Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 overview

Here are some reflections at the end of a busy year. This year, there has been concentrated work on completing learning design projects. Hence, less time to get to conferences, ruminate on the philosophy of vocational education and write.

The main programme I have been involved with this year have been from computing with a total of 8 programmes of study developed into two new programme documents.

Programme development support has largely been with Architecture as they developed programmes of study for 3 qualifications. My role has largely been to facilitate staff to understand the process and to help them work through the implications wrought by the course descriptors developed by another ITP. We worked on ways to improve learning focus through development of authentic assessments to assist students’ work readiness.

Additionally, I have supported my colleagues with the development of 4 other programmes, either as sounding board, critical evaluator or with staff development support for the teaching teams. Tag teaming assists us to ensure we provide a seamless and pro-active support as and when required. Often, teaching teams need ‘just in time’ support and we have found developmental activities solicited by teams, yield better long term outcomes. The teams are already moving in a certain direction and our role is to gently steer into the path which will assist with enhanced active learning, and formative feedback principles.

Technology enhanced teaching support has focused on several ‘new’ project tablet projects, including one to trial one note notebook creator with a small cohort of students. Also the support of 4 teaching teams to use tablets and miracast in the new teaching spaces of our ‘science’ and humanities teaching block.

Research has been quiet this hear due to the need to concentrate on programme development. I have concentrated on dissemination and review. as a means to increase access to my work, I compiled an annotated bibliography as reference for people interested in the scholarship of apprenticeship and trade-based learning. There has been encouragement from winning several awards in the vocational research arena. Confirming I am on the 'right track' and encouragement to work at honing my writing and presentation skills.

Off next week for a couple of weeks of rest and recreation :) 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Mud Masons of Djenne - ethnographical study of apprenticeship and workplace learning

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is curating a series of video interviews of with the masons of Djenne . The video interviews (in French) are with the 'master' masons, present practitioners and apprentices. Viewing the videos bring to life the work of Professor Trevor Marchand and the descriptions and scholarship from his books 'Minaret building and apprenticeship in Yemen (2001) with a supportive review and 'The Masons of Djenne (2009)' and an overview paper.

The videos are short but provide a window into the world of the learning of a pre-text based craft. Mimetic learning is the norm with apprentices learning 'by stealth' and gradual belonging into the community of masons. Worth a look through for background into studies of learning through practice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

CPIT 'lightning presentations' - embracing 21st Century learners

Attended and presented at today,s lunch time session from Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching and from staff who presented at the recent National Tertiary Learning and Teaching conference. Format is for Pecha Kucha, lightning type presentations of 5 minutes each. So lot of short sharp presentations.

Smoothing the landing: Creating a MOOC for new international students  (Kevin Brennan and Rowan Jeffrey, Learning Services) as per NTLT presentation, introducing staff to a MOOC created to assist new students to study skills and academic literacies. Covered rationale, pedagogical approach as to MOOCs, identification if topics through student forums and staff voices and preview of some of the content.

A model for ‘blending’ a highly interactive f2f course – Lynette Winter and Niki Hannan (Teacher Education) also as per NTLT presentation, bringing active learning approach into Moodle. Covered rationale and approach. Course re organised from scratch to not lose what was already working and to bring strategies in to make the blend work - attend workshop, complete online activity and apply learning to their work.

The positives of negative marking (Steve Tomsett, Engineering). Provided rationale and how it works. Presented marking schedule to show how it works. Negative marking deducts marks for errors and total mark may overlap. Argues negative marking allows relative and absolute importance.

From Lurking to Posting: Encouraging student engagement in on-line course content (Julie Richards, Midwifery). Presented brief background and approach using OB3. What works - connection before engagement, prompt lecturer response, learning activities require individualised response and importance of student created content.

Social Work: introducing flipped lessons  (Karen Argyle, Social Work). Learnt about flip learning from last years session! Talked on strategy used to create content and evaluation used to work out if students have engaged and why. Next year, intends to teach one as flipped and other without to see if any differences.

Using self-reflection and peer review to increase understanding of assignment criteria: the pros and cons (Arifah Addison, Computing). Summarised approach and details of how deployed. Especially to allow introverted students to be in a more comfortable way to provide feedback and scaffold to better attainment of social and communication skills.

Creating models for explaining concepts (Paul McGowan, Electrical Trades). Brought along a physical example to help students understand difficult concepts, especially concepts that may not follow common-sense. Detailed adventures in learning how to create animations (with literature showing mixed impact of animations on learning).

Aligning graduate profile framed qualifications with occupational identity indicators  (Selena Chan, Academic Services Division) as summarised in previous post.

Trades engineering (embedded numeracy for YG students) (Bernie Streeter, Engineering/Manufacturing at Trades). Using teaching techniques to help dis engaged students learn trade maths. Provided background and improvements made, based on understanding of concepts as presented recently at the trades campus by Nathan Mikaere-Wallis.
Presented on a example on learning surface speed formula to move from the concrete to the representative to the abstract. Especially covering how to use physical object to cover representative concepts.

Engineering the write way (Bruce Morrison, Humanities) as presented at NTLT. Provided rationale to integrate technical literacy into engineering fundamentals  first year course. Lab reports used to assist students to learn ways of scientific thinking and communication.

Project-based learning: Making it real (Lynne Coker, Business). Context based learning to develop soft skills. Lynne summarised a presentation from NTLT by Wendy Trimmer & Juliana Korzon from Whitireia. Scenarios were used to assist nursing students learn how to make clinical judgments.

Using One NoteClassroom Creator as a tool for improving students’ report writing skills in engineering (Lindsey Alton, Engineering). Summarised the pilot and evaluation run this semester with engineering students to assist learning how to write lab reports. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

OneNote Class Notebook creator - resources

Here is an update on Onenote class notebook creator bringing together, the various resources created by Microsoft and others to support the platform. These resources will be used as we structure plans to extend our initial pilot of the platform to other departments and discipline areas.

Notebook creator is part of suite of tools offered through office 365 educator suite. Not all the products will be available at the initial launch of Office 365 as we will also be using a range of corporate tools.The most important outcome of moving across to Office 365 is the 'one access' password into the system, providing access to all the apps available and ability to connect all the software being used to the cloud.

There is a dedicated page for teachers with links to various resources / tutorials etc. to get started and make the most of onenote. Including one on curriculum 'delivery', and one on collaboration. Some of the resources were put together using the relative new 'Sway' app to put together a presentation with ebook book style navigation.

Pros and Cons of using notebook creator are discussed in this blog from broadeducation.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ako Aotearoa Academy symposium - day 2

Day begins with Dr. Peter Coolbear, director of Ako Aotearoa providing an update on the tertiary landscape. He discussed - what's on the horizon for NZ and Ako Aotearoa. Stressed importance of cooperation due to increasing sector complexity. Summarised current challenges : integrity of funding system and fundees; validity of NZQA quality assurance processes being questioned; TEC trying genuinely consultative on mew models of investments; productivity commission review; expectation that domestic demand to fall; employability still on agenda; renewed push for international education; and inherent assumption that tertiary education can fix socio-economic deprivation. 
Encouragement to contribute practitioners view when productivity commission seeks feedback. Look at recent review of social services as an example. Covered Ako Aotearoa objectives for 2016. There is need to demonstrate impact; re focus project funding - with need to rationalise 'gaps' in regionally funded projects, re invest in dissemination of project recommendations to push change etc.; use strategic fora to drive change; becoming semi-independent; Expand work on evaluative self assessment; support professional accreditation of practitioners. 

James Patterson leads a session on "the outward looking face of the academy". Shared overview of the work done to publicise the academy. Refresh of the imagery and material providing academy information. Shared potential new and brochures. New website launched. 

