Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning a trade:

The report from the learning a trade project is now uploaded to the Ako Aotearoa website. The project undertook a study of the literature available on skills learning and synthesised relevant principles to the ways apprentices perceived they learnt a trade.

Apprentices stated they learnt best through observation, being coached and through practice. So guidelines to improve deliberate and mindful practice were derived. Feedback on learning from workplace trainers / coaches etc. was found to not work well for some apprentices. So guidelines to emphasis the feedback loop and principles of cognitive apprenticeship were collated to assist apprentices' workplace learning opportunities.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 review

Another busy year comes to a close.

Two projects completed for Ako Aotearoa. The hospitalityproject - 'Guidelines for improving students’ reflective practice and digital evaluation skills: Derived from a study with hospitality students'  and the ‘learning a trade’ project. I am currently working on developing some infographics to summarise the guidelines from the project to assist apprentices to be 'mindful practioners' or 'smarter tradies' and workplace trainers / coaches to undertake better workplace learning support.

Three workshops on ‘enhancing vocational education’ completed. The workshops are due for an update, with inclusion of findings, recommendations and guidelines from more recent projects.

Several articles and book chapter worked on in 2013 were published.
Book chapter was from work undertaken in 2010 on situated technology enhanced learning projects.
Articles were published in a variety of journals including: 

Using videos and multimodal discourseanalysis to study how students learn a trade. International Journal of Training Research, 11(1), 69-78. The article based on work with the using videos to study multimodal learning with students learning how to weld.

Learning through apprenticeship: belonging to the workplace, becoming and being. Vocations and Learning: Studies in vocational and professional education. 6(3), 367-383. This is an overview of my PhD thesis.

Proximal participation: A pathway into work. Journal of Vocational Education & Training65 (4), 474-488. Also derived from one concept from my thesis.
Technology enhanced learning strategy was launched at CPIT and two projects are taken up time over the last semester.These include the pilot of echo360 and project surface tablet.

Plus internally circulated evaluations for one elearning platform (OB), our pilot learning spaces and a preliminary formative evaluation of echo360 just begun.

All in, a year filled with lots of new learning for the project surface tablet project, consolidation of research skills and progress with getting articles published. I am now looking forward to a couple of weeks of re-creation over the Xmas and New Year break. On getting back in January, I plan to do lots of writing to recharge the journal articles 'storeroom' to try to maintain momentum with getting articles published. Plus lots to look forward to into 2014 with project surface tablet. 

Friday, December 13, 2013 - another way to archive found sites

I noticed John Clayton's posts on linkedin of various interesting technology-enhanced learning infographics and checked out his links.

This brought me to, a tool to archive found sites. Took me a couple of minutes to set up my own curation of teaching and learning related infographics. I had used my facebook account to set up the account and each of the scoops on my also ended up on my facebook page. Negating my efforts to keep personal and work apart :( However, several of my family and friends enjoyed the posts, so I will keep the facebook connection for the moment.

A few websites I visited in the last few days also allowed instant scoops to be achieved. I prefer archiving sites to provide more than just a brief twitter like link, or a list of links like delicious. So, like tumblr and pinterest represent the current generation of website archival tools. These newer tools have a welcoming and are user-friendly feel to them.

The advantage with is the ability to curate your collection in to various 'topics'. When you put in your key topics, a list of top 100 suggestions come up for each topic. This means becomes a rss feeder as well. The option to link your curated finds to facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. also means that has social networking features. So overall, a good tool to use with students or teachers who can then set up various topics they need to keep up with.

Meanwhile, I will keep my site limited to infographics as I find these visual summarisations to be useful communication tools when working with busy tutors. Not much point sending them an academic paper they will never read! Good infographics provide the important points in an accessible format.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Google Scholar has 'my library'

A few weeks ago, Google scholar presented researchers with a fine Christmas present J

When I fired up Scholar to do a search, the New! Scholar Library: your personal collection of articles with the magic of Scholar banner caught my eye. I clicked on it and enabled the ‘my library’ feature. Immediately, ‘my citations’ were listed and the references used in the articles archived in ‘my citations’ were available in ‘my library’. References can then be archived on Endnotes via download of an endnotes file. Any google scholar search result can also be stored in my library, saving download of the actual files on to one of my physical or virtual drives.

All in, a great service to researchers. Along with scholar alerts, the above makes life just a little easier for researchers. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day 2

Day 2 begins with a breakfast session with Aka Aotearoa director, Dr. Peter Coolbear. Peter runs through 'what's next for the Academy' by setting the current tertiary education scene. With policy, items include new tertiary education strategy, public service success targets, parity of success for priority learners, foundation and transition, increased accountability for universities and strengthened quality assurance processes. For pre-degree level impacts are from TRoQ, more learners in STEMs, MOOCs, capability of teaching teams, professional accreditation of tertiary teachers and protection of academic standards. A challenge to the academy to become a 'go to body' for advice on tertiary teaching or learning issues.

First presentation of the day is a sharing session from academy members of vocational education research forum held recently in Qingdao, China. Kelly Pender and Sam Honey share photos and highlights and a question and answer session follows with Julia Bruce and myself assisting.

