Monday, July 19, 2010

Ako Aotearoa research in progress colloquium - day two morning

Day begins with Dr. Stephen Marshall from Victoria University presenting on 'elearning & higher education: Understanding & supporting organisational change in NZ'. Introduced the the elearning maturity model (eMM) which was used along with interviews and monitoring of institutional change to find out how technology impacts on the institution's activities. So introduced the concepts for quality enhancement which are knowing what to measure, knowing how to measure and knowing how to improve what has been measured as foundation to the project. Several findings shared comparing PTEs, ITPs, Universities and Wananga.

Second up, Kelby Smith-Han, an Ako Aotearoa Phd scholarship receipient, supervised by Dr. Chrysl Jaye at the University of Otago, presented on his investigation into the undergraduate medical students' discourses of general practice. Kelby went through background of the project, method used and some preliminary findings. Project came about due to increasingly small numbers of medical students moving into general practice. Medical students in their second and sixth/last year of medical school were interviewed to find out their perspectives on vocational choice in general practice as compared to surgery. Also supported with written documents (e.g. medical student magazines) and possible focus groups. Preliminary findings indicate lack of valuing of GP profession with both cohorts of students.

Then Haani Huata, from CPIT, presented the teacher/student view on Te Kawai Kumara - a pilot for the synchronous delivery of a common postgraduate programme in Te Reo Maori across multiple sites - AUT, Victoria University and CPIT. Paper written by Professor Tania Ka'ai from AUT. Haani began with a waiata/song. The programme is a taught Master of Arts using smart boards and video conferencing with 5 papers, Tikanga Rangahu (research), Tikanga (culture), Koreor Whaterei (Maori text), Tuhinga Totoko (creative writing/performance arts) & Te Whanaketanga o te Reo. The aim of the project is to build research capability and capacity of Maori scholars to advance their skills in teaching and learning through research in Maori language. Emerging issues were presented including institutional timelines, impact of weather on video conferencing, teachers/students using technology, breaking silos between teaching sites and limited number of staff available to mark thesis in Maori. Highlights include the nature of the programme which enables, financial benefits for students related to access and potential from understanding technology capabilities.

After morning tea, a presentation on 'maximising learning dialogue opportunities in professional field-based experiences, in the student teacher/counselling context, from Dr. Marion Sanders representing a team from the Bethlehem Tertiary Insititute and also working with NZ Tertiary College and Wintec. Workplace learning is enhanced if students & supervisors are encouraged to undertake learning talks which is intentionally cultivated. This study is an intervention study to find out how Four intentional strategies may enhance the interaction between students and supervisors. The strategies are partnership map (clear roles); belief inventory(shared beliefs); professional article (read article related and students asks questions based on article); and critical incident discussion. Four phases to be undertaken, with stage one, the pre-intervention phase just completed. Baseline data from students through questionnaire and repertory grid and from mentors through a questionnaire collected. Phase two is the interventions phase, followed by post intervention data collection & analysis and post intervention resource development.

Next up, Helen Hughes & Gordon Suddaby from Massey University presented on their project studying how to engage learners in 'the sciences' from the secondary to tertiary transition point of view. Lower levels of school students engaging with science subjects (sciences, technology, maths & engineering) at school led to this project. Key observations include student engagement being influenced by their teachers; there are different perceptions between students and university lecturers; content not so important as delivery; science students want to develop scientific methods skills; and student engagement is now lost during transition from school to university. Derived from questionnaires, interviews, focus groups with university students (1st year, college of science), lecturers, school students (year 12, taking more than 1 science subject) and teachers. Implications include institutional data already available but not used; science disciplines research-led not teaching focused; need to find better ways to manage and gather student expectations; communications need to be improved between schools and universities.

Dr Rhys Jones, representing a team from the University of Auckland, presented on assessing Hauora Maori (cultural competence) in medical students in clinical settings. Two phases, with the first phase involving collaborative work to develop two assessment tasks (modified case report and reflective commentary) completed end of 2009. Second phase, beginning this year, to pilot, implement and evaluate these as used in a clinical setting. Key findings indicate new assessments to be acceptable and students percieve they add value to their learning. Building capacity for clinical teachers to teach, learn and assess Hauroa Maori needs to be undertaken in order for sustainable continuance of this concept.