Monday, August 29, 2016

Global innovation of teaching and learning in higher education: transgressing boundaries - book overview

Global innovation of teaching and learning in higher education: transgressing boundaries edited by P.C. Layne (Elon University, North Carolina) & P. Lake(Sheffield Hallam University) (eds.) 2015 Springer (Switzerland) and read as an ebook with limited loan time (1 day) from Ara library. as per usual, I have summarised chapters pertinent to my work. Overall the book has a higher education focus but many challenges and innovations have been written up to be generalisable across tertiary education.

After an introductory chapter, the book has 20 other chapters grouped into 5 sections.

The introductory chapter, written by the two editors, sets out the background of how the book came about. The authors use the term ‘academic adventurers’ to describe the international group of contributors to the book. The rationale for the book and its contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in higher ed is also presented. In particular, student demographics and the importance of engaging students (mind, body and spirit) are discussed with how each of the chapters connect to the book’s rationale.

Part 1 has 5 chapters focused around ‘transforming the ‘traditional’ in higher ed.

Chapter 2 by J. T. Baun discusses ‘concentrated learning: a linear approach to knowledge in higher ed.’ Concentrated learning is defined and investigated as an option. The distinctions between and history of accelerated, intensive, immersion and concentrated learning are provided. Neurological studies supporting the concept are summarised and discussed. Two case studies are used to unravel recommendations or suggested factors for concentrated courses. These include the need to have active, experiential or applied learning as part of programme design. Instructor enthusiasm and feedback, emphasis on depth of learning and the strategic application of ‘spacing’ to allow students time to digest and reflect.

In the next chapter, P. C. Layne reports on work undertaken at Elon University with ‘higher education: a slow route to revolutionary innovation”. The university undertook comprehensive strategies to support SoTL. Both the physical spaces (whole campus development) and the virtual spaces were developed / structured to engage students in learning. Even the academic calendar was restructured to allow for shorter / ‘condensed’ courses which were also ‘blended’. Student feedback was used to illustrate the impact of the restructure on students’ perception of learning.

Chapter 4 by V. Barnes, D. Gachago and E. Ivala is on ‘digital storytelling in industrial design’ at a South African higher education institute. Background on South African socio-political context and the need to meet the learning needs of a diverse range of students are provided. A Universal Design of Learning framework underpins the approach reported in the chapter. Students’ challenges are discussed. There is good information of how digital storytelling is aligned to UDL principles.
Sue Burkill writes the next chapter on ‘challenging pedagogic norms: engaging first-year undergraduates in an intensive research informed learning programme’. The ‘grand challenges’ approach is described and substantiated through the chapter with examples from work undertaken at the University of Exeter. In essence, the ‘grand challenge’ is an intensive section offering useful and exciting educational experiences – usually completed over part of a ‘summer’ term. Both student and staff perspectives on how the approach work are summarised.

‘Rethinking evidence: assessment in the history discipline in Australian universities’ is the topic of A. Nye’s chapter. A discipline focused study is detailed with the reasons provided for undertaking the study. In short, rationale and suggestions for shifting how assessments are carried out in a traditional discipline. Innovations include – fraudulent evidence task whereby students create a false ‘primary source’ which is inserted into authentic evidence. Other groups are tasked with sifting through the evidence, identifying and rationalising their decision; role play of historical events; and analysis of ‘areas of contention’.

Part 2 showcases global innovations in teaching and learning with two chapters on how to acknowledge and provide opportunities to learn intercultural competency through ‘culturally relevant’ pedagogy.

Part 3 is on ‘transgressing boundaries using technologies’

Chapter 10 by S. M. Morris and J. Stommel is on ‘the course as a container: distributed leanring and the MOOC’. The chapter provides overview of MOOCs, origins, definitions and evolution. The importance of building community through MOOCs is the underlying theme through the chapter. Data visualisation is used to trace and understand the connections MOOC learners make and the communities formed during and beyond the MOOCs. Proposes ‘tenets’ to enhance community building in MOOCs including teachers not being the sole arbiters of the MOOC but to provide opportunities for flexible learning and to make courses more ‘permeable’.

