Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ara Kick off day -

Ara’s ‘Kick-Off’ day brought together all the staff of the Academic, Innovation and Research (AIR) division to launch the creation of the new entity- which was formed late last year through combining all the teaching departments with the academic division.

The day begins with welcome and key messages. Formal karakia and the Ara waiata begin the proceedings with George Nelson – Deputy CE and the Ara management team leading the waiata. Hemi Hoskins, Head of Department explains the significance and meaning of the karakia.
George provides the welcome and details on the day’s activities. Plans for the event to continue into the future at the beginning of each semester. First activity based around the AIR theme from Araport with learners on a journey on the AIRplane. Vision shared on the way forward for the Ara education ecosystem. Overviewed the current and proposed the future, using airports as a metaphor. Need to move beyond what we currently offer, to be more flexible and agile – meeting needs for the working population to continually develop their skills and knowledge as the future of work evolves.  Ecosystem includes shifting to supporting enterprise / entrepreneurial opportunities, seminars and workshops from staff after professional development participation and as ‘thought leaders’. Detailed some of the current and planned activities going forward into the next few years.
Executive team updates follow through a series of ‘pods’ to be worked through. Tracey Berry our customer experiences DC provided an overview of her team’s work to support successful students. The involvement of students as co-creators of various processes and systems is the main approach. Then Tony Grey our CE provides summary of strategic direction through building and support of climate and culture, moving from good to great, forming and continuing community and belonging, increase responsiveness, innovation and sustainability. Belinda DCE for People and culture than summarises the stategy to empower our people for tomorrow’s world. Dean our Chief financial officer summarised his role in resourcing the many current and future initiatives. Te Marino Lenihan, Ara kairahi used the harakeke bush as the metaphor for the importance of supporting the improvement of success for Maori students.

Then a series of workshops 7 workshops convene. The workshops centre around AIR activities including assessment, programme evaluations, programme development, teaching and learning plans, and online teaching and learning.

I participate in the session on assessments, with Glynnis Brook, manager for portfolios and assurance and facilitated by fellow educational developer Jane Bates. The session was an opportunity to review the development of powerful and authentic assessments. Began with reiterating that assessment is for gathering information and also evaluation as the interpretation of the information gathered. A good discussion eventuated around the difference between summative and formative assessments and the need to explain the importance of formative assessments to students. Overviewed the principles of assessment and practice.

After lunch, two sessions of workshops of 45 minutes each follow.

In the first round, topics include developing cultural capability, getting started with research, AR/ VR, innovation, inquiry base teaching and the students’ portal MyAra App.
The second round of sessions include getting research published, e-assessments for learning, neuroscience of emotions, agile development of programmes, Microsoft tips.

Firstly, I joint facilitate the session on getting started with research with Dr. Isabel Jamieson from Nursing. We collect questions from the participants, sort them into ‘themes’ and workshop the answers, using the available institutional resources.

Then, facilitate the session on eassessments for learning  - as an output of the Ako Aotearoa and NZQA funded project. The session workshops using templates for designing assessments of learning and how to match the learning outcomes to the types of digital tools which are relevant to provide the most useful forms of feedback.

The event closes with a wrap up with George. Thank you to all the presenters and the planning team.

A good opportunity to network with colleagues from the different campuses and catch up progress on various projects completed over the last few years. Also important to reinforce the organisation messages and policies so that the institution is in a good position to connect with or critique the outcomes of the coming NZ Review of Vocational Education (ROVE) announcements.

Monday, July 15, 2019

ADKAR organisational change model - overview and reflection

Last week, attended a workshop on the ADKAR change model. This was created by Jeff Hiatt from The site has free guides to the process and  a list of resources and articles.

ADKAR stands for the steps in change 'management' which are Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. People will not necessarily cycle through these step by step and there is often a loop around Desire, Knowledge and Ability which helps people come to grips with change and shift their Desire (motivation) towards new processes and systems.I could not actually find the difinitive study / research informing the creation of the model. However, it seems to be relatively well known in organisational management as it comes up in reviews of change model reviews - see below for some reviews.

