Cultural Ties That Bind - Canvas and The University of Auckland


As one of the top 100 universities worldwide, the University of Auckland is the largest and highest ranked university in New Zealand. Learn more about the desire to keep students connected and engaged, alongside the cultural aspects that underpinned the University's implement of Canvas LMS. 

Video Transcript
[MUSIC PLAYING] DAMON SALESA: We have many inherited challenges that are not educational challenges about poverty and lack of access to education. Many of our students are first in the family at the university. Many of them are coming from schools which don't have a high number of their cohort coming to us, so they often feel disconnected. MARINA MCCARTNEY: It's really important for our students to feel like they don't have to take their cultural coat off and leave it at the university door before entering. We're here in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We're in the region of the Pacific.

It should be a given that we include those values in the way we teach. University can be a lonely place when you first come, if you don't know anyone. And one thing we try to do is to encourage students to build relationships with each other. We also privileged group work. It reflects our community-based values.

ALLY TOUTAIOLEPO: As a Pacific Islander, it's important to make connections with your peers and your lectures. DAMON SALESA: Well, I think the great feature about campus is the ease at which it allows collaboration between students. And so we've really been able to much more seamlessly have students work in groups, both on and offline. And I think that has made a real difference in classroom learning to have students engaging with each other, preparing before they come to class, and keeping it to each other honest in their learning. What we've tried to do is use digital technology to produce inequity of opportunity to make sure those resources are as easily available to everyone.

MARINA MCCARTNEY: Knowledge is power. And when they have a security around their own culture and values that combined with knowledge, I think the world is the oyster. ALLY TOUTAIOLEPO: It's really important to know what happened in the past if you want to change the future. DAMON SALESA: Pacific studies, we often think of education as empowerment, building people who can go out and change their own lives and those of their communities. I remember one of my professors saying to me, there's no longer any excuses, everything you want to know is over there, and he pointed at the library.

And of course, he was wrong. There were many other things I wanted to know that were in the library. But the idea of just having an open horizon and you go out there and find the knowledge you want or make it was exactly the kind of freedom that we're often denied.

Read The University of Auckland's story on achieving an integrated learning ecosystem with Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).

Should you be interested in speaking with one of our Education specialists, reach out to us here.

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