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Indigenous Australian Content in Courses Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The ethos of Charles Sturt University (the University) is clearly described by the Wiradjuri phrase 'yindyamarra winhanga-nha' - 'The wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in'. If our graduates are to embrace this ethos in their personal and professional lives they need: understandings of their cultural and historical standpoints, skills and attributes of Indigenous cultural competency, professional skills specific to their disciplines which can be derived from high quality, culturally inclusive, professional education.

(2) At Charles Sturt University, the Academic Senate accords special status to the Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS) in recognition of the right of Indigenous Australians to share authority and responsibility for the quality and cultural appropriateness of Indigenous Australian content in the University's courses and subjects.

(3) This document sets out the Policy on the University's requirements for, and expectations of, the incorporation of Indigenous Australian content in all undergraduate and professional entry courses within Charles Sturt University. As such it is an extension of Academic Senate's course accreditation policies and procedures, and should be read in conjunction with them.

(4) Courses that elect to incorporate elements of Indigenous Australian content, including post-graduate coursework degrees, will be required to consult with IBS for the approval of such content.

(5) Exemption for particular courses may be sought through application to the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee (CLTC) of the Academic Senate. Approved exemptions will apply to courses offered to international students off shore or through partners, except for those that include undergraduate content that comes from domestic programs and professional entry courses of less than one year FTE duration.

(6) The Policy aims to:

  1. clarify the role of the Indigenous Board of Studies with regard to the inclusion, classification and quality assurance of Indigenous Australian Studies content in any Charles Sturt University course. This includes all required courses, and courses that elect to have some element of Indigenous Australian Studies content;
  2. define a Charles Sturt University Indigenous Cultural Competency Framework with which all required courses must comply by the end of 2020;
  3. define a development/support and quality assurance process to which required courses and any subject or modules containing any form of Indigenous Australian content need to adhere; and
  4. set out a recommended professional learning framework to enable all staff involved in the design, delivery and assessment of Indigenous Australian Studies to have a shared understanding of Indigenous cultural competence.

Scope

(7) This Policy applies to all academic staff and refers to any Indigenous Australian content taught in any activity, module, subject or course at the University.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(8) Charles Sturt University Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF); the incorporation of Indigenous Australian content into undergraduate awards at the University is guided by a cultural competence pedagogical framework.

(9) There are four main types or classifications of Indigenous Australian content at the University. These are:

  1. Indigenous Australian Studies - defined as the broad area of inquiry related to Indigenous Australian knowledges, cultures and heritages, histories and issues which impact upon, or are of concern to, Indigenous peoples and communities today, such as health, education, criminal justice, land rights and Native Title.

    Indigenous Australian Studies does not cover profession-specific studies such as Indigenous clinical health and mental health, Indigenous policing and Indigenous education curriculum in schools and other educational settings.

    Indigenous Australian Studies may be delivered through stand-alone subjects, or as modules within Hybrid Indigenous Australian subjects, or as stand-alone modules within other subjects that do not have any other Indigenous Australian content;
  2. Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies - defined as that area of inquiry in Indigenous Australian Studies which is specifically related to the theoretical and practical knowledges required for a professional discipline. Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies can be taught as 'stand-alone' subjects, modules or via integration of relevant assessable Indigenous content throughout the program. A subject can only be classified as Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies when it has Indigenous content in every topic/module/assessment task of the subject;
  3. Hybrid Indigenous Australian Studies - defined as being a combination of Indigenous Australian Studies and Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies. These are subjects that have Indigenous Australian content in every topic/ module/ assessment task of the subject; that is, 100% Indigenous Australian content in Hybrid Indigenous Australian Studies subjects. This is an effective strategy for the incorporation of Indigenous content into 'crowded' discipline-specific programs; and
  4. Restricted Indigenous Australian Subjects - defined as those courses or subjects of any discipline in which enrolment is restricted to Indigenous Australian students.

(10) This Policy acknowledges the existence of, but does not cover Restricted Indigenous Australian Subjects, or the classification of subjects that may have some Indigenous Australian content in a specific module or learning activity/ assessment task, for example, three weeks of Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian content and the other nine weeks on other topics that have no Indigenous Australian content. However, the component/element of Indigenous Australian content is subject to consultation and support by the Indigenous Board of Studies to ensure that curriculum and pedagogy adhere to the terms of this Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - Principles for the Indigenisation of Curriculum

(11) This Policy confirms the 2008 Indigenous Education Strategy (IES) as the foundation of current strategic directions and initiatives in Indigenous Education. There are 36 recommendations and five institutional Key Performance Indicators in the Strategy which continue to provide a comprehensive framework for a whole-of-institution approach to Indigenous education founded upon the principles of cultural competence, social justice and reconciliation; thus positioning Charles Sturt University as a lead institution in the higher education sector in this regard.