D. R. Kulchitsky, A. F. Zeid and A. M Hamza detail ‘the efficacy of LSA (Variant)-based feedback for assessing student learning in an introductory international relations course’. Details an innovative way (not possible before advent of digital technology) to provide automated feedback / checking of student notes as a course progresses. The process is argued to provide for ‘student-centred digital note-taking’ so students are able to ensure their note-taking assists learning.

Two chapters follow on code-switching (using Twitter as a classroom communication tool) and how to work with conflict in online learning between groups of learners.

Part 4 has 7 chapters on ‘restructuring delivery, formats and modes’

Chapter 14 by R.A. Collins on ‘what’s an instructor to do’ recommends activities useful to support the teacher as innovative learning approaches are entered into. Techniques include allowing for students’ adult learning attributes. Approaches include cooperative / collaborative learning, reflection / concept maps and questioning techniques.

P. Lake contributes to a discussion on ‘does duration matter: a case study’. As accelerated learning is one of the innovations presented through the book, this chapter investigates and substantiates the ‘shortening’ of course time.

Chapter 16 on ‘active student engagement: the heart of effective learning’ is by R. Strachan and L. Liyanage. Active learning approaches are rationalised with good discussion and examples from both on and off campus delivery. The approaches are based on work of Phil Race (ripples model), Salmon’s e-tivities and e-moderation and the REAP approach to assessment and feedback.
Three chapters follow, one on using lego and serious play to ‘learn in three dimensions’ another on contemplation and mindfulness in higher ed. and last one on fostering the affective and cognitive dimension of learning in exploratory search.

The final chapter by the editors brings the book to a close with a discussion on ‘moving the field forward’.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ara - ASL presentations #4

Last session for tutors to present on their learnings through their ASL. Three presentations from Humanities’ Outdoor education and sustainability programmes.

Mike Atkinson with ‘Adventure Safety Auditing’. Provided background on NZ legislative requirements and the history of the reasons – number of fatalities pre-2009. Now all companies providing adventure activities must have external audits for their safety management plan. Mike observed and assisted full audits and technical expert audits. Learning used to assist with re-writing of Sustainability and Outdoor Educational programme; teaching on 3rd year degree course on policy and planning; and insights into what other organisations are doing and learning from their systems and processes.

Steve Chapman presented on how he used his ASL to update and re-validate his river / white-water skills(including completing rafting rescue course), develop a mountain biking course (including completing a Mtb skills course) and reconnect with the industry. MTb course includes wider range of MTb activities including use of MTb for touring. Outcomes included promoting Ara programmes, explaining the course matrix to industry and provide information on Ara as a whole.

Jean Cory-Wright presented on work undertaken through her Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and now continuing with in her Masters. Her interest is on emotions due to interest in neuroscience and recent literature on aspects of neuro-education. Summarised ‘explorations of long term impacts of learning social and educational theory concepts, through experiential methods set in the outdoors’. Used a course as a case study to example how experiential learning affects students. Her study connects with graduates to find out what they remembered and how they perceived their emotions’ contributed to their learning. Also shared her experiences as a coach for the NZ orienteering teams in the world orienteering championships. Also involved in running training camps for orienteers and orienteering coaches. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ARA tutor's ASL presentations - session 3

Three presentations today from computing tutors and a performing arts tutor.

Dr. David Weir on ‘agile software development principles applied to academic study leave’. Defined the principles of agile software development, whereby software development is focused on stakeholder requirements and evolve as the environment moves through the life of the project. Shared the Gartner Hype Cycle (2016) whereby there is great fanfare and inflated expectations of the innovation trigger, the reality hits as a peak of inflated expectations comes along followed by trough of disillusionment, slope of enlightenment and eventual plateau of development. Summarised the pitfalls of ‘fast development’ to meet trends but open to flawed or through poorly thought through implementation. Aligned to challenges posed to his original ASL proposal and how applying principles of agile software development allowed ASL objectives to shift.

Dr. Eddie Correia presented on ‘cloud computing in the curriculum’. Defined what is and is not the ‘cloud’ and provided example. Discussed advantages and challenges. One effect is on IT workforce, especially the networking area, with forecasts for two ends of the spectrum – either fewer jobs or many more. IT work moving around from ‘hardware’/ wired networks etc. to more complex understanding of how networks work to allow for better configuration and problem solving. Important to prepare students for skills required to be able to script rather than physically move hardware.