There is also a book, written in 2006 by Hiatt with most of the first chapter available on Google Books. Also a youtube video explaining the key points.

There are actually many models about. For example K. N. Tang has published a Springer Brief comparing 4 models - ADKAR, Lewin's three stages change model, Kotter 8 step change model and Jick's 10 step change model. Lewin's, Kotter's and Jick's seem to be slightly more recent and seem to have recent studies anchoring their models.

Another more humanistic model is Glasser's choice theory - Here is a recent article -
“digital tools will never take the place of a good teacher”:understanding teachers’ resistance to using technology through Glasser’s Choice theory. Wilson A., Fuhrman, O. and Turner, K. in the International Journal of Learning Technology, 14(1). Glasser's theory has origins in psychology and seems to be used in the schools sector. 

ADKAR is very much an organisationally directed / focused approach, taking an 'the organisation knows best' type assumption. Tools like ADKAR provide the organisation with a shared language for managers to better understand and work on the challenges inherent in change management. The process seems 'common sense' and is relatively easy to understand. As with all management, it is how the model is applied which is important. 

I am not sure how well ADKAR fits into an educational management environment. Time will tell as to how useful and efficacioius application of ADKAR to organisational change is within the NZ ITP context. We are already experiencing a large volume of continual change and this is set to only increase as the outcomes of ROVE  (which is still being worked through) become operationalised. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Unbundled university - webinar summary

Yesterday evening, listened to Prof. Laura Czerniewicz's presentation on unbundled learning - hosted by flexible learning NZ.

The blurb for the event indicated a micro level project on -  the intersection of increasingly disaggregated curricula and services, the affordances of digital technologies, the growing marketisation of the higher education sector itself and the deep inequalities which characterise both the sector and the contexts in which they are located.

Here are notes taken through the presentation, tidied up a little this morning:

Summarised the emergence of online provision over time especially dramatic growth of online education since the introduction of MOOCs.

Overview of the marketization of education including the competitive market as education is pushed into becoming a business rather than public service for greater good.

Universities moving into and soliciting for paid services. Students are viewed as clients and consumers. Language of business pervade institutions.

Increased income inequality means access is now difficult for many.

Unbundling the degree from all sectors occurring.

Shared landscape of course provision in the online space with traditional lectures / tutorials becoming blended / flipped and the increase in micro credentials. NZ being the only country at present to have a nationally agreed system for the accreditation of microcredentials.

Funding models have shifted towards fees for services and full service partnerships.
Online programmes require a whole new strand of support to be resourced, developed or extended and implemented.

Course design has to be more robust and course student support requires greater investment.

Provided overview ofstudy – researching emerging models of unbundling.
Unbundling relatively new and largely conceptual and theoretical with a focus on critical theory and little empirical work.

Digitisation and marketization have become more extensive in many countries.
Sample of 6 universities in South Africa and 7 in the UK plus 6 private companies (e.g. MOOC providers).

Data from publicly available information, interviews (policy makers and senior decision makers), focus groups (academics and professionals supporting online learning) and student surveys.
Findings mapped relationships across universities and private companies as to online learning networks.

Provided examples from interview data to report on themes:

Reasons for unbundling from senior decision makers included increase in access/reach and a 3rd stream of income. Pragmatic approaches to working with private companies. Tension between core business and global competitiveness. SA more concerned about social justice than UK who supported marketization.

Private companies considered universities to be slow and inexperienced, saw themselves as pioneers and preferred universities that were entrepreneurial. Felt they understood students’ needs, profit making was couched in terms of new markets of students. Saw themselves as brokers between technology and student learning needs. Paid attention to the importance of university brand, rankings and reputation and building trust with university.

