Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Course Self Evaluation of DFLP

My Final/Final post is my Self evaluation on this course and as Megan said in her assessment it is the hardest part of the course, for me not having to meet any level 7 criteria before, it certinally has been a challenge.
So here we go.....

At the end of all my postings I have given my ratings and any comments.....

Evidence ratings:
1 - very little evidence - superficially mentions online learning but not distance or correspondence;
2 - some evidence - refers to an example of online learning and one of distance but does not discuss them or critique them or make comparisons with own area/context - one reference;
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence - discusses some features and references some readings;
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice;
5 - excellent - discusses several examples of this type of learning and refers to several readings with references, and critiques several ideas and how they could be applied in context.

Learning Outcomes for DFLP

1. Discuss principles and processes of flexible teaching and learning to facilitate culture sensitive adult learning;

Learning outcome 1.

Looking at my blog on cultural diversity and access and equity with my references to Professor Barrie O'Connor
The learning out come here is clear.
My posts explained my view on cultural diversity, where I made the point we can't always be on the mark every time, the complex range of different views in my field is huge and can't be locked down. But we can strive to pass on our experiences in the best possible way.
My post on access has covered the points I wished to write on with references to examples on Equitable Use, Simple and Intuitive Use, and Tolerance for Error.

2. Critique the design and application of existing flexible teaching and learning options in relation to the literature;

Learning outcome 2.

I have learned a lot about looking at Flexible Learning not just from a technology view point.
My flexible distance package we are putting together for our students at the moment covers flexible learning from several different angles, written, demonstration, as well as interactive uses of different media platforms.
Looking at examples of flexible delivery plans from institutions like the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) with their seemingly unlimited budgets and resourses where you can buy dvd's, download podcasts or enroll for on line courses at any time, the scope is huge to make our own, relevant flexible delivery programs here and like theirs very user freindly, just not as expensive!!!

3. Explore and justify the strategies for the development of flexible learning environments;

Learning outcome 3.

Exploring flexible learning in my own context is a large part of my non-contact time at the moment.
The justification for implementing the flexible learning into our programmes is the directive from our Otago Polytechnics strategic plan, "Develop facilities and systems which support flexible teaching, learning and work practices, and which enable excellence in the services we provide."
The other reason to develop these programmes is because Industry wants them.
My programme manager was asked to give a quick presentation on what we are doing at a National conference last week.
From the feedback given to my programme manager from one of the biggest hotel chains in the country and from the education Minister and associates the demand for such programmes to be implemented is here and now.

4. Analyse and evaluate challenges that arise in the design of flexible learning environments;

Learning outcome 4.

For me the design and implementation of the "nuts and bolts" of the flexible learning plans don't present many issues at all. I feal I know my subject and what is needed to be passed on at any given level of a chefs training.....
What I don't know about is how it should be presented in a educational sence.
To present the programme in a well structured, sound educational context is a huge challenge to me. The help I am getting in the "student centered teaching course" and through the readings given to me by my more senoir lecturers has been invaluable.
Still we would have to get these programmes into the correctly presented formats and for that I would still need to have a lot of help.

To grade my work from the blog is quite hard, there is always room for improvement in everything we do, so no 5s....

Self assessment of Learning Outcomes, Self Evaluation

Well it's all been a bit heavy but very informative and well worth the effort.
I do believe I have successfully achieved the Learning outcomes and I am much more well informed since doing this course.
I have already taken a lot of what I have learned and implimented it into the base for my future plans.
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Final Flexible Learning Development Plan, Assignment 3

