Friday, August 17, 2018

NCVER no frills and NZ VET research forum day 3 afternoon

Four concurrent session themes today, apprentices and trainees, young people, policy and skills needs.

First up, I catch up with Kylie Taffard’s (BCITO) women in trades project. Project funded by Ako Aotearoa and came about due to high demand for trades people. Covered how women have succeeded in non traditional trades. Focused on the women supply scope and undertook to understand how women engage in trades. Presented rationale, background and the qualitative research process. Interviewed 34 women across industries and at all stages of training and work. Thematic and inductive analysis to identity themes. Characteristics of women entering the trades included range of ages, ethnicities, location but the main similarities were affinities to active and physical work and job satisfaction. Many fell into the trade, had to do their on research to find out about the work. Many experienced low pay or poverty and trades provided good income. Some followed a passion and male relatives were role models. Schools not always supportive of trades pathway. 
Need to make trades training more visible to young women. Pre trade programmes were useful as a start. Mixed programmes provided initial introduction to work in male dominated work environment. Work experience especially important to consolidate career paths. Finding work post pre trade programme was a challenge. On job support from employers and ITOs similar to other apprentices. 
Recommendations were shared. Developed persona to help characterise the women. 

After lunch. I present, with  Cheryl Stokes from Ara Institute of Canterbury, the guidelines from the eassessment project. In essence, summarised briefly the project rationale and underpinning framework of connecting graduate profiles to the aspect of becoming. Overviewed the importance of feedback in contributing to vocational education and the  affordances conferred by digital tools to assist with the process. The guidelines that are distilled from the project also presented. In particular, the need for digital fluency from both tutors and learners and to make learning overt in the learning activities.

Stayed  in the same room with Deniese Cox, Griffith University, on  pedagogically framing VET online. Started with personal background and presented on PhD study. Provided rationale including VET not having much research on online learning. Teaching online is different from teaching f2f. Defined teachers, online learning and pedagogy. Project investigated how online VET teachers teach and if knowledge of online pedagogy will support developing of improvement strategies. Pedagogical orientations are from teacher to student centred. Often pedagogical orientation may not align with their pedagogical practice. This gap may occur for many reasons including logistical, organisational and technological. Shared findings including participant demographics, personas developed to illustrate the pedagogical approaches and survey showing actual pedagogical practice. Used Berge’s model of instructor rules and Bain’s what the best college teachers do, as questions to establish participant pedagogy. Influences on matching pedagogical orientation to practice include class size, units of competency resources which are not developed for online and workload. Teaching seen to be sidelined to assessments. 

After afternoon tea, with Geoff Crittenden from Weld Australia, on the future of technical training focused on Augmented reality training for welding. Explained link between TAFE and Weld Australia and the importance of VET. Welding learning similar now as 100 years ago. Video of Boxford augmented reality welding simulator. Specifications for Soldamatic augmented reality training. With AR, learners can do 10 tries compared to 4 in a TAFE welding workshop. Gamification element in the exercises based on analytics from each run. Health and safety not an impediment. Learning from mistakes also less costly as no physical materials used. Peer learning possible as peer can watch process on the screen to provide feedback. Advantages are accelerated learning, savings with consumables and higher completion rate. 

Last presentation with Dr. Karen Vaughan from the NZCER and Andrew Kear from the Building and Construction ITO, on Analytics and insights: developing a tool to support building and construction apprentices’ completion. In conjunction with the BCITO, a tool is being developed to provide predictive analysis on apprentices’ completions. The presentation focuses on the identification of factors influencing non-completion and evaluative data from apprentices, employers and training advisors, used to improve each iteration of the tool. Karen provided context and information on NZCER and Andrew on the BCITO. Shared statistics on completions and withdrawals and non-completions. Large numbers of withdrawals are in the first year. The learner success project is to develop a health profile tool to focus on likelihood of completion. Needs to also allow for different ideas of success and provide advise for learner support. Project seeks to identify influences, collect data and refine and calibrate. Discussed challenges including methodology, ethics and data integrity. 

A busy but informative conference. Official sessions closed with award for best poster and handover to the 2019 hosts in Adelaide - July 10 - 12. 

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