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Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers

Table of Contents Leading VET Workforce Development


Our STrengths


E-Learning 4 industry currency


innOvative methods of learning


teaching fellows


langauage, literacy and numeracy


our professional learning framework


our proJect management capability


The VET Development Centre 2010-2012 A statistical snapshot


Since 2005 the VET Development Centre has concentrated the design and delivery of its professional learning programs on the strategic interests of VET providers and on the emerging practice priorities of VET professionals. The Centre adopts a strategic and sector wide approach to the provision of continuing professional development to meet government policy requirements and workforce development needs in the VET sector. This role has expanded over the past 3-4 years to encompass all sectors providing vocational education and training in Victoria. Since its inception, the Centre has reviewed its offerings through independent evaluations, through dialogue with providers and government, and through feedback from program participants. The Centre will maintain its leadership role by promoting professional learning customised for providers, and building a strong sense of VET professionalism across the sector. This booklet provides an overview of projects and activities funded by the Centre in 2012; the focus is on innovation and collaboration in teaching and learning practice and highlights the many ways that providers meet the needs of students and learners as well as their industry and community partners.

Leading VET Workforce Development This edition of the VET Development Centre’s Solutions booklet surveys many projects the Centre funded and managed during 2012. Solutions celebrates innovative approaches to learning and teaching that result from collaborative VET practice. During 2012, the TAFE Development Centre changed its name to the VET Development Centre. More than a name change, our new brand reflects the growing presence of the Centre’s work across the VET sector. That presence is exemplified in this edition of Solutions through projects conducted by TAFE institutes, private providers, and in the adult and community education sector. We look forward to our continued involvement with VET professionals and providers. Our aim is to assist them to make a difference for all those learners and enterprises relying on the VET sector for innovative solutions to their training needs.

and the Australian Education Union. Key government relationships include Skills Victoria Access and Equity Unit, Department of Business and Innovation, and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Research and Education. We maintain strong networks with VET practitioners, VET researchers and commentators, such as the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, National Centre for Vocational Education Research,

and the National Workforce Development Managers’ Network. The projects outlined in the following pages represent the remarkable versatility and creativity of VET professionals, be they teachers and trainers, workplace assessors, librarians, program managers, or quality assurance professionals. We are grateful for their support, and we are privileged to support them.

Our aim is to assist VET professionals and providers to make a difference for all those learners and enterprises relying on the VET sector for innovative solutions to their training needs.

Workforce development demands continual attention. As the profile and expectations of the workforce evolves, workforce development strategy and planning must adapt to maintain its relevance. That is true for the VET workforce as for any other industry sector or enterprise. The Centre’s long established relationships with many stakeholders committed to VET workforce development include Industry Skills Councils and industry bodies, the Enterprise Registered Training Organisation Association, VET and higher education providers, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and secondary schools, the Adult, Community and Further Education Board, Australian Council for Private Education and Training, Victorian TAFE Association, TAFE Directors Australia

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers


Our Strengths The VET Development Centre’s reputation is anchored in our reliable delivery of four key service elements. Each element underpins the Centre’s workforce development activity and guides our approach to the design, management and delivery of flexible, wellstructured professional learning. 1. The Centre designs and delivers professional learning that is ready for practice. We link professional learning design to improved outcomes for learners and for VET providers. Through our extensive network of high quality facilitators and content experts, we bring together the expertise our clients need to meet their professional learning objectives.

2. The Centre responds to workforce development needs. We customise professional learning so that it advances the strategic interests of VET providers, accounts for their operating contexts and strengthens the professional identity of VET practitioners.

3. The Centre emphasises strong project and event management capability. Our work is informed by rigorous planning, scheduling, risk management and reporting.

The VET Development Centre’s reputation is anchored in our reliable delivery of four key service elements. 4. The Centre values ongoing relationships with our clients. We seek to understand and respond to their objectives. With the direct involvement of our clients, we monitor and evaluate our programs, projects and other initiatives. Feedback is a pivot for our work. Attention to these service elements means that the Centre is always aware of how best to enhance its products, services and service delivery channels.


