A New Approach to Unit Content: Using Interview Transcriptions in an Interactive Online Unit.

Author Faculty (Discipline)


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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as:

Stratton, G., Oakes, C., Czekalowski, D. & Northcote, M. (2001). A new approach to unit content: Using interview transcriptions in an interactive online unit. Expanding Horizons in Teaching and Learning. Paper presented at the Teaching and Learning Forum, Perth, Australia. Retrieved from https://clt.curtin.edu.au/events/conferences/tlf/tlf2001/contents.html


130106 Secondary Education| 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy| 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education


At Kurongkurl Katitjin, the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at Edith Cowan University, we have developed an online unit for pre-tertiary students which focuses on the processes of writing fictional text. The unit, ABB 1112: Journeys in Writing, is part of the Indigenous University Orientation Course and is delivered by using a combination of online, print and multimedia materials.

Rather than basing this unit on a more traditional modularised content structure that has been used successfully in much distance education material, this unit has used interview transcriptions as the foundation of its content. Two Aboriginal authors, Dallas Winmar (dramatist) and Graeme Dixon (poet), were selected to form the focus of this innovative unit. By examining the way in which these two authors go about the process of writing fictional text, students come to discover and understand first-hand the processes involved in writing.

Both authors were interviewed on audio and video tape. Transcriptions of these tapes were then recorded and categorised into various sections. This text then not only formed the content of the unit but also drove the entire manner in which the unit was presented to students. The learning and assessment activities of the unit were based around the transcripts and the whole structure of the unit reflected this content. Additionally, by collecting content anew, from authentic sources, the authors had a direct input into how their work was presented in this educational online context, one which is culturally appropriate as it allows Indigenous authors to connect with Indigenous students.

Rather than basing this unit on a set of predetermined concepts, we have attempted to use a more flexible, authentic method providing students with relevant, culturally sensitive material. This paper examines the methods used to collect "fresh" content and how this content was used to create an interactive, online unit which reflects appropriate Indigenous ways of learning, as well as the principles of social constructivism and situational cognition. The unit uses current online technology in an attempt to cater for the diversity of the Indigenous student population.


Used by permission: the authors.

This conference paper may be accessed from the publisher here.

At the time of writing Maria Northcote was affiliated with Edith Cowan University.