Over the past six months, the School of Policing Studies has seen an exciting change in how we deliver course content, a shift in pedagogical thinking and significant work in curriculum development.
At the end of 2018, the government announced there will be a significant increase in the number of probationary constables attesting each year from the NSW Police Academy. To facilitate this, from August 2019 the Academy moves from the three commencing classes each year to six. Each class will containing approximately 200 students. To accommodate such a high volume of students and high turnover of sessions, part of the curriculum will be delivered online. This is unprecedented in the School of Policing.
The ADPP is delivered collaboratively by CSU lecturers and NSW Police officers.
It is an integrated curriculum that includes field-based education, classroom lessons, practical sessions, officer safety training, and NSW Police corporate computer systems training. In addition, the NSW Police Force includes physical fitness, drill and a variety of mandatory NSW Police specific sessions to complement subjects contained in ADPP.
The curriculum is currently delivered in distinct sections; Year 1 is divided into session 1 and session 2. Each session integrates curriculum of three subjects. Students then spend their second and final year working in the field as a Probationary Constable studying at the academy online. With the changes to how session 1 is delivered, we aim to provide a consistent learning experience for students as they transition from online learning, to face to face learning, and back to online learning.
Session 1 has a duration of 16 weeks. The first 8 weeks will be studied online. Immediately on completion of the online component (by that, we mean from the next day), students will attend the NSW Police Academy and complete the remainder of Session 1.
In Session 2 students return to the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn and complete a further 16 weeks before attestation, when they become probationary constables.
These changes require us to make considerable adjustments to the course; moving from face-to-face delivery to an online environment, train staff in this environment and prepare educational support via Interact2 in a very short period of time. This catalyst provides us with an opportunity to review our pedagogical foundations, our teaching strategies and our processes.
Our journey so far
Before commencing on the redevelopment of the curriculum we had to undertake three major pieces or work.
A Continual Improvement Cycle was developed and has been implemented. The role of our Academic Coordination Unit is to ensure that the curriculum being delivered to policing students is as appropriate and comprehensive as it can be. The ACU regularly reviews each module, receives and assesses both internal and external feedback, and implements change.
A draft framework for those who are, and soon will be, teaching online has been developed. The School of Policing Studies Online Framework outlines the role, responsibilities and expectations of both the teacher and the student in our online environment. It has been developed based on the CSU Online Learning Model.
A Scope and Sequence for the entire ADPP had to be developed. A Scope and Sequence is a simplified map of the curriculum. The current version has the whole academic curriculum (approximately 240 individual lessons, plus a year on online content in Sessions 3-5) condensed to 5 pages. The next phase of this is to map individual content, for example searching powers, to every individual lesson.
The move to a partial Online Curriculum is taking place in two phases.
- Phase One will see some of the current Session One Modules move Online with minimal change to content.
- Phase Two, late 2019 and 2020, will see a consolidation of the recent reviews of the ADPP curriculum and an enhancement of the Online Modules.
In additional to all of this we are working with staff and developing their understanding on Online teaching. This has included a lot of work on the functionality of Interact2, the use of Panapto and an introduction to the power of Adobe Connect.
The first Online intake will commence on August 25th with an intake of 275 students.