Professor Angus Macfarlane presents on "looking back at 50 years of Maori education" or nga tapuwae o mua, mo kura - food steps from the past, informing the future. Covered briefly historic icons, recent thinkers, knowledge areas, ways of knowing, examples of culturally responsive education, summary of more recent thinkers, the discourse of diversity. Posed challenge to all academy members to accept responsibility assist adding value to Te Ao Maori. In particular, truths tolerated, data sought, experiences tasted, assumptions challenged. Reviewed historical colonisation impact on Maori, Maori education and current lobbies and organisations supporting Maori initiatives. Increase of 'conscientization' to accept Maori streams of consciousness with a convergence of streams of knowledge and consideration of culturally embedded streams. Need to destory the past negative experiences and restory positive success. Need to ensure Maori perspectives become part of all deliberate acts of teaching. Challenged academy to step up ensure meaningful cultural responsiveness. Encouraged insistence of high standards, tap into students culture, consider nuances of dominant discourse, take at risk students under their wings, perceive teaching as a calling, provide care and guidance and transform classrooms from boring to brisk. Covered ways to engage students including withitness and mana. Therefore need to integrate culturally inclusiveness, avail socioculturally grounded resources, attitudinal shifts, good teaching, wise leadership and informed and confident communities of learning. 

After morning tea, we have Dr. Elana Curtis present on "Maori and Pacific success: how tertiary institutions can make a difference ". Shared experiences, personal and professional, on strategies to assist. Tertiary institution strategies can help. Exampled Auckland University 40 years of investment in increasing numbers and improving outcomes for Maori and Pacifica. Need to reimagine potential and invest in recruitment (starting early), re focus selection process. If applicants follow advise and meet criteria they stand higher chance of completion. In programmes, important not to spoon feed, assist independent learning, support learning community. Need to reorient academic support. Also review and critique own role as educator.

On a similar theme, Margaret Henley shares her work on "first in family (FiF) and the recognition of non-traditional cultural capital in first year tertiary learners: a NZ / UK comparison". Shared literature on the topic - UK, USA, NZ and Australian. Tended to have a deficit approach and as a problem to solve. Recommended work by Yosso, 2005 as an approach. Find out aspirations, work out familial resources, linguistic skills, social capital, navigational abilities through institute and experiences with resistance to the norm. Need to be aware of the invisible pedagogy accessible more to middle class families. Aims of FiF programme to help manage transition, maximise learning, enhance engagement, reduce attrition rate and pool academic and professional staff resources. Provided details of intervention - targeted learning sessions - to identify students early, build relationships and provide assistance where required. Online version ask so available. Students identified through completion of 5 mark trigger assessment as a diagnostic and 'product' to frame the targeted learning sessions. 

After lunch, Ksenija Napan leads a workshop to work through the "many faces of academic life: the adventures of Pinocchio and his friends while navigating through a neoliberal university". Questions posed to teams, each taking on a character from Pinocchio, to work through. The goal is for each team to co create an alternative story, relevant to academy member. Modelled the co participate inquiry approach.

Symposium closed with academy hour to provide feedback on the experiences.  Eric Pawson facilitated session on Feedback collated from members on action points started, progressed or completed through the learning from last years' symposiums reported. 

Overall, a growing maturity of the academy came through. We are larger in number, still diverse but finding common ground in our practitioner perspectives on excellence and quality tertiary learning and teaching. 

Feedback session closes a busy but interesting symposium. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ako Aotearoa Academy Symposium 2015 - day 1

At this year's annual gathering of Excellence in tertiary teaching awardees held in Wellington over two days. Great to touch base with familiar people and to get to know the awardees from 2015.

Symposium opens with Maori welcome from Angus McFarlane, Kelly Pender with a special welcome from Dame Dr. Iritana Tawhiwhirangi. She shared her initial teaching experiences following on from teaching in the school with Sylvia Ashton Warner to the setting up of the total immersion schools in the 1970s. James Patterson welcomed everyone and provided overview of program and Amy Fitzgerald ran through housekeeping matters. 
Eric Pawson, currently academy president then welcomed the new members and members at the first time to the symposium. Committee members introduced. Tony Zaharic went through details of two days and logistical matters. James facilitated a welcome to new members. Alison then summarised role of academy and where it connects with other Ako Aotearoa functions. 

Dr. Karyn Paringatai presents on an approach she uses successfully to enhance student learning - nga kura huna o Te Po - the hidden secrets of the dark. Went through evolution of method, refining and evaluation. Then modelled the technique for all of us to learn a Maori song. Questions followed to better understand the concepts.  

After lunch, parallel sessions begin with two short sessions. I support Paul Robinson's presentation on "lateral speed" with Paul sharing his journey a chef and educator. An interactive session to celebrate life long learning. Paul summarised the themes encountered as he travelled a journey both physically and cognitively. Showed video made to complete his Bachelors in Culinary Arts centered around case studies of 3 chefs / bakers / restauranteur and their on going learning and entrepreneurship beyond the Christchurch earthquakes to re establish their businesses. 

Then with Warwick Murray on " virtually there? Transporting students to the field through music and images". Shared 4 ways to teleport students to the field while they are situated in a lecture theatre. Field work is preferable but expensive, time consuming and has inherent cultural and physical challenges. Transform and translate context, delivery and assessments to assist setting scene, activities and expectations. Examples are simulation e.g. Working in the governance of an imaginary country through interactive game followed by reflective practice. Strategies include music and images to set scene, writing songs and listening to songs, ge-ogs (small snippets taken using mobile, usually personalised so connects with students), and amalgamate various scene setting and digital resources into virtual field trips. Immersive virtual field trips final objective. 

A reflective session followed to unpack learnings from previous sessions. 

After afternoon tea, I facilitate a workshop on "using video to improve learning skills, knowledge and dispositions" with emphasis on the sociomaterial dimensions of learning. An interactive session where my assigned 1/2 hour ran to an hour. Good ideas generated by participants which I hope they will put into practice and report back next year 😀

Then a closing plenary for the day from Zoe Jordens on "an exploration of science lecturers' views on quality teaching in science at university". Opened with her experiences from scientist to becoming an educator and how the learning process has captured her interest and focus. Compared typical undergraduate science lab with workplace collaborative lab practice. Provided overview of her current PhD studio topic and overview of the Delphi method (specifically dissensus) used to collect data. Participants were Academy members teaching science. Findings indicate themes of relevance,motivation, understanding the scientific process and variety of ways to deliver assist how students learn science. Variety of ways include doing science, working with scientists, observation and other supporters and sources to construct own knowledge. Quality teaching includes interactive teaching, connection, critical thinking, scientific ways of thinking, reflection and the NZ context. Approaches that prepare students well include authentic tasks, scientific ways of thinking and practicing,mrelationships with industry and inquiry based learning. Next phase of Delphi to analyse data from collection of responses from larger sample of science 'lecturers'. 

Dinner provides another opportunity to catch up and learn from each other. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

OneNote - Notebook Creator - interim pilot

Our small pilot of OneNote Class Notebook has yielded positive results. Only a small cohort of engineering students (year one on a three year degree) participated.

