Thursday, October 02, 2014

NTLT conference - day 2

Day two dawns much cooler than yesterday, with light rain. A breakfast meeting with other staff development teams begins a busy day.

The MC today is Mike Grumball, head of trades at SIT. First keynote of the day is with Dr. Ganesh Nana, chief economist at the business and economic reseach ltd. (BERL). Ganesh presents on the topic 'tertiary education, value and the 21st century economy'. Provided an overview of where the present world economies are -using examples from rising values in stock markets around the world but unemployment high in many countries (esp. in Europe) and disparities between the well off and the less so (i.e. inequality increasing). Challenges in the new world include climate change, access to energy / raw materials, water, food and skilled labour. Reviewed economics with respect to how 'value' may be defined. Economics is wide ranging including social / political sphere. Economics is about how we choose to use resources (wealth) to generate more valus - produce/deliver things we want, need desire, look after, maintain, or replenish resources and improve and or expand resources (i.e. a sustainable view). Value is difficult to define in dollars and cents but policy advisers require a measurement of value. Measures beyond GDP include UN human development (old) and OECD better life initiative and OECD well-being framework. In NZ, Treasury has recently developed the treasury living standards framework which includes - economic growth, sustainability for the future, increasing equity, social infrastructure and reducing risks (to generate through increases in financial/physical, natural, social and human capital). Education contribute to all aspects of the treasury living standards framework. NZ spending on education (also tertiary) slightly below OECD average. At present, inputs (maximum no. of students) and outputs (maximise no. of graduates) measured and now working on 'outcomes' - still difficult to measure and skewered to economic outcomes (employment, higher income, better access to skilled employees). Current funding incentives are on course completion, qualification completion, student retention and student progression (still outputs). However Tertiary strategies include delivering skills for industry, getting at risk young people into career, boost maori / pacifica completions etc. moving towards 'outcomes' but difficult to measure. Recommends gather data on post-graduate outcomes (beyond just the economic) and explore indicators of broader outcomes.

After morning tea, I attend session with Christine Dunn on 'embracing technologies to enhance nursing engagement and learning in summative assessment'. Christine had trialled ipads with communications courses as per CPIT use of video to support learning of therapeutic communications. Assessment of application of effective communication to therapeutic relationships. Students are provided with a scenario, sign into a youtube account, then participate in a 5-6 minute simulated interview with a'client'. Interview is videotaped and uploaded to youtube. Leaners review their interview, reflected on their performance and develop an improvement plan. Learning from project used to improve next iteration.

Next presentation is with Ruby Day from Wintec on 'pursuing authenticity in designing learning spaces to engage foundation students. Went through the principles underpinning re-design to make the learning more student centred, build life long learning skills and create a positive class culture. Provided background on course / student profiles etc. Applied project based learning with process of developing principles, change management focus, selection of modules to integrate, work with teaching team. Goal was to establish motivation and retain engagement. Projects included setting up students' personal profile, personal learning plan and a community (group) and an individual vocationally focused project. Projects were diverse with regards to topics, focusses and levels.

Then, I facilitate workshop on 'implementing active learning with tablets' as a follow up to yesterday's keynote. Mainly to establish if participant's projects were learner-focused and to work on how implementation may progress. The need to plan the course / programme with objectives, learning activities, opportunity to receive feedback / reflect and work on next learning objective.

After lunch, there is keynote with Professor Angus McFarlane from University of Canterbury on 'Mai I te ao tawhito ki te ao hou: cultural touchstones for higher education in today's world'. Presentation centred around the importance of touchstones with regards to democracy and diveity with the tertiary education. Consider continuums of 'cultural consciousness', the main dangers of 'Eurocentric hegemony' and present an argument to favour culturally connected discourses in research and teaching. Presented a set of 5 influences for culturally inclusive pedagogy and propose a process that has potential to build on existing scientific and cultural imperatives for a place in the new world. Challenged us to think about how we are being culturally competent. To prepare students to become culturally conscious, with educational direction coming from the traditional Eurocentric and Te Ao Maori. Need to have equity not just equality.

Workshops in 4 streams and I attend the presentation with Stephen Atkins, Chris Fraser and Lyn Blair with 'problem based learning at Otago Polytechnic: developing a research programme'. First year Business degree students enrol in the problem-based learning programme and complete the equivalent of 8 papers. Details of the structure and philosophies of the programme presented. Then workshop to move through 4 'stations' to experience problem-based learning. Wrap up of the session closes the session. PBL programme has 5 projects - business tool kit, business practices, giving back, environmental issues and business venture plus 'gap fill' finals. 50% individual and 50% group assessment reported as individual 8 paper results. PBL students have less lecture time but more time to work on projects. Project individual and group assessments mapped to all the learning outcomes from the 8 courses.

Afternoon keynote is with Manu Fasea-Semeatu who is national facilitor for CORE education presents on 'Le lalolagi fou:E tumau le fa'avae, ae fesuia'i faiga - understanding the diverse-cities of Pasifika'. An engaging presentation to introduce the work by CORE Pacifica team to support Pacifica education, learners and Pacifica educators PD for technology enhanced learning. Objective to implement Pacifica vision - all Pacifica learners participating, engaging and achieving in education, secure their identities and cultures. Need to remember, Pacifica has multiple cultures, some commonalities but each has specific wealth of culture. Shared strategies used as a teacher to engage Pacifica learners, challenging them to  succeed, achieve excellence and become leaders. Moved into theories / hypothesis towards conception of 'diverse-city' - iversity in Pacifica peoples' belonging and involvement with their Pacifica roots. Presented CORE education themes - personalised learning, new views of equity, diversity and inclusion, using curriculum knowledge, rethink the role of learners and teachers (ako), culture of continuous learning and new kinds of partnerships and relationships. Recommended to list 5 actions to take to become Pacifica responsive, identify what you need to do the achieve the actions and set an timeline. Big CORE ideas are diversity, connectedness (check CORE connected educator month october 2014). Reach before you teach :)

Conference dinner at Cabbage Tree restaurant closes a long but interesting day.

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