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Allied with the Centre’s strengths are our understanding of the complex VET environment, our commitment to the VET sector, and our ability to balance flexibility and rigour. This set of capabilities and orientations has enabled the Centre to build a track record in delivering specific programs to wide audiences, and customised programs and services to meet niche requirements. Our customised fee-for-service programs are both sharply focussed and competitively priced.

e-learning VET Development Centre support for e-learning capability development In 2012 the Centre funded the four e-learning projects outlined here. Together they demonstrate the VET sector’s broad commitment to e-learning innovation and capability building.

The e-learning revolution has been slow rather than sudden. Educators were quick to realise that e-learning strategies had great promise for empowering learners, joining learners to rich learning content, and broadening the sites of learning and teaching beyond the classroom. The challenge has been to learn to how to make good on the promise. We are now much more confident about how e-learning can contribute – strategically, practically and cost effectively – to improved learning outcomes. Among the certainties we have developed about e-learning is that the role of the teacher is centrally important to effective e-learning design and delivery. Building the e-learning capability of VET professionals is now essential to contemporary VET practice. VET learners and industry now expect that VET professionals will have e-learning expertise.

Two projects were funded via the VET Development Centre’s Workforce Development Program. In 2013, 15 grants up to the value of $15,000 are available on a competitive basis. The scheme supports VET providers to develop workforce capability that ensures they have the right mix of skills and abilities to meet a changing training profile. E-teaching and e-learning capability figure highly in community, employer and government expectations of VET providers. In 2013, the Centre is responding further by increasing the number of new digital literacy and e-learning programs in our Professional Learning Program calendar E-learning challenges us to renew teaching practice, individually and collectively. E-learning pedagogy is not confined to individual practice.It is fundamental to design, delivery and assessment for qualifications, skill sets and short courses. It is the business of teaching teams.As these project outlines illustrate, it is the business of VET providers. Today, e-learning is integral to any broad conception of teaching and learning excellence.

E-Skills for Teachers Tool Centre for Adult Education Building teachers’ e-learning capability takes time. It requires thoughtful planning, working with teachers as learners, a readiness to experiment, and a willingness to learn from experience. During 2011, the CAE’s Delivery Innovation team developed an e-skills matrix to map the skills CAE staff need to become productive and confident blended learning practitioners. The matrix maps staff skills and capabilities at four levels, with each level representing progress towards integrating into their teaching practice a range of technologies, including online delivery. Teachers were consulted on the draft matrix. The CAE used VET Development Centre funding for a pilot project that developed resources for teachers which assisted them to work towards Level 1 of the e-skills matrix – integrating digital technologies into teaching practice. The successful pilot led to the official launch in 2013 of the E-Skills for Teachers Tool – Level 1. The tool enables teachers to identify skills gaps, and to access resources, training and self-paced study materials that support their skills development. The resources developed during the project now form part of CAE’s teacher induction program and are available to all teachers as a fully interactive e-publication distributed on USBs.

eMomentum Advance TAFE Advance TAFE made a business decision that e-learning would be a distinctive capability. That decision was reflected in the corporate plan and in Advance TAFE’s education development strategy. The determination is that Advance TAFE be known as a provider with e-learning in its DNA. Following that theme, from 2013,

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teachers are required to work within a framework that has expected outcomes for blended delivery deployed for sustainable student cohorts located across the Gippsland region and beyond. VET Development Centre funding released time and provided resources to further develop business breadth in e-learning capability through extending the impact of Advance TAFE’s eMomentum program. The purpose of eMomentum is to support the planned upgrading of teachers’ skills in using e-learning strategies. The funded project comprehensively trained and supported champions from teaching teams to develop engaging online content of high quality. Participants developed a unit, program or course of study for their teams. The intended flow on effect was achieved: teachers now have access to a champion at team level who has established knowledge and skills for working in online environments.

21st Century Teacher Tools Chisholm Institute Chisholm Institute’s objective with this project was to extend teachers’ confidence and capability in developing online programs and in using blended learning in their practice. It was recognised that many participants would cover new territory in coming to grips with the learning and teaching dimensions of the array of digital technologies and media. Creating a safe environment in which to experiment and collaborate was a design principle for the project. It was also a project with a sense of fun at its heart. Teachers participating in the project traversed many aspects of e-learning, including how to migrate the classroom to online environments, and how to use blogs, forums and social media as learning platforms. Using video and mobile devices in education was investigated, along with 4

VET learners and industry now expect that VET professionals will have e-learning expertise. developing and using screen shots and casts to demonstrate processes. The project was designed and delivered using a blended learning model, allowing participants to experience blended learning as learners. The outcome for Chisholm’s participants is enhanced capability to deploy digital and online options in pedagogically sound ways that are immediately relevant to their students.