The main objective of the pilot was to:
  • ·         Test one note notebook creator as lab report tool
  • ·         engage engineering students in using lab books on a progressive basis
  • ·         Provide students with formative feedback as their lab books are completed.
  • ·         Provide a platform for summative assessments of student lab reports.
Both tutor and students feedback were supportive. The main bugbears were difficulties with inputting equations, sketching and citation/ referencing. Some of the challenges with entering equations etc. can be solved with using stylii.
'     OneNote Class Notebook’s capabilities are especially useful for pedagogical approaches reliant on timely formative feedback. The platform allows tutors to ‘see’ student work as traditionally paper-based learning activities are worked through and provide feedback ‘in-situ’. Co-constructive learning through problem-based or inquiry-based learning are also other areas the capabilities of OneNote Class Notebook would be useful.
      We will now plan for a more extensive pilot from early next year as the institute attains full access to Office 365. In particular, we need to try the platform across a range of discipline areas, with a variety of formative / summative assessment requirements.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The body in professional practice, learning and education - book overview

A book edited by Bill Green(Charles Sturt University) and Nick Hopwood (University of Technology, Sydney), published 2015 by Springer as part of the series on professional and practice-based learning. Read the ebook accessed over the last week through CPIT library.

15 chapters in 4 parts

Part 1 – Introductions
Chapters 1 and 2 by the editors provide a foundation with overviews of role of body in practice.
On professional practice as embodied, performed by material and corporeal beings, in specific space-time. Reasons for the topic and themes in the book discussed. Frameworks anchoring the studies and concepts introduced through the book are briefly discussed. Includes works from philosophers exampled by Aristotle, Witttgenstein, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Schatzki; feminist literature of Butler and Grosz, sociology of the body with Shilling and Turner and the poststructuralist theories from Foucault, Derrida and others. The relevant contemporary work on ‘professions’ and ‘embodiment’ also reviewed briefly, providing good grounding for any future work.
Defines practice, rationalises the reasons for researching the topic. Recommends research methods including combination of ethnography and discourse analysis framed by actor-network theory or  cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT).

Origins and chapter summaries also provided in the first chapter.

In the second chapter, the theoretical underpinnings supporting the various discussions in the book are previewed, summarised and discussed. There is an overview and discussion of Schatzki’s conceptualisation of ‘being a body, having a body’, the instrumental body’ and relevance to practice. The aspects of performance and habituation are also considered.

Part 2 – thinking with the body in professional practice
Chapter 3 by Margaret Somerville and Karen Vella on ‘sustaining the change agent: Bringing the body into language in professional practice’.  A complex chapter whereby Feminist thought is used to study how organisational change affects professional practice. The PhD supervisor, Somerville and the Phd student, Vella, use an experience working with fabric, to assist in the unpacking of the nuances of embodied experiences.

Next a chapter by Nick Hopwood on ‘relational geometries of the body: doing ethnographic fieldwork’. This draws on personal ethnographies from the author and how ‘body geometries’ can be used to theorise what occurs to the ethnographer as he is steeped in fieldwork.

Chapter 5 with Mary C. Johnnson on ‘Terroir and time space: body rhythms in wine making’. An interesting chapter bringing together the findings on how bringing the body through embodiment with work and the practices of wine making, leads to the discovery of the body rhythms’ roles in learning and continuing practice.

Jo Anne Reid and Donna Mathewson Mitchel provide a chapter on ‘inhabiting the teaching body: portraits of teaching’. Provides good overviews of ‘embodiment’ through practice. How ‘teacherly’ action is adopted. The context of the article is pre-service teacher education and how to prepare beginning teachers to become in touch with their body as teacherly thinking and actions through interaction with material practices and arrangements occur. There is an examination of how expertise develops through experience, as novice teachers ‘fashion’ themselves to diagnose and act pedagogically.

Dianne Mulcahy writes another teaching themed chapter with ‘body matters: the critical contribution of affect in school classrooms and beyond’. The chapter follows on well from the previous. Seeks to break the cognitive bias of studying education to include trying to understand the how emotion impacts on how our bodies interact with ‘objects and spaces’. Uses actor-network theory as a means to unravel the interactions and envisages the many inter-relations between human and material objects as ‘assemblages’ as based on work by Deleuze and Guattari. Has good overview on the affect and bodies – summarising what bodies do and the kinds of practice thinking that informs doing.

Last chapter in this section is with Bill Green on ‘thinking bodies: practice theory, Deleuze and professional education’. Reviews the work of Deleuze and contributions to what it means to think of the body in a post-cartesian frame. Work of Schatzki’s also discussed. The chapter uses the example of how teachers teach reading, to provide frameworks from which the work of Deleuze and others may be understood. In particular, the perspective of the classroom as a ‘corporate body’ whereby the bodies of teacher and students align through activity to try to meet the activity’s goals.
Part 3 relates to the body in question in health and professional education and practice, perhaps of less relevance for the moment, but these chapters ‘show the way’ of how to integrate thinking about practice within specific practice contexts.

In chapter 9, Stephen Loftus writes on ‘embodiment in the practice and education of health professionals’. The chapter is narrative in nature, drawing on the author’s early experiences in medical practice. The need for empathy is a theme through the chapter and understanding the embodied body is one approach to better become a health professional.

The next chapter by Erika R. Katzman is on ‘embodied reflexivity: knowledge and the body in professional practice’. Brings together aspects of embodiment and reflection and how ‘embodied reflexivity leads to improved professional practice. Has overviews of each of the concepts, embodiment, reflection, embodied reflexivity, as understood or applied to a health context. The chapter revolves around the experiences of the author as an ‘attendant’ to a patient who is bedridden. How the author came to know her patient’s body and had to intervene when she saw changes in the patient’s bed sores but due to her position, had great difficulty obtaining assistance.

Then, a chapter on ‘embodied practise in dialysis care: on (para) professional work’ by Lara L Ellingston. The work of para-professionals working with dialysis patients is analysed through ethnographical methods  to foreground principles of embodiment.

Chapter 12 is on ‘(per)forming the practice(d) body: Gyneacological teaching associates in medical education’ by Jody Hall. Uses the experiences of gynaecological teaching associates (GTAs) to unravel the complex processes underlying how they assist medical students to learn how to perform pelvic examinations by allowing students to use them as patients. The author is a GTA and uses her ‘insider’ eyes to bring forth the stories of GTAs, their challenges.

The next chapter focuses on ‘the (de)fragmented body in nursing education’ by Sandra DeLuca, Pat Bethune-Davies and Janice Elliot. Explores how the use of simulations / virtual learning experiences used to educate nursing students, may lead to disembodiment.

Last chapter in section 3 is with Sally Denshire who writes on ‘looking like an occupational therapist: (re)presentations of her comportment within autoethnographical tales’. An example of using autoethnography to unpack the many socio-material aspects of occupational therapy.

The last section and chapter provides concluding reflections from Elizabeth Anne Kinsella on ‘embodied knowledge: towards a corporeal turn in professional practice, research and education’. The rationalisation for the need to widen perspectives on understanding practice is the main focus of this chapter. Not only the socio-material but also potentially difficult aspects (emotional or social taboos etc.) are brought to attention through the various research approaches sympathetic to examining emotions, embodiment etc.

Overall, a good compilation of contemporary work on practice / embodied practice and in consequence, the flow on impacts on embodied thinking, reflection etc. Each chapter takes a slightly different slant on the topic. The work of Schatzki crops up often along with Deleuze, Foucault, Heidigger and Meleau-Ponty, signalling the need for me to get into more reading to get my head around the various perspectives. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

webinar with echo 360

Notes taken from Webinar with echo 360  on"Achieving active learning in experiential learning environments"

With panel members front Unitec (Dr. Karen Haines and James Oldfield) and Sydney TAFE (Stephan Ridgeway and Tom Hore) and facilitated by David Bartolo.

Karen presented context and details of unitec transforming of learning and teaching, spaces and technologies to support collaborative on campus, highly blended and work based learning. James summarised ways echo360 fits into transitioning teaching approaches. Important to use the platform not as an add on with ease of use and integration into new learning spaces. Provided details of staff support through pilot including kickstart activity, targeting of key staff, hands on ad hoc support and assisting staff to explore beyond video of presentations and personal capture of content. Examples of how tutors used provided. Some use of recording practice e.g. osteopathy point of view recordings and a review after by class; future possibility with the use of drones to record fly overs. Points to considers included lead time, workload, infrastructure and conversion of interest to uptake.

Stephan presented on context. Sydney TAFE has 7 campuses and commenced trial in 2013. Active learning platform (ALP)adopted since June this year. Summarised reasons for adoption both strategic for institution and pedagogical. Challenges included integration into internal network, AV available in training rooms, embedding new technology and VET teaching practice. Plans to use to assist with transforming teaching practice, allowing students to do uploads and workplace assessments. Tom presented example in building design through use of personal capture to video flip classroom type content on how to use drawing software. Questions of interest on learning analytics

Overall still quite traditional, mostly teaching led approaches with teachers producing video content. Still need to shift towards more learning or student focused approaches with better mechanisms for students to upload their work / evidence and also to see the analytics from their uploads.

Monday, November 02, 2015

NZ vocational education and training forum, presentations now online

As a followup to blogs on the recent NZ Vocational research and training research forum, the various presentations /slides are now available via the conference site.

A good opportunity to catch up with some of the concurrent presentation I missed. Of note are:

Dr Nicky Murray and Cushla Wilson, Careerforce on 'critical thinking for industry trainees in the health and community sector'


Dr Jo Cribb, Ministry for Women Affairs with 'utilising womens' skills in the workplace' with full report available through the Ministry's website

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction - book overview

Managed to get hold of Matthew Crawford’s latest book, The world beyond your head: On becoming an individual in an age of distraction, from the local library and work through it over the long weekend.

The book is not for the casual reader. However, Crawford’s weaving of his own experiences to introduce or emphasise the many philosophical points through the book, makes the book more accessible. Hence, the book is a good example of blending some of the rigour of academia into a readable form.

Overview from wall street journal and reviews from the guardian and times higher education are positive and provide summaries of the main argument through the book.

The book has 13 chapters with additional introductory and closing chapters. After the introduction, there are 5 chapters in Part 1 revolving around ‘encountering things’. Then 7 chapters in part 2 centre around ‘other people’. The last chapter, makes up part 3 on ‘inheritance’. Below, my perspectives as I read through the book with 'learning a trade' or attaining expertise in craft, as anchors to my reading.

Introduction:- here the overarching argument of the book is introduced and discussed. There is a need for us to review how we attend to our individual self, despite the prevalent use within our society of various visual and aural stimulus, forcing us to divide our attention and /or continually be pulled from one topic to another through access to an array of options. Finding the time to consider/ think / work through and ruminate is becoming more difficult in a world filled with distractions either of our own making (web browsing) or imposed through the landscape we live in (advertisements). Some activities absorb us sufficiently for our best thinking and application of craft to flourish. In some forms of work, the ‘flow’ takes us on to greater heights of performance. However, can also lead us into the abyss of compulsion and addiction (e.g. gambling).

Part 1 – encountering things
1-      The jig, the nudge and local ecology – Here Crawford uses the concept of a ‘jig’ to illustrate the two ends of the pole of utilising jigs. Jigs are arrangements of tools, materials or spatial organisation to assist the performance of complex tasks. They can be used to enhance work tasks, as per examples provided in carpentry, bar tendering and short order cookery. But sophisticated jigs which can costs large amounts of energy and capital to put in place, can also lead to the ‘mechanisation’ and ‘standardisation’ of job tasks as per assembly line / Mcfood type arrangements.

2-      Embodied perception – uses the seamless relationships hockey players have with their sticks and motorcycle riders to illustrate the concepts of embodied perception. How the body is extended through synergistic attachments to a tool or vehicle. The closer the body to the tool or vehicle, the more the sensory / tactile feedback. Learning to become good in these activities requires time to learn, become accustomed and eventually embodied.

3-      Virtual reality as moral idea – A short chapter, bringing the concepts in the previous two chapters with further examples. In short, the design of things can either assist in forming the embodied relationship between us and tools / equipment / etc. or allow the tool / jig / arrangement to overtake us and cause us to be passive and dependent, completing tasks without thought.

4-      Attention and design – argues more for the need to not take design too far. There is a need for humans to still make decisions. Roads which require our attention to drive along, yield fewer incidences of accidents J whereas roads engineered to allow us to go into auto pilot, may actually be more dangerous.

5-      Autism as a design principle: gambling – uses the gambling industry as an example of how all the mechanisms build into slot machines, are there to entice, excite and eventually to enslave. How our biochemicals can cause us to pander to the needs of the body in ways which lead to fulfilment or decline, depending on the sort of activity we become attracted to.

Part 2 – other people
6-      On being led out – begins discussion on education, the need for social interaction being a key. Uses glass blowing team and the ‘apprenticeship’ of scientist to argue for the need of the relationship between learner and expert. 

7-      Encountering things with other people – basically a call to recognise the socio-culturality of human existence. All of what we take to be ‘independent’ thought, comes through our interactions with others, f2f and through artifacts, social structures etc.

8-      Achieving individuality – So where is the individual placed? This chapter tries to work out where in the bigger picture, the individual fits in. Argues skilled practice is one ‘marker’ recognisable by all, of an individual’s achievements. Therefore, if we become good at doing something, others provide us with accolades leading to cycle of positive reinforcement. For the individual, being good at something provides biochemical injections to cause us to further improve expertise.

9-      The culture of performance – which leads to this chapter on how individual’s show what they are made of. Otherwise, what is the point of doing? 

10-   The erotics of attention – probably the most difficult chapter to work through but persistence pays. In brief, the chapter argues for ways in which individuals may go about to make their mark. Attention is a key requirement, as without attending to what we do, there is no improvement in practice.

11-   The flattening – As a counterpoint to the previous chapter and a lead in to the next, this chapter discusses how individuals represent themselves to others and in turn how they perceive others, in relation to their own attention.

12-   The statistical self – ties up the loose ends in part 2.
Part 3 – inheritance – has the one chapter
13 – the organ makers’ shop – here the work of organ makers is used to support the examples and concepts discussed through the rest of the book. That a group of people have shared values, based on historical associations with an obscure craft, yet manifest strong views of craftsmanship framed by commercial imperatives.

Epilogue, provides a useful overview of the argument and summarises a ‘where to next’.

Overall, there is an need to attend, through the book. Some chapters require a few reads to understand the argument and reply, but each chapter does lead into the next. Several chapters are 'dense' but persistence pays. The book works well as there is a flow from one chapter into the next, so perhaps not a book to dip in and out of, but one which requires attending to :) So, I am happy to have put the time an effort into working through the book and will do a re-read over the summer, to wring out the many messages in the book, pertinent my work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NZVET research forum day 2 afternoon

After lunch, 2 concurrent sessions before closing keynote. Firstly, Anne Alkema and Heather McDonald with 'progress with embedded literacy and numeracy in industry training' providing practices, progress and challenges from 2009 through to 2014. Summary of work for TEC and evaluation of work of embedding literacy and numeracy learning in the workplace. Find out if emphasis on building off a model of explicit acts of literacy and numeracy in learning has worked. Substantial shifts in policy and activities from mid 2000s onwards have made it sometimes difficult for people implementing strategies. Embedding in ITOs is multifaceted, integrated and evolving with focus on accessible learning resources, capable field staff and employer and on job training practices. Assessment tool used by all L 2 but at L 3 some do not with results used in a variety of ways. High use dependent on ITO control over process, high expectations of trainee engagement and tradition of investing in training. Learning resources improved with most enabling self directed study. On-job embedding had mixed up take and scope for impact varied. Employers keen to have Literacy and numeracy included and appreciated better access to support. In general, ITo strategies now include literacy and numeracy, a greater depth of understanding and more resources made available with increased capability with field staff. So overall, greater confidence and competence, skill development improved and capability and capacity better. Lots of improvement but hard to pinpoint if literacy and numeracy has improved in learners. An elements of embedded LN developed as guideline for ITOs along with recommendations for moving forward. 