Academics were much more sceptical and concerned about their agency, top down decision making and serving the neoliberal agenda. Concerns about inequalities – digital and in general.
Alignments and tensions and issues of agency, control and negotiation were also themes coming through.

There were few incentives for exploiting the affordances of emerging models and there are continued risks in increasing digital inequalities.

Overall, provided an update on how marketisation has impacted on ways higher education responds to the outcomes of neo-liberalism, at the expense of learners - especially those who have been already marginalised.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Shifting to an Android phone

The Windows phone issued by my work, which I have been using for many years, has now been retired –RIP. A month or so ago, I resurrected my son’s old Samsung Galaxy 5 and have now sorted out some of its ins and outs. The phone is already dated as it was released five years ago. However, I am finding it adequate for the things I use a phone for. 

Porting across and updating any app with a cloud based storage option has been easy. Using my google gmail account name means all the apps in the google ecosystem, recognise who I am and there is a seamless shift across to gmail, youtube, google photos, blogger and any apps attached to this account. Ditto with facebook, whatsapp etc. Uploading postings on to facebook and inaturalist have been straightforward as well.

Galaxy store does not seem to have a good search function and I have switched to google play or use chrome browser to download other favourite apps.

One function I am learning how to use is to track my weekend tramps using the NZ topo maps app. Still experimenting and will report progress in a future blog.

Another function I will need to put some time into, is the AR/ VR via mobile phone. My work with our students still indicates a digital divide, with many of our students studying in levels 1 - 4 not having access to a laptop, PC or WiFi at home. Almost all have a phone, with many only able to afford the most basic smart phone. Therefore, there is still a need to ensure various 'blended learning' initiatives, are still mobile phone capable. 

Monday, July 01, 2019

New tech and jobs

Two articles from last week's papers.

First one on 'what to do when new tech changes the rules of your job'. Takes the 'be proactive' approach. If your job is being threatened, then you need to ensure your current work provides sufficient professional development to upskill as in the NZ context, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure employees keep you with the play and remain productive.

Second article on 'why cyborgs are coming, but they will not kill us'. For the moment, cyborgs need humans. The current crop of cyborgs are specialised in what they are able to do. Programming is required constantly to ensure these entities are able to carry out their functions. AI plays a role. However, AI which allows cyborg's to learn as they go about their work, is again limited to specialised functions. The key here is to understand present limitations and also the potentialities.

Therefore, the role of education is to prepare learners for a world of constant challenges and change. Understanding the impact of technology is an important competency.

Monday, June 24, 2019

A cultural economic analysis of craft - book overview

This book came through via my Google Scholar alerts. Some of the discussions and material in the book, are relevant to my work on craftsmanship.

The book is edited by A. Mignosa and P. Kotipalli and published recently (2019) by Springer.

Cultural economics studies the contribution of craft to the economy, as well as society at large. Craft work is especially important to the non-industralised sectors of country economies. Craft work often being used by agricultural workers, to augment their income and also to support the longeavity of various cultural, religious and social practices.

The Westernised approach to craft has viewed craft as being inferior to the arts. Whereas in may Eastern countries, craftsmanship is still respected and often treasured as representations of cultural practices.

There are 21 chapters in the book divided into 4 sections.

The introduction by the editors, sets the context. The book sets out to provide examples of the role of cultural economics on understanding and analysing the craft sector. The traditional approaches are discussed, policies to avoid short term effects on craft culture are proposed to help ensure crafts culture is sustainable into the future.

Part 1 – Definitional issues

Defining craft : Hermeuneutics and economy by R. L Brulotte and M. J. R. Montoya. Takes on a qualitative definition. Acknowledging the socio-political-historical origins of viewing craft as an economic problem. Emphases the ‘meaning-making relations between human production, art, and concepts of skill and mastery’. Evaluates the ways craft are defined by various institutions.

