Contextualising vocational programmes – a success story
Recent automotive training history has seen a number of changes, especially when, in 2009, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) announced that the current automotive qualifications would expire at the end of 2012.
|Automotive Training Group|
This necessitated the development of new programmes for new qualifications.
As a result, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s automotive team engaged with specialist learning resource writers to overhaul their Level 2-4 programmes. This involved designing a flexible programme of study that can be delivered as a full-time, on-campus programme - or as part of a managed apprenticeship; including night classes, block courses or day-release workshops.
Project leader Sean Squires,
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Ako Aotearoa's support to evaluate this work
In order to evaluate how this new qualification improved the learning experience and outcomes for automotive learners, a project Contextualising vocational programmes to match institutional and industry settings – led by Sean Squires and co-funded by Ako Aotearoa’s Northern Regional Hub - explored how learners and tutors responded to the programme material delivered on four different sites.
The sites included: Toi Ohomai, as the originator of the Level 3 Automotive programme package, Eastern Institute of Technology, Nelson Marlborough institute of Technology, and Ara Institute of Technology (formerly Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology /Aoraki Polytechnic), as purchasers of the training package.
Developing nation-wide good practice
The New Zealand-wide team investigated what good practice looked like when contextualising vocational programmes to a range of institutional and industry settings, and what would ensure sustainability of the programmes.
Even as the research progressed and the team refined their programmes, the vocational landscape changed, affecting practice across the participating institutions. Learners now have laptops and mobile phones, so there are no written theory tests. Staff have discovered voice-marking and learners are getting rich feedback. There is also a growing number of employers participating in automotive training programmes.
Moving to a model that seems to be working well for all stakeholders has been key to the effectiveness of the practice change. Benefits of the project are far-reaching. The relationships built within the teams and the ways they communicate with their management, along with the strategies used for reporting, have led to fine-tuning of staffing ratios. This has assisted Directorates and, ultimately too, the Tertiary Education Commission.