The student's perspective follows with presentations from 3 students. Rachel Cahir nursing student from Massey University, Jarod Burl a carpentry student from United and Natalie Frew studying Science at the University of Waikato. The students provided their impressions on their learning. Of note, the strong contribution of work placement and work based practice. These are opportunities for consolidating theory and obtaining experience with real and pragmatic actual practice. A rewarding frank and candid question and answer session followed.

A dialogue space precedes morning tea to unpack the morning's activities.

Parallel sessions commence and I attend Peter Mellow's on 'MOOCs and learning with digital curation'. Presented on varieties of MOOCs from no lecturer presence to some and a lot of lecturer presence, taster to full accreditated course, large numbers or just several hundred, structured or semi-structure constructivist. university of Melbourne MOOC Coursera-based learning analytics presented. Discussed possible shift of MOOCs to become digital duration with social media like Facebook and

Then Professor Eric Pawson's 'creating sticky campuses' presentation on 'what makes good student campuses'. Importance of informal learning spaces (indie, outside and virtual) to provide space to learn, interact and socialise. Literature on student engagement by George Kuhn and 'sticky spaces'. Summer student project derive through focus groups was for spaces to be comfortable, have different or flexible function (subject specific and general), amenities (PowerPoint, WIFI and catering options) and management of access at appropriate times.

After lunch, we have Gordon Suddaby continuing the update on 'national accreditation scheme for tertiary teachers', work completed the Alison Holmes. Provided overview, context and suggested process. Arose out of Aka Aotearoa 'taking stock' project to try to rationalise the large number of qualifications for tertiary teachers. Currently awaiting outcome of Australian initiative to meet similar goal. Any accreditation needs to involve process and confer added and sought after status. In general, tertiary institutions have code of ethics for research but not for teaching although many ITPs and some universities have codes of conduct. Suggest investigating Canadian example. Good discussion ensued with regards to the why, how, what and advantages and disadvantages of a proposed accreditation process and designation.

The academy executive lead the session on 'future of the academy'. A discussion on role of academy and how to move forward.

A poroporaki and wrap up closes a busy but pertinent symposium.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Ako Aotearoa academy Symposium - summary of day 1

In Wellington for the annual academy symposium, a meeting of thirty plus tertiary teaching award winners. The theme of the gathering is 'shaking up teaching: exploring the new places and spaces for learning'. After the official opening / Mihi whamatau, we have a practice run of the academy song, nga manukura.

Then, symposium keynote on 'teaching laboratories are changing' from Ken Collins and Joanne Kelly from Lab works architecture. Designing the laboratory also leads to a culture change in how the laboratory goes about its work. Lab works sees teaching spaces as learning environments. Places to exercise curiosity and creativity, develop critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. Based on Radcliffe (2006) nexuses of interactions and relationships between pedagogy, technology and space. Need to provide formal and informal learning and individual and collaborative learning opportunities. having a purpose build learning space next to lab or practical areas provide appropriate fittings and technology access for problem, inquiry and group based learning.

Parallel sessions begin and I go to Kamuka Pati from Unitec with 'challenges and success of blended learning and the role of technology'. A good example from building trades of bringing technology into a practical skill learning. Not just technical skills, also providing work skills. A smart shed with a interactive white board used to provide access to resources. Mobile learning enhanced with QR codes embedded into text or physical examples so situated learning is enabled. Use augmented reality and software to provide virtual access. Online access of all course resources and assessments plus student portfolios on Google plus using Google sites and Google drive. Scaffolded students from first course with digital literacy skills to enhance further integration of technology. Teacher dash used as learning management system.

Second session in the morning is a joint session with Dr.Dale Sheehan and myself on 'what do we understand by the term workplace learning?'  I start things off with a brief overview of how learning involves individual, social and socio-material approaches. Dale follows with challenges of learners accessing the breath of learning experiences required to learn to become. The groups work through several questions to explore how they can support work place learning for their own contexts. I finish with some ideas for learners and workplace coaches derived from the learning a trade project.

After lunch, we have a mentoring workshop with Dr Lesley Petersen. Covered how to mentor other teachers and how to mentor the mentor based on community of practice framework. Using a mentoring model (HIMM) derived from her PhD work. Importance of preparing not only the mentor but the menthe as well to obtain the rewards from the process. Worked through definition, purpose and benefits. Introduced the mentoring partnership cycle as a guide with communication as key. The second part of the session after afternoon tea was for groups to work through scenarios using two methods, 3e's (establish, expand, explore) questionnaires and DEVA (describe, evaluate, action, value). Session finished with discussion on how mentors can themselves by mentored.

Last session of the day is with Jill Tanner-Lloyd from Aka Aotearoa on 'communicating the future'. A new publication 'striving for excellence: a guide for tertiary teachers' derived from mining tertiary award portfolios previewed. Also shared ideas of how academy presence can be promoted and enhanced.

A home group debrief closed the official part of the day.

Symposium dinner ends a busy day.