Friday, May 06, 2011

Ako Aotearoa colloquium - day 2

Another busy day with 10 more presentations. First up, a TLRI project on 'mathematics undergraduate teaching: perspectives and interactions' with Barbara Kensington-Miller from the University of Auckland. Explored lecturer, student and lecturer interactions/environments components. On  the lecturer component, Schoenfeld's ROG -resources, orientations and goals, used to investigate university  mathematics teaching.  For student perspectives, the mathematical identities of students is studied. In the lecturing component, investigates the implicit and explicit social and socio-mathematical norms. Use of questions in lectures to engage students in processing concepts.  timing of questions important with placement around middle of lecture optimum.

Second presentation  from Ngaroma Williams from Te Pari Puna Ora O Ateoaroa and Mary-Liz Broadley from the Open Polytechnic on building kaupapa Maori in early childhood education. The main objective is to develop a model/framework to provide kaupapa Moari. Project used online surveys (survey monkey) and focus group sessions and face to face and telephone interviews.  Main themes now identified. Move to try to describe the interface/space between the mainstream and Maori and moving from biculturalism to a concept of bicultural development using 'paddling the same waka' resources. Resources developed include a Maori maramataka (Maori theoretical framework calendar), sets of teachers, graduate teachers pamplets and lecturer guidelines and resources plus poster to outline iwi names, powhiri protocols etc. and a ECE Waiata booklet.

Then a project CPIT also involved in on graduate attributes, presented by Associate Professor Rachel Spronken-Smith and Dr. Carol Bond from the University of Otago. Project just started in March and first stage is to complete synthesis of literature and to define graduate attributes pertinent to NZ context. Provided an overview of background of adoption of graduate attributes in Europe, eventually in US of A and Australia moving on into current changes to NQF targeted review of qualifications.

After morning tea, Gordon Suddaby from Massey University presents on 'help or hindrance: a blended approach to learner engagement'. Main purpose of this project is to develop a toolbox for teachers to use for developing pedagogically sound/robust blended learning environments. Toolbox made up of needs assessment, design and development tools, and evaluation tools. Developed from teachers' perspectives with input from students feedback. Some testing of these tools now undertaken to ensure they will meet objectives of project.

Then,'the impact of tertiary education strategies on success of Pacific learners from Dr. John Horrocks and Aleki Siloa from Wellington Institute of Technology. Main objective is to find out if government strategy documents have been used to support the participation and success of Pacific learners. 16 f 29 tertiary education institutes have agreed to provide strategy documents and these supplemented with  data from TEC and MOE. Key staff responsible for support  strategies will also be interviewed.

Another elearning focused project next with Dr. Stephen Marshall from Victoria University on 'understanding and supporting organisational change with elearning and higher  ed.Project focused on understanding organisational change. Used the elearning maturity model (eMM) to provide a framework for studying adoption and maturity of elearning. background on change from Clayton Christensen - see what's next. Sustaining change is the challenge and technology may not have changed the fundamental objectives of teaching and learning- or has it? Change may occur in institutions if there is a state of acknowledged crisis, small, conspicously out of step or autocratic leadership. Mechanisms that result in change include coercive isomorphisms (TEC investment plan, PBRF), mimitic isomorphism (Learning management system, powerpoint) and normative isomorphism (professional culture creating change - student centred learning).

After lunch, the last presentations take place.

Starting with 'unlocking the impact of tertiary teachers' perceptions of student evaluations' with Dr. Sarah Stein from the University of Otago. Used statistical analysis including frequencies, chi squares and cross tabulations, ANOVA, factor analysis, cluster analysis and regression to study data from various student evaluations. Example from findings on a question on whether negative student evaluations on changes in teaching approach or adoption of innovation considered by staff to constrain their moves to take up new approaches. Found in a university context that staff who have taught between 11 - 15 years were constrained. Perhaps mid-career academics in cycle of promotion?

Followed by my presentation on ' first year apprentices' experiences of the workplace' where findings are collated into themes of matching vocational imagination of apprentices, supporting the belonging to a workplace process and providing ongoing incentives towards completion of apprenticeship.

Next up, 'tertiary teaching tracks: holistic teaching and learning practices of Pacific PTEs' with Lindsay Huthnance from the NZ Institute of Sport. Uses a blend of western and pacific models exampled by the Kakalu approach. Focus groups (fono) used to gather data. Explores teaching/learning/pastoral care practices, weaving of Pacific cultures into teaching and learning. Findings included foundation learners enrolled NOT to complete academic qualification however future employment a strong goal, importance off catering to learning styles of students, students to be responsible for their own learning, on-going support, provide encouragement and inspiration to succeed and need to manage competing time demands.

Last up,an interesting collaboration between a wananga, iwi, PTE and ITPs 'Waiariki agricultural collaboration: Nga ringa raupo o pikiao'. Presented by Stephen Carr from Taratahi on building Maori participation and success in tertiary vocational agriculture. A need to build capability with young Maori to work on iwi trusts farms. Programme to be developed as a collaborative iwi led, provider supported akonga centric model, affirming Maori ways of knowing, traditions and values with effective teaching and learning environments and approaches.

Wrap  up by Dr. Kirsty  Weir to close up another busy but productive colloquium. Kirsty introduced the Ako Aotearoa impact evaluation model that will need to be undertaken by each National project after completion. Impact - who is the target audience? How are they best reached? Write to communicate key messages, generate excitement and capture interest, not just report research. Write to stimulate CHANGE. Re-look at dissemination plan to ensure correct targeting occurs including scoping of communication strategy. Build synergy between projects to launch similar themes/contexts. Presentation of reports to be improved. The impact evaluation framework used to explore sustained impact on learners, project teams, organisations and broader sector involving interviews/conversations at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after completion.  To review project outputs, changesto teaching and learning practice, benefits to learners and wider project team.

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