Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Projects for next semester and beyond

Slight hiatus in blogging over the last week or so as busy getting several research proposals off to various external grant agencies.

Funding for two through Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub, now confirmed for next semester. One with Flip Leijten to extend on work we started last year with the 'using videos to study workshop or workplace based trades learning'. Flip will now carry out an investigation into aspects of peer-learning across workshops in joinery, painting and decorating, electrical and welding/structural steel. It will be interesting to find out how workshop organisation, sometimes based around workshop conventions from each trade, impacts on how students interact with each other.

The second is with Martin Jenkins, manager of the Centre for Educational Development. We will be investigating the 'impact of forced change' brought about by the February 22nd earthquake on our institution, the tutors and the students. The findings should be interesting - as a study of change agents and what happens when change is non- negotiable. The staff and students at CPIT have been very resilient but there are signs of stress and strain as the realities of living in a city that has to rebuilt large swathes of the central city and several suburbs, sets in.

I have also put in an expression of interest in this year's Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, to build research capability with trades tutors (across 7 polytechnics) using a 'learning by doing research' approach. The topic we intend to investigate is 'authentic assessments', in particular to explore how to better recognise and celebrate the many multiliteracies in trades learning. We will know by end of June if this project progresses to the next stage beyond the expression of interest.

The last project has gone to the CPIT Foundation to fund hardware in the form of Android OS tablets towards an interactive etextbook project. I hope to work with Peter Sauer from automotive and Katrina Fisher who teaches barista, on this project. Taken that the last Horizon Report indicated mlearning to go mainstream next year and ebooks in the next two years, it is apt that this project covers both bases :) Both Peter and Katrina are capable tutors who have worked extensively with multi-media to support their teaching, so it will be interesting to learn from them, and their students, as the project progresses.

So looking forward to next semester. My large 'first year apprentices' project will be completed by July, so three projects - mentoring Flip, the 'forced change' project and working on the interactive textbooks will take up my research time. I will enjoy the variety and the privilege of working with a great group of people. More importantly, all the topics will add to enhancing student learning in some form or other.

No comments: