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Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Abstract

In the context of an institution-wide initiative of the University of Canberra (UC), Australia, to mandate the Indigenization of the curriculum in all its courses, this descriptive case study reports on a pilot project to redesign the syllabus of an Information Technology (IT) unit that is a mandatory capstone for all students undertaking IT degrees. The capstone previously included no Indigenous-related content or pedagogical approaches. Indigenizing of the unit was achieved by embedding and interconnecting Tyson Yunkaporta’s (2009) 8 Ways of Indigenous Learning with the unit's content, teaching methods, and assessments, along with the Indigenous collaborative learning method Yarning Circles, in a design that could be expressed and unified in the teaching delivery to inform continuous adjustment and improvement of the unit’s curriculum, and also potentially inform the Indigenization of other UC IT units over time. A Design Science Research (DSR) methodology was put into action to evaluate the previous curriculum as expressed in the offering of the unit, design its Indigenized replacement, implement it with student cohorts over two semesters, collect data on the experience, and reflect on the successes and challenges arising therefrom. This methodology can also be applied reflexively in future iterative cycles of continuous adjustment and improvement of the unit’s curriculum by its conveners and colleagues to inform Indigenized designs for other units that currently have no Indigenous-related content. The extensibility of DSR is proffered as a methodological contribution to the project.

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