Effective delivery in learning spaces of the future Victoria University A feature of e-learning technologies is their power to engage learners by giving them the means to monitor and manage their own learning. A feature of contemporary learning space architecture is design that encourages collaboration and self-efficacy. This Victoria University project offered professional learning that effectively

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers

integrated into teaching practice the use of both new technologies and new learning spaces. The project emphasised pedagogy that casts teachers as learning facilitators. Weekly teaching schedules for units in the Diploma of Business (Enterprise) were redesigned to include online resources and activities that students work through before, during and after classes. The project was ‘live’ from the beginning and the student experience was monitored regularly to assess their levels of engagement and learning. Among other results, end of semester student surveys found that 84.7 per cent agreed the learning approaches used in the learning space were interactive. Levels of agreement on a number of measures were higher than those recorded in mid-semester, demonstrating teachers’ persistence and their willingness to learn in the moment. Victoria University’s participating teachers ended the project with improved capabilities for working in online learning environments, and for using facilitated problem solving and group based workshops as teaching strategies.

Industry currency Partnering with industry to maintain teachers’ industry currency Box Hill Institute

VET Development Centre support for maintaining industry currency

VET professionals have two professional allegiances – one to their roles as teachers, and one to their industries of origin. Maintaining an understanding of what is happening in industry – from the latest technology to innovations in work practices – can pose challenges for teachers. But industry currency is a priority for industry, it delivers improved outcomes for students, and it satisfies the professional identity of teachers. Industry currency also underpins the training system’s integrity. Its centrality is highlighted in the 2011 Standards for National VET Regulator Registered Training Organisations which state that VET providers must have ‘a defined strategy, procedures and measures to ensure training and assessment services are conducted by trainers and assessors who … can demonstrate current industry skills directly relevant to the training/assessment being undertaken.’ Industry currency is a field of VET endeavour that invites industry-provider-teacher links and partnerships.

The VET Development Centre’s Industry Engagement Program has supported the nine projects summarised here. It supports arrangements among providers, enterprises and industry bodies that provide opportunities for VET professionals to upgrade their existing skills and knowledge, or to acquire new or specialised skills in their industry area. The Centre understands that VET providers must engage effectively with industry. An increasingly competitive training market means there is a premium on enduring relationships with employers. Teachers need aptitude with new technologies, consulting skills, the ability to use skills recognition processes effectively, and the confidence to innovate in delivering training and assessing training outcomes. These attributes have their foundations in industry currency. Industry currency is an indispensable component of professional learning for VET practitioners. In 2013, the Centre will provide 18 Industry Engagement Program grants, up to the value of $20,000, on a competitive basis.

Learning and employment outcomes for VET students hinge on the immediate relevance of their vocational skills to industry needs. Employers and students rightly attach high importance to VET professionals having a thorough understanding of industry requirements. Box Hill Institute’s partnering arrangement with the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA) is a clear example of the emphasis that industry puts on the currency of teachers and trainers. AMCA, the air conditioning industry’s peak body, initiated contact with the Institute, keen to establish a planned approach for ensuring the industry currency of teachers. Box Hill Institute responded with a structured program aligned to the objectives of its Teacher Development Program. Within the context of a wider partnership, a VET Development Centre grant made it possible for the partners jointly to roll out an industry currency program with multiple benefits for industry, teachers and students. Those benefits include the ability of teachers to apply their updated knowledge and skills to developing industry relevant training and teacher participation in industry networks. There are many noteworthy project outcomes. Three teachers completed a one week industry release program, and a short course in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls was delivered by an industry specialist to a group of teachers and employees in the industry. In addition, the Institute took the opportunity to develop an Industry Consultation Model that stands as a framework for all industry consultation activities.

