Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 review

Have a read through my plans for 2012 and evaluate that progress has been made. In general, it has been a quieter (underground) but more productive (above ground) year. The Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub funded project on improving students’ critical reflective practice in front-office reception skills using net tablet to record role plays and ‘virtual tour’ of hospitality physical facilities has gone well. I am in the process of writing up the report and both Debbie Taylor and Heather McEwan have worked conscientiously with their students through several iterations of each part of the project.

The project with Tony Smith and the manufacturing team was not funded externally, but the CED found a small amount of money to get this going. So far we have interviewed several students who completed their programme in the first semester. The findings have been interesting, showing that students perceive ‘literacy and numeracy’ to be ‘work-task’ focused and only seek to engage with activities that will enhance their work readiness.

Dissemination has progressed well. On-going discussions with Ako Aotearoa led to the offering of the professional development workshops centred around vocational education. So far, 7 workshops have been run, involving over a 100 participants. Several more planned for next year, with one in Tauranga already confirmed. The workshops have been great learning for me as well as (hopefully) for the participants. There are so many passionate educators in the ITP and private provider sector, working to enhance learning for their students.

I have also made some inroads in to the challenging area of journal publication. Two journal articles published:

Perspectives of new trades tutors: Boundary crossing between vocational identities. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 40(4), 409-421.
Using feedback strategies to improve peer-learning in welding.  International  Journal of Training Research, (10) 1, 23-29.

Two are now in review (both from my PhD) and one in process of submission (from the earthquake case study project). I have found the peer review process to be helpful. Critical comments have been constructive and provide a fresh eye on the article’s argument. I now bear in mind the time taken to get the article through the system. So at least two now in progress with one about to be submitted. Will work on a couple of articles through the summer ‘break’ so that they are ready for submission. Keeping the momentum up is a challenge but I now have a large amount of material suitable for re-working into articles for submission.

Completion of the PhD has freed up time for me to catch up with reading pertinent to finding out more about enhancing 'learning a trade'. Several book summaries have had extensive 'hits' on this blog, signalling that is a gap in the information trail for this type of work. One book summary on Lave's critical ethnography of apprenticeship, was reworked into a book review in the journal - Vocations and Learning. I have found blogging to be a good way to draft, sieve through and consolidate ideas.

I have also enjoyed working with several programmes to improve teaching, mentored new trades tutors and taught one of the Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching programme. So overall, a good year with lots of new learning and challenges.

Will now be recharging the soul with a few tramping trips into the NZ outdoors. Back in early January to begin the 2013 year. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Mobile 7.5

CPIT has now replaced blackberrys with windows phones. I picked up my Nokia Lumia 800 at the beginning  of the week and have been evaluating its performance with regards to usability, availability of apps and options for mlearning. In general reviews for the Nokia Lumia have been positive as per this post and also in this one.

Takes 10 seconds to boot. Battery use is high compared to the blackberry or ipad. I usually charge up the blackberry twice a week and get over 10-11 hours use out of the ipad from full charge (so sometimes only charge once a week).  The Nokia seems to require daily recharge if it is left on standby all day and used intermittently to web surf or check emails/calendar. Having access to wifi most of the time will assist with the data plan $$ aspect. Tried out the tips on the official NZ Windows phone site and also picked up a couple of hints from the maximumpc site.

CPIT has organised synchronisation between phone and PC using skydrive. A windows live account needs to be set up first. I found the process to be relatively painless. Once set up, docs., photos and items on ‘personal web’ are accessible between phone and PC. The personal web is also linked to onenote on my PC. The first time I dropped a pdf journal article into the PC skydrive, access on the phone was almost instantaneous. Skydrive then asked if pdf reader needed to be installed to read the pdf. So generally intuitive for this aspect. Synching with contacts on outlook also straightforward.

However, going back to reading on the small screen after enjoying the larger screen on an ipad takes some getting used to. Landscape mode works a bit better and font size can be increased by ‘pinch and open gesture’ although continued scrolling will mean my preferred mobile ereader is still the ipad.

Took an hour or so to get used to the various ways to access apps. The touch screen is sensitive, so had to get into the habit of light touch in middle of screen to scroll up/down through the tiles. Otherwise, heavier touch on a tile would launch the app. 

A range of apps recommended on honeytechblog. Kindle app synched into my existing archive and I was able to download selected books speedily. Readability better than with the Adobe pdf reader.

A nifty app is the NZ radio – providing the ability to tune in to radio stations and listen to music while also working on other tasks.

Other apps relevant to NZ is the NZ Herald (the ipad version is more visually attractive) and Air NZ to process etickets. The Maps app works well and I tried out the Nokia maps while driving. I am not a great fan of using GPS but found the Nokia map app to work well. The app marketplace seems to have a reasonable selection of apps, with many familiar iOS and Android apps featuring in their Windows form. 

There is NO front camera.
Access to Moodle was straightforward but the login page came up minuscule! As did the course pages.

There is a smaller selection of apps for 'education' and this site, provides examples of apps to increase learning capacity.

NO screen shot capture!! This is one feature I use to copy maps in to my ipad photo gallery for reference when out of wifi range. Will be able to use mobile data but sometimes good to have a couple of maps for reference as well.

In general, our students tend to own Android smart phones or have ipad touches. Iphone with dataplan still expensive on a student budget. Have not come across any student with a Windows Mobile phone as yet. So Windows phones might be a similar category to blackberrys, mainly a corporate / business phone rather than one used as a personal phone. iphones and Android phones seem to be more for personal use.We need to continually be conscious of what our students use as bring-your-own device is now pretty much the norm.

The phone is perhaps just a tad large for my small hands and weightier that the blackberry pearl I have had since mid-2009. Getting used to a slightly different way to accessing apps and working through them was relatively straight-forward. With skydrive and access to Kindle archive, I can use the phone for reading and editing of documents on the hop. Will play with the camera over the weekend, especially to try out app options for panoramas, a list of options on this blog.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Ako Aotearoa academy symposium - day 2

Day beings early with breakfast with Dr. Peter Coolbear, Ako Aotearoa director. Peter provided an update on Ako Aotearoa direction and business plan. Also engaged members in how the academy may fit in to the new business model. Although the mission and vision of Ako Aotearoa remains the same, there is government direction to improve student outcomes, improve parity of success for Maori and Pasifika learners, improve progression to higher levels of study and improved consistency of academic standards. Currently tertiary sector still highly fragmented, still allows mediocre delivery, not good at collecting evidence of added value but also allows great teaching and learning to happen. New Ako Aotearoa model is to expand level of activity, demonstrate value of Ako Aotearoa to sector and leverage organisational change. Some achieved via income generation and co-funding. Priority to projects that enable change, work in partnership with organisations and stakeholders and development and deployment of professional development opportunities. Academy already assists with a range of activities, but encouragement to engage with future professional accreditation scheme, partial funding by sponsorship. Involvement in organisational, National and regional projects.

Then a session with Dr. Kirsty Weir on the various national and regional funds available from ako Aotearoa. I present examples of projects that ako Aotearoa has funded and also provide some pointers for writing proposals and the support provided by ako Aotearoa to prospective applicants.

Parallel sessions begin after morning tea. I attend the session with Dawn Garbett on constructing a pedogogical identity. Originates in Dawn's research using self- study and teacher identity. Self study is to look at effect of teaching on students, not just an introspective process. Involves recording teaching stories to derive themes. We participated in an activity, using card sorting, to work our own teaching approaches.