Final Flexible Learning Development Plan
Assignment 3

Project Name:
Demonstrate knowledge of complex fish dishes in a commercial kitchen (example only)
Otago Polytechnic, Level Four Cookery.
Author Details:
Steve Ellwood, Catering Lecturer, Otago Polytechnic Level four
Executive Summary:
To take a unit standard from the Hospitality Standards Institute, in this case "Demonstrate Knowledge of Complex Fish Dishes in a Commercial Kitchen" and deliver this unit via a range of flexible platforms.
Using our Otago Polytechnic Blackboard site as a central hub from which links to practical demonstration videos of the summative assessments are available as well as theory notes and PowerPoint's, study hints and announcements on new and upgraded information.
In addition to the above I will have the demonstration videos loaded on a ipod for each student, this will be an optional extra for their course (although recommended) and available through course related costs at the time of enrollment.
This will enable the student to study their assessments at any time which fits into our students requirements as they are mostly working and have varied shift times, not always allowing them to attend the required classes.
Highlighted are range of creative opportunities and provide a framework for introducing visual learning strategies in a catering context.
1. To flexibly deliver examples of unit standard assessments online from a central access point, namely Otago Polytechnic’s Blackboard site.
2. To use learning technologies as a means of encouraging students in a Certificate in Professional Cookery (Level 4) programme to better prepare for assessment tasks.
1. Incorporate video links to YouTube sites with summative assessment demonstrations available on line from our "Blackboard" which is the Otago Polytechnics Central server hub.
This platform will enable me to post the student workbooks in a digital PDF format which will be printable and should be manually completed and then graded by the tutor. This would provide the physical evidence required for the theory part of the unit standard.
2. An optional available resource will also be a I-pod with all the video assessments for the course pre-loaded along with revision quizzes which will be in apples multi choice quiz format and updateable podcasts (upgradable from students i-tunes library) for new information.

Project Background:
In June 2007 the cookery lecturers began filming the assessment dishes for their Level 4 programme. They also created a blog-site and posted movie clips on You Tube,
The project originally came about from the need to give the opportunity to students who missed practical classes due to illness or work commitments a pre-recorded demonstration of the required practical classes that could be referred back to by the students and as a refresher for the whole class.
We have come to the point where we have filmed about half our required resources and the project is ongoing.
Initial feedback from absentee learners indicated that they regularly viewed the movies, but more surprisingly, learners who had attended the demonstrations were also repeatedly viewing the demonstrations. Learners commented that the movie clips acted as a refresher prior to their assessments and that they were easier to follow and interpret than conventional typed recipe formats.
One of the leading points for industry in regard to flexible training is can the flexible plan be delivered in the workplace with little down time for the apprentice, or the need for assessors to be overloaded with extra work on their already valuable time. With the dual formats of written recipes and video demonstration of the unit’s requirements, the need for excessive amounts of practical sessions is reduced to a minimum, lowering the cost of resources used, and wage costs in time required. If the workplace has no 4089 qualified assessors the tutors from our department can organise and we indeed encourage, ourselves to assess the learner in their own work environment.
Outcomes & Performance Indicators:
1. Flexible learning materials for use in the workplace.
a. Online videos of cookery demonstrations on an open web site e.g. YouTube;
b. Materials organised and linked within a Learning Management System e.g. Blackboard;
c. Podcasting using Ipods.
d. Online workbooks and quizzes.
2. More efficient practical assessment.
a. Less “down-time” for cookery apprentices.
b. Reduced demand on the time of workplace assessors.
3. Improved pass and grade rates.
a. Students have better results in assessments already
b. Less resources used on resits
c. Tutors perception so far in comparison to previous years.

