Monday, March 30, 2009

Vili's Intro

  • who you are and your area of expertise, making sure to mention any experience you might already have with flexible learning;

My name is Vili Burrow and I have lived in this wonderful city of Dunedin all of my life. I have been employed in the construction industry all of my 35 years of working life and I'm proud to call myself a carpenter. Now I find myself happily employed as a lecturer in carpentry at Otago Polytechnic where our teaching program is roughly based on a 50/50 split of practical and theory sessions. This is both very challenging and very rewarding, and one of the steepest learning curves that I've ever undertaken.
I'm not quite sure how to grasp the real meaning of the term 'flexible learning' yet, so I have to say any experience of this is limited.

  • your reasons for doing this course and what you aim to achieve by taking the course;

As part of my employment contract I agreed to undertake 'formal' teaching qualifications. This has been the biggest challenge to me, not because of any lack of skills in the building field, but because of my lack of (formal) teaching.
From parenthood onwards you never really stop teaching your kids or yourself, but to put big formal words and meanings and methods and styles and names to this has been very eye-opening.

I openly admit that what I've learnt in my brief three years of teaching these student has made me think about our students and the way they learn. And the way or ways that I can teach them better, or to understand easier. The skills I've learnt so far have been invaluable, although not easy to quickly understand, once put into practice they seem to be working in some ways for me. I have to be flexible in my learning and my teaching so any method to make learning and teaching better is a bonus for all.


  1. Perhaps then, this course will help bring those existing skills in teaching out into the light where you can see them more clearly. Good to have you with us Vili

  2. Hi Vili

    It was nice to meet you and the others at the face to face meeting on Thursday last week with Bronwyn.

    It felt like we were kind of on the same page as far as concerns go with all the new technological advances that seem to be coming out of the woodwork on almost a daily basis, and the fact that we, as teachers, are being encouraged to keep up.

    I for one do find all these new gadgets and “online” tools pretty scary, but also kind of exciting as well.

    No-doubt you, like me, want to try and “reach” the students in anyway you can to help ‘get the message across’. But it’s pretty hard these days when they are growing up with things that we’ve had practically nothing to do with.

    Last year some of the staff in the Hospitality department discussed with us (the Sports Institute staff) some of the things they’ve been doing over the last couple of years with regard to use of technology as a means to reach their students.

    They would be well worth getting in touch with if you are interested. Tony Heptinstall is one staff member whose name comes to mind.

    In brief, my take on it is that they’ve recorded on video the correct techniques for doing various things in the kitchen and have put them on the internet where students are able to download or watch them.

    We are looking into the possibilities of this sort of strategy in the Sports Institute for teaching exercise techniques etc. It offers an opportunity for students to look at the material in their own time (flexible learning/delivery) and hopefully assist their learning as a result.

    That sort of thing might be helpful for your students too…?

    What do you think?

  3. hi Vili,
    i'm snap with you and Gary on the techno side of teaching, would really like to know more but feel reserved and like Gary, was very impressed by the Tennyson Street Gang for putting their lessons on Ipod. guess i've just got to keep my mind open and keep learning.

  4. Hi Vili
    My name is Adrienne Moyle, I am currently taking the Evaluation for Best Practice course run by Bronwyn Hegarty. As part of our assessment we are required to do an evaluation of a course.

    I have chosen to evaluate the online interaction in the Flexible Learning Course run by Leigh and Bronwyn.

    I would appreciate it if you could take the time to answer 9 questions about the online interaction in the Flexible Learning Course.

    The more participants who respond, the more valid the analysis will be. I have spoken to the facilitators, and now I really need to hear from YOU the participants.

    All responses are anonymous, IP or email addresses will not be collected.

    The responses will be collated and reported to facilitators, management and participants of the Flexible Learning Course and the Evaluation for Best Practice Course.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this survey. You will find an email from me to reply to in the Flexible Learning email forum or at my blog.

    To complete the survey, please click on the link below.
    Click Here to take survey

    Please contact me if you have any problems completing the survey.

    Thanks for your assistance, I really appreciate it!