Before lunch, Alison Holmes returns to discuss responses to the questions on accreditation she distributed yesterday. Challenges with keeping accreditation of tertiary teachers voluntary and based on model of continuous professional development. Important the process is not just another compliance requirement. Levels of accreditation maybe useful to engage educators who are at different stages in their developments as teachers.

After lunch, the session I attend is with Adrian Woodhouse on assessment strategies for transforming from "yes, chef" to "why chef". A design - based culinary arts degree replacing traditional master/apprentice, behaviorist model. The new degree adopts a constructivists, co-created and facilitation model. Programme has 3 years, year 1 is welcome to world of culinary arts, year 2 is being a culinary designer an in year 3 is to decide on my place in the culinary world. Learning environment is problem-based where theory and practice is intertwined and assessment IS learning. Referred to paper by horng, hu, Lin et al (2006) - link to 2009 paper - on culinary creativity. Need to connect students world with the world of culinary arts. Traditionally show, tell, observe, practice and apply , so, new approach to understand underpinning theory and develop new product. Use theme to provide opportunity for learner to connect with own world and to world of culinary - example develop a childrens' inspired dessert e.g. Peter rabbit. Examples of student work on facebook page.

Home groups meet to share on other parallel sessions.

The 2012 members are welcomed and a short session on "where to from here?"

A poroporokai closes the symposium. Overall, a slightly more informal symposium with a good range of sessions to cater for the diverse needs and teaching contexts of the participants.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ako Aotearoa academy symposium - Day one

The annual gathering of NZ tertiary teaching excellence award winners convenes today and tomorrow for the fifth Ako Aotearoa academy symposium. Good to catch up with familiar faces and a chance to meet the 2012 award winners. This year CPiT is represented by members of the restaurant bar and wine team and one of the chef tutors from the 2003 team award.

A busy programme all day today including symposium dinner. Tomorrow the day begins with breakfast with Ako Aotearoa director, Dr. Peter Coolbear.

Session one after the welcome mihi is with Tim Fowler from NZQA Quality Assurance. Provided an overview of NZQA direction regarding qualifications in the next few years. First focus is in 'outcomes' driven by government policy and funding structures. Outcomes can mean different things to each sector but from NZQA it is to try to improve outcomes through qualification restructure.
Biggest issue and challenge is the targeted review of qualifications (TRoQ) to create robust qualifications that are easy to understand by learners, educators and employers. Reduce 6000 qualifications to 1200.
International education important as a way to bring $$ into NZ. Need to not only increase international student numbers but also to allow NZ educational institutes to teach NZ qualifications overseas.
Also just approved 180 credit masters degree now approved to be available.

Home groups are formed with 7 groups of 6 to 7.

A practice session of the academy song -tenei te karanga - followed.

Pre - lunch session was A panel discussion, focused on 'what is success?' with Mark Brown, Sam Honey and Welby Ings.

Alison Holmes introduced an Ako Aotearoa initiative on an accreditation system for tertiary educators in NZ. Argued for a need to establish a professional structure for tertiary teachers so that tertiary teaching is valued and better supported. Feedback to Alison via email on the questions posed in the discussion paper.

Concurrent sessions in three streams follow lunch.

I choose session with Oriel Kelly on - refreshing the elearning guidelines. Reported on applying then NZ elearning guidelines project (2006). Addressed learner centredness, good practice etc. while taking perspectives as teacher, manager, administrator etc. project is to refresh the guidelines by adding a broader range of stakeholders e.g. Quality assurance, industry etc.
Areas also broadened to include learning support services. Workshopped a draft with each of us taking on a perspective (different hat), an area and guideline area. Hats include QA, organisation leaders, manager, teachers and learners. Area include design, relationship, outcomes, support. And guideline areas are learning,improving, collaboration, enhancing and future proofing.

Then I present findings from work with Debbie Taylor on applying principles of deliberate practice and feedback to improve learning of front office skills using role play. Opportunity to try out a few apps that assist the reflective learning process also included.

After afternoon tea, student panel of Sharon Robbie, Mary Ellen Orchard and Tom Sheehan provided a student point of view. The students talked about their sense of what is success and what sorts of support worked well for them.

Home group catch up, with group members sharing feedback on thensessions they attended, closes official section of the day.

We meet early evening for launch of Maxine Alterio's book.

Dinner in the evening closes a busy day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CPIT lunch time PD session: Mobile learning apps

The CPIT Centre for Educational Development (CED) and the Learning Technologies Unit (LTU) has been running a series of professional development sessions this term. Today’s lunch time session was on mobile apps. Almost 30 tutorial and learning support staff attended. Katrina Fisher provided some examples of the work she has been doing following completion of the Ako Aotearoa net tablets project. Included is the work on developing video content supported by quizzes and glossaries that students access via Moodle. Shifting content from tablet to Moodle opens access to web enabled hardware.

Sam Hegarty then provided a show and tell of several useful iOS apps.He started with evernote as a good option to upload content on to the cloud and access through a range of devices and operating systems.

Nearpod was met with great enthusiasm. This app allows a teacher to share the image on their screen with other iOS devices. The app includes options for quizzes, sketching, polls and picture/website/video sharing. Something we will need to test with a large number of tablets through a CPIT wifi site. The app seemed to run in a timely manner during the demo when there were about a dozen devices accessing the site.

Socrative was recommended by one of the staff as a multi-platform alternative although it did not have quite all the options that were available on Nearpod. Its main objective is to be a ‘student or audience response’ system.

Educreations allows a recording of a lesson in the form of whiteboard notes and audio. Photos can be attached and annotated. Basically a screen capture plus voice recording of a short interactive ‘learning presentation’. 

By a nice coincidence, Derek Wenmouth’s blog today was on Bring your own device (BYOD). This was one barrier raised by staff – the expense of obtaining tablets and the lack of support for non-windows OS devices at present. Therefore, an important next step is to establish institutional BYOD policy that is visible to staff and students, providing clear guidelines on what is institutionally supported.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bounce - book overview

Syed, M. (2010). Bounce.the myth of talent and the power of practice. London, UK. Fourth Estate.

This book has an excellence in sporting achievement focus, stemming from Matthew Syed's background as a competitive table tennis player. It is along similar lines to Gladwell’s book Outliers - summarised in earlier blog, covering some similar ground but providing an update through the use of more recent work on psychology and neurology. The sports focus keeps the book tight and there is much information of relevance to trade skills development.

There are 10 chapters in 3 parts with parts 1 and 2 of most relevance.
Part one covers the ‘talent myth’ and similar to Outliers, spells out how the path to sports excellence relies on a mix of being at the right place and the right time; having connections with the right people; and possessing the discipline and diligence to engage with deliberate practice over a long period of time.

Part two brings in the ‘paradoxes of the mind’ with the role of motivation and the placebo effect. Chapter six on ‘the curse of choking and how to avoid it’ provides an interesting read of the danger of collapsing under the strains and pressures of external expectations and provides tips for the individual on how to surmount this hurdle.

All in, part one provides a good overview of the learning involved in getting to become an expert. There are summaries of current literature and good examples of application of these studies to sports training and development are provided. The book is also written in an easy to read style, explaining concepts in sports psychology with clarity. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

NZ ITP conference - part of day 2

In Wellington today to do a short presentation on the 3d project as part of presentations in number of 'innovation for industry ' projects. The conference is for management and council members of institutes of technology and polytechnics in NZ.

