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eNews Issue 9 CEO MESSAGE

CENTRE NEWS  AVETRA Conference  National VET Sector Skills for Sustainability

Professional Development Program  Android and iOS Apps: New guide for teachers

and trainers  Subscribe to the blog  Follow us on Twitter

CENTRE PROJECTS  Research Scholarship Program 2013  LLN for Learn Local Teachers

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING  Resource and Network Portal  Get Recognition for Skills with Badges  Mahara Webinars  Thought Leaders - 6 May 2013  Teaching and Learning Conference  Customised Professional Learning  VET Leaders Lunch  Digital Educators Network  Disability Liaison Officer Forum VET Development Centre

COMMENT PIECE  Promoting VET Professionalism

Level 1, 478 Albert Street East Melbourne VIC 3002 T (61 3) 9250 6000 F (61 3) 9663 6674 info@vetcentre.vic.edu.au www.vetcentre.vic.edu.au


MESSAGE FROM CEO Since 2005, we have based the design and delivery of our professional learning programs on the strategic interests of VET providers and the emerging practice priorities of VET professionals. Here at the Vet Development Centre, we take a strategic and sector-wide approach to providing continuing professional development that meets government policy requirements and VET workforce development needs. Our role has expanded over recent years to encompass all VET providers in Victoria. This role and function is quite varied and it changes as the needs of the sector change. As well as providing workforce development grants, we assist teachers to upgrade their qualifications, help non-teaching staff to access professional development activities and give support to practitioner networks and Communities of Practice. This activity is summarised in our Professional Learning Program. In 2012, we delivered over 70 programs (significant growth from the 12 we offered in 2009). We also customised inhouse programs for a range of providers, both in Victoria and interstate. This showed that, even in times of structural readjustment, providers are ensuring their staff have the skills required to meet the demands of quality teaching and learning delivery. To discuss how we can support your professional development needs, T (03) 9250 6000 or visit the VET Centre website. Denise Stevens, CEO

Delivery of professional learning programs 2005-2012.


THE CENTRE NEWS AVETRA Conference The Centre was well represented at the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) Conference, held in Perth in April. CEO Denise Stevens presented the paper ‘Naming and claiming a research culture in Victorian TAFE’, completed on behalf of the Centre by Pam Jonas from the Victorian TAFE Association. Melanie Williams presented on work she is undertaking for the Centre on ‘Engaging in mixed sector scholarly practice’. Pam was commissioned to investigate what research is being undertaken in Victorian TAFE Institutes to enhance understanding of the issue and contribute to the broader scholarship debate. The methodology included a literature review, environmental scan, online survey and consultations with a range of practitioners working in six Victorian TAFE Institutes. The findings indicate that VET practitioners undertake research in various ways but do not always ‘name it’ or ‘claim it’ in the same way as their higher education counterparts. If it is agreed that practitioner research in VET is important, then further investigation and debate is required. A copy of this report is available on the Centre’s website.

National VET Sector Skills for Sustainability Professional Development Program The Sustainable Practice Skill Set has been developed into a three-day workshop program designed to give VET practitioners the knowledge and skills to effectively embed ‘green skills’ into their delivery of VET programs in Australia. Victorian Workshop dates and locations: 

Ballarat, 1, 2 & 9 August 2013

Melbourne, 3 - 5 September 2013 (Note the change of date)

Gippsland, 11-13 September 2013

For more information about this program, please visit the Sustainable Practice Skill Set webpage.


THE CENTRE NEWS Android and iOS Apps: New guide for teachers and trainers Teachers and trainers will benefit from a new app development guide for the two most widely used mobile device operating systems in Australia, Android and iOS. The guide has been developed by the New Generation Technologies for Learning business activity and outlines some of the considerations involved in app development for vocational education and training (VET). Developed using an online survey to rate different aspects of development environments, Android and iOS App Development Explained includes: 

definitions of types of apps

a list of websites where the technically-minded can undertake self-training

process descriptions defining how apps can be distributed to both platforms

an exploration of the reasoning behind creating a native versus a hybrid versus a web app.

“The business activity generally recommends that web apps are developed in order to maximise the ability to share across different mobile devices”, says Business Manager Kristena Gladman. “There are scenarios, however, where it will be beneficial to develop apps that use device-specific functions, and the guide resulting from this work is intended to help decide when that is the case”, says Kristena. The New Generation Technologies for Learning business activity is funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy, a joint initiative of the Australian and State and Territory governments. For more information please visit the National VET E-learning Strategy website or follow them on Twitter.

Subscribe to the VET Centre blog The Centre is keen to highlight significant articles and reports relating to VET to ensure that practitioners are across the key issues and policy themes of the day. So a regular stream of articles is now provided to keep you informed. You can subscribe to our blog.

