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.