Thursday, 31 March 2011

Interview with Kevin Dunbar Carpentry Lecturer

Kevin teaches level 4 Certificate in Carpentry, student are aged between 18 and 24 years and predominantly male. The course is project based learning with three intakes of twenty five students, two tutors to each group with each group building a house.
Five dimensions of flexible learning
The course is conducted over forty weeks with eight of the weeks allocated to work experience; mornings are used to conduct course theory with the afternoons dedicated to practical work. Fridays afternoons are provided for assessment resits.
Delivery and Logistics:
Theory classes utilise Utube to demonstrate product manufacture, power points to illustrate available materials and usage and instructions and demonstrations on building techniques. Guest lecturers are invited for specific instructions e.g. roofing, plumbing etc. Theory delivery is in-line with practical workshop were possible.
Class rooms with Emedia. Construction areas are required to build the houses with stringent Health and Safety guide lines (Site Safe), building barn for small projects and pre-assembly work, joinery shop and machine shop. Students are required to source work experience.
Open entry with a minimum of four years (Year 12) secondary education with 8 NCEA level 2 credits in English and 8 NCEA level 1 credits in mathematics, unit standards in elementary construction skills or equivalent knowledge or experience is preferred. Interviews are also carried out.
Content and instructional approaches:
Content; the programme is project based learning in-line with unit standards supplied by Building and Construction industry Training Organisation (BCITO). 50% of the course is written assessment of 40 unit Standards and 50% practical assessment by observation.
Instructions; classroom Elearning tutorials, demonstrations of best practice are conducted, instructions to critique process, students work in pairs of equal ability and peer tutor each other, guest lecturers provided specialised product lecturers.
Classrooms with Emedia, Unit Standards study material, large construction site, building barn, joinery shop, machine shop, material storage, local suppliers, and student tool kits. Students supply their own personal protection equipment (PPE).
Kevin felt Unit Standards t didn’t offer a lot in flexible delivery however discussions on alternative ways to deliver the theory may change this.

Fred evil

1 comment:

  1. This is another very informative interview Fred. It is great to see a range of strategies being used in Carpentry - project-based learning, practical work, guest speakers, online and classroom learning. I can see why there could be challenges in altering the practical work, but where unit standards are concerned as long as the learning objectives are met, does it really matter how students learn along the way.

    Changing unit standard assessments can be more problematic, but it is possible. Innovation could be easily introduced to formative assessment, however, and I wonder if the lecturers have thought of getting students to not only capture images, but also video to demonstrate they are able to do the skills.

    Also the way in which theory and practical skills are integrated through these formative assessments could be explored. It always amazes me that NZQA prefers carpentry students to have mainly written assessments for theory.

    Surely in such a kinaesthetic discipline, more active techniques could be used to assess theory making use of video, diagrams, drawing, images, mind maps. It is probably easier to demonstrate through diagrams the calculations needed to measure materials to build structures. What are your thoughts everyone?