Then I. Vencatachellum with ‘UNESCO approach to crafts’. UNESCO was the first UN agency to recognise the socio-cultural and economic role of crafts as the world moved into globalisation. UNESCO views crafts as cultural heritage with the creative industries connected to artisans.

P. Kotipally writes on ‘making sense of craft using cultural economics’ brings the book back to the ‘cultural economics’ aspect. 

Part 2 – policies for craft

The chapter on ‘policies for crafts: rationale and tools’ by A. Mignosa is followed by chapters discussing country contexts.  These are ‘crafts in China’ by L. Jiang;  F. Cominelli with ‘arts and crafts policies: heritage vs economics in France’; T. Fjeldsted with ‘ Handwerk: crafts and trades in Germany’; R. Sethi provides ‘the building of craft policy in India’; followed by K. Goto on ‘craft policies in Japan’; ‘crafts in the Netherlands: from an economic to a value-based perspective’ by M. Hofland-Mol and M. Poortvliet; J. Bennett on ‘craft policies in the UK’ and the last chapter in this section with M. J. R. Montoya on ‘craft: economic policies in the United States 1896-2006.

The next section is on ‘economic issues’ with 4 chapters.

S. Ellis and J. Lo on ‘an economic assessment of Asian crafts’. Then, J. Ballyn with ‘a cultural economic analysis of craft: A view from the workshop of the world’. A.  Chatterjee writes on ‘the invisible giant: economics of artisanal activity in India’. Lastly, S. Ellis with ‘measuring the economics of traditional craft production’

The last section is on ‘future development’, also with 4 chapters.

These are ‘The importance of craft culture’ by A. Klamer;  L. Guiliano with ‘design and craft: the practitioners’ view’; ‘Material is the mother of innovation’ with M. H. G. Kuipers and the last chapter by J. Frater on ‘education for artisans: beginning a sustainable future for craft traditions’.

Overall, the chapters provide another perspective on the importance of craftwork. In particular, the economic contributions accrued from participation in craftwork across different societies. The discussions on the importance of craftwork and their contributions, provide good rationale for the support for understanding how craft skills and learnt and taught.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Work-based learning as a pathway to competence-based education - overview of 'report'

Read this over the weekend. A 'report' / book compiled by UNEVOC on Workbased learning and competency based education.

The report is edited by A. Bahl and A. Dietzen and published earlier this year.

There are 18 chapters collated into 5 parts. Also included are a foreword, introduction and a closing chapter on 'prospects'. Chapters are written by international VET scholars, each of whom brings their national context into the milieu.

Brief summaries of chapters follow:

Part 1 – Setting the frame for a global perspective on learning
Begins with S. Billett’s overview of his work – ‘securing occupational capacities through workplace experiences: premises, conceptions and practices’. The chapter is a good summary of Billett’s work. The central concepts underpinning his work are summarised. In particular, his work on workplace constituted curriculum, the pedagogy of workbased learning and the types of knowledge learnt at work are presented.

Continues with M. Mulder on ‘the global need for competence: competence-based VET and implication for policy and practice’. This chapter summarises the precepts of competency-based VET. The historical origins, CBT structures and characteristics and the theoretical approaches underpinning CBT are also provided.

Part 2 - conducive factors for learning on the level of the individual subject and work environment.
Chapter with A. Fuller and L. Unwin provide an application of their expansive framework with ‘improving workplace capacity as the prerequisite for effective work-based learning: a co-production approach’. Champions the need for both workplaces and workplace learning providers, to work together to create more meaningfully useful programmes. The expansive – restrictive framework is used to assist in shifting workplaces with limited workplace opportunities towards ones with more affordances for workplace learning.

Then C. Harteis on ‘supporting learning at work in an era of digitalisation of work’. Emphasises the importance of cognition, motivation to learn and emotion in ensuring workers are assisted to become prepared for the future of work. There is a need to explore the impacts on work transformation and to better prepare workplaces and workers.

