Education Other Research

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    Microcredentials pilot project: Final report
    (Unitec Institute of Technology, 2020-06-18) Wilson, Hugh; Unitec Institute of Technology
    This report sets out the process, results and findings from a pilot project carried out to investigate how microcredentials could be used to provide an alternative pathway for part of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) qualification. The project was undertaken by tutors from the Unitec Institute of Technology from February 2019 to November 2019. It built on previous research work undertaken by Unitec to determine how the NZDE programme could be delivered using smaller learning packages recognised by microcredentials.
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    Senses of hauora and wellbeing in early childhood initial teacher education: Report of phase one data
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2021-08) Rainie, Y.; Hopkins, R.; Gibbons, A.; Gould, K.; Matapo, J.; O’Hara-Gregan, J.; Bishop, Pauline; Heta-Lensen, Yo; Broadley, M-L.; Unitec Institute of Technology; Auckland University of Technology; University of Auckland; Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
    Auckland University of Technology, Unitec Institute of Technology, The University of Auckland, and Open Polytechnic have joined together to research early childhood student teacher hauora and wellbeing. The project is underpinned by a dedication to treasure and nurture early childhood student teachers during their studies and throughout their journey as teachers and leaders. This research aims to contribute provocations for the design of early childhood teacher education programmes. We are collectively concerned with better understanding the ways in which student teachers navigate their studies, how the navigated journey contributes to professional learning, identity and experience, and how these factors impact on the hauora and wellbeing of student teachers. We recognise that the study of teaching contributes to each student teacher’s personal and professional understanding of hauora and wellbeing through a complex whole of direct and indirect experiences. This understanding is similarly holistic, including cognitive, affective, and embodied learning. The study involves multiple phases, beginning with a first phase gathering student teacher views on hauora and wellbeing in their study. This first phase began in October 2020, at which time the nation was in Level One of its pandemic response. In phase one, student teachers were invited to respond to an online anonymous questionnaire. The survey was completed by 101 participants. A link was provided for participants to share contact details if they were interested in being involved in subsequent phases. The primary purpose of phase one was to provide themes for the development of later phases. The data was analysed through the development of student teacher cases, analysis of themes, and poetic inquiry – the latter of which introduces this Executive Summary as A student teacher’s promise.
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    Designing the bridges : highlights from Ako Aotearoa supported foundation, bridging and LLN research projects. A report prepared for Ako Aotearoa
    (Ako Aotearoa, 2017-10-30) Anderson, Helen; Unitec Institute of Technology
    New Zealand society is diverse, complex and stratified. It has a sophisticated first world education system with comprehensive coverage from early childhood through to the most exacting research-based doctoral study. While this system provides for the great majority of New Zealanders, there remain groups whose participation in tertiary education requires significant and extraordinary effort to ensure equity of opportunity and successful inclusion. This is an important issue given the established links between tertiary education and employment, income and engagement with social and economic support systems. The groups that are marginal to the established systems include those whose prior educational experience has left them under-prepared for tertiary study, rural and migrant workers whose locations and prior learnings make access to learning very difficult, those with ongoing learning and social engagement disorders, bi/tri-lingual groups where English is as yet not functional for study purposes, and social and cultural groups often located away from urban centres who wish to engage or re-engage with learning within their communities and their cultural frames. The purpose of this report is to present a group of research projects funded by Ako Aotearoa and to synthesise their findings. These projects have all worked to address the issue of how to design education to ensure the successful participation of those groups described above in New Zealand society and its workplaces. The educational designs and strategies offer ways to enhance life chances to the benefit of the individual, family and community. New Zealand gains from the productive clash of differences these groups bring to our knowledge and understanding and hence our creativity, innovation and our future solutions. The funded projects described in this report are exceptionally diverse both in regards to the people who have been participants and the people who have run the projects. The methods are various with a focus on qualitative designs, and the outcomes range in quality and strength. Each contributes to building a picture of what organisations must do, programme designers must consider and teachers must deliver to achieve effective bridging. This picture includes how to engage the students, to foster relevant and valuable learning and to support students to the next step in their progress towards their goals. The reader is invited to consider the themes described, look to the highlights of projects where work has been done and then go to the Ako Aotearoa website to read the full reports of those projects that match your interests. The next section considers the context of bridging education and it describes previous research and analysis that had as its aim identifying the critical elements of successful bridging. These findings are then aligned to the individual projects.