Follow the VET Development Centre on twitter Stay up to date with the Centre’s projects and scholarship opportunities – and VET sector news – by following us on Twitter @VET_Centre


THE CENTRE PROJECTS Research Scholarship Program 2013 This year, the Centre has provided 12 research scholarship grants that support practitioners teaching (or intending to teach) in mixed sector institutions to undertake a small research project in their workplace and write and publish their findings. Participants receive $5000 for one year to complete the research. During that time, they attend three Centre workshops and participate in an online scholarly network facilitated by Melanie Williams. This program supports the growth and development of a scholarly culture in mixed sector institutions through development of the research projects. It enables recipients to improve their professional capability in a field of research practice, build networks, enhance their research capability and development, and recognise the contribution of research to the TAFE/VET system.

LLN for Learn Local Teachers Funding through an ACFE Board Flagship Project – Supporting Skills Literacy and Numeracy Practitioners – will be used by the Centre to build the skills and knowledge to support learners with poor language, literacy and numeracy skills, an essential part of the Learn Local teachers’ toolkit. Eight workshops are being offered in five different locations – Melbourne (city), Benalla, Bendigo, Traralgon and Ballarat – to allow teachers to take advantage of this opportunity. Participants will also be invited to network at three Community of Practice meetings and engage with online resource sharing using the VET Development Moodle site. These activities are mapped to the unit TAELLN401A Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills, which becomes a core unit of TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in July 2014. This means that all teachers delivering accredited VET training will need to hold or demonstrate equivalent competency for this unit. Participation in this program is a major step towards meeting the new requirement. Workshop attendees made these comments about their experience. 

“One of the best workshops I’ve attended. Absolutely fantastic.”

“This was an extremely valuable workshop. The presenter was awesome. Well done – very engaging, thoroughly enjoyable and beneficial.”

“A very professional presentation of principles of LLN and a wonderful opportunity to upgrade my skills.”


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Resource and Network Portal

The VET Development Centre Resource and Network Portal is available to all professional learning program participants and members of professional networks and projects. The portal enables users to access post-program learning resources and recordings, online discussion forums and activities. It also allows them to obtain a certificate of attendance and develop an online professional development e-portfolio. Participants can access the Resource and Network Portal via the VET Centre website homepage.

Get Recognition for Skills with Badges Professional learning program participants will soon be able to use Mozilla Open Badges to showcase online their skills and professional development achieved. The Centre will be integrating the badges with the Resource and Network Portal experience in semester 2. Badges will be automatically sent out to people who attend a VET Development Centre workshop or webinar, or become part of a professional learning network. The badges can be incorporated into e-Portfolios and shared online, including through social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. Get ready to start collecting!

Mahara Webinars Many VET practitioners participated in the Centre’s MidWeek Mahara workshops, where they were given facilitated instruction on how to create a Mahara ePortfolio. This semester the Centre will run a free bimonthly webinar explaining how to access the Resource and Network Portal to obtain a certificate of attendance at events and how to upload these to an e-Portfolio. Users should remember that it is important to keep that e-Portfolio up to date.


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Thought Leaders - 6 May 2013 The first Thought Leaders event for 2013 was a joint activity with TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) to launch their recent publication Reinventing service delivery – case studies of TAFE Institutes meeting industry needs and government goals. The report, commissioned by TDA and produced by leading VET researcher Dr John Mitchell, contains five case studies from different industries across Australia. They highlight how TAFE assists industry in skills development to foster productivity and global competitiveness, a highly skilled workforce, qualified staff and career development, skills for the new economy and regional growth. These examples of leading practice from providers include TAFE SA Adelaide South, Skills Tech Australia (Qld), Challenger Institute of Technology, Kangan Institute and TAFE NSW – Riverina Institute. Over 80 VET staff from across the sector registered and attended this event. A highlight was hearing firsthand about the Victorian case study – a joint activity with Kangan Institute and the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries. As CEO of TDA Martin Riordan commented, it was ‘great to see and hear the project enacted like a play’ – and with audience participation! The Centre regularly runs the Thought Leaders series, often in collaboration with other VET organisations. The next Thought L-R Martin Riordan, CEO TDA; Denise Stevens, CEO VET Development Centre; Brett McLeod , Kangan Institute; Julie Haselhorst, Council of Textile and Fashion Industries; and Dr John Mitchell

Leaders event will be held in semester 2, so stay tuned.

Professional Learning 2013 Registrations for 2013 VET Development Centre professional learning workshops and webinars are now open. Why not check out what’s on offer?


