Thursday, June 9, 2011


Well to me flexible learning is trying to give as many of our carpentry students the best opportunity to learn the trade that will help take them into a great career and give them valuable skills for life.
By way of visual, oral instruction, demonstration and our practical based learning project (Building a Family Home Ready for Sale) we should have covered all of the learning styles in order to maximise the learning potential of our students.
Part of making Flexible Learning work to its potential is largely up to the tutors who decide what, where and how a particular topic is best delivered to our learners.
“You Tube” is an excellent medium for highlighting the manufacture of building products as site visits become hard for health and safety reasons and logistics’ and can clearly demonstrate how products are manufactured. Many of our units we teach we have developed a power point presentation to highlight local and national buildings and products as building can be quite varied and unique.
Carpentry students have already made a decision to take on a practical based trade thus indicating they are likely to be kinaesthetic learners. It is also very important they have good communication skills as most of our work comes from a plan and specification or maybe an oral instruction from a client or architect.
Within our programme the students where possible learn practical in tandem with theory say for example we teach and test flooring hopefully within the next fortnight the students get to do flooring on our practical based project being a three bedroom home which is on sold to the public.


  1. Kevin the students certainly are exposed to a range of activities which are as you say, ideal for a range of learning styles, and particularly apt for the kinaesthetic learner in a practical-based course. Your point about using video resources to accomodate health and safety requirements, and the limitations of site visits and field trips. When you use the videos, are the students expected to answer questions about them. How do you use the videos to stimulate critical thinking in the students?

  2. I think the videos we use of product manufacture initially stimulate critical thinking and then give the students a good understanding which would otherwise be hard to show as site visits can be awkward to organise.
    Sometimes unless we are looking out or thinking about a product or procedure we don’t really think about it. An example of this happened today when we took the students down to the Otago University Information Technology building to view the excellent concrete work and beautiful architecture of the building which mixes concrete, steel, glass, Oamaru stone to make a wonderful space. One student had been in there to study often and had never noticed the quality of the building till he was there with us.