Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NZ VET research forum - day 1 afternoon

After lunch, concurrent sessions begin again and I attend the session on 'shifting sands: embedding mobile technology into VET' with Lee Baglow and Chris Lovegrove from Unitec. Presentation on building staff capability and to empower staff to deploy technology enhanced learning to assist automotive students' learning. Shared apps explored to evaluate fit for context. Taking in mind learner profile and needs of industry. Staff enthusiasm somewhat dampened when institution moved a different direction. Less support for open source and move to institutional learning management systems.

Then another technology based presentation with Carolyn McIntosh from Otago Polytechnic on 'video and self assessment in an undergraduate midwifery degree programme'. OP covers the southern Half of NZ for midwifery. Covered a way to support distance students to learn and assess communication skills using videos.

Second plenary panel follows with myself presenting on 'graduate profiles and alignment to occupational identity', Dr. Karen Vaughan from NZCER reporting on Ako Aotearoa funded project on 'growing practice' and Dr. Lisa Maurice-Takerei on 'identity with trades tutor.' 
Karen presented on the knowing practice project which studies the workplace learning experiences of general practitioners, carpenters and engineering technician cadets. Becoming something was an underlying framework with learning conceptualised as a series of crossing of vocational thresholds. Capability is about knowing, doing and being. Used a critical incident type approach to see if participants able to identify and articulate how they learnt to become. Learning came to be transformational experiences and the need to cross a threshold which they are not able to turn back out of. Provided examples from the data on the transformation of general practitioners, carpenters and engineers explained as vocational thresholds.
Karen's presentation led well into my presentation centered around matching graduate profiles which are the outcomes of NZ certificates to job roles or occupational identities. A pivot point in how learners progress is the conferment of responsibility. Taking small workplaces are unable to support workers who are unproductive, learners who are conferred job roles should meet graduate profiles if job roles are matched to them.
Lisa's was on honouring the perspectives of trades tutors and how their work focused lens, can be developed to inform pedagogical approaches in VET. Provided information on project and presented selected portion of findings from focus group on asking trades tutors to construct a model representing their understanding of teaching and learning in VeT. Models constructed were aligned to trades tutors discipline area! Advocates need to develop solutions to tap into expertise of trades tutors. 

Last concurrent sessions after afternoon tea with Glen Keith / Peter Scanlon from Service IQ, Isaac Liava'a from the Skills Organisation, Joel Rewa-Morgan / Ifi Ripley from Career Force, Iani Nemai from Competenz and Debbie Ryan and Brenden Mischewski from Pacific Perspectives, present on the topic of Pacific Learner success in workplace settings. This is a progress overview on an Ako Aotearoa national project. Need for research in workplace setting as other recent studies completed in tertiary/ higher ed. Project was to identify critical success factors, show effective models applicable to workplace settings and improve learning outcomes for trainees. From lit review mentoring, context, employers support are central and new approaches, internal change through ITOs and systems for measurement of success important. Need to tap into Pacifica as it is a youthful population. 2 pilots established to find out if mentoring / study groups / facilitator, works to increase engagement, self confidence, completion of credits. Objective to inform creation of better learning environments, deployment of pacifica learning approaches etc. provided overview of the evaluation method and how results will be implemented. 

A busy day but good to see how NZ policies are working towards supporting individuals to develop to their best, in turn, not only to make their lives but those of their communities and eventually for NZ better. 

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