I have been a tertiary level educator for 9 years working in various roles as a lecturer, supervisor, consultant, curriculum writer, and course supervisor. As a newly emerging researcher I conduct research in the field of learning and teaching, and have been involved with projects such as designing interactive simulation software for learning computer graphics, m-learning projects exploring student collaboration, and using social media as a catalyst for curriculum change within my school. I have received research grants to lead teams of lecturers for the past three years, developing learning and teaching practice within AUT. At present I have a few different educational projects going, but my main focus is my PhD research.
Seeking to further my career, I entered into a Master of Creative Technologies program where I explored how technology can enhance self-directed learning. At the time I was interested in how screencast learning, such as Lynda.com, could move from being a passive experience to more hands-on. This practice-based research saw the creation of a system that hooked the software to be learned into screencasts to provide both video and interactive tutorials with basic error checking. The learning was based on the worked-out example principle, as described by Renkl. While the research was received well, the only means of creating content as a curriculum designer was to not only know the subject, but also have a solid understanding of several programming languages. This proved a huge barrier to entry for curriculum designers so the research was abandoned.
Currently I am undertaking a PhD, which seeks to create a new approach to learning visual literacy skills of decoding in a ubiquitous, and collaborative manner. It will do so by applying existing knowledge of pedagogy and didactics to new technology such as, smart devices, geo located imagery, and augmented reality. The pedagogical underpinnings are similar to Vygotsky’s basic premise on social constructivism and rhizomatic learning in a mobile context. I believe that the abilities of smart devices can be used in new and exciting ways for learners to collaboratively learn from their environments. My hope is that an approach that champions user generated content will avoid the problems encountered in my masters research by affording an easy system for anyone to create educational content.
Additionally, in my role as a lecturer, I am currently exploring how technology can be used in student learning. This has lead to several publications in the domain of educational technology, and I have presented at ASCILITE on the use of mobile airplay technology. Every class and paper I manage has some form of social or mobile technology involved. For instance, every class I teach requires each student to post both formative and summative assessments on their own personal wordpress blogs as a means of collaborative learning. Each class also has some social media channel as a means of discussing classes and assignments. These two base approaches have been developed over three years and become a standard part of learning and assessment in my classes.
I am seeking CMALT accreditation for a number of reasons. Primarily so I can speak into the university’s learning and teaching practice and affect some change. Secondly as a means to think about my PhD research in another way, as I re-contextualize my research to fit the CMALT accreditation format. I am hoping this exercise will shed new light and offer different perspectives as I undertake the process. Lastly, I can see the value in being accredited for learning and teaching as a lecturer. I believe the accreditation will help with promotions and future employment prospects.