Richard Marrett overviewed the skills of orchestration with ‘Broadway orchestral project’. Project part of an MA (Music) with Wintec. Worked with 6 musicals in Christchurch, Invercargill and New Plymouth and then also worked on dissertation and a collaborative project with a singer. Worked on finding out the values, strategies and methods used by arrangers. Played examples of arrangements to illustrate principles. Provided details on the collaborative project with Liz Callaway.

Three presentations show off the applied nature of our institute. Tutors’ ASL were focused on keeping up with their contemporary discipline knowledge and in turn used to inform curriculum development.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Horizon Report 2016

Latest Horizon report is now available. Slight structural change in this year's edition. Instead of just listing the educational technologies pertinent to higher education and time to adoption, key trends and significant challenges to bringing about technology adoption in higher ed are also covered.

Short term impacts contributing to higher education's adoption of technology include the growing understanding on using learning analytics and the increased use of blended learning in curriculum development. Medium impact trends include the re-design of learning spaces and a shift to deeper learning approaches, All of these 4 are now realities at Ara Institute of Canterbury. In particular, TWO events have pushed the institution to change:
1) the earthquakes of 2011/ 2012  has provided impetus for re-development of the campus. Several new buildings are designed with 'modern learning environments' and the section I work in, Learning Design, have been tasked with undertaking curriculum development using problem / inquiry / project-based learning.
2) The formation of Ara through the coming together of the ex-CPIT and Aoraki has increased the institution's coverage from urban to regional. This pushes the need to develop programmes accessible to a wider range of students, across a larger geographical spread.

The report's summary of significant challenges make for good reading. The report proposes the blending of formal and informal learning and improving digital literacies to be 'solvable' challenges. I partially agree as both hinge of ongoing staff development along with scaffolding of students towards newer ways of accessing and engaging with learning. Therefore, we are on a long learning journey for both our staff and our students. For technology to assist with learning, requires capability and confidence with technology at all levels - institutional, programme and course.

Meanwhile, we are on the first steps for the 2 items on the one year or less horizon - BYOD and Learning analytics and adaptive learning. BYOD progressing with better access to WiFi across all campuses, movement of content to digital repositories, access for staff and students to Office365 and its cloud storage / collaborative working capabilities. Learning analytics needs work as we currently only have disparate information from various platforms, all of which are scattered and not linked. Adaptive learning is furthest down the to do / make progress on list, although we have started work on OneNote class notebook which provides the opportunity for just-in-time feedback, where appropriate.

The other 4 time to adoption itemss at 2 - 5 years - Augmented and virtual reality, makerspaces, affective computing and robotics take place in very small discipline specific niches and basically in 'watch this space' territory.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ara Staff academic leave presentations #1

At Ara Institute ofTechnology, staff on one of the unions are eligible for Academic Study Leave after 5 years of teaching. ASL has to be applied for and one of the conditions for last year’s batch of staff was for them to present their learning from the ASL. A report is also required from staff which is tabled with the ASL panel granting the leave. Reports and presentations will be made available to staff via Teaching and Learning site on Moodle.

Notes taken from session #1 with 3 staff. I will be unable to attend session 2 with another 3 staff as I will be away from Ara.

First up today, Alex McAllum from Nursing presents on ‘flipping ASL’. Alex’s leave is timely in consideration of the Nursing Department’s planned shift from the main Ara campus to become part of the Health Precinct – about 1 km West. The Health precinct will bring together all the health educational providers in Canterbury. Rationalise need to ‘flip’, become more innovative in teaching and learning and the preparation of modern learning environment. Alex undertook a critical review of flipping (inverting the classroom) with definitions, background and pedagogy. Highlighted the ways various approaches could work at Ara especially with regards to the applied learning undertaken in nursing, professional development requirements for tutors (pre-preprepration a key) and impact on institution. Course design (University of Adelaide – flippingproject) required as learning brings together learning theory, pedagogy and technology.