Flexible Learning Analysis:
The needs of the learner the flexible plan is aimed at, encompasses the whole of our programme. Not only will the distance learner or the part time or block student be able to access and use all these resources, but they will be available to all our students in catering for them to use; providing a refresher for those completing assessments, as well as an inspiration for those starting or just coming into this level of cookery.
Enrolment into the specific unit courses would be by the usual means of enrolment through our administration offices with an interview with the tutor on the relevant course to set individual requirements if any, either in person, phone, skype, web conferencing etc.
In general my students are visual and kinesthetic learners, so the use of a visual, repeatable demonstration of a physical act suits their learning style.
While having no problems at all with digital media my students also have a high rate of literacy and numeracy problems and the availability of specialised help from our student resource centre is available to individual learners.
The flexible learning materials would be available to the students workplace assessors and any support they require i.e. 4098 qualified assessors, could be taken on case by case.
Communication Strategies:
My own concern with communication, having dealt with part time students last year, is that our students who are working sometimes may not always get to every class and can fall behind fairly quickly with a very condensed and time constrained, structured course. But with the flexibly delivered proposed course, time constraints disappear and assessment can be timetabled at anytime when resources in the workplace allow. If the student feels they would like to take more time to be assessed, flexible course delivery accommodates this.
The Blackboard system has e-mail embedded for updates as well as any enquires. Also live illuminate conferencing (web conferencing) could also be timetabled through the course for question and answer sessions as well as face to face sessions.
The first two days at the start of every year are set aside for blackboard introduction, and computer and portable media demonstration with general course introduction.
Information formats:
As already described the information formats vary from PDF downloads, I-pod and YouTube video, I quiz ( this is apple mac's, I-pod's multi choice quiz software) and podcast updates as well as the base platform, in my case blackboard. Also available on dvd when requested for those with limited Internet access. We would have the original resources in various formats i.e.; WMV windows media video, MP4 for use on quick time and apple hardware and FLV for general video playback on most systems, etc for use on virtually any delivery system.
Technical Support:
I would expect if this form of delivery is taken up by our department the need for IT support would be paramount and would be budgeted for within the framework, indeed expected from such a large institution as ours.
As the video resources will need updating and new dishes will constantly be implemented the IT support for hard and software will always be needed.
The Blackboard system is supported by the polytechnics IT department and with our induction days for introduction to our flexible delivery systems and on going support from ourselves I don't envisage many problems.
In the development plan template you ask:
What types of services already exist that compliment and or compete with our plan, and how will we use complimentary or competitive services favourably.
We already have an ongoing relationship with the Canadian, Niagra Catering College which started when we were surfing the net for like minded people who may have produced their own video demonstrations. After emailing and commenting on YouTube back and forth we have an understanding to use our work between ourselves at anytime. Also Celina Chans work on flexible learning in catering from Christchurch Polytechnic has also given us some direction, and from talking to her have found common resources available.
My view of sustainability, through the triple bottom line:
1. Ecological,
My flexible plan along with the use of portable assessment material will reduce the need for extensive resits helping in the reduction of waste.
2. Economic,
And as above the cutting down of resits due to better pass rates reduces the repeat resources being used as well as cutting down on extra time from lecturers and students on repeating assessments.
3. Social sustainability.
In relation to access and equity I have all the demonstrations free to air on a public viewing area for anyone to pick up. The method behind the madness is to educate for free but to have our school in full view while the student watches.
As a institution we are fully aware of our requirements to be "sustainable practitioners" Samuel Mann 2008, and we are working with our students and in our teaching resources to incorporate this as a matter of course.
Access & Equity:
From my blog on this subject I would reference Professor Barrie O’Connor and his many papers on the subject with one of his main points being, “Equitable use, maximize the usefulness of design for everyone, identical whenever possible and equivalent when not, so to avoid segregating or stigmatizing any user”
This (I believe) would be the base statement for our
Access and Equity policy.
For any individuals needs in regard to disability or other special requirements, our student support services are more than qualified to help with any concerns.
Cultural Diversity:
There aren’t many more culturally diverse jobs than being a chef. As well as we can we would try to adhere to the original recipe from any given country but with such a wide ranging field and with such diverse differences between regions within countries there are bound to be differing opinions. We will just try our best not to offend and if we receive good constructive feedback from any quarter we take it on board. That doesn’t mean the fundamentals are rejected because of fashion or by some, not so well informed, we will flag what is a proud and proven tradition for the sake of political correctness.
If there are any problems with learning or literacy the student would be referred to the appropriate student support but there are criteria to be meet and outcomes and standards to be achieved, as with any trade base course.
My plan aligns perfectly with the Otago Polytechnics strategic plan,
I quote (page 2 # 2),
Student retention, success and satisfaction indicators top the sector. Recognition at national and international level in our claimed areas of excellence (external validation).
· Our satisfaction surveys on our course and of our tutors relate to the first statement and our recognition in cookery competitions speaks for itself at national level, all of the tutors on the level 4 programme have achieved national awards in cookery over many years, r.e. external validation
· Create an outstanding experience for learners in a supportive, inspiring ad stimulating environment. (Page 4, priority 1, 2, 7).
· Again our student satisfaction surveys are a testament to our ongoing commitment.
· Develop more flexible pathways and learning opportunities for learners, including learning in the workplace.
· I refer to my plan, flexible learning analysis.
· Develop facilities and systems which support flexible teaching, learning and work practices, and which enable excellence in the services we provide.
· We are in the middle of creating such facilities and systems and from the results so far we believe we are on the right track.
References to Learning theories:
I believe my flexible delivery of my unit/course fits into the “social constructionist” model of learning theory. “All knowledge of everyday reality is derived from and maintained by social interactions.” Peter L Berger and Thomas Luckmam, the social construction of reality 1966.

