Thursday, April 19, 2012

ITF NZ vocational education research forum

itf nz vocational research forum

welcome from ITF with Mark Oldershaw

Keynote one from Peter Davies, from the Policy Consortium in the UK on ' researching VET in a cold climate'. Provided an overview of the UK situation where research funding has been recently reduced and a recent report (Wolf, 2011) that recommended that young people should be discouraged from taking voc ed quals to the detriment of core academic study! Need for research to offer practical solutions, so although less research, they may have more influence where it matters.Provided an overview of various recent research pertinent to VET including low skills, older workers, apprenticeships, NEETs etc. Presentation also included developments in evidence-based approaches and lessons learnt in the UK. encouraged to check out Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) as a major evidence base on FE and training in England through the LSIS excellence gateway on-line portal with e-LMI tool also made available to support training provision to employers. VET pedagogy on effective teaching and learning in VET includes 5 inter-related components - teaching models, teaching content, teaching skills an strategies, teaching relationships and teacher reflection. Evidence based approaches include evidence producers, gatherers, synthesisers, tranformers and engagers - Coalition for evidence based education via Education Media Centre (EMC) - provides one point of contact, enhance research credibility and make findings more relevant and user friendly.

After morning tea, two streams of concurrent sessions running, so attending ones with most relevance to my work.

"Getting to know the workforce in the tourism sector' with Joy Saunders from the ATTTO presenting work with Cristine Angus (Angus & Associates). Work done to help inform targeted review of quals (Troq), workplace development into the future. Industry survey to measure no. of staff, wage rates, seasonality of staff, staff characteristics etc. Major challenge to track down tourism based organisations due to diversity of industry and very large number of small businesses. On-line survey used with reminders via email and a prize draw.

A unified system for engineering diplomas - addressing the shortage of engineering technicians in NZ with Bill Cope from Competenz reporting on the process for developing two level 6 qualifications NZ Dip in Engineering and NZ Dip in Engineering Practice. One reason was the large number of NZ and local ITP Dips. Need to find out what students and industry think about the Dips?? revealing confused messages and lack of national consistency, not knowing actually what the qualification prepared them to do! NEEP project funded by TEC formed to develop a coherent national education plan for engineering. Started with development of a graduate progression map. Then define tasks undertaken by various technicians in civil, mechanical, electrical and process disciplines. Plus establish supply and demand.

High-viz partnerships: transforming on-job assessment with Karen Vaughan/Ben Gardiner (NZCER) and Andrew Kear from the BCITO. Find out processes involved in new assessment system and learning outcomes and contribute to evidence about effective assessment. New assessment system set up by BCITO to improve consistency between assessors, better quality assurance outcomes for the assessment process, involve effective partnership and learning resources focused on the learner. Moved from using 5000 workplace assessors to 75 roving assessors. Set up community of practice based on f2f internal moderation system. developing the Assessment team. Revising learning resources. Project studies the 'assessment space' where assessments include formal events, personal reflections, work evidence etc.

My keynote on first year apprentices of work place learning follows lunch. The occasion being the opportunity to officially launch the project with Ako Aotearoa. Audience receptive to findings and the brochure produced for apprentices to help them make a more studied decision about commencing and then beginning an indenture.
Then support for Flip from CPIT for his presentation on 'effectiveness of peer learning in a vocational education setting'. This project studied how students learn from each other in pre-trade training courses. four trades - electrical, painting/decorating, welding and carpentry. Proposes strategies useful to introduce peer learning to pre-trade training.

Followed by support for another CPIT colleague, Emma Meijer on Canterbury Tertiary College Trades Academy Success - 'the best of school and beyond'. provided background on what makes CTC work and future direction. Stressed importance of regional context and the need to consult and meet needs of educational (schools, ITOs, providers, industry) and social (family aspirations, local skill needs) stakeholders as a form of partnership. School work, plus trade/tertiary skills and includes full-time pastoral care co-ordinators.

To close the day, a plenary session called 'looking forward' consisted of presentation of projects that are in progress.
Diana Sharma from Unitec on a project called 'turning good trades people into great business people'. Presented on the work of the Unitec business development unit to assist SMEs become more effective/efficient businesses. Through collaborative venture between francise operation (Laser), University of Ballarat and Unitec. a three step process - capability assessment, receive customised learning recommendation and undergo intensive, flexible self-development programme.
Next, Doug Powhare from ESITO spoke on 'diversity: an industry collaboration' on project to increase representation of Maori, Pacific Peoples, Migrants and women in the electrical supply industry. Funding used to provide coordination support, develop aspirational pathways and mentors and establish a research framework.
Ian Elliot, CEO of plumbing, gas fitting and roofing ITO presented a project on evaluating ITO offerings to support educational judgements. Small project carried out 3 focus groups of plumbing/gasfitting apprentices at final block course (Dr. Lex McDonald & Dr. Anne Hynds from Victoria University). Apprentices perceptions of learning opportunities for industry-based training. Findings include: motivation was the key influence on whether participants perceived they were able to learn new skills and knowledge that could be applied in the workplace. Further research could include apprenticeship supervisors' understandings of how to motivate apprentices to learn and apply new knowledge and skills in workplace settings; and changes to effectiveness of learning through varying the ratio of on and off-job learning.

No comments: