The Unified Programme in IT is an opportunity to transform IT learning in New Zealand in line with the aim of Te Pūkenga to deliver vocational learning and assessment experiences that equip ākonga with work-relevant skills. It is proposed that this could be achieved through the use of a Collaborative Holistically Integrated Project (CHIP) model that extends beyond the traditional capstone project model. Integrating disciplines that traditionally exist in isolation into a single project will lead to authentic, transdisciplinary learning involving the development and application of both “hard” and “soft” skills in a work-based context. An inherent challenge for the model’s design is addressing the issue of systemic inertia in order to meet the competing and complementary needs of ākonga, kaiako, and industry for capability and capacity development.
Rob Nelson trained as a printer, worked his way into management, later qualifying in management and then leadership as an adult student. He then embarked on a second career teaching management, and has significant experience in collaborative Project-Based Learning. Samuel Mann trained as a geographer, taught computing and now researches learning processes of professional practice. Richard Mitchell is a consumer behaviour expert and geographer, and his research interests include disobedient models of learning. Together they are exploring how we can improve leadership and management practice through experiential learning and collaborative assessment.