Managed to get in in time for the last keynote of the morning from two industry representatives, Frank Dean (service manager) Gen-i Southland and Davey McDonald ( owner and manager) from Ortega Fish Shack. Both provide employers' and ex-students' perspective on vocational education's contribution to individual's life aspirations. Both are successful and were supportive of flexible delivery options, allowing integration of work and study. Appreciated ITP 's small class sizes, hands on learning activities, industry relevance of learning content and assessments and tutor's currency with industry. Both spoke realistically about their vocational choices, parent's influences on career choice and support for completing qualifications part-time while working full-time. Recommended need to keep up with play with regards to technology, approaches, collaboration, contribution of technology to extending learning and workplace connections for students.

Innovation presentations in 2 concurrent streams with 5 projects presented in each. There were more projects submitted than time allocated so several other projects will have presentations featured on conference website.

I attend the ones in the stream I am presenting in.

First up, Dr. Juan Pellegrino, also from CPIT who presents on 'supporting international expansion of SMEs'. Covered aims, rationale, methods, sme partner, issues and interim findings. Used case study to build narrative and the focus group of academics to study how sme could work through challenges along with linkages to current literature on innovation.

Dr. Ken Simpson and Diana Sharma from Unitec on ' relationships between ITPs and local business sector collaboration' - TEPU - the platform. How to encourage academics and industry to form a bridge. Could take at least 5 years with a report now about 2 years in. At the moment regular monthly meetings and hospitality exchanges at now has a draft collaboration proposal submitted. So build understanding first and then formalize. First up jointly establish a business development capability unit. Either to get better at what they were doing and assist to move into new or unfamiliar. now have 11 objectives to assist businesses to grow and to share institutional infrastructure.

My presentation next, centering around how to leverage the installation of a 3D printer to encourage institution and industry collaboration. Including rationale for project, summary of initial literature review and recommendations from this. Data from pre printer arrival presented along with some data from post printer.

Then from Eastern Institute of Technology with a group of researchers (viticulture Dr. Mark Krasnaw and business Dr Frina Albertyn) on a specialised industry project to reduce rot in vineyards through early non chemical defoliation. Need for outreach with stakeholders, then develop project, implement, analysis of data and dissemination of results and how to encourage uptake of new technology.

Last up, Jimmi Rosa from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic (BOPP) on the development of a elearning tool for dentists. A project initiated by industry for an ITP to design and develop a specific elearning tool to provide information on dental equipment. Reference used from Bakker et al. 2011 and Schindler and Epper, 2003, activity theory (Engestrom) and knowledge reuse (Markus, 2001) to evaluate efficacy of knowledge transfer. Projects involved staff, students and industry partners. Project website http://triohub.com/demo

Off after presentation to fly back to Christchurch so will catch up on several other presentations of interest once they come up on the conference website.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Practice based education summit Sydney 2012 April – checking out web archive

Was unable to be at the practice-based education (PBE)summit, held in Sydney in early April this year. An Ako Aotearoa meeting at the end of September and touching base with one of the presenters at the summit, Dr. Dale Sheehan, reminded me to check through the summit archives. I now also see that presentations have been uploaded to youtube.

Presentations of interest are from the following with powerpoints and videos of each presentation available:

Professor Stephen Billett on Learning through practice: Origins, practices and potentials which contains aspects from his book on Vocational learning as summarise in recent blog.

Professor David Boud on the practice of practice-based education.

Professor Joy Higgs presented on pedagogies relevant to practice based education

Dr. Dave Sheehan talked about her projects around the education and training of doctors with PBE and the next generation of general practitioners.

The 2013 summit website also now up and the main Education for Practice Institute has pertinent information   and useful resources.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Skill acquisition - voice training

            Notes taken while browsing through the book chapter - Verdolini, K. (1997). Principlesof skill acquisition applied to voice training. In M. Hampton & B. Acker (Eds.) The Vocal Vision: Views on voice by 24 leading teachers, coaches and directors. New York, NY; London, UK: Applause Books.

The need to know that and know how leads to the author exploring memory systems, processing modes and other skill acquisition theories as it applies to voice training. The chapter summarises the role of ‘implicit memory’ – memory without awareness which is governed by perceptual processes and requires attentional processing.Implicit memory depends on repetition, is modal and context specific .
Skill acquisition requires information about performance leading learner to form judgements  - knowledge of results (KR). Guidelines include:
To be able to multiskill, consistent responding is required during training – that is a newly learnt task may not be easily performed when distraction occurs but once learning is embedded, the newly learnt task becomes ‘automated’. To generalise a skill, variable practice (i.e. practice is completed across a range of task expectations.
In teaching, it is important for the teacher to direct the student’s attention to the body in general, then to the specific body part. The teacher needs to model the behaviour and sometimes manipulate the student to help the student attain the required position, stance etc. The teacher needs to tell the student what to do clearly and succinctly. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, theory and practice

Book edited by A.M. Williams and N. Hodges (2004) and published by Routledge.  There is now a 2012 version on google books with different content chapters which I have ordered for the library.

Have mentioned the 2004 book in a previous blog but while away last week and through a wet public holiday day on Monday, had time to do a concentrated study of relevant chapters. Much of the research is relevant to trades based skill learning but the information needs to be unpacked and contextualised for vocational educators.  So this post is a consolidation of main ideas from relevant chapters as pertinent to vocational education.

The book has 19 chapters with the first chapter covering ‘the historical perspective on skill acquisition’ by J.J. Summers. The other chapters are organised into three sections. 9 chapters in part 1 on information processing perspectives, 5 chapters in part 2 focused on the expertise approach and 4 chapters in part 3 covering ecological / dynamic systems approaches.

Summarises of relevant chapters follow.

Chapter 1 ‘the historical perspective on skill acquisition’ by J.J. Summers
This chapter provides a good overview of the work undertaken since the 1800s on skill learning.  There is a summary of the work undertaken in experimental psychology, still useful today. In particular, foundational understanding of concepts like ‘learning curves’, ‘plateaus’, ‘transfer of learning’, ‘law of effect’, ‘ knowledge of results (KR)’ , ‘open / closed loop learning’ etc.  Of note is the need to distinguish between the learning of skills under automatic control and activities demanding high levels of concentration and the understanding that motor skills also required the acquiring of cognitive skills. Basically a move from behaviourist models to information processing models to the present melding of motor skill learning / cognitive processing with contextual practice called the ecological/dynamical systems framework.
Second chapter -  Contextual interference by T.D. Lee and D.A. Simon confirms that ‘practice makes perfect’ helps with skill learning but the phrase ‘perfect practice makes perfect’ does not. The chapter uses studies completed by Shea and Morgan (1979) on structuring practice, either in blocks of similar activity, or with practice types randomly distributed. Blocked practice led to rapid performance improvement with random practice leading to slower skill acquisition. However, the participants in the random group learnt the skill better. So acquisition is better with blocked practice but learning is enhanced with a random acquisition schedule.