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers


Industry currency is a field of VET endeavour that invites industry-provider-teacher links and partnerships. Industry based learning for media and communications teachers RMIT University Rapid change is the common experience across industry sectors. Change in the media and communications industry is something we have all observed – we have all accelerated change by altering our use of media products. For media and communications teachers, maintaining industry currency is no less pressing than it is for teachers of joinery or accountancy. Providing teachers with access to industry placements is often spoken about as a simple way of keeping teachers up to speed with the pace of change in their industries. Yet industry placements for VET professionals remain relatively rare. Backed by a VET Development Centre grant, this RMIT project shows that industry placements can be arranged and have high value outcomes. RMIT arranged placements for five media and communications teachers in the fields of professional writing and editing, film production and business practice. Participants worked with industry practitioners during their placements and reported personally valuable outcomes and positive impacts on the integrity and relevance of the programs in which they teach. Industry placements can be arranged. They do achieve improved industry currency for teachers and the VET Development Centre will continue to support them.

Langham Master Class Holmesglen For teachers and students, little can replace learning from the best in the business. That’s what the Langham Melbourne Master Class offers to Holmesglen teachers and students. The Master Class celebrated its 20th


anniversary in 2012, and is conducted as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. The Master Class is delivered by world renowned chefs – in 2012 they included Rene Redzepi from Norma restaurant in Denmark and David Chang from New York’s Momofuku. The VET Development Centre provided a project grant to support Holmesglen’s ongoing participation in the Langham Melbourne Master Class which includes two days in food preparation and two days in the Master Class itself. Participants in the Master Class include Holmesglen teachers and apprentices learning alongside chefs working in restaurants across Australia. The boost to industry currency for teachers is substantial. Networks with capital city chefs and hotel professionals, built through previous Master Classes, are renewed. The exchange of ideas, and exposure to new techniques, enlivens Holmesglen’s apprenticeship program – for teachers and apprentices alike.

Supporting ESL teachers to deliver OH&S training AMES For more than 60 years, AMES has set about the task of making the challenges that migrants and refugees face less daunting. Through its range of services, and its innovative approach to delivering English language programs, AMES introduces new settlers to the Australian way of work, including OH&S. The VET Development Centre’s grant to AMES made it possible for teachers of English as a Second Language to build their capability for delivering OH&S training to those with little or no experience of Australian workplaces. Twelve teachers from AMES’ nine delivery sites participated in the project. They successfully completed an OH&S unit from the Business Services Training Package before undertaking three workplace visits in office administration, retail and hospitality

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settings. At each workplace they conducted an OH&S audit, noted practical examples of what employees need to know and be able to do in order to work safely, and for each setting identified underpinning OH&S language and literacy demands. Participants then met to create OH&S learning and teaching resources that could be shared with their colleagues via AMES’ ResourceBANK. The resources include a bank of photographs relating to OH&S that are labelled and categorized for teaching purposes (accompanied by teaching ideas), and two assessment tools for an OH&S unit of competency that are suitable for culturally and linguistically diverse learners with varying language and literacy skills.

Capability building for visual merchandising teachers The Gordon Units of competency establish the industry benchmarks against which VET professionals assess their students. What happens when VET professionals unpack units of competency and assess their own skills and knowledge against the benchmarks? The answer put visual merchandising teachers at The Gordon on a path to improved industry currency. In 2012, The Gordon delivered for the first time the Diploma of Visual Merchandising and selected Visual Merchandising Skills Sets. In preparing to deliver and assess the Diploma and skill sets, visual merchandising teachers identified skills gaps of their own. A VET Development Centre grant assisted them to join with the local retail sector in bringing their industry currency in line with the benchmarks embedded in the units of competency. The intention of the project was to create opportunities for collaboration between retailers and teachers. Meetings were convened and two workshops conducted which saw ideas and expertise shared. More than 20 retailers participated. The skills gaps teachers identified through

self-reflective practice were addressed. More than that, a broad and informal visual merchandising network involving retailers and teachers is now in place. Teachers from The Gordon have shared their learnings with other VET professionals, from colleagues at The Gordon to colleagues at Sydney Institute.

global practice approach for working with industry partners RMIT University RMIT has adopted a strategic intention to be a global, urban and connected university of technology and design. RMIT’s TAFE School of Design wanted to explore the implications of this intention on the relationship between the qualifications it offers and design industries. A VET Development Centre grant assisted in funding a study tour that assessed the industry engagement practice of vocational education and training providers in Sydney, Vancouver and New York. The findings from the study tour have enriched conversations between RMIT and the Design Institute of Australia, and have prompted a reconsideration of how best to link RMIT and its VET design qualifications with individual enterprises. A focus of the study tour’s inquiry was to understand how high performing providers of VET design programs access industry and enterprise views about employability skills, and how those views influence learning and teaching. Many learnings from the study tour are now shaping the future of design qualifications in ways that reflect RMIT’s strategic positioning. A new emphasis is abroad. Familiar questions – like ‘what does the design industry expect? – are asked alongside new questions – like ‘what can RMIT do for the design industry?’ One answer is that three VET educators are now considering how to provide continuing professional development for industry practitioners.

Out and About Sunraysia Institute of TAFE

Industry Skills Community of Practice Victoria University

SuniTAFE twinned the maintenance of industry currency with the ever-present business imperative of improving revenue. The project rationale was straightforward – only VET professionals who understand their industries well can successfully market SuniTAFE’s products to local businesses.

‘Thank you for organising such an inspiring presenter, I have been teaching for more than 30 years and left the session with such positive vibes for the future. I hope that I may even have another year or two left in teaching so that I may be able to implement some of the new tech practices.’

Seeing industry currency through a business development lens required an innovative approach to workforce development. The expectation of teachers was that they would create strong links between industry and SuniTAFE’s business development and education divisions. Their task was to collect industry intelligence that informed the organisation about industry needs and skills shortages, and to analyse feedback on SuniTAFE’s performance as a provider of industry relevant training.

Enthusiastic feedback like this demonstrates the power of structured programs that link VET professionals with industry. Victoria University’s project established an Industry Skills Community of Practice with a particular objective – to encourage teachers to develop relationships with employers. Attendance at the regular Community of Practice forum grew steadily over the course of 2012; by year’s end, more than 100 teachers had participated.

Skills development for the teachers who participated included customer relationship management training, a forum on industry engagement practice and attendance at business development meetings. With this scaffolding to support them, teachers literally went out and about to meet with employers across the region that SuniTAFE serves. They spent focussed time with employers in enterprises, government agencies and the nongovernment sector, calling on their evolving business development skills to elicit a close appreciation of what industry needs the VET system to deliver for them. A key project outcome is that across SuniTAFE there is now a clearer understanding of corporate training needs and how they differ from traditional VET delivery. There were specific outcomes too. A very positive relationship developed with Mildura Rural City Council, leading to SuniTAFE becoming a preferred supplier for WELL and other programs.

A brief survey of some events conducted through the Community of Practice helps to explain why they came: • Fourteen teachers visited the Laverton Manufacturing Plant of NHP Electrical Engineering Products. The visit resulted in teachers delivering training on site and NHP providing student awards. • Thirty-two teachers participated in a showcase of teacher innovation in course delivery and assessment that reflected current industry knowledge and industry relevant teaching practice. • Two teachers who attended a week’s training at Tamar Cabinets, learning to program computer numerical control machines, recommended that all carpentry, joinery and furniture making teachers undertake the training. The Community of Practice organised two days of in-house training provided by a Tamar Cabinets employee. This strategy achieved scale; something often cited as inhibiting industry currency strategies.

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Innovative methods of delivery VET Development Centre support for innovative methods of training delivery

VET teaching is a dynamic professional endeavour. No two students and no two classes are the same. Employer expectations are constantly evolving as workplaces change and adapt to economic circumstances and opportunities. Great teachers are great learners, prepared to try new approaches in their practice and always ready to learn the hard and happy lessons of experience. Innovation in VET teaching practice grows out of thoughtful responses to the circumstances and needs of their students and the expectations of their students’ current and future employers. Well structured professional learning makes an outstanding contribution to innovation in teaching practice. Professional learning provides the time and encouragement to innovate. It provides the avenue through which innovation is shared with other teachers. It provides the structured mechanism for implementing, supporting and sustaining innovation.

The Centre understands that innovation will prosper through trial, success, and sometimes error. Imposing a ‘one size fits all’ approach to professional learning will discourage innovation, and undermine innovators. The nine projects outlined here take different innovation pathways. What is consistent across the projects is emphasis on forms of collegial activity – joining with other VET professionals in pursuing common objectives of improving learning outcomes, maintaining professional integrity, and enhancing the credibility of the VET system. Many of the projects showcased here were funded under the Centre’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Program which provides grants for one-year projects that support practice based renewal of teaching practice, with a focus on developing excellence in VET pedagogy. In 2013, the Program will provide 15 grants up to the value of $15,000 each.

