Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reflection on activity 3

Time to reflect 
                                                                   Picture taken from relationalcontextofteaching.edublogs.

The reason I choose two completely different course’s in activity three to investigate was I wanted to see the contrast between how those courses were implemented.
On one hand the certificate in electrical technology was very fixed in how the course was delivered and assessed. This is very similar to the course I teach and I understand the reason’s that “Trade” qualifications have to be fixed in certain areas.
·         The student has to be trained in certain material and that material has to be delivered in a logical order that follows on from previous learning. (our level 5 qualification in Automotive cannot be completed if the student has not done all the previous levels from level 1 to 4)
·         There is a governing body that decides what material must be learned and completed to qualify in the industry.
·         If students do not learn the material in certain ways there is a high possibility that people can get injured or killed.
The next time you get an electrician in to wire up a switch or a plug in your house just think if that person didn’t pass very rigid training requirements you could get electrocuted when you use that switch or plug. The same goes for a lot of trades and medical professions.
On the other hand the course in Google Sketch up was very flexible and fully online. It still has certain flow to the course that is a logical way to learn the material.
Also one reason I see that the online course worked so well is that the program you are learning about is a computer drawing program so one of the main tools that you use to do the course (computer) is one of the main devices you will use to run the program.
This is a valid point when considering going online; in what way will the students (when qualified) interact with the technology after the course is complete.
If we train students away from what they will physically use in the profession they are learning about are we being “Fair” and “responsible” to the student and are “we meeting the demands of industry”????
So my idea of flexible learning is to embrace new technology and ideas were applicable and always reflect on the tried and tested, put the students learning needs first and make sure they become “work ready” for the industry they are going into and also encourage them to embrace new technology if it will enhance their lives and their ability in the industry.
To do this I personally have to understand what the students learning needs are and understand not only where the industry is currently but where the industry could possibly head.
So the way I carry out my teaching and assessing must be flexible enough to cater for my students, but be inflexible enough to meet industry needs and expectations.


  1. A great reflection Kevin. In contrast to your thoughts about this, I believe that industries with strict safety requirements would actually benefit from more use of simulation in learning (including virtual reality) so that students develop and practise their skills and knowledge before they are exposed to potentially dangerous situations in the workshop, clinical area or the workplace. Nursing and medical professions use simulators for this very thing. The military always use simulators for pilot training and in areas such as training mechanics because they cannot afford to let students loose on expensive equipment.

    So I believe that electricians could also train in different ways combining the environment of the workshop with simulated environments. So the training can become more flexible, possibly add in a bit of fun and be potentially safer to prepare them to work in real environments.

    If anything this gives them a greater chance to practice and become proficient and not only makes them safer but also keeps them safe. So the outcomes can not only be the same - meeting industry requirements, they could also be more flexible if the learning is designed in these different ways. How about hitting up industry for some funding for simulation technologies?

    How could something like Google Sketchup be used to help students in your automotive classes? Could a simulation of some kind be set up as a group project?

  2. Yes I do think a simulator would help students and Google Sketchup could give the students a more indepth look at componets or faults without the need to dissamble the vehicle. This reduces the demands on the teaching enviorment but does not get them work ready or give them the practicle skills required to meet industry demands and standards.

    I understand that simulators reduce expensive mistakes on gear but gaining the hand skills to use these tools is very important too.