Using practice architectures theory to compare consecutive offerings of the same subject

Southern Cross University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2016), 2016
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
CONTEXT Two consecutive offerings (2015 and 2016) of the same subject, Concrete Technology and Practice, prompted opposite reactions from students. The academics involved in 2015 and/or 2016 sought to explore the similarities and differences between these consecutive offerings in reflecting on the learning and teaching practices in their classroom. PURPOSE Practice architectures theory provides a framework for examining and understanding the differences between these consecutive offerings of ostensibly the same subject. This paper also provides an example of how a theoretical framework can be used to examine teaching practices – even our own by practitioners who are also acting as researchers in this context. APPROACH Evidence used in comparing the 2015 and 2016 offerings of this subject is drawn from focus group discussions with students and observations of each of the researcher/practitioners involved. Additional data includes the end of semester Student Feedback Survey results including written responses to open-ended questions. RESULTS Differences in aspects of the cultural-discursive, material-economic and socio-political arrangements of the 2015 and 2016 offerings of Concrete Technology and Practice became apparent from the analysis. CONCLUSIONS Using the theory of practice architectures gave us insights into the inter-relationships between the different arrangements inherent in teaching and learning practices. It also highlighted the resilience of ‘taken for granted’ practices.
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