Ian Williamson from Engineering spoke on ‘renewable energy – the goal’ and shared his ‘study tour’ to collect information on a paper he will teach next week. Visited Wales Centreof Alternative Energy. All inputs and outputs are measured as part of the Centre’s operation. Ian was there 10 days and course on sustainable energy. Campus entirely self-sufficient with hydro energy, some plant built by students and all become part of the campus’ on-going research. Ian also attended 3D printing and its associated culture – develop 3Dlive conference. Also visited various power generating areas (solar / wind / hydro), passive heating through building design, visible energy use to public so consumption can be seen and institutes / universities (e.g. York University and Denmark University). Canada and Europe well ahead with alternative transport. Ian will present to Engineering and Architecture on the technical details.

Tracy Kirkbride from Medical Imaging  on ‘imaging capabilities of MARS’. She worked on this for 6 months last year with University of Canterbury, University of Otago and others and currently, doing another 6 months on the project. Explained how the technology worked, to bring colour into medical imaging and the importance of colour. Advantage of MARS is ability to see – sometimes prior to actual manifestation of disease – e.g. arteritis – the onset as gradations in tissue / cartilage damage can be seen. Provided details of process to provide proof of concept for MARS. Currently refining scanning protocols, testing identification software and improve scanning effectiveness. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Video Journal of Education and Pegagogy - issue one overview

The journal, Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy, published by Springer is the first scholarly open access journal undertaking to use video as a means of dissemination. The journal is supported by the Association of Visual Pedagogies (AVP) which recently had it's first conference - youtube video promoting the conference and a link to blog with an overview of the first conference.

Came to find out about the journal through my Google Scholar alerts which brought up the article on digital pedagogy and safety in the Australian construction industry.

The journal's page has video interviews from the editors of the journal, Michael Peters, Jayne White and Tina Besley - all from University of Waikato. Michael Peters has a further website on the philosophy of education and published two books I will need to follow up - See to Play - to role of visual literacies in sports and Showing and Doing.

The videos cover a range of interesting viewpoints on the increasing ubiquity of digital culture and the challenges to education and research. These include moving from a pedagogy of one to many to a culture of many to many – a co-constructive ecology with peer to peer ‘informal’ and mobile participants. Research changes due to access to a range of data, not possible before, exampled by big data and learning analytics.

Examples of visual pedagogies include pedagogies sensitive to diverse cultures and multimodal media. Visual literacies are perhaps not well-developed and only recent developments.
Articles have video content hyperlinked in. Most of the article has a traditional format with video content and ‘discussion’. In the future, video from artist, performers, film makers etc. will also be disseminated through the journal. The interest areas include teaching demonstrations, performances (esp. from indigenous research), interviews etc. Encouraged submissions from a wide range of discipline areas within and outside academia.

Peer review is double-blind review through Springer’s ScholarOne journal submission platform.

Good on Springer for supporting a new approach.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ara - research week 2016 - Students' 'pitch a project'.

Students ‘pitch’ their projects with 3 minute sessions over yesterday and today.

Kirill Kudinov from Electrical Engineering on ‘converting a grid tie inverter into a hybrid tie inverter’. For solar inverters to design device to improve efficiency and lower costs. Solar inverters convert electricity as used in a variety of devices. Summarised the project’s rationale and method to find the solution – firstly using simulations.

Gabriella Elea from applied sciences on ‘correlation between parent nutritional knowledge and their adult child’s dietary behaviour’. Hypothesis that parent knowledge not effective and support should be to children for them to learn the right approaches and to change behaviour to attain better diet.

Nilay Chauhan and Nineb Haddad from Engineering on ‘mobility platform development’. 
Background of the need to adapt domestic mobility scooter to farm environment conditions for a client. Aim to improve overall functionality to provide better lifestyle outcomes for client.

Charles Brookes from Engineering with ‘development of F1 sidecar chassis’. Goal to reduce cost of chassis as currently very expensive. Also to ensure to incorporate racing technologies. Has prepared simulation to find out where chassis is stressed and to add into new design.

Shannon-Aimee Bradley from Performing Arts on ‘Hamilton the musical: rewriting history’. A qualitative study to examine the translation of a historical event into a musical. How is the musical developed and themes relevant to the NZ socio-political context.

Keeneth Love presents from NASDA on ‘sustainable musical theatre in Canterbury’. As most musicals are run by ‘amateurs’ who are not paid. Investigated funding to set up a musical theatre through a cooperative organisation whereby actors will be paid, ensuring talent is nurtured within Chch. rather than moving overseas.

