After the reprioritisation of the National VET E-learning Strategy’s funding for the 2013/2014 financial year, the New Generation Technologies business activity’s scope now included managing a program of Applied Research projects prioritised by the Flexible Learning Advisory Group (FLAG). Those projects include 'E-standards' research to facilitate the research, maintenance and development of the VET E-standards for Training and 'Technology Innovations' research projects to look into addressing specific technical issues on behalf of the Australian national VET sector.
Five ‘Technology Innovations’ Applied Research projects were being in the financial year ending June 30 2014. Each of the projects addressed one of five specific topics on behalf of the Australian national VET sector, and the outcomes and deliverables were to be applicable nationally, and to take into consideration the needs of stakeholders from all states and territories.
The intent of this research project was to identify what specialised industry technologies and resources are in use for training, and how they may be more widely shared with VET learners. The scope included identifying technical and non-technical barriers that restrict access, and how they might be overcome. Acuto Pty Ltd provides case studies into five facilities.
The National Foundation Skills Strategy identifies that there are specialist Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) teachers whose students could benefit from additional assistance with employability skills.
The intention of this research was to identify ways to support teachers in their use of e-learning technologies in order to provide better opportunities for Indigenous, remote and other disadvantaged learners to acquire the Foundation Skills necessary to improve their employment prospects.
There are two outputs from C Y O'Connor Institute's research into this area:
The perception exists among some VET stakeholders that the use of technology-assisted ‘e-assessment’ represents a risk to quality training outcomes. These concerns can be based on doubts about the security of the assessment conditions, the reliability of the assessment processes and technologies, and the true identity of the individual undertaking the assessment.
There are three outputs from this project:
The purpose of the "Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Guidelines for Registered Training Organisations" project was to investigate solutions for enabling efficient, educationally productive and cost-effective implementation of BYOD both on RTO premises, and off-site while accessing RTO-owned servers/and or data.
Elan Projects provided several documents as a result of their work:
One result of the greater use of technology in education is increasing amounts of learner information, and detailed records on learning activities and assessment have become available in Learning Management (LMS), Student Management (SMS) and other systems. CIT undertook to investigate approaches and tools for accessing and analysing learner analytics data.
Q. Can the ‘on costs’ include the acquisition of a technology tool to include applied instructor training needs within the research?
A: Expenditure on technology is not an acceptable funding item, but if you believe the purchase to be a requirement of pursuing the research, it could be listed as a contribution item from your organisation.
Q: Is there an expectation that interstate travel would be required given it's a national project?
A: Travel would be a valid budget component, but shouldn't be a major component. An organisation might include a "contribution if necessary" budget item. If there is a specific requirement in mind, you should list it explicitly.
Q. Would it be appropriate to develop case studies/strategies around adaption of current technologies to overcome barriers of language and distance when delivering training and assessment to Indigenous students, or is it expected that proposals would focus on a broader review of literature and technologies and recommend various strategies for teachers working with Indigenous, remote and disadvantaged students?
A. The project scope is to identify e-learning media, tools, applications and educational techniques for motivating and improving the competence of three categories of learners; Indigenous, remote and other disadvantaged learners (notwithstanding some learners may fall within more than one category). The strategies for doing so are further defined in section 4.2 "Scope" of the Guidelines and Application form.
A review of literature and technologies would need to include Australian and international projects involving learners from the applicable cohorts and the teaching of foundation skills, together with consultation with lead practitioners in the LLN, employability skills and specialist learning fields.
The deliverables should include a comprehensive guide/toolkit identifying e-learning technologies and applications for teachers working with each of the identified groups that will assist them to choose applicable resources and/or strategies to use through advice, case studies, engaging examples of use and teaching suggestions.
Q. Are you aware of any research papers which could assist in preparing to tender for the Verification/Authentication project?
A. We expect the researchers to examine assessment verification and user identity authentication research undertaken in all Australian and international education sectors and associated technologies, which may also mean looking at the use of authentication technologies in other industries. Our expectation is that the applicant will identify where they would look and what projects that they might examine as part of their application.
Q. What depth information is required to describe the methodology and product descriptions (scope, intent and deliverables)?
A. It should only be as deep/extensive so as to make clear to the selection panel that you understand what is being asked. Methodology and scope will be more important than a description of the deliverable, which in this case is a report stating methodology and scope, and a resulting list of suitable facilities. This is a fact-finding exercise rather than exploratory.
Q. Can the application identify or focus on a specific needs area (Remote Indigenous and construction) or should it remain broad?
A: We are seeking to find as many facilities (at least - greater than ten) in different industries for any skills shortage area, so "This facility exists in Broken Hill and is being used in xxx industry. It could be made available to learners training in yyy who have access to ADSL2 by doing zzz".
Q: Is the project about sourcing more than ten specialised training facilities/resources for just one industry from a skills shortage area, or for multiple industries from a skills shortage area?
A: The project is about sourcing more than ten facilities for multiple industries for multiple skills shortage areas.
Q: What is a ‘Relevant Facility’?
The aim is to identify other facilities like these that could made available to learners who are not necessarily in close proximity. After this research is complete, a pilot project will be undertaken by NATESE to identify and implement processes to make it happen – that is, allow access to at least one of the facilities by off-site learners.
Another source of example facilities might be found at http://simulationaustralia.org.au/.
Q: Is this research project a lead up to the next project where product is being developed for skilled training?
A: The first part of the project is to identify several ‘industry grade’ technologies, ie large facilities (specialised workshops, kitchens, etc) that could be put to further use by remote learners. ‘Remote’ meaning remote to the facility, not necessarily remote from urban centres.
The second phase of the project will be to pilot implementation of how that access can happen, and will result in the specification of workflows and logistics; perhaps specification of software and hardware requirements. It’s unlikely that there’ll be a call for content development.
Q: Are facilities that host opportunities to access industry grade technologies to be sourced nationally, not just in one state?
A: That is correct.