Thursday, December 4, 2008

Funding support for flexible learning development

I recently attended the Spotlight on Teaching Colloquium at Otago University in conjunction with Otago Polytechnic. A great 2 days encouraging excellence in teaching practice.
Ako Aotearoa the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence were present and I was able to approach Bridget O'Regan, the Southern Hub coordinator about my ideas for producing a resource. The Regional Hub Project Fund has been set up "to support small projects designed to enhance tertiary teaching and learning." Applications can be made at any time for "implementation/developmental projects or to support research." I will be approaching Ako Aotearoa with a proposal next year and am very happy to be in the position of being able to develop a 'plan of attack' as part of the Flexi course. The funding could be directed toward the actual physical development of the resource: prototypes; printing costs; costs of consultation. The colloquium was an exciting event on several levels as I also discovered like minded teachers and researchers in the area of sustainability and was able to validate my own teaching and learning practices.
UNESCO has available the Beeby Fellowship - offered once a year with applications due in the November of the previous year; funding is available to research an innovative programme with a focus on enhanced practice and student learning. The Fellow is required to prepare a book or resource based on the innovation. This could be an opportunity for 2010 and the $25,000 + expenses would cover a leave of absence from the Polytechnic to research and develop a resource further.
Another possible area for funding is the Otago Polytechnic's Teaching Innovation Fund - this could be utilised in the same manner as the Ako Aotearoa funding for development (including further research) of the actual resource. I am keen to develop a resource and teaching & learning tool that helps direct fashion designers toward making the best sustainable decisions possible within their practice and/or business initiatives.

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Great to see! Both AKO and UNESCO.

We have developed text books such as Vet Nursing's Anatomy and Physiology of Animals. Its on Wikibooks and won an award last year. It is also available to purchase printed and bound on (a print on demand service). But now, on wikibooks it is easy to order a printed book straight off the wiki.

Sunshine did the Anatomy text :) and a few others. Shes a gem.

UNESCO would look favourably at the use of Wikibooks to produce and distribute a text I think. I'll help you write the application if you like.