The next stage of the 21C Project was launched by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO in July this year.
Ready (opens in a new window): It builds on the University community’s work over the last two years to respond to the transformative opportunities and challenges of societal and workforce disruption. The 21C Project reflects our commitment as an anchor institution for the communities of Western Sydney and our recognised national and international leadership in relation to championing just and responsible social change through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Set(opens in a new window): It leverages the work of teams across the university which has prototyped our strategies to transform our curriculum to develop the transdisciplinary ‘hybrid’ capabilities that our students need to create a successful future for themselves and their communities.
Go!(opens in a new window) The next stage of 21C will extend our transdisciplinary curriculum builds at scale and initiate new work to support 21C academics and grow a new 21C institutional teaching culture that sustains curriculum and teaching innovation.
Our 21C Curriculum seeks to equip graduates with the transdisciplinary ‘hybrid’ capabilities needed for their success in a disrupted future of work and society. The University has framed those capabilities of the Western Sydney Citizen Scholar as the challenge of developing graduates who are:
Future Thinkers: Creative inquiry-led, multidisciplinary, novel solution-oriented thinkers which can thrive in a digital world.
Global Citizens: Informed and engaged local and global citizens, culturally competent, (particularly in regard to Indigenous cultures and valuing diversity), adept communicators, and stewards of our Western Sydney community and their chosen communities.
Innovative Entrepreneurs: Resilient, technologically savvy leaders with advanced knowledge and practical skills.
Sustainability Advocates: Committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The 21C Curriculum stream is bringing together teams from across the institution to collaborate on targeted, at-scale, transdisciplinary curriculum development which will provide high-profile and high-value curriculum content to transform our current degree offerings in order that our courses develop these capacities in students.
21C Academic focuses on enabling colleagues to develop, review, celebrate, share, recognise and contribute to learning and teaching practice. It begins with three streams of related activity:
1. New forms of collegial peer review (PR) to complement Western’s rich PR practices.
2. Increased involvement in the Western Educational Fellowship Scheme (WEFS).
3. New Mentoring Program to highlight and evidence learning and teaching leadership.
Two New Peer Review Schemes
Building on Western’s strong foundations of involvement in collegial peer review (opens in a new window), are:
360 Degree Unit Review: A framework and guiding resources are being developed and will be available online for use in unit reviews. The key principles underpinning this project are that it will be: (1) Data led and informed; (2) Collegial in approach, seeking perspectives and inspiration from a broad range of peers; and (3) Utilise and encourage a continuing quality improvement approach.
Expansion of the Western Educational Fellowship Scheme (WEFS)
Western already has over fifty Associate Fellows, Fellows, Senior Fellows or Principal Fellows who have achieved this form of internationally recognised accreditation with Advance HE through the WEFS (opens in a new window). These recipients were directly involved in the 21C Flagship Curriculum Projects, and the 21C Project funded the cost of their applications to be assessed for accreditation by Advance HE.
21C Academic extends an open invitation to all who are involved in support of student learning to consider this form of learning and teaching accreditation. That includes academic and professional staff and may apply to students who are in roles that create learning environments for their peers.
Two pathways are available, according to the level of fellowship appropriate to your practice:
A mentored cohort for Senior Fellowship.
Workshops, modules and writing sessions for Associate Fellows and Fellows.
For those in either pathway, a timetable of internal submission dates will enable a peer review of applications with feedback, prior to final application submission.
Current Senior Fellows (WEFS) are invited to join a mentoring program to explore, share, develop and collectively document strategies to mentor others in ways that suit their availability, strengths and interests.
Initially the focus of mentoring activity will be specific and will attract some funding, working alongside those seeking Senior Fellowship.
21C Culture highlights the need to recognise, share and celebrate diverse learning and teaching practices and acknowledges that any culture change takes time. Two initial strategies are:
1. Formation of a Western Teaching Academy – anticipated to emerge towards the beginning of 2021, building on networks, communities and achievements arising from the activities of 21C Curriculum and 21C Academic.
2. The Teaching Culture Survey will run twice a year for the next 3 years to provide another measure of academic staff perception of the value of learning and teaching practice at Western.