The above is a perfect fit for what I’m trying to achieve with mixed delivery system for the workplace where the students interacts with the blackboard video then goes back to the workplace to practice assessment structure where they will be helped along with their practical’s by peers as well as assessors.
Here is where I step into the unknown. As far as the hardware to produce the resource is concerned we are there. We received a grant from the innovation fund for $5000 to purchase a new video camera, Mac computer and training in editing production. This will be invaluable in the future for more professional results.The question of staff time doesn’t really come into our equation because we film our demonstrations on the days when our assessment demonstrations are timetabled (so as not to have to purchase extra resource) as for the editing and producing of the films we try to incorporated this into our weekly non contact time, not always possible but not really an issue that needs to be of any concern. If I had to put a figure on each video for time and resourses, it could run into $4-5 hundred each.
As for future funding there is a possibility of some support from apple through their education arm where we may be able to be sponsored with I-pods or at least software and training to implement.Because i don’t really have any issues with budgets for my plan i would leave everything i have in place. Later down the track we hope to ask for AKO research funding to help in the comparisons between assessment outcomes before the availability of video demonstrations and the current open source availability in so many formats
Time line:
Development is ongoing but I do believe by the end of the year I will have the current year’s resource available in many formats for delivery next year. As the NZQA requirements change along with directives from the Polytechnic the resource will always be fluid and changing, upgrading and be, above all, current to industry requirements.
Feedback from my poll on my blog, although small has been very positive and everyone I have talked to and asked to critique this pathway to flexible learning had had nothing but positive things to say.


Niagara Catering College, Canada.
Professor Barrie O’Connor
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flexible learning development plan

Thanks very much......Steve

3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence - discusses some features and references some readings

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week 13, National and International support for flexible learning development

From my last post......

we applied for and were successful in funding from the

Otago Polytechnics Teaching and Learning innovation fund.
This was primarily to buy and fund training for hardware and software video editing equipment.This is a great first step in producing high quality video resources for ourselves and down the track for use in industry workplaces.

The main points in the application were:

The funding is required to purchase an iMac computer, new editting software and new video camera, to present all course material on iPods. The aim of the project is to:

Improve the presentation of existing and future practical lesson movies.

Present all course material on iPods for flexible delivery.

Further enhance the course material for the kinaesthetic and visual learning styles of cookery students.

Have the hundreds of gigabits of information stored and backed-up within the polytechnics computer network.

Goals and Outcomes:

To create a full collection of movie clips and photos that covers all the practical dishes produced on the level 3 and 4 cookery programmes.

Film the movies with two cameras then edit the movies on an Apple computer using Final Cut Express to improve the professional appearance of these movies.

Upload the movies and photos to iPod for all cookery students to access whenever they want, without the need for broadband

Too improve storage on movie file to a “backed up system” covered by the Polytechnics IT department away from an external hard drive.

The other funding we have looked at was the AKO fund,
National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence which has "the facility to fund small projects of up to 10k that are designed to improve and/or research tertiary teaching and learning.
This application is being looked at but at the moment our main focus is on producing the resource and supporting assessment evidence as well as our blended teaching elements before trying to publish them as a saleable or complete programme.
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence - discusses some features and references some readings

Week 12, Flexible learning in educational organisations.