Professional learning that meets individual needs and business objectives Kangan Institute Investing in professional learning for teachers is a wise investment in the VET provider’s business. Kangan Institute used findings from a review of staff development needs, and data gathered during development of the Institute’s teaching and learning strategy, to develop and deliver a series of programs that met both individual needs and business objectives. Supported by a VET Development Centre grant, this project facilitated teacher capability building that gained and sustained new and improved practice in key aspects of pedagogy. The series relied on principles of adult and transformational learning. Where possible, teachers obtained partial credit/RPL towards accredited training. Five programs were offered to teachers and senior educators, each addressing one of the skill gaps identified in the staff development review. The quality assessment, validation and moderation program attracted 260 participants from across the Institute. Twenty-two participants in the sustainability program received a statement of attainment for TAESUS01A Analyse and apply sustainability skills to learning programs. Ensuring that professional learning is relevant, and promoting an organisational appetite for lifelong learning, are important ingredients in building individual skills and influencing business outcomes.

Professional Mentoring Program Employ-Ease Employ-Ease came to the view that student completion rates in community services and health qualifications could be lifted


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by rethinking the role of the teacher. That insight led to integrating two roles – the familiar role of teacher with the unfamiliar role of mentor. With funding support from the VET Development Centre, a customised mentoring course was developed to meet the training needs of Employ-Ease teacher/ mentors. It comprised eight sessions delivered at the end of monthly trainers’ meetings. An online package was also developed, including video of mentors undertaking their role in the workplace. The package will reside on the EmployEase Learning Management System and used as an induction tool for all new teacher/mentors. This role shift brings new perspectives to familiar tasks and challenges. The customised mentoring program focused on communication, negotiation and mediation skills, and raised levels of knowledge about special needs and CALD learners, and about professional boundaries. The interaction of the teacher/mentor roles opened up new ways of relating to students, new ways of engaging them in their learning, new ways of encouraging persistence.

Community services delivery to diverse learners NMIT This project developed the skills of Health and Community Studies (HACS) teachers and ESL teachers from Vocational Pathways (VP) at NMIT to deliver high quality community services training to diverse and disengaged learners. Two teachers took up the task of reviewing current classroom practice and relevant literature. They sought input from students and other practitioners that assisted them to plan and develop more effective teaching strategies. They selected project based

Our aim is to assist VET professionals and providers to make a difference for all those learners and enterprises relying on the VET sector for innovative solutions to their training needs. learning approaches to enable active learning and engagement. Implementation of project based pedagogy was accompanied by careful monitoring of student learning and teacher practice. The delivery model that emerged from the project has ushered in opportunities for collaboration between mainstream VET and specialist language and literacy teachers. Teachers in the Certificate III in Community Services reported self-identified improvements in their teaching skills that included using project based pedagogy to facilitate active learning, being more mindful of language and checking in with students, and providing models and assisting students to use them as a guide for their work.

Coaching and mentoring project Gippsland Community College Developing e-learning capability among teachers is a key to Gippsland Community College’s future. The College delivers more than 100 qualifications to students who are widely dispersed across Gippsland, meaning that insufficient numbers can attend face to face delivery in one location to make delivery viable. The College’s project took on the assignment of using e-learning as a means of turning thin training markets into thick training markets. Through the project, five trainers from the Community

Services Department received intensive training in e-learning and in mentoring. They became coaches and mentors to 25 of their colleagues, building their skills and confidence in online pedagogy. The strategy met with considerable success, and in 2013 the entire Community Services Department – comprising 45 staff responsible for delivery of 15 qualifications – is migrating to Moodle. The College believes students will benefit through more reliable access to training provision, and their digital literacy skills will improve through exposure to blended learning and teaching designs.

Engaging CALD Learners William Angliss Institute Learner-centred pedagogy places student needs and interests at the heart of learning and teaching. If we understand student needs and interests well we are in a better position to design learning formats that are relevant, engaging and productive. William Angliss received a VET Development Centre grant to investigate students’ e-learning preferences. A survey of more than 1,000 students was conducted to inform decision making about how to embed their e-learning preferences in planning, infrastructure, learning and teaching practice, and professional learning for teachers. The survey results have led to tangible impacts on the Institute’s approach to learning and teaching.

