Designing learning that makes a difference

 

 

 

 

 

If we’re looking at repetitive consistent outcomes of people doing the right thing at the right time, then there probably is a place for that traditional role. Everyone wants people to actually make a difference to the world and be creative and do things that haven’t been done before in ways that haven’t been done before, then we can’t tell them how to do that because we don’t know. It’s a change to meet the needs of today and the rate of change that we’re experiencing now in all areas of our life, you can’t have a didactic way this is how you do it.

 

SL:

Tonight we’re joined by Ray O’Brien, and he’s a learning designer at Otago Polytechnic. Welcome to the show, Ray. How are you doing?

 

Ray:

Good evening.

 

SL:

Obviously, that accent isn’t from around here, although this studio is full of accents that aren’t from around here. Where are you from there, Ray?

 

Ray:

Originally from the West Coast of Scotland.

 

SL:

What part of West Coast.

 

Ray:

The original Helensburgh. Still a little bit uncanny here in Dunedin seeing the transplanted Helensburgh in the buses.

 

SL:

What was it like growing up in Helensburgh on the West Coast?

 

Ray:

Other than windy and wet.

 

SL:

Yes.

 

Ray:

It was actually a great place to live. Some was referring to pure adventurers there. That’s certainly something that moulded the early part of my life getting up into the mountains and it’s right on the boundary line between the Lowlands and the Highlands, so to escape up into the hills in Helensburgh was great.

 

SL:

Fantastic. You went to school there. What were your favourite subjects at school?

 

Ray:

Probably physics and if I look back a dream if there was outdoor ed, but there wasn’t, but I’ll count it as a subject I did anyway I missed enough days of school to go up into the mountains that I can count it as a subject.

 

SL:

Do you obviously decided to go to college at some point, so what did you do there?

 

Ray:

It wasn’t physics. It wasn’t physics. It definitely wasn’t physics, no. I actually cards on the table confession time, I went to university to become an accountant and then during my recess at the end of the first term, I realised that that probably wasn’t the life for me and I switched over to human resource management.

 

SL:

All right. Where did you study? Where were you studying?

 

Ray:

The University of Sterling. Again, the choice of university was more about getting into the mountains than it was about any academic concerns.

 

SL:

Exactly. Sterling is quite a small town and so you had … How big is that? How big is the University of Sterling?

 

Ray:

Oh, I’m not sure the figures now. It’s grown a lot since I was there but when I shifted from high school, a very large school, to university, I think there’s only 500 more undergrads there than there was number of students in my high school.

 

SL:

Of course, Sterling is a very famous place and it’s a beautiful little castle and it’s kind of like a miniature Edinburgh, really. You studied human resource management and you graduated with that.

 

Ray:

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