Chapter 3 - The utilisation of visual feedback in the acquisition of motor skills by M.A. Khan and I.M. Franks. A relevant chapter for vocational education. Has a good overview of the need to learn through practicing under ‘real’ situations i.e. the specificity of practice. Direct feedback- actual views of arms/legs etc. (on-line) may not be possible in the execution of some skills. Indirect feedback (offline) through the awareness of body position (proprioception) may be required. However, continued feedback via external means (oral from coaches or peers, of learners’ own visual) may not always be effective as knowledge of results (KR) associations need to be interconnected with non-visual aspects. So, in learning how to complete skilled tasks, there needs to be careful consideration of what sort of oral and peer feedback will be useful. Coaches and teachers also have to be aware of the sorts of internal feedback mechanisms (body positions, muscle tension etc.) learners will be feeling and then work out how and when to provide instruction about these mechanisms.

Chapter 4 -  One trial motor learning by J. Dickinson, D. Weeks, B. Randall and D. Goodman. One trial refers to how people struggle to learn a difficult skill and then suddenly, ‘get it’. Common examples include riding a bike or learning how to ski. In vocational education, my observations of welding reveal that learning welding might also fit into this category of motor learning. At one of my vocational education workshops, one of the tutors in a manufacturing trade shared with the group, his struggles to learn welding skills and it only came right when he realised he had to control his breathing in order to complete welding projects.  In this chapter, acquisition theories and descriptions of relevance are overviewed. The chapter reports on several studies of how one-trial may occur. The chapter concludes on the difficulties in establishing how people get to the ‘aha’ moment when various stepped (scaffolded) learning / practice regimes suddenly coalesce and the learner ‘gets it’.  This is due to the various approaches individuals take towards attaining learning goals. Therefore, coaches and instructors being able to deploy a range of learning strategies and who have the empathetic understanding of learners to be able to suggest the best matched strategy may be a way forward with one trial learning / complex motor skills requiring high levels of spatial / temporal coordination.

Chapter 6 - Decision training : cognitive strategies for enhancing motor performance by J.A. Vickers, M Reeves, K.L. Chambers and S. Martell. The chapter reports on a method to encourage the interconnections between cognitive and physical learning of skills by athletes. Of note is the role of coaches to helping the process. The chapter discusses the factors that contribute to effective coaching and the need for coaching training to move on from ‘learning by observation’ of experienced coaches. The three step decision training process – decisions, triggers and tools – is introduced as a method to improve coaching.  Coaches need to help sports people learn how to make better decisions based on KR. Tools for improving performance include variable practice, random practice, bandwidth feedback, questioning, video feedback, hard-first instruction and modelling.

Chapter 7 - Understanding the role of augmented feedback: the good, the bad and the ugly with G. Wulf and C.H. Shea. Centred around the Knowledge of Results (KR) defined as feedback provided to the learner after completion of skill activity. Summarises advantages and disadvantages of KR along with a large number of studies on various aspects of deployment of KR  - reduced KR frequency, constant practice, variable practice, delay KR and error estimation, bandwidth of KR. Plus KR effect on learning complex skills and aspects of feedback and attentional focus. Some consolidation with KR playing important role in guiding performance towards the required standard; providing KR at every trial results in dependence on external KR and also blocks process for attaining intrinsic information plus results in increased variability in responses.  So need for KR to be carefully targeted and learner still has to learn and be responsive to own KR.
Chapter 8 - Instructions, demonstrations and the learning process: creating and constraining movement options by N.J. Hodges and I.M. Franks. A very relevant chapter deconstructing the many myths about practical skills learning with an emphasis on the provision of verbal or written instructions that are apart from or part of demonstrations. Two main sections to the chapter. First section on information- processing accounts of skill acquisition. Changes in information processing demands as skill increases is covered – novices need to attend more at initial practice and as skill becomes ‘automated’ less attention is required. In order to decrease the high number of demands when first learning a skill, visual (pictures, watching demonstration) or verbal cues may assist to simply the learning content.  In effect, priming the novice with cognitive, declarative type input before structured, on-going and repetitive practice lessens the information processing demands to the final automatic, procedural, non-verbal stage. As learning progresses, error detection and correction mechanisms along with reference-of-correctness points need to be identified and the learning assisted to learn these. The second section in the chapter discusses learning as a dynamic process dictated by constraints including coordination dynamics. To offset the constraints, recommendations are to encourage learning of movements through movement variability and being mindful of complexity of tasks (for instance ambidextrous activities) which might benefit from assisting learners to ‘decouple’ – learn skill from scratch and not as an extension of pre-existing but slightly different skill; be attuned to the levels of control for different parts of the sensori-motor system (posture, then repetitive locomotion than targeted purposeful movement); accessibility to knowledge infers that not all learners are able to learn by observation – especially of complex skills (see chapter on one trial); and helping learners to identify the ‘end points’ of a sequence of movements sometimes helps.

Chapter 9 - Observational learning: is it time we took another look? By R.R. Horn and M. Williams. Begins with a short overview of the concepts of imitation and observational learning defining terms like matched-dependent behaviour, copying, emulation and echokinesis. Then summarises cognitive approaches and Bandura’s social cognitive theory as one that is helpful  - attentional, retentional, production and motivation processes. Then critiques social cognitive theory to lead into discussion on an ecological alternative

Chapter 11 - Deliberate practice and expert performance: defining the path of excellence with P. Ward, N. J. Hodges, A.M Williams and J.L. Starkes. This chapter provides an overview of the theory of deliberate practice and includes some critical analysis along with outstanding issues not addressed by the theory. These issues include developmental (pre-peak practice and past performance peaks) and methodical (reliability and validity of data) issues. Recommendations on how these issues may be addressed through sports –based research are proposed. A good chapter to balance the accepted tenets of the deliberate practice theory.

Chapter 14 - From novice to expert performance: memory, attention and the control of complex sensori-motor skills with S.L. Beilock and T.H. Carr. Begins with an overview of theories of skill acquisition and the role of memory  and attention in acquiring skills. Uses studies in golf to illustrate concepts. Of importance is the discussion on ‘choking under pressure’ and reasons this occurs.

Chapter 15 - perceptual and cognitive expertise in sport: Implications for skill acquisition and performance enhancement with A.M. Williams, P. Ward and N.J. Smeeton. Summarise key findings in perceptual / cognitive expertise including pattern recognition, advance cue usage, visual search behaviour, situational probabilities and maturation and practice. Experts tend to have developed through specific practice, the ability to look for contextual clues that novices are unaware of. How perceptual / cognitive skills can be developed is then introduced with recommendations for instruction. Of interest is the discussion on when and how to use implicit or explicit learning strategies.  Finds that video simulation and appropriate instruction to important performance cues  and feedback can be helpful.

Chapter 16 - the evolution of coordination during skill acquisition: the dynamic systems approach by R. Huys, A. Daffershofer and P.J. Beek. The chapter is an introduction to the newer theories underpinned by dynamic systems which views learning as fluid and dependent on a wide range of difficult to pin down variables. A proposal is that learning is to do with changes in the way we are able to coordinate a range of physical and mental schema (coordinative flexibility). A range of theories that are framed by dynamic systems are overviewed and discussed.