(12) This Policy requires whole-of-institutional support and action. Specific responsibilities are set out below:

  1. Faculties develop internal support and Quality Assurance (QA) systems to ensure that Course Directors, course development teams, subject convenors and teaching teams will address the requirements and process set out by the Indigenous Board of Studies for incorporating Indigenous Australian content into required courses at the University;
  2. Faculties and the School of Indigenous Australian Studies collaborate to teach all components (subjects and modules) of Indigenous Australian content that are delivered in Hybrid Subjects. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies will teach all subjects/modules of Indigenous Australian Studies in all courses at the University.
  3. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies will teach all subjects/modules of Indigenous Australian Studies in all courses at the University (as defined in clause 7). Other Schools/Faculties may teach Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies subjects/modules individually or in collaboration with the School of Indigenous Australian Studies;
  4. Faculties, the Division of Student Learning, and the School of Indigenous Australian Studies collaborate to provide Indigenous Cultural Competence professional learning for all Charles Sturt University Academics involved in course and subject design and subject delivery. Additional professional learning will be provided for staff teaching modules/subjects incorporating Indigenous Australian Studies or discipline specific studies. Casual staff who teach Indigenous Australian content, should have completed, as a minimum requirement, the University's mandatory online cultural competency training or have evidence of relevant qualifications or previous training;
  5. Through the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee (CLTC) and Chairs of Faculty Committees/School Boards, the Academic Senate monitors the development and implementation of processes and systems to ensure compliance with this policy;
  6. Through the Academic Senate, the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee approves the Terms of Reference for the Indigenous Board of Studies and monitors the processes and systems used by the Indigenous Board of Studies to support and quality assure the Indigenous Australian content (including Discipline specific content) in any Charles Sturt University course/subject, and determine course-level compliance with the Indigenous Cultural Competency Pedagogical Framework; and
  7. The Division of Student Learning and the School of Indigenous Australian Studies provide support for professional learning, as well as support during the design, approval and implementation of subjects/modules of Indigenous Australian Studies and discipline-specific content.

Part B - Governance of Indigenous Australian Content

(13) Embedding Indigenous Australian content in curriculum at Charles Sturt University is guided, supported and authorised by the Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS). The Indigenous Board of Studies is a sub-committee of the Academic Senate's Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee.

(14) The Terms of Reference for the Indigenous Board of Studies are to:

  1. provide formal and informal advice on the inclusion of Indigenous Australian content in programs of the University and the development of specific programs for cohorts of Indigenous Australian students;
  2. guide processes related to the development, design and approval of Indigenous Australian content;
  3. periodically monitor Subject Outlines of classified subjects and of standard subjects with modules containing Indigenous Australian content;
  4. act as an authority of the Academic Senate/Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee to grant Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF) compliance status to required Charles Sturt University courses;
  5. act as an authority of the Academic Senate/Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee to approve/reject applications for subjects to be categorised as Indigenous Australian Studies, Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies, and Hybrid Indigenous Australian Studies. Such subjects must be approved by the Indigenous Board of Studies before School Boards/Courses Committees can endorse/approve such subjects;
  6. act as an authority of the Academic Senate/Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee to give formal advice to Executive Deans of Faculties and School Boards/Courses Committees about recommended changes to:
    1. subjects;
    2. modules;
    3. teaching and learning activities;
    4. assessment tasks;
    5. assessment processes;
    6. benchmarking; and
    7. resources which have any Indigenous Australian Content.
    Formal advice of outcomes from applications is provided to the Executive Dean, Course Director/Subject Coordinator and the Sub-Dean Learning and Teaching within the relevant Faculty. Faculty Courses Committees/School Boards that choose not to follow formal advice must make an exception report to the Chair of Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee within two weeks of relevant School Board/Courses Committee/Faculty Board meetings; and
  7. in exceptional circumstances, the Presiding Officer may act on behalf of the Indigenous Board of Studies, or use flying minutes with members (via email) to make timely decisions. These decisions will be presented for ratification at the following meeting.

(15) The Board is made up of the following:

  1. Members:
    1. Head, School of Indigenous Australian Studies — Presiding Officer;
    2. three School of Indigenous Australian Studies staff for a two year term on a rotating basis (In the first year of operation — one member for only one year — to enable some continuity of experience);
    3. two Indigenous Australian academic staff (or nominated delegates) from each of the Faculties; reviewed/renewed on a two yearly basis. (In the first year of operation — one member for only one year — to enable some continuity of experience); and
    4. Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Coordinator.
  2. Right of Audience and Debate:
    1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education);
    2. Presiding Officer, Academic Senate; and
    3. Faculty of Arts and Education Executive Officer.

(16) Course Directors, Subject Convenors, Head of Schools, Associate Deans may be invited to attend specific agenda items. Course Directors and Subject Convenors will be required to attend and address meetings/specific agenda items to contextualise their submissions and documentation.

(17) The Presiding Officer of Indigenous Board of Studies, in consultation with the Chair of Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education), have responsibility for induction and the ongoing professional learning of members of Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS).

(18) The Course and Subject Information Management System (CASIMS) will record the following at subject/course level:

  1. classification of subjects under this Policy: Indigenous Australian Content; Discipline Specific Indigenous Australian Content; Hybrid Indigenous Australian Content;
  2. inclusion of Indigenous Australian content: Whether subjects contain Indigenous Australian content or not;
  3. Subject Level - date of approval and other conditions: Where subjects contain Indigenous Australian content — the date approved by Indigenous Board of Studies and any conditions of approval and subsequent meeting of conditions;
  4. Course status: required or not to meet the Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF); and
  5. Course-level compliance with the Indigenous Cultural Competency Pedagogical Framework — including the date that the Course is deemed compliant by the Indigenous Board of Studies.

Part C - Requirement for approval of Indigenous Australian content

(19) Requirements for approval of Indigenous Australian content in subjects/modules are:

  1. the subject abstract includes specific reference to Indigenous Australian content;
  2. learning outcomes align with Charles Sturt University Course-level Graduate Learning Outcomes that are aligned with the Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF);
  3. learning outcomes are assessed, and learning and teaching and resources align with learning outcomes;
  4. teaching, learning, assessment and resources are deemed to be culturally-appropriate and respectful; and
  5. where an Indigenous Australian Studies module is inserted into a Hybrid or any other Charles Sturt University subject, it must be at least six weeks in duration and contain at least one assessment task, which must be successfully completed in order for the student to pass the subject.

(20) Requirements for classification of subjects as Indigenous Australian content; Discipline-specific Indigenous Australian content; Hybrid Indigenous Australian Content subjects are:

  1. fulfil the requirements set out in clause 18; and
  2. fulfil the definitional requirements as set out in clause 18.

(21) Requirements for determination of course design as meeting the Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF) are:

  1. Indigenous Australian Studies be taught in the first year of the program as a 'stand-alone' subject to provide the contextual foundation for integrated Discipline-specific content throughout the course of study. Where this is not possible, a module of at least six weeks duration is taught within a subject as early as possible within the course;
  2. integrated discipline-specific content consistent with the developmental sequence in the Indigenous Cultural Competency Pedagogical Framework - is taught through specific modules/subjects in middle and later years in the course, or embedded as assessable learning in various discipline/professional studies subjects; and
  3. employment of a range of culturally appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies across the course, including authentic case studies, field trips, and activities that develop student capabilities in line with the University's Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF).
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part D - Timelines

(22) Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS) meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of each month from February through to December.

(23) Agenda for IBS meetings will close three weeks prior to a meeting.

(24) Agenda and relevant documents will be circulated to members two weeks prior to meetings.

(25) The Secretary of IBS will publish set dates on an annual basis on the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs website.

Part E - Development and Submission to Indigenous Board of Studies

(26) Faculty/School submissions to Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS) will use approved templates to ensure that all relevant information is available to the Board. Templates can be found on the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs website.

(27) Course Directors/Subject Convenors should engage early and often with the Chair of Indigenous Board of Studies and/or the University’s Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Coordinator. This includes:

  1. pre-development consultation at baseline stage of course development, and/or at subject design stage;
  2. collaborative development with course/subject teams working with the Division of Student Learning and School of Indigenous Australian Studies staff as appropriate; and
  3. consultation about the consolidation and development of the submission to IBS.

Part F - Indigenous Board of Studies Committee Procedures

(28) At the commencement of the meeting, the Presiding Officer will provide a narrative of the subjects and courses for consideration and any previous background of consideration by Indigenous Board of Studies (IBS).

(29) Attending Course Directors and Subject Coordinators will be invited to contextualise submissions and documentation.

(30) The Presiding Officer will call for review and comment about each part of the submission documents. Review and comment will be guided by the IBS course/subject proforma.

(31) Recommendations will be made regarding content for further consideration and approval. Conditional approval of courses/subjects will lapse if the relevant Faculty Courses Committee/School Board has not responded to conditions/advice within six weeks of receiving formal written advice from the IBS.

(32) Records of actions/decisions made will be forwarded to Faculty Executive Deans and Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee as a standing agenda item of these Committees of Senate.

(33) A register of the following three sets of decisions will be available on the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs website within two weeks of Indigenous Board of Studies meetings:

  1. Approved content;
  2. Classification of subjects; and
  3. Course compliance with the Indigenous Cultural Competence Pedagogical Framework (ICCPF).
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(34) Nil.