Did you know that even with the impacts of the global pandemic, international education is Australia’s fourth largest export?. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a significant dent into the VET sector, as it’s still uncertain when international students will be able to return to study in Australia.
If you’re an RTO who has survived, and even thrived, during the pandemic, you’ll know that it’s been important to embrace change through the opportunity to move your training online. Being able to provide online training and learning can not only help to maintain, and even increase, international student enrolment levels, but can also make your training offering more attractive to domestic students. Many people want to upskill while they’re working, and an online or blended learning environment can be the perfect solution.
If the global pandemic has taught us anything about the VET industry, it’s that many RTOs didn’t have online learning capabilities until last year. Those who had a growth mindset and were agile enough to make the switch to online training not only survived the pandemic, but also thrived, and are now equipped with the E-Learning tools needed to provide blended learning. Blended learning, such as mixed delivery of face-to-face and online training, and E-Learning will continue to be important for VET delivery in terms of meeting learner expectations, flexibility of training and learning, being able to have an agile response to events such as COVID-19, and continued growth of the capabilities of your RTO’s training.
With any online delivery of training, student management needs to be done right. If you have a good student management system, workflow automation can help with this, as it's all about working smarter, not harder. Workflow automation works by organising repetitive tasks and otherwise time-consuming, manual activities into a streamlined process with minimal human assistance. This essentially means a single automated workflow system will perform each item of work, as many times as required, allowing your training organisation to spend less time on the processes that support work and more time on the work that adds value to customers.
Taking your learning and assessments online is integral to an engaging student experience. If your RTO uses a student management system integrated with a learning management system, you’ll be able to create highly engaging lessons, content and assessment. Students should be able to progress through and complete these lessons and assessments through a Learner Portal app or on the web. Moving your assessment and lessons online can take your RTO’s student experience to the next level, as students will be engaged with interactive learning content.
With these beautifully-designed lessons and assessment, a learning plans tool can allow trainers and assessors to control the flow of the student experience. Learning plans are a highly effective way to schedule, order and present your online course content into easy-to-navigate Learning Modules that are mapped back to Units. This is great for providing clear steps on how to complete course content.
Work-based learning (WBL) is an education program that includes learning in a work environment. According to NCVER, WBL leads to better employment outcomes for students, and can provide employers with workers who have relevant skill sets learned through structured training. A WBL program can create highly successful outcomes, as students learn employability skills that aren’t directly learnt in a classroom environment. This is something that many students look for when considering vocational education.
Work-based learning programs traditionally use paper-based logbooks to record students’ activities, learning and reflections. These logbooks are cumbersome and can easily get lost or damaged. Digital logbooks are an amazing replacement for students, trainers and employers. With a WBL app, students can use their own devices to take photos and videos of evidence on the job while recording skills and capturing hours in the workplace. Trainers and workplace supervisors will then have a simplified evidence approval process and easier marking of student attendance. With this streamlined experience, WBL employers can save time viewing student progress, marking online assessment and providing feedback. A good digital work placements logbook will also allow for digital signatures, and easy communication with admin and trainers through the WBL logbook app. Learn more about technology to support WBL here.
With 95% of human resource managers actively seeking micro-credentials from potential candidates, there is a huge untapped demand for bite-sized flexible learning alternatives to traditional degree, diploma and certificate courses. Shorter form credentials provide the opportunity to easily articulate and execute the skills within a skill set, and contribute to lifelong learning. To ensure learners have the skills that the future workforce needs, microcredentials can ensure knowledge is consistently updated for the duration of a worker’s career.
More and more VET providers are working more closely with industry in the design and delivery of short, bespoke courses that connect the needs of business, technology and the individual. The flexible nature of microcredentials means that RTOs need to have the flexible capabilities that online learning and assessment functionalities can provide. Online enrolments can also make for a more streamlined student enrolment process.
With so many learners, both international and domestic, looking for reputable online training that can help them gain a qualification, become work-ready, upskill, or retrain, now is the best time to move your RTO online.
Don't forget to subscribe to VET:eXpress to receive important VET insights and news straight to your inbox.
VET moves fast. Stay informed, with blogs straight to your inbox.