Monday, June 17, 2013

Spotlight on Tertiary Teaching and Learning - 14th June

Presented and assisted with the organisation of the Spotlight on Tertiary Teaching and Learning event organised by Ako Aotearoa and the Ako Aotearoa Academy. A gathering of 90 tertiary educators from across the tertiary sector, mostly Christchurch but presenters from Dunedin and attendees from Nelson as well. Ako Aotearoa Academy members form a core of presenters with Supreme award winners, Dr. Rhiannon Braund, Selene Mize and myself and award winnners Eric Pawson and Stephen Hickson.

The Friday afternoon event was held at University of Canterbury (UC) with nibbles and drinks provided through Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) and catering industry sponsorship.

The event opens with a mihi and short welcome from Bridget O'Regan, southern hub manager and then brief welcome from Dr. Rhiannon Braund, 2012 Prime Minister 's award for tertiary teaching excellence. Rhiannon spoke about her passion for teaching and how it is important to share that passion with students and help them gain an interest in their work as well. 

The first stream is on student engagement, chaired by Jennifer Leahy.

First up, CPIT's teacher education programme leader, Lyn Williams on 'embedding teacher professional development as business as usual'. Connecting things new teachers learn while learning how to teach. Teacher education is not at the centre of the new teachers' universe, they are workplace learners, with many challenges associated with changing from one occupational culture to another. So teacher education is making sense of current understanding of how learning occurs and how they as teachers can help students learn. Need to recognize the diversity and multi literacies in various disciplines and how to help new teachers learn how to be learner centered teachers. Agency - access and negotiation by individuals and the work environment. What are more experienced teachers doing to assist new teachers to ensure they are able to apply their agency in a supportive work environment. 

Jen Halliday Lincoln University on 'engaging students in active communication'. Modelling an engaging presentation On how to involve students and how to elicit responses from students. To educate is to draw out. She then went through the structure do the presentation - to grab attention, use what learners already know and then make it participative. 

Then, Dr. Richard Manning ,UC with presentation with 'place based education- pathways to partnership'. Presented on why a placed based education course about the Treaty? Cultural differences between Pakeha and Maori means that both do not have similar understanding of the Treaty and why the treaty negotiations took place. Most schools still have a Eurocentric focus and therefore NZ young people not exposed to NZ history from both sides of the story. Using place as a starter for both cultures to share the history and understand each others perspective.

Dr. Rhiannon Braund presents on 'beyond dispensing knowledge: how to engage pharmacists in training'. How do we view teaching? Empty containers, pre- formulation or ready to use. Some students find ways to take shortcuts through Flip learning requirements. How do we make sure students do the work before workshops? Use peer activities as other students are less tolerant of students who do not prepare. Having to answer to peers is more effective.

John Morgan presents CPIT work on 'innovative teaching style for kinesthetic learners'. Changing original programme to emphasize the learning of practical skills. Literacy, numeracy and theory concepts were embedded and integrated around practical workshop practice. Projects used to provide a focus for students learning.The presentation is based around the manufacturing team's IGNITE project.

After a short break, two streams commence. Professor Eric Pawson chairs and presents in the learner centered learning stream with 6 presentations.  

I present on 'situated technology enhanced learning' and chair the second stream on technology enhanced learning. Brief notes from presentations in TEL include:

Jocelyn Howard from UC takes us through 'online polling and collaborative note taking using google docs'. Used Socratic to demonstrate how online polling can be used to engage students, have a sense of level of understanding of a topic and review learning. 

Stephen Hickson, UC, shares some things to do with iPads. Presented on how to capture worked problems as per using overhead projector. Using a special scribe from adonit.  Notes are then emailed to self and posted on moodle for students to access.  Also introduced a few other useful apps. App hits, speak up and good notes.

Mary Kensington, Lorna Davies, Julie Richards and Rea Daellenbach share CPIT midwifery section work on their blended programme with 'birthing a new programme: hearing a new heartbeat'. Provided structure of programme before and after. In blended deliver, there is f2f, online , practice and portfolio. Online with tutorials using adobe connect, learning packages and discussion for which are student led but tutor directed. Important to support the social side of learning. Weekly tutorials have become the most important learning space for student to share, reflect on and review practice.

The official programme ends with short overview by Dr. Peter Coolbear, Ako Aotearoa director and De. Hamish Cochrane, academic director at University of Canterbury. 

Networking session closes the event.

All in a well-attended event, moved along by short, sharp 15 minute presentations. The majority of attendees were from the Adult and community education (ACE) and private tertiary education (PTE) sector, signalling a need for professional development events for these two sectors.The Academy will need to encourage and support more applicants from these two sectors to apply for the tertiary teaching awards to widen it's representation and support of all tertiary educators.