Monday, December 06, 2010

Learning welding #7 and building #2

About coming to the end (of the funding) for the welding project. Flip has good ideas on how to move the project forward, so my role will be to support him with a funding application for next year.

We have drafted a short report on ‘learning welding: Improving the learning of welding using peer-learning and feedback’ that will become one of the appendices in the ‘guidelines of using video to study workshop and workplace learning’ due with Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub this week.

It’s one of many small sub-projects / research questions we mashed about with over the course of the year. So much to study, so little time!! The students have been great, cooperating fully in the various activities. Perhaps the youtube generation is less camera shy. There seemed to be no worries from students whenever we appeared with a video, asked for permission and gathered data. We still have about 90% of the data to analyse more thoroughly as well!! In particular, the data collected with groups of building apprentices on worksites and at their training evenings still needs to be more thoroughly transcribed and analysed.

There is delay in getting an official copy of atlasti on to my desktop as our IT department is doing a mass roll out of Microsoft across the institution, replacing a Novell system. We have been using a trial version of atlasti which only allow for a limited number of files. So hopefully, we will have atlasti in place by early next year to do some concerted analysis of the video data.

From the learning accomplished over the course of this year, I will be drafting a proposal for funding into 2012. This project will include ‘trades’ tutors from several polytechnics in NZ and will possibly revolve around issues of competency based assessments. The tutors will either be tertiary teaching award winners or nominated by staff developers as being motivated to embark on a research project. The prime objective will be to build capability for vocational education research with trades teaching practitioners. On the whole, trades tutors are extremely student and content focused and research is one way for them to bring another perspective into the continual appraisal of their teaching. Embarking on the research journey will require some interaction with the vocational education, workplace learning and practical skills/knowledge learning literature. I am hopeful it will help open doors to relevant scholarship and help to contribute not only to enhanced student learning but more focused understanding and application of the vocational education literature.