The National Vocational Education and Training (VET) conference is being held on the sunny Gold Coast this week and we believe that the theme of ‘Celebrating VET’ gives us opportunity to celebrate how learning technologies can contribute to an improved student experience within the VET sector.
The VET sector at a glance
In 2015, it is estimated there were 4.5m students enrolled in vocational education and training (VET) through 4,277 Australian providers. The VET sector is extremely competitive, with decreasing student enrolment and increasing amount of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offering similar courses, so students have a wider selection of providers to choose from. Consequently, training providers need to be able to differentiate their offering against that of their competitors.
The VET sector's primary aim (i.e. to deliver training which helps their students to gain employment) very much aligns with our own. The mission of the City & Guilds group is to ‘help people develop the skills they need to progress into a job, on the job and onto the next job’. So, Kineo, alongside City & Guilds Pacific are perfectly poised to identify efficiencies training providers can make to improve the student experience.
Whilst face-to-face and practical training are always going to be prominent within the VET sector, it is perhaps the online aspect of course delivery that could really help a provider to stand out in the crowd.
3 big questions we believe you should be asking at the National VET conference about learning technologies:
How can I make the learning more engaging?
People, not just students or learners, are used to interactivity and being able to access information at the drop of a hat. Through the use of smartphones and other devices we’re used to being able to watch the latest movie trailer when we want to, or download the latest album by our favourite band. We’re used to talking to people by commenting on Facebook posts and replying to tweets. Therefore, it’s important to make learning as engaging as possible to ensure of student retention through the course.
There are a variety of ways to make learning more engaging:
- Make it social
- Use interactive media
- Use real-life case studies
- Make it multi-device
- Provide easy-access to additional resources
Pearson developed the online portion of the Cert III in Children’s Services and won the 2013 Australian Educational Publishing Awards (Tafe and Educational Student Resource), for their eLearning. The reason this course won was due to the levels of interactivity and resources within the course. Pearson used a lot of multi-media, case studies and resources in the way of eBooks to ensure that that course was as seamless as possible for students to use, and it spoke to their target audience.
How can we improve assessments?
Students don’t just learn by undertaking eLearning modules, they read online articles and they interact via social media, and read things offline. They also want to be able to collaborate with their fellow students, and get feedback from their tutor. In short, they want the complete learning experience and they'd like all of the learning that they undertake to be captured.
There are a range of functionalities inside an LMS to assess students’ work and capabilities. However, if you’re offering an interactive course that has social elements and have a requirement for students to undertake a variety of interactive tasks it might be time to consider using xAPI and a Learning Record Store which can store learning interactions across a variety of mediums.
By capturing a range of learning experiences it offers a vehicle towards better, more interactive, assessments and outcomes.
How can students demonstrate work experience?
So, your students have completed your course – hurrah! They’re ready to go into the big wide-world of work. At the point of completion, what do they have to show prospective employers? Students want an easy way to demonstrate their capabilities and work experience and to be able to build up portfolio which they can then show to prospective employers or universities. Again, xAPI can help, but also look at using things like ePortfolios to help them develop an online CV and help employers search for candidates with their experience.
See how Busy At Work have used an integration between a Learning Management System and ePortfolios to help hundreds of apprentices across Queensland.
Come visit us at the National VET conference
The National VET conference is the perfect time to think about how you are delivering your courses.
City & Guilds Pacific will be attending the National VET Conference alongside Kineo. Come and speak to us on Stand 31, and see how XAPI, open badges, social learning, ePortfolios and accreditation could benefit your students and create a dynamic student experience to make your courses stand out from those of your competitors.
City & Guilds Pacific offer 80 vocational qualifications, covering 12 sectors that lead to 16 roles for learners. Additionally, they offer a bespoke consulting service to governments and educational providers, as well as accreditation for training centres and businesses.
We’ll also be giving away a 3-hour online consultation session with Senior Business Analyst, James Ballard, where you can discuss:
- E-learning health check
- Utilising social wave to increase uptake
- Getting ready for xAPI
Consultation will be delivered in sessions of 3 x 1 hour blocks. Timescales to be determined by Kineo Asia Pacific. Consultation to be completed by 31st January 2016. No cash alternative. Winner to be announced at 4pm on 16th September and will be notified by email. Kineo Asia Pacific reserve the right to share the winners name and organisation for publicity purposes. By entering this competition you automatically give permission to be contacted by Kineo Asia Pacific with relevant promotions in the future via enewsletter.