Looking at the strategic plan backed up some of the work we have been doing in catering with our use of ipods and portable media.
Referring to Otago Polytechnics "Strategy 2008 - 2012".
Our strategic Goals.
Success indicators - Student retention, success and satisfaction indicators.
For us, the lecturer surveys as well as one to one sessions with our students tell us the availability of recorded practical sessions is used and appreciated.
Recognition at national level in our claimed areas of excellence.
Our Level 4 course is a finalist in the HSI inovation awards and we have secured a grant to upgrade our video hardware to increase quality of our video clips.

Listening to Phil Kers elluminate session gave me a few thing to work into our plan, mainly, Learners autonomy, letting the learner take more control of their learning and maybe little less directed teaching and looking at how much of a blended approach should be looked at when considering a flexible program.

Referring to the same paper (strategic Plan) under Our Priorities.

  1. Create an outstanding experience for learners in a supportive inspiring and stimulating environment.

Supported by student surveys and lecturer feedback, documented back to our programme managers.

2. Develop more flexible pathways and learning opportunities for learners, including learning in the workplace.

Development is on going and available in the workplace and is being followed through by our more senior lecturers.

Priority 7. Develop facilities and systems which support flexible teaching, learning and work practices and which enable excellence in the services we provide.

Again going by the awards we are currently running for as well as feedback from other departments and from industry we are on the right track.

Sounds like blowing our own trumpet, but why not, the work we have completed so far tells us we should carry on with a combination of flexible learning combined with our current face to face teaching, when fully developed we will have a huge resource for the learner as well as ourselves to draw from.

3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence - discusses some features and references some readings

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week 11, Cultural Diversity

With the flexible learning resources I have produced so far, (i-pod movies, mp3 etc) I really hadn't thought of anything culturally insensitive that may be on our programmes.
We take the requirements from NZQA, interpret those into dishes or theory and post in the choosen style. Being in any way offensive hasn't really been thought of.
I suppose if we were sitting on a table in a video that may be offensive, as in our Moari culture or if we wrote or marked with red pen that may offend some Asian folks, writing about this now will ensure we think about those things for future projects.
But how do you know?
Alli's example with the clock, who would have thought of that, and it wasn't indended to be offensive. So if we all do something in our flexible delivery that may be seen as not ok by some as long as it wasn't intentional and is fixed in a timley way I don't think we should be overly worried or stressed about a mistake.
2 - some evidence - refers to an example of online learning and one of distance but does not discuss them or critique them or make comparisons

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Issues with flexible learning - access and equity

For this weeks task I looked at a paper given by Professor Barrie O'Connor, Deputy Head of School, Education and professional studies, Brisbane.
He is a board member of the Tertiary Education Disability Council (Australia)
In his paper he pointed to the "great potential that E-learning and flexible delivery holds for those with disabilities and how it supports people with different learning styles and paces"
This is backed up by my own experience with students who have had learning difficulties but are often more comfortable using the flexible resources we offer in our course i.e. blackboard, ipod, dvd, mp3 etc. I realize that some disabilities may need more individualized programming but with the resources available to students through our own disabilities unit, difficulties can be overcome.
One of the main points professor O'Connor made was the need for "universal design principles"
I know for myself the huge number of different formats available to lecturers to create programmes and usually that comes down to individual preference rather than a set format that everyone can use.
Professor O'Connor gave seven principles for universal design, copied below:
  1. Equitable Use: maximize the usefulness of design for everyone, identical whenever possible and equivalent when not, so that it avoids segregating or stigmatizing any users.

  2. Flexibility in Use, values design that accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. It should provide choice in methods of use, adaptability to the user’s pace, and facilitate the user’s accuracy and precision.

  3. Simple and Intuitive Use, seeks to create ease of understanding for users, regardless of their experience, knowledge and language.

  4. Perceptible Information, seeks to ensure that design allows information to be communicated effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

  5. Tolerance for Error, seeks to minimize hazards and the negative consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

  6. Low Physical Effort, seeks to ensure that interaction with the environment can occur efficiently and comfortably and with minimal fatigue.