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Reflecting student preferences, William Angliss is upgrading its learning management system. During 2013, all teachers will undertake professional learning about online pedagogy and the flexible use of Moodle (which will become the primary site for managing assessment processes). The adoption of podcasts for teaching and assessment will be accelerated and podcasting will be better integrated with Moodle. Each teaching department will nominate an e-learning champion to mentor their colleagues and support them to bridge e-teaching and e-learning skills and knowledge gaps.

Supporting newly appointed RTO Team Leaders Australian Council of Private Education & Training (ACPET) The Centre is keen to promoted innovation in training delivery, including the way that professional learning is designed and delivered for VET practitioners. ACPET’s project brought together, from a number of VET providers, eight VET professionals recently promoted to supervisory roles. The design included RTO site visits, individual coaching/ mentoring sessions, a team building workshop and a Community of Practice (CoP). Evaluation consisted of performance reviews undertaken by participants’ supervisors before and after the training program, e-surveys during and after program, reports from mentors and the team building workshop presenter, and a group evaluation at the final CoP meeting. Participant and supervisor feedback indicates the project was very successful. Participants gave high ratings to the CoP where individual participant case studies were discussed and management techniques were practiced. High ratings


Great teachers are great learners, prepared to try new approaches in their practice and always ready to learn the hard and happy lessons of experience. were recorded for RTO site visits, which offered both exposure to other environments and venues for CoP meetings. A strong signal that the project design and outcomes are well regarded is that the participants have now formed an alumni group which has committed to getting together every six months, under ACPET’s leadership.

Assessment validation Box Hill Institute In VET, as in any system of education, the reliability of assessment outcomes underpins credibility. Like all VET providers with strong industry networks, Box Hill Institute is aware of the keen interest employers have in assessment matters such as the relevance of assessment tasks to workplaces and the reliability of assessment outcomes between assessors. The Institute had tapped similar concerns among its students through regular student surveys. The VET Development Centre funded Box Hill’s Centre for Learning and Academic Affairs for a project designed to embed across the Institute a systematic approach to assessment validation. The project extended the practical application of the Box Hill Quality System’s emphasis on assessment validation, and the role of validation in continouous improvement. The project improved assessment practices

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and tools, developed the validation capability of the Institute’s Senior Educators and increased understanding of quality assessment strategies and practice among teachers. The project was an extension of the Institute’s Teaching and Learning Advisors program supported by the VET Development Centre in 2010 and 2011.

Using webcams to improve ESL students’ language skills Holmesglen In education, feedback is royalty. Constructive feedback that students can use to improve their learning is among the most powerful tools in any teacher’s kit. This Holmesglen project sought to improve ESL students’ autonomous learning and speaking skills by situating self-reflection and teacher feedback alongside the thoughtful use of a video streaming program known at Holmesglen as ShowandShare. Inducting teachers into using ShowandShare involved workshops, one on one tuition, information sheets, teacher action research, and structured opportunities to share ideas. Holmesglen’s ESL teachers now use ShowandShare for a range of speaking activities and as part of the oral assessments. Teachers found using videos with immediate review is most

useful for analysing performance, and for providing feedback to students. The physical aspect of communication is also apparent when viewing the videos, allowing teachers to provide feedback on students’ body language. Findings from project activities were a key input to a poster presentation at the Independent Learning Association 2012 Conference in Wellington, New Zealand.

Senior Educators’ Action Learning Program GippsTAFE With a VET Development Centre grant, in 2011 GippsTAFE piloted a Senior Educators’ Action Learning Program that emphasised knowledge sharing and networking. Buoyed by the pilot’s success, GippsTAFE ran an expanded Program in 2012, again with Centre funding. In addition to attending eight workshops, participants negotiated a year long project with their Campus Managers and Team Leaders. The striking diversity of projects included creating an RPL strategy for Diploma of Nursing students to be assessed against the competencies of the Certificate III in Aged Care, and creating a user-friendly auditing instrument to enable teachers to monitor compliance. Another participant developed a more satisfying learning design for automotive apprentices that enabled them to work progressively on a single item, demonstrating basic and advanced competencies over time.

