With people being told to stay at home until the foreseeable future, moving your training processes online has suddenly become essential. This isn’t just your training itself, but your assessments, enrolments, resources, and more.
There’s tons of benefits to moving your training processes online. Here’s a few of the most important.
VET compliance in Australia is difficult enough, even more so when using paper-based assessments. Assessments tend to be an RTO’s biggest pitfall for ASQA audits, but with the right SMS, you should be able to create assessments and map the questions directly to ASQA’s training components, providing greater assurance that you’re meeting compliance requirements.
Whether under the shade of a park tree, in a bustling cafe, or submerged in a sea of couch pillows, online assessments give students the freedom to complete their work wherever they want. There’s no need to find a hard surface to write on, they can just fire up their laptop or phone, complete the assessment, and go about their day.
With traditional multiple-choice assessments, a trainer has to take them home and mark them one-by-one. With online assessments, the system does the marking for you, with the option to let students repeat incorrect questions right away, rather than having to wait for a result, have the assessment returned, re-submit, re-mark…
Some RTOs use Word documents for their assessments, which you download, complete and then upload. This process is simplified with online assessments, which is essentially an online form that gets completed and submitted, negating the need for extraneous files and the formatting problems that come with them. Online assessments can’t get lost, either.
WBL is a big part of vocational education, with practical, competency-based skills being assessed while doing the job itself. With an WBL assessment tool, trainers can assess their students anywhere, whether in a dingy coal mine hundreds of metres underground, or in a boat far away from shore. When they return to an area with internet access, the assessment information can be automatically uploaded to the system. WBL will remain a critical part of the vocational education sector, and must be online to be effective.
Given that course enrolment is just a form and a payment—a process that moved online 27 years ago with the first ecommerce site—it’s crazy that RTOs still enrol their students using paper. With online enrolments, students can browse your website for their desired course, get all of the necessary info needed to select one, and then simply fill out a form and make a deposit payment (if required). This registers in your SMS as a new enrolment, and can be processed from there.
Similarly to online assessments, eLearning modules can be accessed and completed anywhere, giving the student greater freedom and control over their education. Many eLearning systems are mobile-friendly too, so they may not even need a laptop to learn.
Student attendance can be tracked and monitored for mandatory eLearning modules, and if a student is falling behind, you may even be able to create an automated workflow that warns them of their tardiness. The same goes for assessment completion.
eLearning lacks many of the costs that come with classroom teaching, such as building rental, additional wages for trainers, physical resources, health and safety considerations, and more. Though eLearning can be expensive to set up, it can save money in the long run.
The digital age has given us access to more data than ever, which with the right knowledge, can be used to optimise your processes, inform your decisions, and push your RTO to greater heights. With traditional paper-based processes, a lot of data won’t become available until manually inputted into the system—a clear disadvantage to those who have access to it right away, and are able to produce up-to-date reports.
In the deluge of communication between students and staff, it’s easy to lose email conversations. An online messaging tool that tracks all communication and organises it by person can be invaluable for keeping things organised, allowing you to quickly retrieve older conversations, add to them if necessary, and then carry on with your day. By providing full context of your conversation, this tool also allows you to better support your students.
With your training online, students should have access to up-to-date information about their course, including their upcoming classes, assignments, and progress. They can log into their account in seconds, and access everything they need.
Training tends to include a lot of documentation, from far-reaching company-wide strategies, to classroom instruction sheets for students. Moving everything online and making the effort to keep things properly organised will allow you to access documents any time you need them. Fewer dusty grey cabinets, and fewer felled trees.
With the virus upon them, RTOs need to move their training processes online, and fast. The quicker they make the move, the easier it’ll be to get through the uncertainty, and to focus on what they do best: delivering excellent training to their students.
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