Chapter 17 - perceptual learning is mastering perceptual degrees of freedom by G.J.P. Savelsbergh, J. Van der Kamp, R.R.D. Oudejans and M.A. Scott. An extension of one of the theories introduced in the previous chapter . ‘Perceptual degrees of freedom’ is influenced by the writings of Bernstein on motor coordination – including stages of freezing, freeing and exploiting. Practical applications in through discussions on soccer and basketball are provided to example the concepts. Recommends that firstly, learning a skill should have few variables and be situated in practice. After basic skills are attained, freeing and exploitation phrases may be introduced with more variable conditions to widen skill repertoire. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

NTLT day 3

A shorter day today to allow conference attendees to return home from Nelson. Day begins with keynote with Dr. Peter Coolbear from Ako Aotearoa on the topic "developing evidence based strategies to support improved organisational performance in teaching and learning". Focus on achieving synergies between individual improvement of practice and organisational change for the benefit of learners. Discussed tertiary education system ( currently inefficient), need for evidence based improvement, what is good evidence, ensuring projects contribute to sustainable change and changing expectations of 21 st century vocational learners.
Currently, significant progress in course and qualification completion rates but still wide variation, lack of parity of success for Maori and Pacifica learners, low progression to success at higher levels of study, increasing lack of confidence about consistent academic standards and continued change environment. Through projects have confirmed that current system does allow great teaching and learning to happen, but not strategic, not enough sharing, fragmented and research base still weak. Need to narrow gap between excellence and threshold of acceptability and also move level of excellence up. Government can enable but organisations and profession still have to lead.
Need to ensure dialogue between practitioners and sector to test assumptions and relies on robust, easily understood evidence.
Organisations need to collect evidence more purposefully and formally. Suggest systematic gathering of informal evidence ( student stories, employers, alumni) and formal through AUSSE, critical incidence questionnaire, research in cognitive psychology, student surveys etc. recommends the location of results into organisational change. Provided a logic sequence for sustainable improvement. Identify need, investigate options, create intervention, practice change, student response, outcomes, adopted as business as usual and share externally. Impact evaluation of 63 projects reveal a outcomes hierarchy. What works is mutual preparedness and congruent expectations of practitioners and organisations based on evidence based research.

After morning tea, three concurrent sessions starting with "learning and teaching models for engineering and trades" with James Mackay and tutors for Weltec. A series of case studies of teaching and learning initiatives in trades training. James presents on project based learning in a 4 week engineering foundation course where students work through the skills to build a steam car. Constructivist approach embedding literacy and numeracy and integrating induction of students into engineering, science and engineering process skills and contribute to self-efficacy.
Shane Taplin provided overview of developing a multi media system to help students learn electrical concepts. Introduce smart boards, netbooks, iPads, visualizer and smart pens. Need to support tutors to move forward.
Phil Mudgeway and Grant Davies on project based learning in automotive. PUsing activity, research, problem based learning. Integration of theory and practical to compile almost 100 competency standards a year. Important to also provide for work and non vocationally focused skills.
Barbara Kelly and Colleen Hurley on improvement of student completion for trades academy. Trying to ensure competencies were being completed progressively instead of at end of year. Change included integrating individual course assessments, tracking of students and encouraging both tutors and students to monitor progress. Led to change in motivation and students' own expectation of achievement.

Next session is with Dale Bennett from NMIT on "learning opportunities: designed for the future, inspired through the evaluation of collaborative partnership". A conversation on how to go about ITP collaboration that adds to enhancing learning. Collaboration increases access to a larger network of colleagues but also creates challenges. Rebecca Gadja's a good place to start with regards to developing model for evaluating collaboration. Recommends establishment of levels of communication, cooperation, joint decision making, shared goals, quality deliverable and minimize barriers.

Last paper with Patricia Griffin from Western Institute of Technology presenting on "using career aspirations to inform academic pathways into polytechnic, does it make a difference? Trying to understand whether proving support to foundation students helps them make correct decisions and move on into further learning. Foundation students tend to complete just enough to get to the next stage so did not complete foundation programme. Put in place an admissions committee to expedite enrolments. Implementation through academic strategy, standards and evaluated through programme viability report and admissions review. Findings indicate students need flexibility in enrolling for foundation skills, allowing students to complete credits required to progress into mainstream programmes.

A good variety of presentations with many opportunities to network with tutors, staff educators / developer and managers between papers. I have enjoyed the collegiality and reflective moments the conference has brought about.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ntlt conference day 2

Ntlt day 2

Day 2 shapes up to be another busy day with a technology focus in many papers. Keynote to begin the day is with Dr. Wayne Mackintosh on " Kiwi ingenuity favors pragmatism above presence" representing the OER foundation. Open Education Resource university is an initiative including universities, polytechnics. In NZ based at Otago Polytechnic with University of Canterbury, Open Polytechnic, Northtec are main partners. Contrasted the open source movement to the less active OER, so a need to encourage educational institutions to learn to share and share to learn. Examples of OER are wiki educator and OERTen, working towards shared resources. First OERu degree programme via USQ now in prototype and officially launched 2013. Philosophies around OERu utilizes open source platforms and open resources. One advantage for institutions is to be part of an international education network. Resources now include open courseware, open access journals, open distance learning protocols. Presented the OERu logic model of how learners access resource to obtain credible qualifications. Technology requirements to set learning free include open planning and development, collaborative development environment, support multiple delivery platforms, scalable and has detailed version control. Argues that OER is low cost, low risk but high innovation.

A series of concurrent sessions follows morning tea. I attend the presentations focused on technology and literacy and numeracy. First up, James Mackay, Mary Fawcett and others from the Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) on " using pen cast". Presentation provided overview of how live scribe pens work and a series of projects on animal care, auto electrical, plumbing and engineering students. Move from using pen cast for tutors to produce content to encouraging students to produce records of their learning (individually or in groups). Noticeable lack of writing on trades examples, pen casts captured drawn diagram and recorded oral explanation. Assist non-text reflection of learning as student explains concepts to peer. Pen cast useful for finding out what and how much students understand.

Then a session with Emma McLaughin from Weltec also on "how technical vocabulary is used in vocational contexts". A sharing of ideas. Defines technical vocabulary (TV), reasons for interest, and strategies for improving TV. Important literacy demand is the learning of TV. Asked tutor, literacy tutor and students to highlight words in a passage from workbook. Reveals a few from tutor, handful from lit. Tutor and none from students! Recommends use of vocabulary profiler to help http://www.lextutor.ca/vp/

"iPads 4 teaching" was session presented by Mark Caukill. Mark teaches IT and shared experiences with using iPads plus ideas for future. 50 plus staff took up NMIT offer to support purchase of iPads. A users group formed to share practice. Used airsketch to show and annotate slides. Used Apple TV to synch iPad to data projectors but does not always work. Demoed 3 ways to show and tell including airsketch, using VGA code to attach iPad direct to data projector, remote control laptop with iPad, wireless ipad display using apple TV and using splash top streamer to link desktop to iPad. Also used socrative as an example of gathering student input. Www.socrative.com

After lunch, second keynote with Stephen Hickson and Steve Agnew from Univerity of Canterbury on "assigning grades during an earthquake - shaken or stirred ? Experiences from first year economics course at Canterbury and learning from what happens when earthquakes cause cancellation of exams. In microeconomics, final exam became an I vigilantes term test. Macroeconomics final exam was allocated to term test and online assessment items. Analysed effect of weighing and scaling to provide students with a realistic grade. Complicated by historical date from 6 years to have cohorts which are difficult to match. Found better to have 2 invigilated assessments to ensure grade disruption does not affect grade.

