Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Teaching US 20917 Materials

This unit covers 5 different materials and is designed to give an understanding of the materials properties and characteristics, performance, how we use them in engineering applications and factors influencing their selection.
I conduct a prior knowledge discussion to see if they can identify what the materials may be and what they already know of these materials. Once established I set them up in pairs with an identified material each and with a task sheet based on the unit outcomes above. They go on-line and research the material.
Each of the outcomes is written on the task sheet which is then transferred to the whiteboard, the students, in pairs, will then present their findings to the class, Q&A is encouraged following the findings and students will use cell phone camera's to record each material presented for future reference.
Cell phones cannot be used during assessments so image is printed or transcribed to journals for assessment.
Unit Study notes are issued at the end of the class, information within is now very familiar and is easier to understand, it may also strengthen their research.
Fred evil

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Access & Equity - Diversity & Inclusivity

Access and opportunity with in New Zealand
To provide access and equal opportunity for flexible learning at OP we need to look at what is already available. First up we have a government student loan system that provides funds to allow the purchase of course related items, as going on-line is one of the keys to flexible learning we can include a computer as course item, as a teaching institution we can arrange for suitably priced computers through a provider (Apple or Microsoft) This would be around the $400 to $500 mark and to complement this a small digital camera also, Op through a provider $100 - $200 mark. Up and running with a student loan of $700 max.
OP would provide jack points to plug into or Wireless (already up and running) or we have the use of the library, set up for computer access. OP has Moodle to facilitate the course and if we use Google Docs. (Free to sign up) we have a cloud where students and facilitators can blog, create/perform assessments and share content and ideas. Digital camera can capture whiteboard writings and images for portfolio or assessments; this can also be placed in the cloud for sharing.
I guess at this stage, for my own course access comes from open Entry, but opportunity means attendance at classes.
 Diversity and Inclusivity
At the start of each course I conduct an entry assessment this is to gauge the level of my students foundation knowledge, the basic elements of reading, writing and Arithmetic. I also issue the VARK questionnaire to better understand their learning preferences. The On-line literacy and Numeracy Assessment tool is used to confirm the entry assessment information and map their progression. With this information I am able to tweak my lesson plans to engage my students within the course, structure the course in a way in which they like to learn, once engaged I can then introduce other modes of learning to broaden the students learning potential. The way I introduce different modes of learning is through classroom configuration, rearranging the furniture encouraging team work and dialogue, having a number of whiteboard around the room to stimulate posture and focus and encourage the students to write, use a range of material delivery, power points, computer search, video’s, discussion groups and course material. These are the tools of students centred learning and is that not Diversity and Inclusivity?
Fred   evil