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Teaching and Learning in the Digital Economy - NCVER Research 2019

April 18, 2020

As recent events have moved the VET industry online, it's interesting to view NCVER's 2019 research reports into online delivery and digital skills, and predict how our industry will fare during the hurdles presented in 2020.

In NCVER’s research document of the 2019 VET year, they explore interesting insights on digital skills and the online delivery of VET qualifications. To save you from reading through it all, we’ve summarised the key takeaways for you. 

Disappointing Digital Skills 

Developing appropriate digital skills for the workforce is an important component in Australia’s effort to compete in this rapidly emerging global digital economy.

Artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are transforming the world of work in every industry.

However, over half of the industry survey respondents in NCVER’s research were unsatisfied with the digital skills of their VET graduate recruits. Though a significant amount of digital training content is often included in VET packages, it mostly consists of basic IT skills rather digital literacy suitable for the workforce. Furthermore, much of this digital training gets delivered only in elective units rather than core units. 

Employers have strong concerns about the future availability of workers with sufficient digital skills. Despite this, many are not proactively developing a clear strategy for, and investing in, the future digital skills their workforce needs.

Most industries agree that teaching and learning in VET must incorporate more digital training content in their core units and at a higher level, addressing the skills gap between education and employment and providing VET grads the digital expertise to seamlessly transition to the workforce.

Digital skills gap by industry[1]

Online delivery has just as much to offer

Employment outcomes for graduates of online VET courses were often similar or better than those delivered via other modes.

For many of the qualifications, graduates who studied online were more likely to report that they had achieved the main reason for doing the training.

Overall, the respondents agree that good practice in online delivery includes: 

  • a positive and supportive attitude and ethos in the training provider 
  • students with realistic expectations of the course and delivery mode on enrolment 
  • well-structured, up-to-date and engaging resources that cater to a range of learning preferences 
  • an effective and accessible student support system 
  • highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers and trainers, who display empathy and are creative problem-solvers.

It’s interesting to note that students learning online have equal or better employment outcomes, especially since recent events have forced the entire VET industry to move to online delivery. Need a bit of help with your online training? Check out this handy guide.

This article is the first of three summaries of NCVER’s 2019 research messages. You can read part two here.

Read more:

  1. NCVER Research Report


  1. NCVER Research Messages 2019


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