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.

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