As a pathway college, Macquarie University International College (MUIC) feels the pulse of change keenly. Our 7-week terms allow for agility and evolution as we continuously seek to include 21st Century learning and teaching design to meet the needs of a constantly evolving student cohort.

Connection with our learners is key to ensuring their success in our pathway programs and courses. Instead of attending lectures and tutorials, MUIC students participate in learning and teaching activities in small classes. This enables MUIC teaching staff to provide students with more tailored language, numeracy, and content scaffolding.

The shift from face-to-face delivery to remote delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted greater integration of 21st Century learning design with the use of collaboration, self- reflection, skilled communication, problem-solving, and ICT for learning. An example of such transformation is evident in the recently revised Standard Foundation and Intensive Programs. To better prepare our students for their future careers and the expectations of higher education sector, the review of our programs was initiated to update content, truncate unit offerings and better embrace contemporary learning design. One exciting area of change is the introduction of Digital Intelligence.

When he first sat down at the drawing board, our Foundation Senior Teacher, and lead curriculum designer for this unit, Kourosh Langarizadeh, knew that he wanted to create something transformative. He wanted to move students beyond basic Information Technology concepts to their applications experienced through 21st Century learning methodologies including project-based and team-based learning. He also wanted to ensure the development of critical skills like time management, ICT-based tools, problem-solving, and Agile Project Management.

The result is a newly designed Digital Intelligence unit which draws on the DQ Framework, the world’s first global standard related to digital literacy, digital skills, and digital readiness. On this 7-week learning journey, students build awareness of digital technologies at skills-based and value-based levels, as they work independently and as part of a team. The knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values developed will set our students up for success as digital citizens, digital creatives, and digital competitors in their bachelor’s degree and their future careers.

At MUIC, we are very happy with the Digital Intelligence unit but what do the students have to say? In fact, the students had plenty to say [unedited student quotes].

What are you most proud of accomplishing in this unit?

Helping my group members to solve their problems and correct their writings.

Being able to gain confidence with using technology.

Making a website and linking the information together.

Which aspects of the unit did you like the most?

Learning agile project management and the freedom involved in selecting and developing a project.

The group works and the participation quizzes.

Collaborating with other students.

The coursework, this cohort and the teacher.

What advice would you give to students in next term’s offering of the unit?

Be focus, track your work and have fun.

To not be afraid to discuss with other peers and teachers. ALSO! To not be afraid to making friends and talking to the teacher.

Organise your notes, do not delay in completing project tasks, and communicate effectively with your teacher via email, and ask any questions you want to.

This sounds like good advice from pathway students who have already captured a glimpse of the professional they aspire to be and have tapped into some of the digital intelligences that will help to get them there.  

Please contact Kourosh Langarizadeh, with any further queries regarding the Digital Intelligence unit.

Please contact Cara Dinneen, with any further queries regarding MUIC programs.

Image credit: PopTika, via Shuttershock

Posted by Cara Dinneen

I am the Associate Director, Learning and Teaching at MUIC and the ELC. My background in English language teaching has shaped my beliefs about the importance of community, connection and scaffolded learning design. These time-honoured elements transfer readily into contemporary learning spaces.

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