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Teaching and Learning Conference 2013 Learning design for the future

The Centre’s two day Teaching and Learning Conference will focus on new thinking and new learning design concepts essential to meet the challenges faced by practitioners in 2013. The merging of educational boundaries, greater participation in tertiary education and the need for effective collaboration between VET and Universities are at the forefront of current educational debate. This means VET educators require a revitalised skill profile. Innovative strategies for the development of the VET workforce are required at organisational and individual levels to meet the needs of industry, learners and government. A series of interactive workshops and presentations from local and national speakers will focus on: 

digital literacy and working in the e-learning environment

understanding and discussing recent and relevant VET research from leading commentators

meeting diverse learner needs through facilitating learning, understanding their needs and designing appropriate programs.

Keynote speakers will cover topics such as: 

‘Role play to engage learners’: Associate Professor Kerry Reid-Searl, Central Queensland University

‘Thinking strategically in a world of change’: Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw, Innovation Edge

‘A view into the world of instructional design’: Duy Huynh, Beyondedge

For more information and to register, click here.

Your Workplace Development Needs: Customised Professional Learning Talk with the Centre’s highly experienced consultants to identify organisational workforce development needs and organise the design of contextualised professional learning programs. All VET Development Centre professional learning programs can be customised and delivered in-house or at any location. Look at the consulting and in-house events or check out what’s on offer?


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING VET Leaders Lunch - May & June 2013 The Centre held two successful lunches recently – one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. On both occasions

John Ross, higher education journalist with The Australian,

was the guest speaker. John’s brief was to highlight some of the key issues nationally impacting on the TAFE/VET system. In both of his presentations John highlighted what he saw as the trends: the impact of reduced funding per delivery hour across specific course fields; some providers ‘protecting’ parts of the business – particularly apprenticeships and trades by establishing specific trade areas; more focus on industry delivery potentially at the expense of other learners and industry accessing government funds for training they may have previously paid for; shift away from using the TAFE name; removal of the social obligation provision for TAFE providers; and moves to ‘privatise’ TAFE (such as the trend in Queensland regarding use of facilities). He also commented on underlying complexities impacting on the system – the continuing reduction of funds to the sector compared with available funds for schools and higher education; the ‘brawl’ between the states and the Federal Government over funding priorities; the lack of transparency over VET funding (not much new money but rather rebadged ‘old’ money); and the discourse on VET/TAFE does not always include the TAFE voice, so who is leading the conversation and making the commentary? John welcomed questions from the floor, which led to further analysis and discussion of his comments – a very rewarding overview of the ‘state of the nation’ from a VET perspective. The next VET Leaders Lunch will be held on 1 November 2013.

Digital Educators Network - Semester 2, 2013 The Centre’s Digital Educators Network (DEN) continues to successfully provide a framework to explore upcoming and emerging digital technologies best suited for curriculum integration within the VET sector. For the first half of the 2013 program, three prominent presenters were engaged to discuss the issues and trends on elearning project management, essential ICT skills for the VET practitioner and rapid e-learning software solutions for interaction and engagement. Peer to peer online support forums augmented the webinars, enabling members to engage in rich and informative discussions on these central themes. We invite you to join the network and become a part of this growing online community of dedicated practitioners. For more information and to register, click here.


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Disability Liaison Officer Forum - 31 May 2013 The VET Development Centre successfully organised and delivered a Disability Liaison Officers’ Forum on 31 May. Content was developed through consultation with TAFE DLOs from across Victoria, who highlighted a number of issues that affect their everyday work and the students they support. Invitations to attend the forum were extended to the wider VET sector – TAFE, adult and community education providers and private RTOs – and approximately 56 attended. Presentations ranged from the latest government data on students with disability accessing VET training, future research directions and opportunities to inform government; the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support; Disability Employment Services; and two best practice programs. These were Box Hill Institute’s assessment of support needs and community education, and Bendigo TAFE’s access and equity program ‘Six Steps to Employment’ – a great example of a training pathway model for people with a disability. With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and its launch on 1 July, participants were keen to hear from Director of the Barwon Launch Transition Agency, Alexandra Gunning. She gave a highly engaging and passionate presentation on how the scheme will work, how people with disabilities can access care, the transition of people and programs, how to register as a provider and much more. Overall the blend of informative delivery by knowledgeable presenters, the opportunity for participants to share knowledge and considered solutions to challenges, as well as the invaluable chance to network, ensured the forum was a great success.

COMMENT PIECE Promoting VET Professionalism How do we promote the professionalism of the sector and advocate for all the good work that happens? It’s a continuing puzzle. I’m continually reminded of the great work happening in various organisations. But somehow we don’t seem to be able to get those stories out to the media, politicians, industry, learners and parents. I remind practitioners and organisations to start telling these stories – through their websites, via their printed communication and in direct discussion with as many people as possible. Without a vibrant and strong VET sector, Australian industries won’t be able to maintain productivity and innovation. To read just a few of these great stores, view our Solutions brochure by clicking here.


VET Development Centre eNews Issue 9  
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