Dearna Doglione also from NASDA on ‘showing our girls they can be great: female representation in commissioned works in Christchurch theatre’. Looked at 3 works to work out female participation (not only actors but producers, directors, playwrights etc.) rates and find out support for women in the industry. Proposed a support network to help mentor new entrants and provide mutual support.

Alex Taylor from Engineering with Olympic paddle design – an epic wing paddle. Needed to increase speed, decrease fatigue and win medals. Using wind tunnel to simulate various designs and analysed numerical data. Still need to test in water.

Eloise Goodison from Outdoor Education and Sustainability with ‘phenomenogical study of women experiences with surfing’ in relation to healthy lifestyles and involvement in physical activity, The challenges and potentials. Literature tends to be on male surfers and barriers. So this study is to find out from women, their experiences and recommendations.

Savanna Ornsby from health promotions programme on ‘St. Georges workplace well-being programme’. Aimed to identify what types of well-being programmes staff would be interested in attending if offered at their workplace. Covered rationale and method for study to assist workplaces to design cost effective, customised programmes for workplaces.

Mario Evason and Chelsea Sheehan-Gaiger  from NASDA on ‘NZ film /theatre and its potential in youth crime prevention’. Media is powerful instrument in establishing models for social change. Argued for ensuring context of NZ film etc. are accessible to youth and have a moral objective to assist with social change.

Julianne Gordon from Applied Science presented on her work on the antimicrobial properties of Manuka Honey. Covered the ways Manuka honey contribute to fighting pathogens and her project is to investigate efficacy various types of honeys on wound healing.
Always interesting to see how students perceive the world through the newly attained lenses of their discipline’s paradigms. Good variety of presentations exampling the range of topics students find are of interest. Good learning when projects are student initiated.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Ara Research Week - staff presentations Day 2

Second and final day of presentations from staff. 

First up, Bernard Otinpong from computing presented on “a comparison of results between interactive and non-interactive forms of visualisation to improve learning: A case study of Te Wairoa/ Lake Ellesmere” pdf of paper. Summarised the rationale for the topic, especially the importance in using visualisation to raise profile and understanding of environmental issues. For example, the many ways stakeholders regard the significance of Te Wairoa and understand the regimes for managing the lake. Showed the interface used to allow for different stakeholders to see the various aspects.

Tracy Kirkbride shared ongoing work with “MARS: a new imaging tool moving to clinical practice”. Explained what MARS is (Medipix All Resolution System - a new medical imaging system) and its advantages as for ‘molecular imaging’. Ability to distinguish the energy coming through so ‘colour’ is able to provide more information as compared to black and white xrays. Tracy’s research was to optimise MARS to breast cancer and calcium deposits.

Bronwyn Beatty, Broadcasting tutor, presented on “memory work of a fan: a conversation with members of the Harry Potter generation”. Presented on role of narrative, co-construction and collaboration and cross cueing through the process of focus group interviews. These occur to enable the data to be rich and authentic. related book chapter

Elizabeth Schmidt with “enhancing online learner engagement and experience by use of a webcam”. Summarised the action research project as part of a post-grad cert in tertiary teaching. Introduced video into online synchronous sessions (2 hours long) to find if students’ engagement increased. Shifted from content focus to one with more interaction and building learning relationships. Found increase in sense of engagement, learning experience (to improve learning) and without IT difficulties for students. 

Gareth Allison from Business spoke on the topic “journeys towards the adoption of non-native cuisines: examples of lived multiculturalism”. A subside of Gareth’s work on consumer behaviour. Project part of wider one to understand consumers’ market behaviour and multiculturalism is not a well-researched topic. A qualitative survey conducted in Dubai with 21 in-depth interviews representing middle-class expat sample. How did participants adopt a different cuisine. Influences included, personal characteristics, perceived cuisine attributes and contextual factors. Developed model of adoption journeys and their ‘gates’.

Grant Bennett from Applied Science shared his project on “assessment of probiotic supplement by farmers to test if it can increase growth rate of calves”. Summarised a community project involving a group of farmers wanting to improve practice. Provided rationale for using calves, logistical, practical and matched to research reliability. Challenges of authentic research presented.

