When it comes to managing work-based learning, not much has changed or improved for the student, host employer, and trainer and administrator experience over the years. Many training providers have stuck to traditional paper-based logbooks, forms and information booklets. While a paper-based way of doing things works, it’s slow, highly manual and outdated – not to mention the risk of losing or damaging important paperwork.
So how can providers mitigate this risk and manage work-based learning in a way that aligns with student expectations while making the work placement management process easier for everyone?
A digital work-based learning solution that integrates with your Student Management System (SMS) and Learning Management System (LMS) is the answer for many providers.
Let’s look at an example using CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). This qualification requires 120 hours of practical placement.
A CHC33015 work placement would see the student working in a community and/or residential setting. The student follows an individualised plan to provide person-centered support to people who require support due to ageing. Upon graduation, there are a number of roles students may be employed in, including a support worker, nursing assistant, aged care worker and more.
These roles are extremely important, and training providers have the responsibility of ensuring students become competent in the qualification requirements so that skilled workers are entering the industry. Paper-based logbooks aren’t the best tool for providers to achieve this – in fact, they can become hindrances to successful and smooth work-based learning.
Consider Emily, a student undertaking a work placement for CHC33015 at an aged care facility. She’s required to complete certain tasks, and record evidence of these tasks in the workplace. Her workplace supervisor is required to approve this evidence, review logbook entries, mark attendance, and provide feedback while also doing their normal work. Emily’s trainer at the RTO needs to be able to monitor her progress in the work placement, view student details and more, while the RTO administrators need to manage compliance and communication.
There’s a few general problems – including Emily sometimes forgetting her logbook at home, or struggling to find a place at the aged care facility to sit and write in her paper-based logbook everytime she needs to record something. But the real issue is that there’s a lot of moving parts involved in the work placement, and a paper-based system doesn’t make this easy to manage.
However, a digital solution can centralise all information for everyone involved.
Imagine that instead of a paper-based logbook, Emily has a mobile app on her own mobile device where she can see her tasks, upload evidence and submit her logbook activities for approval. Her supervisor also has their own app where they can approve evidence Emily submits, give their digital signature, and more – all within their own mobile device. All of this information from both apps feeds back into the RTO’s SMS – eliminating lost evidence and streamlining compliance for administrators.
We go into more detail on the whole digital work-based learning solution here.
With student management all being digital in an SMS, online learning being more prevalent than ever, providers accepting payments online, using online enrolments and more...it’s time to take the last piece of the learning journey digital too.
Looking forward, the National Skills Commission has found that Australia’s future jobs and economic growth will centre around a workforce skilled across the ‘four Cs’: care, computing, cognitive abilities and communication. With the world's ageing population, training providers need to be equipped to support students in aged care to receive the best training possible – with excellent compliance and high quality work-based learning experiences. Digitally managing work-based learning is the way forward.
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