  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use, seeks to maximize approach, reach and manipulation capabilities of users irrespective of their size, posture and mobility.

His conclusion was flexible delivery and e-learning would give people with disabilities an equal footing in education "if we all become enlightened about it's potential uses"
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Week 9: Transparent design for teaching and flexible learning?

Dr Manns Web conference this week shared the view we may not look at the whole picture of sustainability as often as we might. I'm the worst one for looking as far as the recycle bin in the corner of the office and not really thinking of sustainability from the beginning of a project, usually it's an after thought. But we as a department are getting better. Procedures are being put in place for food waste etc but what we are trying to do with one hand is taken away by the other hand with the waste in energy alone coming from being in such an old building at the moment.
Reference above "John Carey and Pam Wilson" "A practical guide to providing flexible learning in further and higher education"
I'm not sure if this answers correctly "What is the equivalent transparent design for teaching and flexible learning?" but I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm not on the right track.
2 - some evidence - refers to an example of online learning and one of distance

Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 8, Flexible Teaching and Learning Plan

I've looked at this week over a dozen times before settling on a unit that would be appropriate for flexible delivery.
I've decided to put together a blended delivery on the hsi unit standard 13305, complex fish in a commercial kitchen.
It is something being worked on currently but running with this unit as part of this course will give me some more input on the right direction to take it.
The method of delivery would include as a package, a dvd covering an introduction and all information for the start of the unit, workbooks that should be completed and returned as part of the assessment, access to the course blackboard or blog with links to relevant information needed, and Ipod converted demonstrations of the assessment dishes for this unit.
Final assessments could be either taken in conjunction with current classes or in the workplace by an suitably qualified assessor.
We could flexibly deliver several of these types of units as required for the distance learner or for what ever reason the student that may fall behind due to illness etc.
2 - some evidence - refers to an example of online learning and one of distance

Monday, April 21, 2008

Week 6, Does Open and Networked Education Threaten or Enhance Formal Education

Reading the "international review of research in open and distance learning" it was interesting to me to read, article 26, universal declaration of human rights declares that "everyone has the right to education and that technical and professional education shall be generally available (united nations 1948) The OER (Open educational resource) movement starting with Richard Stallman in 1983 at MIT, through to all involved today in the Open Course Ware Consortium are progressing toward that goal set by the UN. If we look at the moral view of free education to all, the idea of open course ware should be available to everyone. The other benefit would be to extend the providers profile within the on-line community, that in turn would lead to more enrollments in courses offered by the institution.
Can OER live up to the promise of delivery free education to all Maybe not in the very near future. To quote from the PennState article "It provides more options for learning and it expands access to resources" (Geith.c. 2008) I looked at an article from MIT that would confirm this, Nutrition and Productivity by Abhijit Banerjee, dept of economics, MIT The article itself is available free and in full and is useful as a resource for use in the theory of nutrition but wouldn't be used in full as a distance course paper.
Do I think open and networked education threatens or enhances formal education. Enhances formal education defiantly, using open sources as resource helps flexible learning and student-centered learning, I can't see it as a threat, just another path to gather information from.
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Week 5. Examples of Flexible Learning - Part time, Block, Blended

