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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education - Work Context

Understanding my organisation within a wider context

In order for me to gain a better idea of where I fit within the organisation and where the organisation fits within the wider community, nationally and internationally,  I drew up a mind map of the context, the idea taken from a previous paper.  The different colours indicate the influencing factors that need to be taken into consideration when working in an educational institution.  A systems approach was used and is one that explores the surrounding environment indicating that this has influencing factors on the teacher/facilitator.

I also felt it was important to explore the importance of learning in context and the underlying factors behind this Link to Learning in Context.


• Increasing the number of young people (aged under 25) achieving qualifications at levels four 
  and above, particularly degrees 
• Increasing the number of Mäori students enjoying success at higher levels 
• Increasing the number of Pasifika students achieving at higher levels 
• Increasing the number of young people moving successfully from school into tertiary education 
• Improving literacy, language, and numeracy and skills outcomes from levels one to three study 
• Improving the educational and financial performance of providers 
• Strengthening research outcomes. "
(Tertiary Education Strategy, 2013) and  compared these priorities with the Otago Polytechnic's, (2013) Strategic Goals, 
"Achieving educational excellence
      • Our learners succeed in their studies
      • Our learners enjoy an outstanding experience
      • Our graduates are: capable, future focused and ready for work (self-employment and for continuing employment)
      • Our graduates practise sustainably, and make a difference to society. " This indicates to me that
      • the educational priorities of OP are that all learners should be successful and have access to the necessary support  to achieve success in their area, no matter their age, ethnicity or background.
      • I also looked at the Maori Strategic Framework,(2013)
      • "Priority Three: Kai Tahu/Māori Students.  This priority area reflects the desire for increased recruitment, access, participation, retention, development and success of Kai Tahu/Māori students at Otago Polytechnic. " There is a good support network in place to offer a whanau environment to ensure retention and success.  There is also continued support from the tertiary sector to "continue our efforts to make tertiary education more relevant and more efficient, so that it meets the needs of students, the labour market and the economy " (Tolley, 2010).  
There is particular attention being paid on an area"which is focused on improving literacy and numeracy, youth achievement, and tertiary system performance" (Tolley, 2010).  

In order for me to explain and understand the relevance of all this information on my position within the orgainsation I decided to show an example of some of the techniques used to assess, monitor and provide assistance for those learners identified as needing it. The priority to provide literacy, language and numeracy skill improvement for learners has resulted in all students up to level three being assessed and assisted in particular areas.  I have provided particular students with individual learning plans and here is an example of one that provided some positive results.

Evidence of work with students on Literacy and Numeracy

Individual learning plan
ILP showing structure of lessons

When the student first started the Cafe and Bar course, they appeared very timid with low self-esteem, nervous and unsure of themself.  When preparing for an assessment they would become very agitated and tearful.  However, their attendance was 100%, they took detailed notes in class and studied for the assessments.  X was given the option of attending extra tuorials at The Learning Centre, but chose to work through their notes and revise in their own time.
The student was really pleased with their improvemnt in all areas covered and has grown in confidence during the course.  A number of factors have contributed to their success, including the way the course was taught, breaking down the parts and structuring the lessons to build on the main ideas.The motivation of the student who had clear goals of what they wanted to achieve and their willingness to put in the extra work.  All this contributed to the students's comprehension and their over-all success.  The student, when re-assessed on the on-line assessment tool had made a significant gain in a short period of time. ( See example of lesson structure ).

Future action influences
This exercise has enabled me to think about the wider context and influencing factors that effect me and the students in our learning environment. If I look at OP's strategic goals (2013) in terms of three words; (Graduate outcomes).  My aims will be;
  • Capable - creating opportunity to do presentations, work in groups and problem solve
  • Future focused - providing careers advise and providing examples of possible job opportunities
  •  Ready for work - Creating more opportunity to role play, volunteering and work place scenarios
It is easy to focus on the micro aspects of your daily job and easy to forget about the macro implications on the bigger picture, so good to review  "Otago Polytechnic's Mission and Purpose; Communities to prosper and advance
      We contribute to the economic and social success of New Zealand and to international communities
    • We lead by example and deploy our resources in the interest of our communities." (Otago Polytechnic, 2013)

Ministry of Education. (2013).Tertiary Education Strategy. Retrieved from

Otago Polytechnic. (2013). Governance and Management plans.  Retrieved from

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