Thursday, April 21, 2016

AVETRA 2016 Day 1 afternoon

After lunch, Keynote with Chris Robinson who is Chief Commissioner on quality in the VET sector with specific reference and perspective from the regulator, Australian Skills Quality Authority, ASQA. Reassurance as to overall effectiveness of VET but media tends to pick on bad news stories. over 85% satisfied from students and employers over many years. Only 10% of training organisations have had accreditation cancelled since 2011. Applications to set up RTO have 15% refused and 6% refused re-registration. Assessments seem to turn up almost all the time when RTos are non-compliant. 

Fourth keynote of day with Dr. Damian Oliver with Employers' understanding the role of qualifications: the search for evidence. Used a range of tools. Employer surveys to find out why qualifications used and which ones. Document survey of awards for connections between qualifications, job roles and pay rates. For occupations without awards, analysed enterprise agreements. Student / graduate views from graduate surveys on whether quals. Needed. Relationships between VET enrolments and immigration patterns. From employers NCVER survey, 1/3 have jobs requiring quals. Usually due to legislative or licensing requirements, maintain professional standards and skills required for work And 3/4 satisfied with Voc. Quals. (2005 - 2015). Covered limitations from using surveys and why document study may reveal behaviours rather than attitudes. For awards, 1/3 had no reference to qual. 1/3 had one classification and most fall in between across 122 awards. Similar proportions in enterprise agreements studied. From migration stats, no consistent relationship between skills immigrating into Australia and completion rates from VET. 

Short session from Anne Szadura from Australian Council of Dean's in Education on function of the organisation. 

Short speed dating sessions follow with short 5 minute presentations across 30 minutes. Topics include: VET leadership training through public value theory with Jill Hadley from University of South Australia, Gary Balderson and William Blayney from Central Queensland University on point of sale training voucher hand held tools, Anne Bowden from TAFE NSW on reflective research, Ruth Walker from Independent Assessment Validation on validation and quality, and Leo Gregrkc fro VET Development Centre on  7 virtues of elearning design. 

After afternoon tea, I attend Dr. Melinda Waters From TAFE Directors Australia presentation on unravelling the innovation paradox in VET. Defined paradox as the intersection between two or more antagonistic sets. Australian VET has policy for VET to be central to economic development but practice is about meeting regulatory requirements and founded on competency based education / training. To unpack, drew on McGregor-Wise (2009) the received, contextual and articulated view. Used these three to explain teaching / learning and innovation. E.g. Received = behaviourist or cognitivist, innovation is linear ; contextual = constructivist, innovation is social process; articulated = rhizome learning, innovation is process of translation, multiple articulation and emergent. 4 studies using articulated view found teaching practice to be messy, politicised, relational and non linear. Innovative work is therefore spatial boundary work, affective work balancing work and had critical practices. 

Then with Dr. Steven Hodge and Dr. Ray Smith from Griffith continue theme of innovation with paper on conceptions of innovation among VET staff, students and placement host staff. Reported on phase 1 of a NCVER project on the contribution of student placement process to innovation in host firms. Lots of validation of WIL working well for students but less on impact on firms. There is recent mid 2000s literature on knowledge and technology diffusion with VET serving as vehicle to bring high levels of skill, knowledge and technology to firms (Pickerskill & Edwards, 2005; Toner, 2007). Defined innovation as the development, introduction or implementation of signficantly improved good, services or processes. Findings summarised from f2f semi structured interviews with 13 employers, 10 RTO staff and 7 students. Distilled conceptions of innovation as difference is valued, ceaseless striving, harder, better, faster, stronger - improvements are measurable, imagination and thinking part of the process, market orientation and integrated / cooperative collaborative effort. Considerations on innovation include sites, source, orientation, realisation, substantiation and distinction.  

AVETRA AGM and conference dinner close a very busy day. 

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