Daphne Robson presented on her on-going project with “designing software for helping students in technical programmes solve equations and rearrange formulae”. Equations2go software has been worked on for many years and available as a resource to students across many disciplines. Undertook an evidence based approach to hone the software. Needs to have concepts, strategies and procedures to problem solve. Software concentrates on strategies and carries out procedures whereas many others tend to focus on procedures. Learners learn how to do but don’t know why.

Nick Kimber spoke on “the effect of altitude and travel on rugby union performance analysis of the 2012 Super Rugby competition”. Presented on a student research project, now published. Provided a summary of the KPIs in rugby and how connected to the study. Identified, through videos of games at high altitude venues, impact on KPIs. In effect, altitude and international travel do have an effect. link to journal article by T. George

Helen Marshall provided an overview of her work on “high intensity training (HIT) benefits forhealth”. Presented on benefits of HIT and why now more common due to poor nature of many people. Looked at whether HIT is transferable into community settings. Presented a subset of the double-blind study. Participants were sedentary and at risk of cardio-vascular disease and diabetes. Compared, low intensity and high intensity participants. Findings were positive regardless of which activity. Students involved as coaches across 3 times a week for 12 weeks of intervention.

Hemi Hoskins shared highlights of his masters study “mahinga kai, mahi tangata” – the use of language during food gathering. How can flavour of language be maintained through a decline in fluent language speakers. For example dictionaries through time seem to have become more simplified, losing the nuances of the language. Used linguistic analysis to see how hunter vocabulary was derived in Maori and how to now use similar conventions to modern / introduced animals and hunting methods. article

Monday, August 08, 2016

ARA - research week presentations - Day 1 - staff presentations

Annual research weekat Ara with researchers providing short 6 minute overviews of their projects. Half of the presentations across lunch time today and another batch of presentations scheduled for tomorrow. Here are brief overviews of each presentation. As usual, the diversity through Ara is of interest and I find research week presentations to be a good way to keep in touch with the many interesting projects of our staff..

“Te hone moana – the ocean swell: learning to live by the sea” with Dave Irwin from Outdoor and Sustainability Education. Condensed the themes of a book chapter focused on the role of the ocean in our lives. Summarised planetary boundaries (Rockstrom et al., 2009) with the need to realise that there is incredible stress being put on our eco-systems and how students are able to engage in their own ways. Through knowledge, action, adaptation and living in the moment – finding our place and contributing something to meet the challenges.

Rory Greenan on “Cleaner, greener transportation and buildings in NZ”. Defined types of green – from vanilla to dark green. How can architects, building information management / modelling (BIM) contribute? Summarised work undertaken with improving insulation using different classifications – 3 star to 5 star. Proposes less use of energy through improved energy use can then be channelled to better transport options.

Then, Imran Ishrat from Business on “optimisation of the Pod manufacturing process parameters using the Taguchu method” summarised project to streamline production of pods made from expanded polystyrene foam. Required to cope with demand of the product post-earthquake Chch. A strong applied project.

Mehdi Asgarkhani presented on “domains of information technology governance”. Provided rationale for project. Need to contextualise international research to NZ context due to high number of small businesses.

Rea Daellenbach and Mary Kensington presented on “the politics of childbirth in NZ” from their study on evaluating maternity units in Australia and NZ. Evaluated differences in birth outcomes in primary unit or tertiary hospital. Found importance of ‘safety’ as a consideration in making decisions about where birth occurred. Confidence in primary unit but if women perceived birth as difficult, selected  specialised hospital.

Kerstin Dofs who is Learning Self-Assessed Centre manager, spoke on the topic “use your noodle to activate students’ potential in Moodle: bridging the gap to automous language learning”. Summarised the ongoing projected, begun almost 10 years ago. A good example of using research to continually improve provisions to assist students’ learning through providing students with the learning skills and resources for self-chosen and self-organised learning. Students become active learners, in control of their learning. Overviewed process of setting up Moodle support course site including own upskilling in on-line learning using a MOOC. Showed example of Moodle course and strategies.

Lorna Davis provided “barriers to sustainability in midwifery practice”. An overview of her PhD study in progress. Defined sustainability in the heath context. Explored how midwifes might operationalise aspects of sustainability into their practice. Build model using actor-network theory to unpack midwifery identity and where sustainability fitted into the ways they saw themselves and their practice.