Then 2 sessions for the afternoon. First off with Carol Campbell and Margaret Henley from University of Auckland with assessment busters. An interactive workshop introducing a learning activity to help students prepare for assessment.
Margaret introduced the importance of getting assessments right as year one students disengage if experiences with assessment are clear. Need for greater communication and integration between teaching and student support staff. A solution was to provide Targeted learning to all students, in a one stop shop, facilitated by peers, introducing the values of support services.

Last session of day with Clement Sudhakar from Weltec on open source and freeware in distance education. Provided definitions for freeware, shareware and open source. Encourage to explore FLOSS (ope source software free software) as an option.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

National tertiary learning and teaching conference at NelsonMarlborough Institute of Technology - day 1

Ntlt day 1

In Nelson today for the annual National Tertiary Learning and Teaching conference. Conference opens with powhiri and welcome from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) CE, Tony Grey. After traditional hongi and morning tea, opening address from NMIT, academic director, Graham Bell.

First keynote with Dr. Catherine Savage and Ereura Tarena. Ereura provided a tutorial on Maori whakapapa and it's significance to the Maori perspective. Tarena is the Maori equivalent of Stirling, with each ancestor establishing each individual 's place in the tribal relationship network and a way of connecting to the historical migration of Maori from Hawaiiki to Aotearoa and from the north to the south. Ancestor names are also associated with various landmarks in the landscape.
Catherine spoke on the topic of "indigenizing higher education". The need to create a welcoming and inclusive space for Maori students. Challenge of "non-mainstream" students (NMS)not being able to leverage on individual cultural capital. How can education met NMS? Colonization still continues through emphasis on commodisation and materialisation. Education now similar with focus on vocational and return to society. Education still needs to have a responsibility to help contribute to building not only human capital but also social capital. Recommends a culturally responsible pedagogy of relations. Teaching for cultural diversity includes recognition of ethnocentrism, knowledge is students backgrounds, awareness of social and political environment, use culturally appropriate strategies, commitment to caring and success, curriculum relevance and recognition of cultural knowledge. Teachers need to work on relational skills and prepare students for needs of the future beyond just the vocational.
Toki ki te rika presented as an example of how Ngai Tahu and CPIT worked together to develop a Maori trade training programme as one of the outcomes of the Christchurch earthquake. To collaborate, conceive success and measure success to inspire Maori leadership in trades. To create opportunities for leadership, entrepreneurship, improve household income and social capital. Aspirational but in progress.
Important Toki ki te rika seen as a reform that also informs, a collaborative innovation that contributes to changes in curriculum, institutional and staff capability building and focus on student learning relationships.

First concurrent session with CPIT Robin Graham and Martin Jenkins . A workshop on creating team based opportunities for course design - the Course design intensive (CDI) experience. This session provided overview, rationale and background is the CDI process. Workshop of stage 2 of the 5 stage course design process ( planning = design blueprint; mapping = student course learning journey; quality check = design rubric; prototype building and testing = online activities; action planning = action plan). Also reported on a pilot that took place last year. Recommendations include CED taking responsibility for facilitation, CDI work to be done in context of the programmes as whole, follow up actions project managed to ensure completion and any CED work informed by relevant evaluation data.

Then a second workshop also with Robin and Martin on "Establishing firm foundations constructing an academic staff capability framework." introduced the academic staff capability framework, rationale, process and implementation. Rationale revolves around usual global, national, regional and institutionally. Changing nature of tertiary education etc. process involved working group, adoption of holistic approach and provision of institution wide support. Key parts of framework are to promote culture of continuous improvement, build individual and organisational capability, identify current capability, support and encourage on going professional development and career progressions and providing students with assurance of teaching quality. Scholarship of teaching and learning is framed by teaching and learning, professional development and research on teaching and learning.

Next session on "Blended writing activities that can be adapted and used to help meet the needs of learners" with Bronwyn Mogridge from NMIT. Used wallwisher as a warm up activity to get everyone contributing.The covered word clouds with examples from wordle, wordsift, neoformix and tagxedo. Plus xtranormal All great ways to get students started with producing some writing and producing visual presentations.

Last session of the day with my session on the 3D Printer project. Topic of "innovating with industry: case study of bringing industry and ITP expertise to enhance student learning. A short overview of how CPIT's purchase of a 3D printer is being used to work with a range of creative and manufacturing industry stakeholders, staff in engineering, architecture, medical imaging etc. engage in research projects and enhance student learning.

Monday, October 08, 2012

eBoards, interactive boards, touch boards, Lenovo tablet running Windows *

Several touch boards at the TICT conference to have hands-on try out. Most are upright, with one on a trolley that allows the height of the board to be adjusted and one configurated as a table top model. 
Boards include Clever touch, and Activ board from ActiveBoard NZ and Mobi-view from Sitech Systems.
Clevertouch from Sahara, The 62” is supposed to be cost competitive and available to run with Windows 7 or 8 multi-touch, Mac drivers are available.  ActivBoards are a Promethean product.
The Sitech hardware are based around the Sharp touchboards.
All the boards are responsive with clear displays. All had safety glass or gorilla glass tops to hopefully allow them to survive classroom use. Advantages of touch board are that there is no need to set up a projector. Essentially, a touch board can is a very large flat-screen TV with touch controls that will run straight off a PC or tablet (attached via HDMI). A glorified extension to a touch enabled device.
Presently costs still high with a 60 plus inch display mounted on adjustable trolley for around $10,000 with the high end products hitting the $20,000 mark.
The tutors who tried the boards out were suitably all impressed. However, I am still awaiting information on how each of the touch board platforms will allow for students to share their work via multiple devices like tablets, smart phones, net books etc. Otherwise, the touch boards become another teaching-led piece of hardware, promoting teacher show and tell rather than active learning through discussion of student generated content.

Also had a chance to have a play with a Lenovo tablet running a pre-launch version of Windows 8. A nice tablet, based around ideapad design. It was small, thin and light with a rubberised bottom and the Windows interface responded well to usual touch gestures.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

30th Tertiary ICT NZ (TICT) conference

The annual tertiary ICT conference is being held at CPIT this year. So a great opportunity to try out some of the hardware displayed by vendors and to attend a few of the relevant keynotes. Most of the presentations are pitched at ICT managers of ITPs in NZ so I am not officially registered. Our CPIT IT division has organised for interested staff to attend relevant sessions. Too good an opportunity to miss!

So I have gathered information on smart boards (post to come tomorrow once I have visited all the stands) and also a couple of keynotes.

First keynote from Davin Juusola from infotech. Davin presents on emerging technologies enabling sea change: how IT meets change. A mixture of many technologies now coming together, leading to an opportunity to reassess IT in organisations. likened to changes in the 1970 s and 1980 s from centralized IT systems to personal computers. Mobility driving social media, as accessed and stored on the cloud, leading to big data (growth, assortment and speed - GAS) and need for security are reasons for change within how organisations manage IT. Companies value IT differently, having to change to greater need to manage vendors through to mining business analytic to inform infrastructure and applications. Need for businesses to manage to cross over the innovation chasm. Ability to get ahead of the curve pays dividends.
Personal unmanaged devices (PUDs) creates a challenge and currently forecasted to have 99% of staff in corporations using one. Davin encourages to keep up with play and plan how to work with not against PUDs. Social media now supersedes google searches, need for organisations to install social media monitoring platform (radian, synchase) to understand how social media is being used. In house collaboration software needs to be maximized. Maybe leverage crowd sourcing for problem solving, testing and support, design, marketing and general work tasks. IT in organisations should be an enabler of cloud-based services. Need to secure against mobile malware especially via Android. A risk with PUDs is theft of intellectually property and need to extend network perimeter of security.

