If you’re an RTO who has introduced technological change to your business by moving your training online, you’ll know all too well that it can be a big challenge to get everyone on board. When change comes with significant learning curves and brand new ways of doing ‘business-as-usual’, some resistance is inevitable and can make new tech adoption difficult. Employees may also perceive themselves as not being tech-savvy enough, and are attached to the ‘old ways’ of doing things, including solely paper-based training and assessment.
Switching to online training with a Learning Management System (LMS), integrated with a Student Management System (SMS), doesn’t have to be a huge roadblock for RTOs.
Let’s break down some key steps for how you can drive cultural organisational change to adopt high quality online training for your RTO.
First and foremost, trainers need to be involved in the process of moving to online training. It's integral that trainers are comfortable with using the new system, as it will become a core part of their training, assessing and facilitation of a good student learning experience.
Resistance to change generally comes from fear. Anyone can feel anxious about the ‘unknown’ – especially if everything is perceived to be working fine in the present.
RTOs should ensure trainers are trained in using the new system so that they become competent and comfortable with online training, instead of letting the initial learning struggle or fear of change stunt progress.
Many LMSs offer remote training on how to use their system, which your trainers should attend (or watch a recorded version if they can’t). There’s also support documentation to draw on and courses on how to learn the LMS itself. A new channel of communication for trainers to discuss issues or questions about the LMS might also help, such as a tool like Slack. For RTOs, it's really about making sure trainers are involved and part of the process of switching to online training.
We as a college have run in-house training sessions to bring our trainers up to speed with using technology (this is still ongoing). We have also had them join external training to develop their skills. Some of our less tech-savvy trainers have surprised us to be our dark horses in delivering within this platform, while those that displayed great confidence have been the reluctant trainers within this platform.
— Alison Heagney and Vicki Zammit (Community College Northern Inland) [ASQA Distance Learning Sector Insights]
Reluctant trainers might be wondering what the purpose and benefits are of moving to online or blended training. Success stories from other RTOs who have taken their training online using the LMS can help trainers to understand how their jobs and passion for high quality training can benefit (some example RTO success stories from using the aXcelerate LMS can be found here). Showing the practicality and capabilities of the LMS can spark inspiration and excitement for trainers about their personal growth, and the future of training and education.
VET is moving towards online training globally (in fact, some RTOs have already started to lead the way with using virtual reality integrated with their online assessment and training delivery). If you’re an RTO who has survived, and even thrived, during the pandemic, you’ll likely have felt first-hand the importance of having online training capabilities. From having more flexibility, to meeting student expectations, to being able to have an agile response to events such as COVID-19 while continuing to grow the RTO’s business success, having online capabilities is becoming non-negotiable for training organisations. Position taking on online training as an opportunity for trainers' personal development and growth in training expertise.
Trainers know one of the most important aspects of training is the trainer-student relationship, and the last thing trainers want is to look incompetent in front of students.
After trainers play around with the new LMS and become comfortable with it, they’ll be able to see the new potential in using the LMS as a tool to help create an engaging learning experience. If your RTO uses an SMS integrated with a LMS, trainers and assessors will be able to create engaging and interactive lessons, content and assessment. Students can then progress through and complete these lessons and assessments through a Learner Portal.
And, with LMS features like Learning Plans, trainers and assessors can control the flow of the student experience with beautifully-designed lessons and assessment. Learning Plans are a great way to schedule, order and present your online course content into easy-to-navigate Learning Modules that are mapped back to Units – providing clear steps for students on how to complete course content.
Adopting online training is a big change, and showing empathy and support to your trainers and assessors while they’re going through the digital learning process is important. VET encourages lifelong learning, and learning how to use technology for the future of training is no exception. Trainers are busy people, so schedule personal development time for trainers to be trained in the LMS. Your trainers will appreciate the support and time you give them, and will feel more willing to learn.
If your RTO and your trainers/assessors have successfully implemented online training, what has been the biggest learning curve you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it? Let us know on our social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) – we’d love to hear your insights.
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