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Community Engagement

Engaging our students in activities that connect them with industry and the working community will enrich their learning experience and enable the development of knowledge to reach a level of deep understanding.

The ECU Curriculum Framework defines community engagement as mutually beneficial partnerships between ECU students and the broader community. The focus of community engagement is on ensuring that student learning is authentic in that it aligns with current work practices and workplaces. When students learn in authentic settings involving community engagement they practise and develop their skills, increasing their employability while at the same time developing a sense of community connection and consciousness.

Students who have opportunities to engage with ECU’s external communities as part of their course are more likely to display deep rather than surface learning, will have a better understanding of the relevance of their university studies for future professional practice, and are likely to display increased motivation and ability to articulate strong connections between theory and practice.

Teaching Resources

Examples of engagement

Useful websites

  • incorporating a task that requires development of a product or delivery of a service for an external client;
  • participating in events run by professional bodies, industry, or the local or wider community;
  • involving external community members in evaluation, feedback and assessment of student work;
  • involving external community members as guest speakers;
  • involving external community members as coaches or mentors for individual students or groups of students on particular projects;
  • incorporating a task that requires developing a solution to a real problem in the local or wider community;
  • requiring student participation in on-line discussion with expert practitioners from our communities;
  • supervising students in research activities, including data collection, interviews and site visits that are of value to external communities.

Connections with external partners in teaching, learning and assessment processes link strongly to current workplace and work experiences.

  • Students may be taught and learn off-campus during site visits, field trips, workshops or seminars, TAFE courses or units, performances, competitions, events run by professional bodies or industry, activity days in school or the community and exhibitions;
  • Students may develop a product (as an assignment) for external use or provide a service that contributes positively to our community as part of their learning activities and assessment;
  • Science students monitor activities in a marine park or a local bushland; and
  • Students participate in on-line discussion with expert practitioners from our communities.
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