Then second keynote with Evan Blackman ( business development manager for window apps based at microsoft Auckland) from Microsoft on microsoft's vision for 21 st century learning: windows reimagined. Windows 8 is app centered. Requiring slight change in how we relate to windows. Windows 8 increases user focus on task minimizing the detractors on current platforms. Provided a preview do windows 8 on a tablet. Bringing up app allows it to be pushed down, out of sight but still available to pull back up when required. Typology uses a clean non serif font and rule of thirds, golden ratio placing content into a grid system. Introduced some of the new apps that will become available through video including many apps now standard on IOS or android. Has an authentically digital framework, not transferring familiar metaphors.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Development of professional expertise – book summary

Title of the book is ‘Development of professional expertise: Toward measurement of expert performance and design of optimal learning environments’ (2009) - Cambridge University Press, and it has 21 chapters organised into 4 sections. With a summary/discussion chapter at the end of each section. The book is edited by K. Anders Ericsson, who has completed a body of work on expert performance and deliberate practice using research methods centred around protocol analysis and verbal reports on thinking.

The Kindle version costs US$18.70 which is a real bargain compared to the hardback version at $109! Have ordered the hardcopy for the library. As yet, there is no preview available in google books. Book review / summary also simplified as I could read on Ipad, take notes on PC and save on blogger. The summary was completed across a series of months, from initial reading while travelling in July. The bookmarking and highlighting function on the Kindle app comes into good use to mark initial points of interest and themes. At work, it was a matter of following up on the bookmarks and notes to complete the summaries of each chapter. 

The book has a focus on studying measurable situated expertise and the unravelling of factors that promote the acquisition, maintenance and on-going development of expertise. The myth that expertise is a result of accumulated experience is debunked. Instead, the need for conscientious deliberate practice is required for both novices and recognized experts to attain, maintain and continually hone skills is required.

      1) A brief history of the study of expertise is provided in chapter one. The chapter also provides background to the rationale, origins (a conference on expertise) and structure / approaches of the book.  The book as a whole, has a focus on measurable performance of expertise in a range of real world work (many within a military training / leadership context) and learning activities with the aim of understanding better, how individuals and teams acquire and develop superior performance. Brief summaries of each of the chapters is also provided.

Section 1 – historical overview covering challenges in the past and contemporary efforts.
2)   20th century revolution in military training (R. E. Chapman).
This interesting chapter, describes the evolution of training within the United States military. In particular, the move in the 1970s towards using forms of experiential /active learning supported with feedback structures, to improve outcomes of military training. Of interest is the description of the navy’s ‘top gun’ programme for combat pilots, which improved the odds of survival of fighter pilots. The norm of two planes shot down to one enemy plane shot down, improved in the navy’s favour to 12.5 planes for each enemy plan shot down, after the ‘top gun’ programme became the training approach. Top gun training involved pilots training in a simulated environment against ‘enemy planes’ that flew like and used enemy strategies.  A ‘after-action review was then used to evaluate each pilot’s performance, confronting pilots with their errors and forcing them to reflect on their performance.
The ‘top gun’ training programme was then adapted to infantry training and has been adapted over the years. Findings from the many cohorts trained through this programme include that there is a levelling off of the learning curve after initial rapid improvement.  Learning curves can be cumulative. Part task initial learning is followed by simplified whole-task training. Then realistic whole task training is undertaken before actual mission training is undertaken.  Skills also atrophy if they are not being used within 2 – 3 months of training programme.

 3) Developing professional expertise with a cognitive apprenticeship (S. P. Lajoie)
Has a good overview of the cognitive apprenticeship model as it applies to avionics troubleshooting and medical diagnosis. Describes the use of Sherlock – a task- or job specific computer assisted training programme / intelligent tutoring system to help avionics technicians work through troubleshooting airplane component faults. Following on, the concepts used have been developed further to assist medical students and doctors to learn or revise medical diagnostics.

4) Leaderships development and assessment: describing and rethinking the state of the art (M.D., Mumford, T.L. Friedrich, J.J. Caughron and A.L. Antes)
Presents a model of leader cognition as an alternative to mainly business / corporate approaches to understanding leadership.  In particular, that leadership skills are difficult to pin down, highly contextualised and leadership training does not guarantee performance at time of stress / greatest need (as when things ‘turn to custard’ on the battlefield).

      5)  Revolutions, leaders and diagnosticians: reflections on themes in chapters 2-4 (E.B. Hunt)
Not just a summary but a readable critique of the preceding three chapters.  Some historical overview also provided to help situate each chapter into time/place so that findings are taken with caution.

Section 2 – continues with past and contemporary efforts to design instruction, train and maintain professional performance has 4 chapters.

      6) Research on past and current training in professional domains: the emerging need for a paradigm shift (J.J.G. VanMerrienboer and E.W. Boot). The chapter summarises the challenges presented in present day training of professionals and discusses the role of instructional systems design (ISD) in conjunction with technology enhanced learning environments (TELEs) and presents implications for future practice.  The context is training in the military. Provides a good overview of ISD including social constructivist and whole-task design models and how these no longer cope with the challenges of present day military training demands. Also overviews of TELEs including computer-based training, intelligent tutoring systems, dynamic visual presentations and animations, hypertext and hypermedia, and computer simulations and virtual reality. Argues for the need to abandon atomistic ISD and optimise TELEs towards whole-task approaches.

 7) Designing training for professionals based on subject matter experts and cognitive task analysis (J.M. Schraagen). This chapter provides a good overview of the actual task analysis process as applied in instructional design (ID).  Provides discussion on both the advantages and disadvantages of task analysis approaches. Offers the cognitive task analysis approach, using subject matter experts as a foundation and provides a thorough explanation via case study of how to bring about a change and convert from original ID programme to cognitive task analysis. The example uses training in structured troubleshooting in the training of weapons engineers in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

      8) How to help professional maintain and improve their knowledge and skills: triangulating best practises in medicine (D.A. Davis). This chapter is based on a study of medical practitioners need to maintain currency in practice. In the past, the main models have been the update, competence and performance models. The Currency of Credit currently used is critiqued. A new model based on professional self-assessment, competency assessment and performance assessment is proposed.

 9) Advances in specifying what is to be learned: reflections on themes in chapters 6-8 (R.E. Mayer) – A couple of good tables in this chapter (9.1 and 9.2) summarise approaches to specifying what is to be learnt and kinds of knowledge. Need to assist specification of compartmentalised behaviours, compartmentalised knowledge, integrated knowledge, individualised knowledge to determine what the learner needs to know and then determine what the learner already knows and how to teach (what the learner does not yet know).

Section 3 has 5 chapters covering assessment and training of skilled and expert performers in the military
      10) Toward a second training revolution: promise and pitfalls of digital experiential training (R.E. Chatham). A long but useful chapter.  The chapter is a continuation from Chapter 2, adding in the TELE type approaches now used by the US of A military to cope with the challenges of training personnel for modern warfare. As Chatham writes, “everything short of war is similuation” . The chapter provides many examples of using TEL including simulations and games. The advantages and disadvantages of simulations and games are discussed and examples provided. Development of simulations and games is not cheap, so it is important to ensure the $$ lead to learning outcomes, in this case, life and death outcomes for military personnel. Future work on ‘distributed experiential training’ is proposed to end the chapter.

