Activities, assignments and assessment/Wikiversity for Indigenous and Intercultural Health

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Wikiversity for Indigenous and Intercultural Health. Karen Adams & Nick Stone. Copy on Youtube, Copy on

Karen Adams' & Nick Stone's presentation for AAAOpenConf2013.

We will outline the choices and process taken to develop a new subject Indigenous and Intercultural Health on Wikiversity ( This includes identifying needs and potential users, the rationale for an OER platform, balancing acts, challenges and strategies we have found useful so far. We will briefly outline the structure, assessment activities and resources developed so far to encourage discussion about possible next steps.


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Indigenous and Intercultural Health Subject outline in development. Drivers for getting this going was a Faculty Review and evident lack of indigenous education in the curriculum. This subject will be one part of the faculty indigenous education strategy and represents early days in addressing deficit. There are pockets of fantastic research across the Faculty but it is not communicated or coordinated. Increasing number of indigenous students in health sciences is part of Closing the Gap strategy with Victoria lagging behind in this area. There was much good work going on before but working in isolation and people are wary of treading on ground they don't feel entirely comfortable in. It has been great being able to work with Karen to provide knowledge and expertise. The Multidisciplinary aspect is worth talking about. Nursing accreditation cycle has mandated that an indigenous subject needs to be included in the curriculum. The design is based on flipped delivery - no lectures as such - students do on-line activities to prepare for workshops - delivered either across semester or in block mode across a few days. The curriculum requires considerable consultation and development. Karen has been instrumental in that regard.

Key aspects of the Indigenous and Intercultural Health subject development:

  • Linking theory with practice which has been missing in a lot of indigenous subjects/courses.
  • Running case studies and content past Aboriginal colleagues for their feedback.
  • Subject is available for the community to view at large...isn't to be locked behind "La Trobe LMS doors".
  • Three module structure - macro outcomes with enabling ones underneath.
  • Very passionate people involved in this subject.
  • Lots of different resources to dive into around different health issues.

Video example shown - direct and indirect communication in an interaction between a health worker and an indigenous patient.

Many nursing courses start from a white middle class perspective (eg. Florence Nightingale narrative approach). Need to acknowledge other cultural and indigenous health approaches. Increase numbers of indigenous health workers. Course can be viewed, edited and contributed

Wikiversity provides a platform with in-built quality assurance processes - to ensure images and other content used are properly vetted and acknowledged.

It is hard to use acknowledged uploaded images on Wikiversity; Nick has found it easier to create their own content. This is good because there are relatively fewer images of minority groups in the wikimedia/wikicommons space.

Q: How are spiritual elements picked up in the course?

K:There tends to be an interest in the exotic side of Aboriginal life among nursing and midwifery health workers. Basic needs expressed by aboriginal people in health settings

"I want to be treated properly, treated with respect and not be judged"

Need to ensure health settings are a safe place for all.

Basic conceptions of health workers need to be challenged. Connection to land and community are discussed in 'Mrs Brown’s intro video'. There is also a clear statement in the subject’s introduction: "Health is used broadly to include social, spiritual, cultural and community wellbeing”

Comment - obviously bad interaction in video - could be more subtle to make students work harder.

K:You would be surprised as to how common this is - other examples are provided to show range of quality interactions. The example shown is only one of several in a sequence including a sequel where the nurse does subtly better.

Q: How easy was it to make the video?

N: Worked with Nursing production crew - Brian Dunnell. Nick & Karen will do post production, showed mockup up of a single clip and brief activities put onto You Tube in about 10 minutes. Captions took longer first time but will be much quicker now up to speed with process- SRT file,

K:Getting the footage takes time. Another example was of more subtle interactions - Mrs Brown goes to outpatient clinic - no appointment for 6 months. Comment: "Aboriginal people do not turn up for appointments" - need to have a priority list - nurse steps up to speak to Aboriginal Liaison Officer, basic Human Rights issues.