this process, in particular through consultation with the Indigenous Teaching and Learning Team (ITLT) and our IGA Champions in FASS Dr Katrina Thorpe and Graham Akhurst for the assessments and resources. The resources from the IGA toolkit and consultations allowed us to discuss approaches and identify areas that needed development to rework our plan.
Personally, it was an important moment for me because it allowed me to reflect upon what supporting students to work with and for Indigenous Australians really means, in the context of an international studies degree and beyond. I have enjoyed conversations with my colleagues who teach across the Bachelor of International Studies, and in particular I would like to acknowledge the work of Dr Angela Giovanangeli, Dr Nick Manganas, Dr Beate Mueller, Dr Emi Otsuji, Akiko Hiratsuka and Dr Kristine Aquino on this project.
The student experience
Our degree is offered in a combined degree form only. It can be combined with more than 30 degrees across UTS, hence we work with students who we hope will become engaged and active global citizens, and who are able to make a positive impact in many professional contexts in Australia and internationally. The implementation of the framework allowed us to embed the IGA in at least three core subjects across the degree.
In its revised form, the students in these subjects:
- complete a place-based task in Intercultural Communication where they discuss key themes such as dispossession of land and languages
- apply principles of positive communication when speaking about their neighbourhood and the traditional custodians of the land they live in
- design research proposals that appropriately engage with Indigenous and indigenist research methods and epistemologies in the subject International Research Methods
- complete an organizational ethnography where they have to discuss industry and workplace standards, to work with and for Indigenous Australians in the work-integrated subject The Global Professional
Applying the IGA framework is a generative process and I personally aim at keeping the conversation and the process of consultation going while at the same time listening to the student discussions on their learning experience. I would also love to contribute to scholarly research together with colleagues at UTS.
My advice for those yet to embed their IGA would be to:
- study the framework and all the resources in-depth
- listen carefully to all the generative feedback and guidance
- let the consultations guide the decisions
It is a privilege to be able to work with this framework and I am looking forward to supporting students in working across this trajectory in the years to come.