11) Evaluating pilot performance (B.T. Schreiber,W. Bennett, Jr., C.M. Colegrove, A.M. Portrey, D.A. Greschke and H.H. Bell). Here, there is an interesting historical overview of flight simulators. Learning to fly, under combat conditions, provides a good example of the holistic task analysis approach now used to ensure training is situated, experiential and authentic. Of note is that even though flight simulators are able to gather a range of assessment information from learner pilots, there is still a need for an experienced instructor pilot to complete the final instructional evaluation and make the final decision on competence / capability.

 12) Contrasting submarine specialty training: sonar and fire control (S.S. Kirshenbaum, S.L. McInnis, K.P. Correll). Two specialities requiring different forms of skill are studied to determine the efficacy of changes to the training approaches. The descriptions of the specialist skills in each occupation provides examples of detailed task analysis. The chapter details the application of the Kirkpatrick levels of assessment framework, using four levels to assess students’ skill acquisition – reaction, learning, behaviour, results.

      13) Training complex cognitive skills: a theme based approach to the development of battlefield skills (S.B. Shadrick and J.W. Lussier). An interesting chapter on the importance of ensuring soldiers are taught to think is as important as teaching them how to fight.  There is good overview and discussion on the various approaches to teaching people how to be more adaptable, flexible and versatile – the need to attain adaptive performance and adaptive thinking. Example is used of how the Soviets used to train chess players, not only to learn the mechanics of chess but to be able learn the thinking  strategies to ‘think like a grandmaster’. Interesting table 13.1 on the themes of battlefield thinking adaptable to other contexts. Also good summary of principles of deliberate practice in table 13.2. Uses the think like a commander (TLAC) TEL simulation as an example.

      14) Structuring the conditions of training to achieve elite training programs and related themes – chapters 10-13 (R.A. Bjork). This chapter unpacks the many concepts and ideas in the chapters in section 3 and reports on commonalities of the approaches. Summaries of each chapter also included.
Section 4 focuses on development of expertise and expert conference with 7 chapters.

15)  The influence of learning research on design and use of assessment (E.L. Baker).  As the title implies, this chapter covers the implications of learning design on assessment . The chapter begins with recognising that assessments will never be able to capture the inherent complexity of learning. There is also a brief overview of the history of testing including various models of learning  that inform the process of testing – table 15.4. A model based assessment of learning to encompass content understanding, problem solving, metacognition, communication and teamwork / collaboration is proposed through learning design techniques like knowledge maps and ontologies. All in a good overview of assessment.

 16) Acquiring conceptual expertise through modelling: the case of elementary physics (K.Vanlehn and B. Van De Sande). Uses physics as the context for understanding how concepts are learnt and how novices might attain misconceptions. The model assumes that conceptual expertise includes mastery of descriptive based knowledge, applying the knowledge to known conditions and confluences (equations learnt through superficial understanding followed by constructing a semantic version of the equation and eventually understanding through producing a qualitative version.

17) Teaching for expertise: problem-based methods in medicine and other professional domains (H.P.A. Boshuizen). An important chapter bringing the application of some of the ideas through the book, towards ideas of how to better teach so that students are able to learn.  Advocates for the need of horizontal and vertical integration of knowledge required to attain occupational skills and how problem based learning (PBL) may be one approach. Uses examples to explain the advantages of PBL

18)  Enhancing the development of professional performance: implications from the study of deliberate practice (K.A. Ericsson). This chapter provides a thorough overview of the studies from which the deliberate practice (DP) model was derived. There is a good summary of the rationale for the development of DP.  Application of DP to professional training and practice is also covered. Superior performance requires the learning and integration of a range of skills, knowledge and attributes. DP involves the selection of actions, the monitoring of learning as the activity is practiced and control of how the ongoing learning is progressing. All of these lead to incremental improvements in performance.

19) It takes expertise to make expertise: some thoughts about why and how – reflections on the themes chapter 15-18. (J.D.Bransford and D.L. Schwartz). The four chapters on expertise are summarised, critiqued and discussed including the both the learning and the teaching of expert performance.

20) The value of expertise and expert performance: a review of evidence from the military (J.D. Fletcher). In this chapter, the various themes throughout the book are contextualised overtly to the military learning and training context. Themes include self-assessment and self-directed learning; deliberate practice to develop expertise; agility in expertise and professional performance; assessment of professional growth towards attaining expertise; the centrality of cognition in expertise; and the importance of designing learning environments to promote expertise.  Will have a go in another blog to see how similar concept can be applied to vocational education setting.

 21)  Expertise in the management of people: a new frontier for research on expert performance (S.E.F. Chapman). This chapter explores the use of case-based instruction.  Also proposes research agenda for the future.

     Overall, a book that bring together the theoretical frameworks of expertise and reports on application of various studies to range of occupations. The situated and contextual nature of learning is affirmed as is the need for novices to have guided, structured learning experiences to attain expertise in occupations requiring the deployment of a complex range of skills. Well worth the time to work through all the chapters as each brings applicable recommendations towards the improvement of vocational education curriculum development (through ID processes), structuring learning activities to maximise learning and alignment of authentic assessment activities to what is expected in real-world practice.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sums and sentences - Adrian Blunt and the restaurant, wine and bar team

Yesterday, managed to get to two sessions of the CPIT literacy / numeracy month sessions.

First up, question and answer in the classroom - measurement calculations with Adrian Blunt, maths teacher.

Adrian introduced the use of mini white boards in conjunction with measurement and estimation. answers students put on to the mini white boards, reveal much to the tutor as every student needs to provide an answer. Students who are struggling, have misconceptions or who are reluctant to answer need to provide input. Generally, better to have two students to maximise peer learning effects.

When asking students to estimate measurements, provide benchmarks. For example a litre of milk or a kilo of sugar. Encouraging students to verbalize concepts means they have to either rationalise or challenge their original understanding or to adopt new ideas that have been discussed.

In the evening, the some of the award winning Restaurant, Wine and Bar team present on embedding literacy and numeracy as a team: how we work together mapping the demands. The team worked togehter to map the rwbs programme literacy demands so that everyone understood what was required of students by the programme.

Katy Fortescue in wine studies starts with what students already know and then provides opportunities to decode contextualised literacy - e.g. NZ and international wine labels, language used by wine reviewers to move on to wine technical specifications. Then, make connections to text using practical wine tasting sessions.

In restaurant studies, Francie Oberg-Nordt presents on applied learning strategies to help students identify learning styles and identity strategies students can use to assist with their own learning. tutors try to match teaching with identified learning styles, what they know and what works best for them.
eventually students critique their original learning styles orientation and also apply what they learnt via students participating in small teaching sessions amongst their peers.
in reading texts for practical purposes, contextualised readings are used to build literacy skills in predicting, scanning, skimming, IDkey works, identify tenses, increase / widen vocabulary, identifies prior knowledge and reading / writing issues. Reading activities include programme handboook, menus and recipes and Zest article on Rotherham's restaurant.

Katrina Fisher provided example of resources on Moodle to help students learn how to steam milk for coffee. A good example of using multimedia / multi-literacies to revise, affirm text literacies.