Exploring Operational Issues


I teach on a Certificate of Tertiary Learning and Teaching in New Zealand. (CTLT) The aim of this programme is to:

“produce graduates who can reflect on the principles and practices of tertiary learning and teaching and who can integrate this learning into the delivery, design, development, assessment and evaluation of their teaching in a New Zealand/Aotearoa cultural context.”


Starting with this graduate profile the course is designed, like many others, to have good alignment between the graduate outcomes, the learning activities and the assessment activities. The vast majority of the participants are already working at the institute at which they are completing the CTLT. People may have many years industry or professional experience but lack experience of teaching. Therefore, they do the CTLT to develop the craft of teaching and learning.


One of the models I use early on to discuss what good teaching and learning looks like is adapted from Biggs and Tang’s book ‘Teaching for Quality Learning at University’. Biggs and Tang describe 3 levels of tutor. I have added a forth level to ensure learners are well prepared for their future careers by developing core transferable skills which enable them to manage their own learning. The expectation is that tutors will operate at least level 3 and strive for level 4…



Adapted from; Biggs, J and Tang, C. (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Open University Press. Pp15-30.

Drawing on Biggs and Tang quality learning happens when:

  • The focus is on what the learners do.
  • The links between the intended learning outcomes and the learning activities are made explicit
  • Tutors see things through the eyes of the learners
  • Tutors have a growth mindset that all learners can improve
  • Learners and tutors use their time effectively
  • Tutors have a culturally responsive practice
  • Learners are encouraged to work collaboratively
  • There is a stimulating learning environment.
  • Core transferable skills are developed with authentic assessments

The list is certainly not exhaustive but it does give a clear indication that I am interested in developing a genuinely student centric approach. The list was draw up long before I had ever heard of the term heutegogy but it seems to align itself with the same principles.

What I am particularly interested in exploring in this CMAT Cmooc portfolio is how we can use technology as support for tutors as they work with learners to be self-managing expert learners. Having been a teacher for some 35 years I have seen different educational technologies come and go – Those abacus were great fun. Over this time I have seen many examples of both the constraints and benefits of different technologies. Thom Cochrane quizzed me on this the other day and captured the response on film.


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