Dr Kim Snepvangers is an Associate Professor at UNSW Faculty of Art & Design.
Kim is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), and an award-winning educational leader in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and professional practice in creative ecologies, working within the UNSW Scientia Education Model.
Kim has co-edited 3 books, over 20 book chapters and journal publications that have been recognised and shared in the wider professional context nationally and internationally. She promotes a scholarly approach to all aspects of teaching, course design and mentoring activities. Her command of the field is best demonstrated through leadership of all aspects of development for the Professional Experience Project (PEP) across all UG programs at A&D. As an early adopter of technology at scale (CDP & LR+ Pilots) Kim designs blended learning activities that build student resilience and self-management to solve ‘real-world’ problems. Her creative industry impact was recognised in 2017 with a new role as Director: Professional Experience and Engagement Projects, demonstrating ongoing work in student mobility with a 48% employment rate.
Kim drives educational strategy through leadership on four university wide WIL committees and policy/grant development through the WILCoP. As a UNSW Teaching Fellow with a large 2016 SEF#3 Grant impact is evidenced through sustainable innovation in curriculum design and delivery using personalised learning frameworks at scale, for example design of a flexible Moodle site; PEP Tool (1,000 hosts/businesses and industry and 400 Honours students); Learning Ecologies website; YouTube channel and a self-reflective expectations framework that prioritises animated, industry and entrepreneurial ‘encounters’. As the invited A&D Steering Committee Representative for the new Disability Innovation Institute (DII), Kim shares a new social coproduction vision for interdisciplinary curriculum at UNSW.
Her sustained leadership and work with A&D Director of Indigenous Programs, primary HDR supervision of two PhD Scientia Scholars, Women in Research Network (WIRN) Executive Committee (recognised with the UNSW inaugural Presidents Award – People’s Choice in 2017) and regular mentoring through leadership within the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and as internationally as World Counsellor for the International Society for Education Through Art (InSEA/UNESCO), positions her as an exemplar educator within, for and beyond UNSW. Kim’s work in PEP was profiled as UNSW best practice, in response to Federal Ministerial TEQSA requests about employability. Internationally, she won the InSEA Excellence in Research Award in 2018 demonstrating her vision in learning and teaching across higher education.
Teaching International Students (TIS) and the Distributed Facilitator Framework (DFF): Capturing Educators’ Career Development Learning (CDL).
Led by: Associate Professor Arianne Rourke & Associate Professor Kim Snepvangers
Introduction: In 2018 Scientia Education Fellows Associate Professor Arianne Rourke (SEF 2017) and Associate Professor Kim Snepvangers (SEF 2018), initiated an ‘Inspired Learning and Teaching’ project in the Faculty of Art and Design on ‘Teaching International Students’ (TIS). This initiative included planning and facilitating Faculty-wide Forums for academic staff. At the first TIS Forum in February 2018 at the Australian Museum, Professor Georgina Barton from the University of Southern Queensland presented the keynote, the event was attended by 35 Sessional staff, 7 Educational Developers, 34 Faculty academics, academics from UNSW Faculties FASS, Science & Law and 16 International students participated as Student Ambassadors. There were seven films produced that captured the Forum 1 event, which are being edited into 5 minute short films to be used as digital resources on the TIS Moodle site. Visual and survey data from the Forum was collected and analysed and was used to inform the planning of other 2018 TIS events. TIS Forum 1 was followed by two academic Career Development Learning (CDL) workshops, where academics shared their case-base teacher knowledge and reflected on their practice of TIS, this was also visually recorded and surveys were conducted.
At Forum 2 in September 2018, there were 17 (5 minute) presentations and workshop activities on TIS presented by academics and students from Faculties across UNSW including five SEA Fellows (Arianne Rourke, Kim Snepvangers, Jacky Cranney, Louise Lutze-Mann & Dijana Alic - Arianne mentored Dijana - ADE, FBE - in the 2018 SEA Mentoring Project). As a result of our work on TIS, we received an invitation from the Dean to present outcomes of our leadership of TIS Career Development Learning (CDL) at the Faculty Planning day. Our presentation was visually captured by the artist Vivien Sung and used in other TIS CDL initiatives. In 2018 the TIS initiative was co-presented at a UNSW Learning and Teaching Connection workshop and was presented by Arianne at a SEA meeting.
During the year we mentored two Bachelor of Media Arts 4th year students in their Professional Experience Projects (PEP), where we collaborated as ‘Student as Partners’ producing animations for the TIS project. Kim, Arianne and artist Vivien Sung and PEP students Iain McDonald and Jason Jiang, designed and presented a poster at the ‘2018 Learning and Teaching Forum, Partners in Learning: Connecting Communities’. Arianne was on the Forum’s Planning Committee and chaired a Session on ‘Being Inclusive’. All the TIS activities were visually captured in a Distributed Facilitator Framework (DFF) that we designed, which utilises an Action Practitioner Research methodology over a one-year cycle that includes follow-up reflective practice activities. It provides a scaffold ecological system for building practice-based architecture to inform educators’ Career Development Learning (CDL).