Second up, Mike Styles from Primary ITO on 'implementation of learning interventions which support dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplace environments'. Reported that trainees in primary sector have found greater incidence of dyslexia than in general population. Many dyslexics have strategies to hide or work around their challenge. Historically, NZ have offered poor support in comparison to other countries like UK. Primary ITo drafted support package based in international understanding of how to support adult dyslexia. But literature not in workplace support. Ako Aotearoa supported project to develop screen tool to identify dyslexic trainees, provide up to date info to trainees, encourage trainee to accept their condition, shares info with trainees' supporters and work with workbridge to access technological aids to assist. Evaluation of effectiveness undertaken. In general, raised profile of dyslexia for all involved, reinforced value of mentors and led to larger national project for learners across a wider range of sectors.

Closing plenary is with Dr. Ganesh Nana who is executive director and chief economist at BERL with 'vocational education and the changing workforce'. Always provides a good overview and provided findings using census data to the  'future of work' initiative. Discussed change in labour market, is industry training still able to meet the needs? which workforce is requiring training? when and for what?  Census data although it is dated by the time released does provide good coverage and allows analysis of employed workforce. For instance able to divide up into employees within scope of ITO (1.2 million) and those outside (0.7 million). Tends to be younger, no quality, school qual or VET qual and more males with sectors within ITO scope. 34,000, 5,000 and 26,000 managers, professionals and technicians / trade workers do not have qualifications! Over last six years, about 10,000 jobs less in sectors with ITOs Affecting younger workers. Those with no quals and VeT quals lower in number. Managers, professionals and service workers increase but all others seemed to have decreased. If we continue as we have been operating, managers and professionals constant with small increases in trades and service sector. Options match training to job demand, have older people stay in work, focus on school leavers or people with no school quals to upgrade, identify necessary skills, push higher quals or use return on investment model. Need to link with stakeholders.

Overall, a good conference to catch up with NZ Vocational Education researchers, supporters and practitioners. There seems to have been a refresh of personnel following 'mergers' of ITOs, so the work of getting to know each ITO re-begins.

NZVET research forum Day 2 morning

Day dawns fine, windy and clear in Wellington. Conference reconvenes with opening by Jenny Salesa, Labour (opposite party) spokesperson for Tertiary Education, skills and employment. Provided update on what has been taking place with the 'future for work' committee and how the conference participants can contribute. Presented the rationale for the work undertaken by the committee including need for inclusivity due to demographic changes challenging NZ in the next 30 years.

The day's first keynote is from Michael Davis, chief executive of the United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills who provides us with  'a British perspective on achieving growth through people: five principles for building a stronger skills system'. The five principles are employer led, improve workplace productivity, earning and learning, connect education and employers and wider set of outcomes measured as success in educational attainment. Produced overview and context leading to development of the principles. Globalisation and technology had led to squeezing out of many middle skills roles (e.g. Book keepers) but still high demands for low skills ( e.g. Aged care) and high skills (IT etc.). Natural ladder up work hierarchy therefore made more difficult. Need for rapid responsiveness to market means educating for high skill occupations always behind. Skills mismatch a major challenge with difficulties in filling some skilled positions and millions with skills who work in jobs where the skills are not utilised. As an example, Northern Ireland using FE colleges to prepare people for apprenticeships with 14 to 16 generalised formal pre apprenticeship. Trying to ease tensions between need of industry for generalised skill sets but specific skills by employers. Extended to degree level as well with 3 - 4 years work based route to complete batchelors. Many intangibles contribute to countries' GDP and with UK and NZ being service focused economies, there is challenge in quantifying outputs. How does individuals' motivations align with workplace objectives and business goals. 

After morning tea concurrent sessions begin and I attend session with Antje Handelmann who is a PhD student at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, Germany. She presents via Skype on 'the biographical relevance of apprenticeship '. Antje visited me in Christchurch earlier this year and it is good to see her progress. Objective to construct the perspectives of apprentices in Germany and NZ especially through school to work transitions. Using biographical research to construct youth perspective of school to work transition. Selected two countries with quite different apprenticeship systems. Overview of and rationale for using the biological method. Needs to analyse what people tell and how they tell it. So not just describe but the subjects entanglement in their social milieu. Provided some data and models how the data analysed. From the example, themes of social changes and the impact on individuals, who have to cope on their own, is revealed. Concluded on importance of research topic and contribution of biographical research. 

Next, a session with Sandra Johnson from Peninsula People and Lee Pennock from Downer NZ with mentor shop from Chris Holland, on 'a collaborative approach to apprentice mentoring: An employer 's perspective'. Presented details of Downer's workplace mentoring programme funded by Ako Aotearoa with other ITOs also assisting. Challenges were apprentices being geographically dispersed, covering a broad range of qualifications, poor retention and high non-completion. Cadet level mentoring was working well so how to scale across to apprenticeship with higher numbers and more complex range of trades. So focused on working with apprentices registered with 2 ITOs connexus and primary. Defined collaboration with advisory groups, initial survey to obtain baseline data, conducted workshops on mentoring with internal and ITO and the follow up survey. Established shared understanding on mentoring apprentices, training mentors, defined clear roles, established consistent tools to support the process. Shares the challenges and barriers after initial launch including time constraints and selection of mentors. Refinement of process then instigated. Firstly to rationalise number of qualifications apprentices sign up in and creating a structure for cohorts of apprentices to be formed twice a year, assisting in scheduling and support synergies. Completion rates improved with most apprentices working on track towards completion. Also better alignment between what apprentices required and what was provided by mentor and ITO support. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NZ VET research forum - day 1 afternoon

After lunch, concurrent sessions begin again and I attend the session on 'shifting sands: embedding mobile technology into VET' with Lee Baglow and Chris Lovegrove from Unitec. Presentation on building staff capability and to empower staff to deploy technology enhanced learning to assist automotive students' learning. Shared apps explored to evaluate fit for context. Taking in mind learner profile and needs of industry. Staff enthusiasm somewhat dampened when institution moved a different direction. Less support for open source and move to institutional learning management systems.

Then another technology based presentation with Carolyn McIntosh from Otago Polytechnic on 'video and self assessment in an undergraduate midwifery degree programme'. OP covers the southern Half of NZ for midwifery. Covered a way to support distance students to learn and assess communication skills using videos.

Second plenary panel follows with myself presenting on 'graduate profiles and alignment to occupational identity', Dr. Karen Vaughan from NZCER reporting on Ako Aotearoa funded project on 'growing practice' and Dr. Lisa Maurice-Takerei on 'identity with trades tutor.' 
Karen presented on the knowing practice project which studies the workplace learning experiences of general practitioners, carpenters and engineering technician cadets. Becoming something was an underlying framework with learning conceptualised as a series of crossing of vocational thresholds. Capability is about knowing, doing and being. Used a critical incident type approach to see if participants able to identify and articulate how they learnt to become. Learning came to be transformational experiences and the need to cross a threshold which they are not able to turn back out of. Provided examples from the data on the transformation of general practitioners, carpenters and engineers explained as vocational thresholds.
Karen's presentation led well into my presentation centered around matching graduate profiles which are the outcomes of NZ certificates to job roles or occupational identities. A pivot point in how learners progress is the conferment of responsibility. Taking small workplaces are unable to support workers who are unproductive, learners who are conferred job roles should meet graduate profiles if job roles are matched to them.
Lisa's was on honouring the perspectives of trades tutors and how their work focused lens, can be developed to inform pedagogical approaches in VET. Provided information on project and presented selected portion of findings from focus group on asking trades tutors to construct a model representing their understanding of teaching and learning in VeT. Models constructed were aligned to trades tutors discipline area! Advocates need to develop solutions to tap into expertise of trades tutors. 