Tony McCaffrey updated on his on-going project “How can theatre involving actors with intellectual disabilities have a history?” Summarised a presentation made at conference in Stockholm. Made links of his work to 1940 German work on performity. Provided some case studies of actors and connected to his hypothesis.

Derek Thurnell presented on “NZ main contractors’ use of BIM during pre-construction stage”. Provided background on BIM and potentialities and challenges. Project focused on tendering stage to find out how to deploy in NZ. Small sample qualitative approach. Limited use in NZ. Culture of organisation seen to be a major barrier in NZ due to need to work differently – collaboratively from the beginning.

Cameron Pearce showcased his book “Etudes for Jazz”. Presented on rationale. Provided a series of etudes useful for students learning trumpet in the jazz genre, filling a gap in the market. In doing, put into practice the many skills attained through many years of work as an arranger, musician and teacher. Involved notable jazz trumpeters to record the etudes to model the genre to student.

Marie-Louise Barry from Business spoke on “towards determining a living wage”. Defined the concept of a ‘living wage’ as being different from a ‘minimum wage’. Proposed regional differences are important to how living wage is calculated eg. Auckland will be different to Christchurch. Project involves 2 researchers in South Africa and 2 in NZ. At least 200 participants in each city. Project still in progress.

Ada Campbell from Nursing presented on the project “crafting resilience: a study of the connections between craft and wellbeing in post-earthquake Christchurch”. Summarised project and main themes identified. Participants seemed to find craft as a strong contributor to maintaining mental health through the stress induced by a major disaster.  

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Ara Institute of Canterbury - Sharing Experiences of Educational Design - SEED #1

Lunch time session with two of our ARA institute of Canterbury excellence in teaching award winners.

SEED set up by ARA staff who have won internal institutional awards to Sharing Experiences of Educational Design. Short 15 minute sessions to facilitate the sharing of good teaching.
Engineering tutor, Steve Tomsett is the inaugural presenter and he presents his experiences on flipped learning – dots and line in a flip class. Provided brief introduction of his context, mainly focused on teaching engineering maths. Compared traditional classroom approach with passive theory learning followed by application with flipping, so passive theory is learnt before coming to class and classroom learning revolves around active learning. Advocated using a one-one, short recording focused on ensuring ‘added value’ occurs both before and during class. Dots are the HOW we do it – and the line is the WHY. Ensure dots are presented in short ‘bite sized’ bits and then in class, join the dots. Provided an example with screencast on Adobe Connect archived on Moodle. Quizzes are attached to each video to ensure understanding dots occurs before class. Activities in class include authentic problems, application to real world problem solving and extension of understanding of implications / consequences.

Jane Parker from Business presented in ‘building confidence in learners’. Provided a perspective as a ‘new’ tutor and empathy with learners lacking in confidence based on her initial experiences in picking up a class, ¾ through course, following 2 other tutors who had left! Talked about challenges with teaching a complex subject – law. Brought in student’ own experiences with ‘law’ and current topical issues as starters for classes rather than just cover the syllabus. Co-operative learning used as an approach to encourage communication skills and working through the issues.

Always good to hear from passionate teachers J

Monday, August 01, 2016

Tertiary Education Symposium - presentations archived

The local union for Tertiary Teachers held a symposium on 22nd July. Short videos of some of the presentations and discussions, including one on a return to the concept of lifelong learning, are now available.

Impetus for the symposium would be the current discussions within NZ and internationally on the future of work and education. In NZ, the government has begun work through the productivity commission to work out some scenarios. The TEU submission makes for good reading along with the submission from the metro /NZITP (institutes of technology and polytechnics.

Above follows on from several initiatives in NZ to plan ahead for the fourth industrial revolution. For example, the opposition Labour Party's proposal for Universal Basic Income along with discussions on alternatives. Staying still and not doing anything is no longer an option :(

For education, MOOCs have been one option which have slightly lost it's gloss - see from tsunami to ripple. Personalised education is a possibility, with various options for platforms and support from big names in computing - e.g. Zuckerberg. However, the first initiatives will cater for the compulsory school sector and the more generic type courses in higher education. Vocational education will always be last in the queue due to it's inherent diversity, complexity and need for situated learning experiences.

Therefore, important to keep up with the play and keep an eye out for the emergent technology which will be fit for purpose for the vocational education sector.