Thursday, November 05, 2009

ako aotearoa southern hub research projects colloquium

Attended & presented at the Ako Aotearoa research projects last evening. The Southern Hub (2 other hubs are the Northern & the Central, both in the North Island) is able to provide up to $10,000 to support research projects which lead to better learner outcomes. Nine projects presented on research progress & some findings. All in, an interesting session as each project had relevance to the tertiary sector, provided an interesting collection of research approaches and showcased the interest in research taken by each of the presenters. We had 10 minutes each (8 to present & 2 for questions!) but each presentation was supported by a one page handout which provided pertinent background & project details.

First up, Ronnie O'Toole from the University fo Canterbury with Alison Ogier-Price. Their project was on investigating the role of emotion in tertiary teaching. A pilot to gauge how emotions experienced by tertiary educators influence their teaching and student learning in the classroom. Collection of data was via 'emotion diaries' kept by 17 participants & based on Oatley & Duncan (1992) & Sutton (2004). Participants were also interviewed. Data still to be analysed.

My presentation followed on 'perspectives of new trades tutors' - interim report - which is on the intense vocational identity trades people have & how a process of 'boundary crossing' is required to help trades people accept & incorporate the identity of a teacher. A draft of my report has been circulated to the Southern Educational Developers (SED) group & will be discussed at a meeting next week. After that a final report will be completed by end of this month.

Next up, Gareth Archer from Community Colleges New Zealand on the influence of traditional sports & games on soft skill development for Maori youth. It involves the revival of a game ki-0-rahi (youttube video) which is played on a circular field & where one team (kioma) scores tries and the other (taniwha) scores by hitting a central target.

Nick Draper also had a sports slant, developing pedagogy for exercise science in tertiary physical education programmes. In particular to investigate how to consolidate knowledge aspects of exercise science which is often taught in 'chunks' & at different times during a course / programme so that students are able to bring together the a 'whole person' understanding of how physiology works.

Moving on the the early childhood sector, Elizabeth Elsworth, from the College of Early Childhood Education presented on 'sharing minds: promoting a research culture within a tertiary environment through mentoring relationships. Elizabeth used the concept of ako (knowledge & learning in Maori) to underpin the relationships between tutors and students, so that each learnt from the other during research mentoring sessions.

Then Gerry Duigan from CPIT poster/banner project. This project is in it's evaluation stage. The first stage was to select 10 sayings which were useful for adult educators to display in classrooms or web pages. Then banners were produced and dessiminated to 30 institutions in the South Island to gauge responses. These are now being collated & once evaluations have been actioned, the final banners will be produced and access provided via the Ako Aotearoa website.

A collection of health related projects began with Phillipa Seaton (plus 7 others) from CPIT & Pegasus Health presenting on 'practice nurses' learning needs'. The project is still in progress but has, to date, distilled five top learning needs and predominant learning styles of practice nurses.

Arindam Basu then presented on his project (involving 7 other researchers) on 'training for telehealth' which is a form of health by distance. the project reviewed current telehealth for teaching the concept/ process and based on the review, develop a 'best practice model'.

Last up, Paul Watson & Deb Sims from CPIT presented on their project which is to evaluate the quality of workplace learning for student nurses. The project was also to establish the validity & reliability of a 'clinical learning environment, supervision & teaching scale' -CLES+T developed in Finland, to find out if the scale would be usable within the NZ context.

All in a good session ably organised and hosted by Ako Aotearoa Southen Hub convener, Bridget O'Regan & Pat Robertson.

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