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    Preparing graduates in the everchanging employment market: A New Zealand tertiary case study
    (Unitec Institute of Technology, 2020) Singh, Niranjan; Tawaketini, Jone; Chand, Prabhat; Hamilton, Gerry; Kudin, Roman; Bakmeedeniya, Anura; Sidhu, Deepinder; Unitec Institute of Technology
    RESEARCH QUESTION: How can tertiary education providers maintain graduate outcomes perpetually current in their programmes of study? ABSTRACT: Tertiary education is always heavily implicated in disruptions from global crisis including climate change, improvements in technology and related environmental issues. This research is provocative as it examines the robustness of graduate outcomes in programmes of study offered at Tertiary education institutes. It questions the ability of Tertiary education institutes to update and maintain graduate outcomes that will prepare the future workforce of the country with skills, knowledge and capabilities in an ever-changing work environment caused by global disruptions. A qualitative methodology was used to ascertain how global incidents caused disruptions to the way of work and the changes to skill-sets of employees. Drivers of disruptions were found to be introduction of radical technology, global economic shocks, political upheavals, environmental issues and impact on public health by pandemics. Key findings indicate that tertiary education institutes lack the foresight and funding to maintain and gear up their programmes of study in order to future proof against disruptive changes. The result has been that there is a growing mismatch between graduate outcomes and industry expectation. Discussions are around closing the current and future skills gap as an immediate priority for programmes of study. This research concludes with recommendations for improved funding and resources and a model to enhance validity of student learning experience.
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    Guidelines for developing and using e-assessments with vocational learners : project overview
    (Ako Aotearoa, 2019-07) Chan, S.; Walsh, N.; Roo, A.; Power, K.; Stokes, C.; Brensell, D.; Dusse, S.; Lyster, A.; Campbell, S.; Hamilton, K.; Templeton, J.; Pati, Kamuka; Lovegrove, C.; Baglow, Lee; Warburton, Alan; Fifilata, L.; Panko, Mary; Oldfield, James; Purtal, J.; Unitec Institute of Technology
    "Mā te rongo, ka mōhio; mā te mōhio, ka mārama; mā te mārama, ka mātautau” From practice comes understanding, from understanding comes knowing, from knowing comes expertise. SUMMARY: This project brought together a team of vocational educators from three Institutes of Technology or Polytechnics (ITPs) and an iwi-led tertiary partnership, to create a set of guidelines for the development and implementation of e-assessments for learning. As New Zealand qualification outcomes have shifted from competency-based to graduate profile outcomes-based qualifications, there is a need to support students’ learning towards meeting graduate profiles. Assessments for learning are key components of sound learning programmes. Assessments for learning, also called formative assessments, are planned learning activities which lead to occasions for learners or teachers to check on learning progress. Opportunities for feedback provide learners with advice to judge their learning and plan towards future improvements, leading to increased learner achievement and efficacy. The affordances provided by digital devices, tools and apps, increase opportunities for the implementation of useful assessments for learning which meet learners’ needs. Digital technologies also allow access to some of the difficult to describe, or measure, skills and dispositions, which underpin vocational education. These ‘invisible’ attributes contribute towards learners ‘becoming’ (i.e. attainment of an occupational identity) as they progress towards meeting the graduate profile outcomes defined by NZ qualifications. The guidelines are a distillation of the learnings achieved through iterations of Participative Action Research (PAR) cycles by each sub-project team. These guidelines can be used to support the development, implementation and evaluation of e-assessments for learning within vocational education For this project, seven sub-projects were developed, which implemented eassessments for learning activities using a range of pedagogical approaches and digital tools. These e-assessments for learning, supported feedback mechanisms to learners. E-feedback was made accessible to the learners through the affordances provided by digital technologies. For example, e-feedback videos or learning analytics from VR simulators were used to accelerate the learning of skills and dispositions. Learners were able to access e-feedback from a range of supporters including their tutors/teachers, their peers, and other experts. These opportunities for multimodal feedback (through images, audio recordings, VR environments, etc.) provided learners with important information to assist with deliberate practice.