Followed by S. Velten and A. Schnitzler on ‘assessing work-based learning in German dual VET from the apprentices’ perspective – the development of an inventory’. A questionnaire, developed to assess the quality of work-based training is presented in this chapter.

Part 2 – Curriculum development for work-based learning schemes
A Chinese contribution from Z. Zhao and Y. Shen on ‘striving for competence: China’s way of work-based learning curriculum development for VET institutions’. Describes the Chinese experience of adapting VET systems from other countries e.g. DACUM, dual apprenticeships and a way forward to find a distinct ways which fits in with the socio, cultural, political and historical contexts presented by the challenges distinct to China.

Then G. Spottl and G. Loose on ‘conducting work-process analysis for the development of advanced detailed curricula’. Details the work-process analysis methodology whereby instructors and workplace experts, collaborate to design flexible programmes and learning approaches.

Followed by B. A. Ogwo on ‘global perspectives and trends in work-based learning of TVET programmes in sub-Sahara Africa’. The informal economy is a challenge not just particular to Africa. The chapter discusses how to best support this informal, community-based learning approach without destroying it’s efficacy. The support of a range of work-based learning approaches is presented in this chapter.

B. N. Ezekoye on ‘integrating gender issues into work-based learning programmes of higher education and Nigeria’. Guidelines are presented towards assisting women to enrol in male-dominated programmes.

This section closes with chapter by A. Akoojee on ‘work-based learning in, and for, the informal economy: an African perspective’. Argues for the need of the formal learning sector to better understand the contributions made by the informal sector. In particular, how learning occurs in the informal sector and how this may inform better pedagogical approaches in the formal sector.

Section 4 – the role of tutors, fellow workers, and instructors in work-based learning
C. Jacinto and J. Pozzer on ‘work-based learning as a concept “under-construction”: evidence from two internships schemes in Argentina’. Compares two types of work-based learning programmes, each overseen by a different government body. Argues for the need for both these to be more collaborative and to undertake dialogue as the challenges are similar.

Then A. Bahl with ‘workplace training as social practice: How trainers experience the structural dynamics of German apprenticeship’. Collates the perspectives of trainers, their beliefs and narratives to better understand the dynamics of workplace based learning and training.

P. Rushbrook contributes ‘embedded research and learning at, for, and through work in Singapore’. Uses two studies to illustrate the situatedness of work-based and workplace based learning. Learning opportunities are influenced by occupations, work conditions and the personal motivations of the learner.

R. Harris with the last chapter in this section on ‘enhancing work-based learning: different ‘trainer’ roles, different types of guidance?’ Draws on three studies to present details on the support availed to workplace learners and these are influenced by personal, organisational and sector characteristics.

Part 5 – Boundary crossing: transfer and recognition of knowledge, skills and competence.
Begins with N. Kersh on ‘learning from knowledge transfer and recontextualisation of experiences in the context of workplace learning: insights from the UK’. The experiences of Further Education (FE) teachers are studied to provide better understanding of how people who have occupational expertise, ‘transfer’ these skills and continually ‘boundary cross’ between the occupational and the pedagogical.

Then, L. Nieuwenhuis, A. Hoeve, W. Kuijer and A. Peeters with ‘ bridging demands on education, innovation and practice-based research: the case of Dutch vocational and professional education’. Presents a model to assist students to move between the boundaries of work and higher education.

Last chapter in the section with C. Bose, A. Dietzen and C. Eberhardt on ‘challenges of formalising the informal in German VET – validation, certification and recognitions of competences’. Details approaches for people, without vocational qualifications, to enter into Germany’s tightly bound occupational systems. Offers three approaches, two of which are to support better recognition of prior and current skills and the third is to provide accelerated training to meet occupational certification requirements.

The final chapter is by B. Chakouri on ‘work-based learning: a research agenda for new policy challenges’. Proposes the need to support on-going research to ensure the sustainable development of workplace learning contexts.