Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

Mobilizing VET – Towards Paperless Assessment

December 16, 2010

Vocational Graduate Certificate in Master Trade Applications (Sustainability projects)

Six students met at Acacia Ridge today to present and critique project briefs assisted by Vikki, Peter and Rob. For me, it was a most useful exercise in clarifying my project, as well as gaining insight into how I might plan and evaluate my progress. I was able to compare my project with other students’ ideas which further assisted me to make connections and contrast my methods of research.

My project so far…

Title

Mobilizing VET – Towards Paperless Assessment

Problem

Current assessment practice at SkillsTech Australia relies heavily on assessors visiting workplaces, and apprentices attending TAFE on-campus. Assessor vehicle trips to site are excessive, as are apprentice hours spent in TAFE classrooms and workshops. Students are frustrated at repeating practical tasks (normally carried out at work) in the TAFE workshop, and assessors waste time visiting distant work sites where apprentices are carrying out repetitive tasks using a narrow range of skills. Students face either a delay in getting to TAFE due to heavy bookings, or long periods between visits due to limited assessor availability.

Methodology

Development of an institute-wide process whereby a transformation of the current paper-based assessment practice into a type of paperless assessment model takes place by students recording their activities on video, uploading the video files into a secure storage system, and then sharing the video files with an assessor. File sharing is followed by “competency conversations” in which the assessor engages the student and directs further video evidence gathering, until sufficient material is gathered for judgement to be made about the student’s level of competence. The video recording is carried out by the student under supervision in the workplace, presenting validity in an authentic workplace setting. Ideally, the workplace supervisor is qualified in Cert IV Training and Assessment.

Triple Bottom Line (Environment, Economy, Social)

The three TBL aspects of sustainability are addressed in this project:

Environment

Unnecessary vehicle use is reduced due to efficiencies in communications between assessor and student.

Economy

Assessor time is efficiently managed; Student time is efficiently managed

Social

Student engagement in practical tasks is increased; Student satisfaction in the course is heightened; Student outcomes are strengthened

Current knowledge

  • The Mediasite server is used to store and stream Videolinq presentations for teaching and professional development – it is limited to teaching resources
  • The Web server at SkillsTech Australia (Acacia Ridge) has been identified as having sufficient space to host video files – there is insufficient management to guarantee security and data organisation
  • BlueDog Training provides onsite and online training for construction apprentices – there is no provision for video assessment

This project addresses elements of the SkillsTech Australia Strategic Plan 2008-11:

  • Leadership and positioning
  • Products and services
  • Our people
  • Our business systems
  • Our clients
  • Environmental sustainability

Outcomes

Using rich digital media to asses and train apprentices and RPOL candidates in a user owned and operated secure portfolio – engaging students and assessing their competency in a supervised, authentic work environment.

Comments and questions

  • TAFE attendance builds social skills- What is the impact of denying access to face-to-face training for students?
  • Recording and manipulation of digital media requires extant skills
  • The paper based system works – why change it?
  • Cost savings must be quantified
  • What is the likelihood of threats from more agile organizations who are likely to easily adapt to using this system for their own business activities?

SWOT analysis

S: Ease of use
W: Some training required
O: Scalability
T: Other similar projects in more agile organizations; Resistance to change

Stakeholders

  • SkillsTech SET (Directors)
  • Streamfolio portfolio product developers
  • STA Electrotechnology team
  • STA Skills Recognition team
  • STA workplace assessors
  • STA teachers
  • STA Facilities vehicle management officer
  • The community

Opportunities

  • Learning about project management techniques
  • Learning about techniques used to evaluate a project:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Realistic
    • Time-bound
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Vocational Graduate Certificate in Master Trade Applications ~Sustainability Projects

October 30, 2010

Expression of interest: 25th October 2010

What do I believe I will learn, and how will I benefit from this course?

This course will assist with improving my personal and professional skills in using digital media for workplace assessment. Achieving this goal is an important strategy in my aim to rise to the challenges of increased productivity and improved skill utilization, in a changing labour market, amidst emerging occupations and industries.

How will I apply my learning in a practical way, in my work environment?

Employers require a streamlined approach to training staff, and while they may recognize the value of training generally, they need off-site training to be minimized, lessening disruption to production whilst maximizing skills transfer.

The skills learnt during this course will assist me to provide an effective service to employers, apprentices and ‘recognition of prior learning’ candidates, leveraging employers’ productivity advantage (by using the workplace as a training place; by engaging the workforce in training partnership; and through skills training time-reduction and decreased off-site training), enhancing Vocational Education and Training skills acquisition in a cost-effective, sustainable best practice.

Why should I be selected to complete this qualification?

I have maintained an active interest in developing educational technologies to enhance my teaching practice since I began full-time TAFE teaching in 2000. This has been an ad hoc process of self-discovery, due to the very nature of new media trialled by me in response to opportunities arising in the training workshop. Completing this qualification will formalize the research process to which my curiosity has often aspired.