Meeting to develop the course further

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Peta Hudson, Jason Ross and Leigh Blackall met to discuss the first course successes and failures and plan the next course.

  • The pilot course received $5000 seed funding. Initial student in take paid less than cost price of $360 to do the course. We had 9 people enroll, raising $3240. Amounts spent on materials, and then added to teacher and facilitator costs have not yet been calculated but it is expected to be a little less than $5000. So this leaves at least $3240 to develop and run the next course.
  • Considering that the pilot course had a promotion and prep time of less than 2 weeks, it is felt that we should be able to lift participant numbers with better promotion, preparation and course design and budget.
  • None-the-less, we will not risk spending beyond the initial seed funding and fees. We have $3240 to work with, and Leigh will look into other possible funding options (Sponsorship from businesses, sustainability funding from local and national government, Living Campus). If we recover cost through new enrollments then that will be reinvested into further developing the course towards a full Certificate in Permaculture Design. Eventually we hope to pay back the seed funding and run the course regularly on a not for profit basis.
  • Leigh to contact Robina McCurdy to investigate areas of possible further funding support for the course development

  • Looking at the new NZQA Unit Demonstrate knowledge of permaculture and plan a site (21042) It is felt that we develop the course around this unit as core learning.
  • Leigh will look into the unit standard moderation process and what would be involved in formally accrediting the unit. If this is too costly in terms of time, we will simply develop the course curriculum and content with the unit in mind.
  • Using journal based learning with the participants in the course will help to provide evidence both for moderation and for possible Recognition of Prior Learning services if we do manage to be accredited to offer the Unit in the future.
  • We discussed using the Unit as a core curriculum in the course, to which other short courses and workshops would be attached as electives. Eventually, when we have a good range of short courses in place, we can use a certain number of these workshops and short courses as compulsory elements in the attainment of the full Permaculture Design Certificate. The core 10 Credit Unit by itself is probably not enough, although it does go very close.
  • For an example of a full Certificate curriculum, see the book Earth User's Guide to Permaculture - Teacher's Notes. Rosemary Morrow as a guide.
  • An example of a module based course elsewhere in NZ
  • Extended electives in more specialised areas such as Social and economic permaculture design will also be considered

  • In the next running of the course we will develop activities where we use more of the participant properties and sites.
  • First half of the course will be focused on learning theory, but through field visits to established sites (Facilitator to negotiate with landowner prior field trips based on list of thing that can be offered in exchange)
  • Second half of the course will be looking at participant designs, obtaining feedback while on location at the participant's site, and doing practicals on the site such as soils, waste, building etc, depending on the schedule of the second half of the course.
  • This means that we need to fit more of the theory into the first half of the course, so that we are ready to practice by the halfway point. Suggest that by identifying and using more web based resources such as Youtube movies and other websites, as well as library boks and handouts, we can assign self directed study and homework so as to cover the theory prior to the field visits.
  • Look into using a vege oil powered bus for transport (Sports Institute?)

  • Jason to lend Leigh the Hort ITO's booklet for the unit standard
  • Facilitator has hours equal to teaching hours in the course
  • Teachers have their teaching hours + .5 prep on the standard format (Objective, activity description, resources)
  • The structure of the teaching is around the Unit PCs as the core course
  • Jason and Peta will look at the unit standard and decide who best to teach what parts. From that they will determine amount of teaching each, and consider other teachers and guests to share the load. From this we can determine prep time and prepare contracts.
  • Once contracts are in place, work will begin using prep times to identify resources, develop lesson plans and activities, and preparing a course schedule for the activities. All works and resources will be available online, with more effective online participation and learning in mind. (For example - self directed theory activities in the first half would compliment online praticipant needs. We should try to use mostly web based recourses. By using journal based learning for the second half, and designing activities in such a way so that online participants can use them as a guide to setting up their own and equivalent activities, then we will hopefully be able to sustain effective online participation as a resource for everyone's learning.
Leighblackall (talk)12:33, 8 May 2008