Impressions of Historical Context for Flexible Learning.
I would like to give my impression of a correspondence course I completed about 10 years ago through an Australian provider on Wine Making.
Although the research in grape varieties had to be quite in depth and learning from wine reference books, given specific details to look for was interesting my overall impression was the "Learning Outcomes" could have just as easily been achieved by my own reading and critiquing of the given wines.
I think the whole reason that flexible learning has moved forward can be put down to the access of technologies and the delivery in different media formats that keep tactile and kinesthetic learners (such as chefs) interested and coming back for more.
If I had half the resources to pull from 10 years ago as we do now I would have gotten twice as much out of that course as I did.
One definite I can see is the down turn in very basic education in school leavers and the under 20 age group. Basic maths and literacy skills (I believe) are no where near what would have been expected 10-15 years ago.
Is this because of open entry? The student knows he/she can get on their chosen course so the need to meet a higher standard becomes less important or does it stem from NCEA where again "I believe" the re-sit mentality doesn't push the learner hard enough to achieve a higher standard. We can have in place all the flexibility we want but if the student arrives with a total lack of the fundamentals are they going to achieve the required outcomes, or are we going to spend all our and their time getting them up to the required level.
Is this "Old School" ranting from someone who is new to education and I should go with the PC flow or do I have a point and maybe a little injection of discipline is what is needed to get generation Y motivated.
Teacher Conceptions of Blended Learning and Teaching
Higher education has embraced the E-learning concept as a fundamental way of helping students learn.
Even campus based courses are increasing E-learning technologies to improve the students learning experience.
To quote directly: "the teacher may have little time, resource, knowledge or inclination to attend to the integration sufficiently" or maybe in some cases the teachers would like to implement more flexible and e-learning practices but are hamstrung because of funding issues or support from the institution. After reading the paper I have no doubt for the need to move forward in our e-learning/teaching but can this be achieved in some economic environments? My reaction is the fact we will be left behind when we could be the first and best at certain types of delivery but are being taken over by other institutions with more vision and resources.
Or again maybe it's me with the usual Chefs attitude of, "It should be done yesterday"
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Week 4. Examples of Flexible Learning

Having listened to the paper on "Reorganizing Universities for the Information Age" the first comment I took from the paper was from Peters 2004. His view, the Learner may become more autonomous with the availability of digitally based courses and information leading to more self paced learning. He also said this may lend itself to the student being able to complete the course without a predetermined schedule or timetable.
Without the direct contact of other students and tutors in a Trade based course, the necessary timing of the practical portion of assessments and practice demonstrations could not be achieved on ones own. As I have witnessed on far too many occasions the usual reason for unsafe and incorrect procedures away from the learning and practice environment is the less experienced person is called upon to complete tasks that they have not been correctly critiqued on and have had little practice at.
I would venture to say if a trade course was to go too far into the digital realm
the student would find themselves in that situation far to often. Not fair on the student and could lead to the course's reputation being damaged.
My reference to these comments would be Taylor 2001. "The fifth generation" he dubbed, "Intelligent Flexible Learning" From the same paper: "Besides the relatively commonplace features found in most on line learning systems, fifth generation distance education also incorporates business technologies that streamline instructional material production. These permit multiple types of media outputs from a single source document.
This is what we are trying to move forward in our course, not to have a "Fordist approach" where the Teaching Craft is diminished (Stevens 1996)or the students needs are not fully satisfied, but to cover as many bases as we can for as many learning styles as we can sensibly put in place without sacrificing any of our course content.
On reading the Wiki's: Distance Education/Types of Distance Education Courses, Testing and Evaluation and Electronic Learning I would like to look into using an automated practice system (in the future) for some of our theory based units such as Nutrition and Food Costing. I could have a blend of multi choice and written response to practice questions relating directly to unit standard requirements and to our own more in depth requirements. Posting the assessments with required completion times would certainly give a more flexible approach to what is traditionally the not so favored compulsory portion of our course.
This would free up time for one on one or small group sessions, speed up marking and would show up any individuals problems before the Learner may have to sit the unit exams.
Also the fact that most of our students would feel more comfortable with using this style of "Formative Assessment" than sitting in a classroom at 9-15 on a Monday morning may lead to higher completion rates in these topics. Not to mention the benefit for Learners from out of town that could complete these whole units from home or work.
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice

Monday, March 17, 2008

Week 3, Why do we need flexible learning?

Some of the reasons for Flexible Learning.

Offering short courses in selected units may lead into part or full time courses being taken up by the student. In offering the selected unit or course the advertising of the path of study is increased, raising the profile of the course and the institution.
Being prepared with adequate resources to cover the specific needs of each learner on the selected courses in technology based information so as to cut down the lecturers need for constant contact.
I would disagree with all resources being "free to air" as in totally on blogger or wiki as you would need to have information re-issued for further short courses you wish to sell.
Short courses or Flexible courses could be linked by there unit standard and students informed as to their progress towards L3 and L4 Cookery qualifications.
(Reference, Leigh Blackall, Flexible learning in New Zealand pt 4)

"Is all this choice a bad idea?"