Theoretical Background: The theories that underpin the DFF model, includes the Iceberg Model of surface and deep culture (Kruger, 2013) and the Ecologies of Practice concepts of Kemmis and Heikkinen (2011) and Snepvangers & Rourke (2017). The DFF was created to visually capture an interconnected series of processes and events utilising the Kemmis and Heikkinen, (2011) characteristics of ‘sayings, doings and relatings’ to develop a creative ‘Ecology of Practice’. An ‘Ecologies of Practice’ lens has been used to envisage a TIS Community of Practice (CoP) as an integral component of global outreach as expressed in the UNSW 2025 Strategy. The DFF is also underpinned by the policies of the Australian Government International Education Strategy 2025 and Leask and Carroll (2013), ‘Good Practice Principles: Teaching across Cultures’.
Aims: The aim of the Teaching International Students (TIS) Distributed Facilitator Framework (DFF) is to enhance teacher knowledge about how to teach International students and increase engagement with their learning. Rather than providing general advice or formulas about teaching for FT/PT and sessional staff, the aim is to impact educational quality at UNSW by focusing on place-based educator driven mentoring, and collaborative events that activate ecosystems and Students as Partners projects. Impact can be gauged through high-level positive educator-led evidence and feedback about new insights and practical strategies that they will now be using as a result of participation in TIS activities in 2018 and 2019.
The DFF models and portrays:
- Educator-led ‘ecologies of practice’ that promote new transformative practice-based architectures to address gaps in quality outcomes through ‘Inspired learning through Inspired teaching’.
- Deeper understanding of TIS through active strategies, resources, events and project based outcomes that value teacher case-based knowledge.
- Practical application of context-driven content knowledge and pedagogy focused on the primacy of relationships as an enhanced quality measures, in the current techno-driven environment of higher education.
This has been achieved by:
1) Designing a non-hierarchical, generative, interconnected and inclusive Career Development Learning (CDL) model for encapsulating Action Practitioner Research (APR) and Reflective Practice of educators.
2) Facilitating staged and scaffold professional development activities that support and encourage educators in their teaching practice and that provides a framework for documenting teacher case-based knowledge.
3) Develop and produce creative visual learning artefacts as online teaching resources to assist educators in Teaching International Students (TIS) with the focus of improving the International student experience at UNSW.
Progress / Outcomes / Next steps: The TIS DFF was presented at The Image 2018 Conference in Hong Kong and the 2018 Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) at Sydney University. A paper about the TIS initiative was published and presented at the ACEN 2018 conference, which Kim and Arianne co-authored with their PhD student Meg Lomm. Papers on the TIS project have been accepted for the InSea Conference in 2019 in Canada and the Asian Conference on Education and International Development (AEID 2019) in Japan. We are currently working as a Community of Practice (CoP) designing and building a Moodle TIS DFF that will have all the learning artefacts collected so far. The TIS CDL CoP will be further built upon in 2019 by inviting editors and authors from the book series that Arianne Co-Curated on: ‘Transformative Pedagogy in the Visual Domain’, which published eight books in 2018 that included 18 Editors; 163 Authors from 25 Disciplines; 21 Countries and 98 Educational Institutions. In 2019 the Moodle TIS DFF will be built with the aim of showcasing UNSW and other invited academics worldwide, peer-reviewed innovative teaching resources that utilise visual learning artefacts. The main outcome will be to provide a variety of multi-disciplinary online creative resources to assist educators towards improving International student learning and to improve the overall learning experience of students at UNSW and beyond.
Moral panics about dropping standards or the undue influence of foreign countries can make any discussion of international education fraught and highly contentious.
Most institutional responses to the challenges of global education end up reinforcing highly suspect models of deficit educational dependence. Rather than just focusing on individual student learning, the Teaching International Students (TIS) project utilises synergistic community-based approaches to develop independent case-based knowledge in academic professional learning.
In this lecture, A/Prof Rourke and A/Prof Snepvangers will showcase a range of creative ‘Ecologies of Practice’ encounters1,2 utilised within the TIS project. Visual connectivity maps, events, arts-based resources and ‘Students as Partners’ projects have been captured longitudinally in a collaborative Distributed Facilitator Framework (DFF)2. Using Kruger’s iceberg theory3, the TIS project prioritises interdependent practitioner case-based action research methodology. In this emergent ecosystem students and educators work iteratively to develop reciprocal relationships, making shifts in practice visible whilst simultaneously documenting educator career development.
1. Kemmis & Heikkinen, 2011.
2. Snepvangers & Rourke, 2017.
3. Kruger, 1996/2013.