Friday, December 06, 2013

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day 2

Day 2 begins with a breakfast session with Aka Aotearoa director, Dr. Peter Coolbear. Peter runs through 'what's next for the Academy' by setting the current tertiary education scene. With policy, items include new tertiary education strategy, public service success targets, parity of success for priority learners, foundation and transition, increased accountability for universities and strengthened quality assurance processes. For pre-degree level impacts are from TRoQ, more learners in STEMs, MOOCs, capability of teaching teams, professional accreditation of tertiary teachers and protection of academic standards. A challenge to the academy to become a 'go to body' for advice on tertiary teaching or learning issues.

First presentation of the day is a sharing session from academy members of vocational education research forum held recently in Qingdao, China. Kelly Pender and Sam Honey share photos and highlights and a question and answer session follows with Julia Bruce and myself assisting.

The student's perspective follows with presentations from 3 students. Rachel Cahir nursing student from Massey University, Jarod Burl a carpentry student from United and Natalie Frew studying Science at the University of Waikato. The students provided their impressions on their learning. Of note, the strong contribution of work placement and work based practice. These are opportunities for consolidating theory and obtaining experience with real and pragmatic actual practice. A rewarding frank and candid question and answer session followed.

A dialogue space precedes morning tea to unpack the morning's activities.

Parallel sessions commence and I attend Peter Mellow's on 'MOOCs and learning with digital curation'. Presented on varieties of MOOCs from no lecturer presence to some and a lot of lecturer presence, taster to full accreditated course, large numbers or just several hundred, structured or semi-structure constructivist. university of Melbourne MOOC Coursera-based learning analytics presented. Discussed possible shift of MOOCs to become digital duration with social media like Facebook and

Then Professor Eric Pawson's 'creating sticky campuses' presentation on 'what makes good student campuses'. Importance of informal learning spaces (indie, outside and virtual) to provide space to learn, interact and socialise. Literature on student engagement by George Kuhn and 'sticky spaces'. Summer student project derive through focus groups was for spaces to be comfortable, have different or flexible function (subject specific and general), amenities (PowerPoint, WIFI and catering options) and management of access at appropriate times.

After lunch, we have Gordon Suddaby continuing the update on 'national accreditation scheme for tertiary teachers', work completed the Alison Holmes. Provided overview, context and suggested process. Arose out of Aka Aotearoa 'taking stock' project to try to rationalise the large number of qualifications for tertiary teachers. Currently awaiting outcome of Australian initiative to meet similar goal. Any accreditation needs to involve process and confer added and sought after status. In general, tertiary institutions have code of ethics for research but not for teaching although many ITPs and some universities have codes of conduct. Suggest investigating Canadian example. Good discussion ensued with regards to the why, how, what and advantages and disadvantages of a proposed accreditation process and designation.

The academy executive lead the session on 'future of the academy'. A discussion on role of academy and how to move forward.

A poroporaki and wrap up closes a busy but pertinent symposium.

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