Monday, December 17, 2018

2018 review

Another busy year is about to close. Despite there being a smaller number of educational developers this year, programme development has proceeded well.

The programmes I have supported through the programme design process, have all attained approval from NZQA. These include reviewed degrees in Computing, Midwifery, a brand new Master in Sustainable Practice qualification and reworked Level 5 and new level 6 diploma in Interior design. Added to these have been ongoing support of the Construction Management degree and the development for a Post Graduate qualification in Building Information Modelling (BIM) which will be going to NZQA early next year.

The National project funded by Ako Aotearoa on e-assessmentsfor learning has officially ended. The report has been peer reviewed and should be up on the Ako Aotearoa website next year.

Publications have been less this year due to the work in completing the large e-assessment project. There have been 2 book chapters – one on work integrated learning in the book –Integration of VocationalEducation and Training Experiences: Technical and Vocational Education and Trainining: Issues, concerns and prospects, published by Springer.

The other, a chapter on perspectives of beginning trades tutors on teaching and learning in the book – Teaching and Learning forOccupational Practice: A Multi-Disciplinary and Multi-level Perspective – published by Routledge.

Apart from presenting at the Ako Aotearoa projects in progress colloquium, there have been presentations on the findings and outcomes of the e-assessment project at two Australian conferences (AVETRA and NZVET and NCVER nofrills) and at the Ako Aoteroa Academy Talking Teaching conference.

I look forward to another busy year next year.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Npj Science of Learning Journal - article - Learning Strategies: a synthesis and conceptual model

As a follow up from last week's post, here is an article from the journal npj Science of learning, written by Professor John Hattie and Gregory Donoghue on Learning strategies: Synthesis and conceptual model. 

The journal is open access, so all articles are available for download online.The above article is in the first volume and issue (2016), setting the scene for future article from the journal which have a focus on applying the evidence from neuroscience, to practice in teaching and learning.

Back to the article which proposes a model of learning that is made up of various learning strategies at identified stages in the learning process. The model assumes three inputs or outcomes - skill, will and thrill; and three phases of learning as being surface, deep and transfer. As with all of Hattie's work, the model is based on meta-anaylsis of 228 students to identify effective strategies for learning.

The skill that learner's bring to learning is their prior learning / experiences. The will refers to learner 'habits of mind' and their willingness / resilience and persistence. Motivation is the factor the contributing  to the thrill whereby the learner is engaged with learning. As learning proceeds, learning progresses from surface to deep to transfer.

The authors advocate for learning how to learn to be embedded or integrated into all aspects of learner experiences. Divorcing the 'skills' of learning to learn and teaching these separately, dilutes the effectiveness. As humans, we always learning better when learning occurs in context. Situated learning occurs because of what the learner brings into the experience. It is more likely that skills, will and thrills are effective when learners are able to make the connections for learning when learning occurs within context. Vocational education has a major advantage in that most of the skills, knowledge and attributes learnt across vocational education is achieved within context. The challenge is to deepen learning for learners through assisting them to apply learning to learn skills which are relevant to their learning context.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Higher Education Learning Framework - report from Science of Learning research centre - Australia

Here is a report which is relevant to all forms of learning and should be required reading for all teachers. The report is put together by researchers from the Science of Learning research centre (SLRC) who are based at the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne.

The report is titled 'Higher Education Learning Framework: An evidence-informed model for university learning'. Athough the context is higher education, there is much in the report which summarises the latest in educational research and neuroscience which are also relevant in other education sectors.

There is a summary of the matrix and an overview of the project as well.

The centre also edits a journal - Npj Science of Learning - which is worth a look through.

The report advocates seven themes that support learning. Each of the themes is then extended with an explanation. Then strategies for teachers and students are detailed to maximise the efficacy of these themes for each group. Strategies for assessment and the principle theories / literature review and a list of relevant references complete each theme.

The themes are:
- learning as becoming
- contextual learning
- emotions and learning
- interactive learning
- learning to learn and higher order thinking
- learninc challenge and difficulty
- deep and meaningful learning.

The report is particularly useful as each theme is summarised briefly and the strategies for teachers, students and for assessments, provide good pragmatic examples for follow through.It is not too long, and teachers can dip in and out of the report to mine the ideas for enhancing teaching practice.