I teach a third year Criminology course titled, Aboriginal Restorative Justice.
Some of the learning outcomes of the course include:
- Describe elements of Indigenous worldviews.
- Assess victimization and offending as it relates to historic and contemporary colonization, residential school impacts, systemic and institutional racism, and colonial policies.
- Analyze the points of intersection and divergence between Indigenous justice, restorative justice and the Canadian criminal justice system.
The learning outcomes reflect a combination of low-level skills (describeing worldviews) as well as high-level cognitive skils (including assess and analyze experiences in relation to larger structures).
Students are assessed through a combination of critical reflective essays based on readings as well as on-line postings where they are required to reflect critically on the course content and engage with fellow students. These assessements are aligned with learning objectives
In this course, students are required to write a Crime Safety and Justice Letter. This assignment is described as follows:
You will write a letter to someone—living or not—who has influenced and/or contributed to deepening your understanding of crime, safety, and justice. In particular, you and this person will discuss how he/she helped you understand the way Indigenous and restorative justice (in one of its many definitions and forms) adds to a broader understanding of justice as a whole. This letter should demonstrate your total understanding of CRIM 3151.
In the description above students are asked to discuss the ways a particular person has added to their understanding justice. Words like – discuss – and – adds – limit students to unistructural or multistructural repsonses. If I were to rewrite the requirements of this assignment I would ask students to write about how they understood a specific element of justice and require that students write about how a particular reading/person transformed these ideas.