Last concurrent sessions after afternoon tea with Glen Keith / Peter Scanlon from Service IQ, Isaac Liava'a from the Skills Organisation, Joel Rewa-Morgan / Ifi Ripley from Career Force, Iani Nemai from Competenz and Debbie Ryan and Brenden Mischewski from Pacific Perspectives, present on the topic of Pacific Learner success in workplace settings. This is a progress overview on an Ako Aotearoa national project. Need for research in workplace setting as other recent studies completed in tertiary/ higher ed. Project was to identify critical success factors, show effective models applicable to workplace settings and improve learning outcomes for trainees. From lit review mentoring, context, employers support are central and new approaches, internal change through ITOs and systems for measurement of success important. Need to tap into Pacifica as it is a youthful population. 2 pilots established to find out if mentoring / study groups / facilitator, works to increase engagement, self confidence, completion of credits. Objective to inform creation of better learning environments, deployment of pacifica learning approaches etc. provided overview of the evaluation method and how results will be implemented. 

A busy day but good to see how NZ policies are working towards supporting individuals to develop to their best, in turn, not only to make their lives but those of their communities and eventually for NZ better. 

NZ VET research forum, Day 1 morning

This year, the NZ Vocational Education and Training Research forum is held at Te Papa, the NZ National museum. Well attended by ITO with a sprinkling of polytechnic staff. Dr. Rhonda Thompson from Ako Aotearoa sets the scene and Dr. Peter Coolbear Ako Aotearoa Director provides a welcome and housekeeping information. The forum is then officially opened by the Hon Louise Upton, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. The minister provided overview of Government with regards to skills, emphasising examples from the primary industry and need to ensure NZ trains for skills required rather than depending on offshore expertise. Reiterated the need to ensure all sectors of NZ are provided with opportunities to develop skills to contribute, using a need to increase participation of women in apprenticeship.

Opening keynote is with Dr. Borhene Chakroun who is with UNESCO as chief of the youth literacy and skills development group. Dr. Chakroun shared the guidelines outlined as UNESCO vision for TVET including qualifications, pathways and approaches to learning; the role of research, quality assurance and evaluation; governance, regulation, and funding; and greater involvement of non-government partners and connections to the labour market. The TVET future global strategy for 2016-2021 is currently being developed by UNESCO. Began with overview of current challenges and how TVET is able to contribute. Major challenge with youth unemployment and increase in income inequality. Skills in new innovations is rapid and we are now into the 6th wave of sustainability and technology. Multi skilling and reskilling now normal requirements. Yet TVET enrolments declining! Covered NZ's adoption of UN sustainability goals including poverty reduction, better health, quality education, gender equality, responsible consumption etc. by 2030 to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Focus of national economies on TVET to meet aspirations of 2030. Provided information on collaborative research with overview of key themes. Life long learning, 4 pillars of learning - learning to know, to do, to live together and to be - and rethinking education as a common good. 3 lenses need to be considered, sustainability (tend to be emergent), social equity (mixed attention)' and economic growth (main objective). TVET has great variety, volume through education to the masses, velocity due to rapid technological advances and need to maintain validity. Therefore need for objectives of TVET to be aligned with policies and systems through government (inter sectorial, funding and partnerships) to achieve equity quality and relevance and informed through evaluation and knowledge management. for 2030 propose support for policy and capacity development, set standards, manage knowledge and support skills intelligence, promote framework for transparency, recognition, mobility and lifelong learning pathways, and mobilise partners, networks and advocacy. Collaborative research agenda include skills anticipation, conceptualising skills (core, sustainability etc,), labour market / social outcomes, local development, learning (work based, pathways, spaces etc.), attractiveness of TVET, teacher training, governance and future of work. 

After morning tea, we have concurrent sessions. I attend presentation on 'why do industry trainees not complete their qualifications' - 'work's like work - there's nothing training about it' or learning, life and work Anne Alkema, Heather McDonald from Heathrose research and Dr. Nicky Murray from Ontask Ltd. Heather went through background and method. Project with 10 ITOs. Completions rates now at 36%, up from 30% five years ago. Qualitative interviews with 110 trainees (level 3 , 4) who withdrew in 2014. Literature reveals effect of system, employer and personal factors as contributing. 65% had nAtional qualification at level 3 or higher already. 80% motivated and 70% did not actually need a qualification but 60% of employers felt qualification required. Pay rates were not main motivating factor. Learning at work was a contentious, unstructured, need to ask for help. Training equated with book work which had to be completed on own time - the training burden. Support for the learning crucial. Especially if time available at work. Interventions may be useful at intersections of systems and employers. Workplace training affordances were main recommendations from trainees to assist completion. For system, good practice admin processes and assessment practices may assist. As training burden increases, drive to complete diminishes. 

A plenary session follows on the social and economic outcomes from vocational education with panel consisting of David Earle, chief research analyst at the Ministry of Education, Linda Cameron, senior analyst at Treasury and Josh Williams representing the VET reform group. David reported on the findings from the latest Youth Guarantee report on employment and further outcomes. Report on website. In general, YG stayed in education in the first year after programme, more likely to gain NCEA level 2 but having gained L2 does not raise participation in tertiary study. Modest improvement to employment outcomes following YG. Need to be realistic as YG is a single programme intervention which is short. 

Linda presented on why treasury supports TVET and the living standards framework. Treasury vision is to work for higher living standards for all NZers. Higher living standards represent economic growth, sustainability for the future, equity, social infrastructure and managing risks.

Josh shared the outcomes framework being developed by the VET reform group - a joint ITO and ITP initiative. Although VET works in NZ, there is still room for improvement. VET reform seeks to identify potential success indicators for NZ VET sector. Work needs to be done to ensure a 'joined up system' for impact and value, integration, flexibility, collaboration, choice and matching and alignment. Need to have the learner at the centre so there are no systemic / funding barriers to seamless movement between providers. 

Lively discussion followed before lunch break. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Deliberate practice - some critiques

Ericsson’s work on deliberate practice is cited often in the vocational education literature, here is link to one of his papers. Concepts of deliberate practice have been popularised through popular literature by Gladwell’s book, Outliers.

However, there are critiques to the concepts inherent in deliberate practice as per this article from open colleges. Notably, that the research used to frame deliberate practice has been carried out with areas of skill learning which are relatively narrow. For example, the studies on expertise with chess players and the learning of musical instruments.

Learning any trade requires a wide range of skill sets, so there is difficulty in generalising all the recommendations and findings across to learning occupational skills. However, deliberate practice does provide for one process to explain the learning of a discrete set of skill.

Critiques include the following: From msu research - takes the nature vs nurture dichotomy and argues for the mainly nature with some nurture stance. An academic article by  Hamrick and others propose the need to study the deliberate practice process more deeply.