From my own point of view I take reference from Collis and Moonen but couldn't support all of their views in regard to my own course, being:
Key dimensions in flexible learning, flexibility related to time and content.
These concepts must be synchronized with standard industry practice and diverting the course to a more flexible delivery may dilute the discipline needed by industry for these two outcomes.
Where as their views in regard to entry requirements, that has been already decided at the board level and I feel that is a mostly economic argument so not easily argued with.
Flexibility related to instructional approach and resources and delivery and logistics are fluid concepts especially as technology is made more available, gets more advanced and is excepted by institutions and students so should be accepted as being part of any course and updatable as and when required.

What situations can I site to support my position.

That is very easy, my own course, as we do have part time students also people who wish to complete part of, or finish their qualification as a chef and if we weren't flexible in our approach to our course the student would have to enroll in the complete year and re-do units already achieved. I don't believe however there should be any difference in the structure or assessment criteria between those on distance or part time courses and our full time programe students expected results.
4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Interesting video on over-loading information.

Please click on the link and watch the video, just for fun, maybe a look at things to come?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is flexible learning a new concept or just a fancy new word for an old way of doing?

Having looked into what is available through the University of Canterbury, "Teacher education qualification via the UC Flexible Learning Option." It seems to me "Flexible Learning" is using the same teaching methods one would use in a classroom setting coupled with the latest technology to enable delivery. If presented with care and relevance to the student it can only grow as a market for education.

3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Distance Package Example

In the last week we have put together a distance learning package for one of our students living out of Dunedin.
He will be completing Certificate in Professional Cookery (level 4) this year.
We have structured the package around the full time level 4 timetable as well as meeting the students time requirements.
We have interviewed the student early on to establish his time frames then agreed to a schedule that fits the needs of both parties.
The final result is a mix of "theory by distance" in which the student will complete work books. Practical demonstrations via pre-recorded Windows Media Video. The student will practice these dishes and will be assessed either in his work place by us or will able join the full time students for assessment. These demonstrations are available from a number of different platforms.
Scheduled face to face theory units that require the use of taste, touch and smell are agreed to in advance.
We will load our demonstration videos on the students I-POD for use when he has no access to his computer.
Also the use of our blackboard site to communicate and update his course as needed.
I have included a link here with one of our other students who has been using the I-POD as a refresher tool before assessment.

4 - very good - several examples of this type of learning mentioned with reference to several readings and discussion of ideas from the readings and relevance to their practice;

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breakdown of "Flexible learning, not just about distance"

Overview of handout one,
Introduction of 4 flexible learning components. Technology, Pedagogy, Implementation of strategies, institutional framework for drawing on previous experience from all components.
More flexibility to meet the needs of the learner i.e. media styles and formats, considering the learning patterns of the learner, have they any special needs that are to be defined.
"What have I drawn from this first hand out?"
The challenges I would face in considering flexible learning as a whole are :
1. Our Stakeholder input from industry would suggest a clearly defined time frame for all practical work as comparable with standard industry practise.
2. With our course being so condensed it would be hard for anyone falling behind (due to illness or lack of experience because of open entry) to catch up before the next semester.
3. We have an on-going and fluid approach to delivery but find it difficult to deliver what we envisage with less than desirable equipment and resources, I'm sure with the help of this course I will have new ideas and a foundation to launch them from.
Rating 3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My reasons for signing up on this course

This course was one of the options for myself for my GCTLT.
Also we as a department are very interested in expanding our flexible delivery for our distance students. Because our trade relies so heavily on all our senses, (sight, smell taste and touch) if we are going to be able to deliver in a flexible manner we would require the very best approach and tec support we can have. I'm hopping this course will open a few doors so we can access these tools.


this blog site has been set-up to track progress and have discussion on flexible learning specifically in my case for cookery students from all over (and any one that would like to join in) Compiled by Steve Ellwood.