So still some way to go with regards to clarifying how we actually go about learning skills through practice. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

National tertiary learning and teaching conference- day 3

Updated with links

Day 3 begins with a keynote from Professor Geoffrey Scott from the University of West Australia on 'developing and assessing graduates who are work ready plus'. Provided background and rationale for importance of topic. Good leaders are good teachers. Discussed importance of assessments in the landscape and how assessments tell us focus of programme. Less assessments done well should be the objective. Need to align learning design, support and infrastructure and delivery lead to impact on learning as a quality and standards framework for learning and teaching. Start with what to focus on to lead to impact and identity what needs to be done. Defined learning outcomes and how to best validate them. Professional capability framework includes personal, interpersonal, cognitive ( capability), role specific and generic competence. Competency provides for work readiness and capabilities add the work ready plus. Need to listen, link, leverage and lead to bring about results. Work ready plus also includes sustainability literate, change implementation savvy, creative and inventive not just regurgitative, clear on what one stands on tacit assumptions exampled by continued growth, consumption, ICT and globalisation. Types of assessments include integrated capabilities, critical evaluation, ability to work to a brief, problem diagnosis, formation and solving - via multiple modes, studio, experimental modes, portfolios etc. covered implementation challenges with students, staff and suggestions on how to circumvent. Need a 'one stop shop' bringing together multiple websites, role specific self teaching guides on how to lead change and capacity building workshops for leaders. 

After mornings tea, a series of 3 presentations before conference closes with a short panel discussion and a poroporoaki.

Nick Carter from Waiariki takes us through his work on 'guided risk taking- teaching theory to very practical learners'. Course design for engaging students through challenging students to move beyond the things they are comfortable with. Applies concepts of whanaungatanga, kiatiakitanga and  maanakitanga. Planning and design for learning to include learning of skills that can be used across many contexts. Uses scaffolding, experiential learning,  strategies that lead to positive outcome, authenticity, transparency and dialogue in assessment, evaluation and reflecting and debriefing . 

Then a session with Richard Wilson from Unitec on 'feeding forward for reflective learning in vocational education'. Presented case study of his own teaching in finding out how to better use feedback to improve learning in the Bachelor of Applied Technology - level 6 repair and transportation and level 5 marine construction. Assessment based on portfolio 80% and logbook 20%. Poor directions and no formative feedback meant students struggled. Solution to use case study to study specific set of circumstances and real situations experienced in the marine industry. Logbook was removed. Portfolio consisted of 4 cases selected from 12 scenarios studied. Formative feedback and feed forward provided through google docs two weeks before summative submission for each case. Student success and retention improved. 

Last presentation with Aaron Steele and Graeme Read from UCOL on 'levelling up: lecturers' perspectives'.  What are strategies that work at various levels of learning and why teaching strategies may be different. Implications on class room management and autonomy. Contact time is higher with students at certificate level with higher expectations for pastoral care and support to complete assessments. Teaching intensity higher at certificate level but content complexity increases with level. Certificate programmes sometime require all learning to occur during class time but higher level courses includes self directed learning. 

All in, a good selection of presentations. The polytechnic sector seems to be well committed to active learning which is learning and student centred. Always good to learn of the challenges faced by other institutions and processes used to address, move forward and focus on enhancing student learning. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

National tertiary learning and teaching conference, day 2 afternoon

Updated with links.

After lunch another series of 4 presentations. Firstly, with Carmel Haggarty from Whitireia on 'developing courses the easy way'. Presented reasons for 'rapid' course development professional development package. Based on the LATARE and the ADDIE framework. LATARE (leaning outcomes, assessment, topics, activities, resources and evaluation) originated from OTARA And based on Chickering and Gamson, 1987  - 7 principles of good practice in undergraduate education. Informational provided on Moodle site as starter packages for tutors before they assist in course development. Templates linked to each stage. 

Secondly, from Susie Kung from Manukau Institute of Technology, who presented on 'effective tertiary teaching: learning spaces'. Presented the use of appreciative inquiry to understand what makes better teaching. AI encourages eyes to see the positive and to assist the move into the future. The 4 D (discover, Dream, design and destiny) cycle originated from dissatisfaction with action research. Study sought to find out the students experienced curriculum and what assisted them to become teachers (ways of being). Effective teaching learning were enduring influences, in class presentations, provokes deep reflective thinking, theory with practice, getting to know self and to know others. 

Third up was a presentation on 'flipping teacher observations: from judgment to collaborative practice ' with Vani Naik and Sian Hodge from NTEC (NZ Tertiary Group). Discussed traditional observation approaches and their pros and cons. Introduced CORE - collaboration, observation, reflection and extension. Collaborator mutually negotiate with teacher as to what to improve etc. suggestions offered and agree if observations will assist. Observation of session, not teacher. Reflection has 4 set and 4 negotiated questions. Extension involves discussion, suggestions and set up of plans going forward. Shared evaluation undertaken of deployment of CORE indicate positive responses. 

Then a team presentation (Jane Terrell, Dave Snell, Karen Haines, Bettina Schwenger and Mark Smith) from Massey University and Unitec represented by Jane Terrell and Dave Snell (Massey) on 'getting it right: guidelines for online assessment in NZ tertiary contexts'. An Ako Aotearoa hub project in progress. Defined online assessments as taking place via discussion forums or other online tools. Goal to create a set of guidelines and an interactive tool. Presently analysing the. 14 case studies. Including blogs,wikis, eportfolios, glossaries, forums, video, turnitin etc. tool is to help tutors to assess whether, how and what to use in terms of online assessment. 

After afternoon tea, another 4 more presentations revolving around staff capability. 2 snapshot presentations from Dean Ellery 'are my handouts bankrupting the organisation and destroying the planet?' Paperless = cost savings and environmental focus? Hardware costs down but IT and power costs required. Sustainability issues comparing paper and e readers need to be thought through. Digital tools have higher costs relate to storage, hardware and disposal. Paper may be more sustainable as more effective in carbon storage, recyclable etc. Learner values include writing on paper being more cognitive complex, reading deeper and comprehension better, providing better overviews without the need to scroll. 

Debbie Coates on 'does action research learning in the classroom meet the learning styles of international students?' Rationale shared for need to develop capabilities as lifelong learners. Action learning promotes higher order thinking and reflection. Usually based around scenario based learning to solve problems. Interviewed small number of students and found most were reflective. Action learning was enjoyed by students. Students could adapt and a good transition from predominantly rote learning background to greater reflection. 

Gerry Duignan and John Hitchcock from Weltec present on 'lessons learnt: professional development for experienced teachers in vocational education.'  Progress report on a project funded by Ako Aotearoa. Defined professional development. Presented objectives of project and feedback on questionnaire sought. 

Last up today is Liz Fitchett and Kevin Dyke from Waiariki presents on 'using a co-operative academic induction process to fast track new teaching staff into their career as teaching professionals'. Provided background, rationale and details of a support process for inducting new tutors. Involves support from heads of department ( manages process), student feedback, learning advisor support coordinated by educational developer.  Tutors sent on observation reports to HOD but their choice. Educational developer assist tutor to set up Teaching plan. Observations (3)  and student feedback completed by learning advisor. Mentor assigned to provide peer support. positive feedback from new tutors, students  and HODs drive the continued evolution of the process despite the time and personnel intensive nature of the process. Good outcomes cost. 

Conference dinner follows with a looked forward to keynote from Professor Welby Ings from Auckland University of Technology, who will challenge the participants with his presentation 'beyond the marshmallow cocoon: risk, transformation and disobedient thought'. 

National Tertiary Learning and Teaching conference - 2015 Day 2 morning

Now updated with links.

Take the conference bus out to the BoPP Wildermere campus for another busy day. The day begins with keynote from Dr. Ingrid Huygens who presents on 'educating for a Tiriti relationship: learning about Maori visions for Pakeha settlement'. Focused on some history from the Maori perspective and examples from contemporary tertiary education. Reminder to educators of our role in the 'cultural work' industry and to ensure our students continue to be committed to roles as a 'conscience' checkers. Have to help educate for social issues, skills to work across cultures and work through implications of colonisation and decolonisation. Sites of power in the Maori world is from the whenau, the people, up whereas for pakeha, the monarchical down process. Described the ways Maori developed new tikanga (laws or rules) to work with influx of whalers and then settlers and the precursor activity to the signing of the Tiriti. Also the original ways hapu worked together in cooperative endeavours to trade, grow and harvest food. Clarified how Maori interpreted the Tiriti in terms of their worldview and the roots of present Tiriti reconciliations and claims. Encouraged connection of educators with the 'honour the treaty' movement and to apply to their own teaching contexts to contribute towards building a decolonized future. 

After morning tea, I chair four sessions with mine scheduled at the end. First up, we had Hemi Inia and Eruera Prendergast-Tarena present on the 'He Toki Ki Te Mahi': supporting Maori apprentices'. The programme is a cooperative initiative launched in 2011 between Hawkins Construction, Ngai Tahu and Cpit which is led by the Ngai Tahu Iwi. Objective not only for skills training to be a mechanism for large scale social change to support and enable Maori aspirations. 800 trainees through pre apprenticeship into apprenticeship and then into a higher level learning pathway into leadership as site managers, project manager and quantity surveyors including business ownership. In apprenticeship, He Toki are the employer with host employers including Hawkins, Fletcher, Dominion and Max. He Toki also screens applicants and assist entry into apprenticeship if any pre-preparation required. Uses learning and mentoring frameworks - Ako Whakaruruhau (Kerehoma et al., 2013). Focus on whanau and apprentices to ensure success and pathways to careers and future livelihoods. 

Then, a session with Dean Ellery from BoPP 'if creativity is so important to the arts, business and society, why don't we teach it?' Your creative potential is within you but if it is, you need to decide what and how to do it. Need to find who you are so that your creativity is able to come forth. Defines as creativity is about the motivation to bring something new into existence. Everyone is creative as we are born with it and for some creativity were educated out of them :(  creative requires energy and risk. Teaching creativity involves helping individuals realise their potential and also entails creating challenges to the known order. Creativity learning required through all levels of education. Students complete Level 2 NCEA instead of dropping out of school. 

Thirdly, we had a presentation on 'from drop-out to Master Builder. The success story of a Trades Academy' with Colin O'Gorman and Andy Pivac from Unitec - Auckland West Vocational Academy. Went through how academy set up and results. A partnership with Massey High School who funded the logistical set up of with programme focused on building a house to create learning environment for learning. Unitec provided programme expertise, trades skills and trades teaching. Seed money from housing foundation into a community organisation called village trust. House then sold to housing corporation. 

My presentation on 'aligning graduate profile framed qualifications with occupational identity indicators' followed. The presentation focussed on how to apply graduate profile to assessment processes to recognise skills / dispositions attained through conferment of job tasks, responsibilities and job titles. Advocating for understanding of the holistic nature of embodied occupational identity and how to introduce newcomers to and how to better affirm occupational identity. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

National Tertiary Learning and Teaching conference - 2015 day 1afternoon

NTLT day one, afternoon (now updated with links)

After lunch, continue with the elearning track. First up, Debbie Hallam from BoPP percent n 'harnessing technology to map out a future: providing industry capability across NZ'. Shared journey from being in the construction industry to education. Skill shortage in surveying in NZ. Institute of Surveyors worked with BoPP to find solution to offer diploma qualification across NZ. Other associated ancillary areas also developed including quantity surveying and construction management. Abode Connect used a a tool to connect with learners with many completing the programme part time and working full time. Flexible enrolments possible. Staff development accelerated by colleague with high digital literacy contribution for a year. Student feedback listened to and course development increased considerably. Two dedicated suites now available for blended learning to occur. Now have 70% of cohort as online students scattered throughout NZ. 

Second up, 'critical challenges for managing summative assessment of student learning in online programmes' with Lynette Steele from BoPP. Two business programmes offered only through BoPP, diploma in conveyancing and graduate certificate in NZ immigration advice (offered internationally). Summarised the challenges related to final exams including those imposed by licensing authorities. Alternatives include open exam on students own computer at specific time for a set amount of time. Use software or supervisor to check ID and monitor student during exam, apply exam design techniques and submit exam immediately to institution for marking.  

Then, Kung Keat Teoh from Flinders university and Pek Fong Ng from University of South Australia with 'academics and next generation elearning systems: of roles and pedagogy '. Provided some ideas on the advancement of technologies and relevance to education. BYOD allows feedback in real time to lecturer while lectures continue. Mobile learning affordances for multi media resources etc. social networks can be leveraged. Moocs overview. Plusses and minuses discussed for each. Need for educators to keep abreast of potential future education technologies and adopt effectively. Future techs include image retrieval technology (match images to real world application); artificial intelligence to read images - see TED talk; smart lab systems to incorporate haptic simulations; learning agents or virtual personal tutors; adaptive learning (e.g. Knewton or AdeLE); emotion based learning; virtual reality environments. Discussion on role of teachers and need to keep up to date and strategies to achieve. 

Fourth, presentation of the afternoon with Lynette Winter and Nikki Hannan from CPIT on 'a model for blending a highly interactive face to face course'. Rationale and learning from providing teacher qualification - certificate and diploma - to blended. Programme offered to 7 polytechnics. Important objective was also to model flexible learning to tutors and have tutors experience online learning before they had to teach online. Re design completed in conjunction with other polytechnics. Used a workplace training context and OTARA as the learning design frame. Use f2f to warm up to online;  online activities encourage tutors to apply and report back on; integrate into the activities into assessments. 

Move across to an group assessment stream after afternoon tea. Presenting a timefirst are Nick Hearns and Jay Hays form Unitec on 'student teams: promises, problems nod paradoxes'. Presented, within business context, the reasons for learners to work in teams with assumption that team skills can be learnt and transferred. Challenges to placing students into teams include team outcomes are often only equal to one individual best efforts; student frustration with repeated use of teams and not actually learning team skills! Paradoxes are ineffective team assessments leads to disengagement. Therefore, need to prepare students to work In teams but student teams have inherent difficulties. These are short time span of teams duration, generic and low level expertise and undifferentiated experience. See Salas, 2015 for latest on on team building and types of team. Recommended a team learning pyramid to model elements of dialogue (elementary, improving, proficient, highly advanced and highly sophisticated), reflection and mindfulness. Assign roles like mover, opposer, bystander and follower as anchors to improve elements. 

Next up, Michelle Wright and Jane Dillon from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology on 'facilitating group work online'. Covered facilitation skills for tutors requires social, instructional and social presence. Social presence requires building a community of inquiry with a social learning culture. Instructional presence require detailed instructions and coaxing through reminder. Cognitive presence makes us a conscious attempt to deepen student understanding and learning. Based on Salmon's 5 stage model. Build a communication plan for the course to ensure all bases covered and to organise busy course. Applied management programme used to provide an e ample of how to apply the facilitation skills. Self and peer evaluation rubric used to mark group work. Team presents findings but also assessed on individual reports and reflections. 

Last session for the day is on the 'collaboration conundrum: "but it's my mark l care about!' With Anne Bradley at BOPP. Challenges of inquiry based learning with student teams working towards attaining employment capability, research capability and management knowledge. How to counter a individualistic culture to allow for valuing of collaboration and collective knowledge. Fostering a community of learning is a key. Ran through several activities to anchor concepts presented. 

 Busy day, with several interesting sessions and good to catch up with other educational developers and trades tutors. Off to taste and nibbles session for the early evening.