Teaching Fellows 2012 The Centre’s Teaching Fellowship Program commenced in 2005. Fellowships are an expression of the Centre’s continuing commitment to the professional formation of VET teachers. There are now 159 Teaching Fellows – an alumni group that expanded with 37 new Fellows in 2012. The Centre supports its Teaching Fellows through targeted events that bring them together in an active, supportive network that encourages reflection on practice and explores new approaches to learning and teaching. Our Fellows teach in the ACFE, private and TAFE sectors across all industry areas. Fellowships are primarily offered to teachers with one to four years VET experience. A Fellowship is accompanied by a grant of up to $10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of a 12 month development program. The program comprises a

teacher training course, professional learning activities provided by the Centre, and workplace mentoring and coaching. An independent evaluation of the Centre’s Teaching Fellowship Program was conducted in 2011. It found that: • 94 per cent of Fellows reported they were more effective teachers as a result of applying what they learned during their Fellowships • 74 per cent reported that the knowledge and skills they gained during their Fellowships were disseminated widely to the benefit of other teachers • 83% of Fellows believed completing their Fellowship assisted their career advancement. We congratulate our new Fellows and look forward to their contributions as alumni.

Feedback from 2011 and 2012 participants was consistent. They felt senior manager presentations offered a deeper understanding of GippsTAFE governance, budgeting processes, program development and business sustainability strategies. A stronger grasp of GippsTAFE’s challenges flowed from participants’ presentations about their projects, and interactions with their colleagues yielded beneficial strategies for managing change.

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Language, literacy & numeracy VET Development Centre support for responding to LLN needs

Low language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills are related to social inclusion and workplace factors like lower workforce participation, lower productivity and more limited access to training. In 2010, Skills Australia (predecessor to the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency) released Australian Workforce Futures: A national development strategy. Among the strategy’s priority actions was to ‘significantly upscale successful approaches to adult language, literacy and numeracy’. In 2011, the eleven Industry Skills Councils jointly released No More Excuses: An industry response to the language, literacy and numeracy challenge. The report notes that in work or personal environments:

In 2012, the VET Development Centre took up the challenge. The Centre’s funding for LLN projects aligned with one of the key actions proposed in No More Excuses: to increase capacity in the VET system, and all practitioners, to support the LLN skill development needs of learners and workers. Our LLN Champions funding program supported VET providers to investigate, shape and implement new and inclusive LLN teaching and learning strategies. The program’s design envisaged that LLN Champions would assist their colleagues – through research, mentoring and support – to embed LLN skills in their teaching practices. In 2012, the LLN Champions funding program supported five projects up to a value $8,000, with funding allocated on a competitive basis. The Centre’s aim with the LLN Champions funding program is consistent with a broader aim that influences our program designs generally: to foster the development of transferable skills, and confidence in their application.

• reading tasks are sometimes beyond the skill level of 46 per cent of Australian adults – about seven million of us • numeracy tasks are sometimes beyond the skill level of 53 per cent of Australian adults – almost eight million of us.


Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers

Expanding the LLN workforce GOTAFE In 2011 and 2012, VET Development Centre funding assisted GOTAFE to implement a workforce development strategy that extended LLN delivery capability. Scholarships were offered that assisted teachers to complete the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice. In 2012, scholarships were prioritised for trade teachers and seven completed units in the qualification. Two teachers who completed units in 2011 were supported to undertake supervised teaching practice. GOTAFE has invested in its teaching workforce through a project that ensures all trainers hold the new Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In 2012, About 250 GOTAFE teachers enrolled in the Certificate IV Teachers completed an LLN elective delivered by teachers who received scholarships in 2011 to complete the Vocational Graduate Certificate. GOTAFE’s strategic response to LLN capability building means that in 2013 there are sufficient teachers qualified as LLN specialists to ensure all students in all qualifications will have LLN assessments, individual learning plans, and LLN study support.

LLN Champions project Bendigo TAFE Bendigo TAFE is determined that apprentices LLN needs are accurately assessed and responded to effectively. That determination is reinforced by the belief that improved LLN skills will give learners greater self-confidence, lift their learning outcomes, and increase retention rates. A grant from the VET Development Centre made it possible for Bendigo TAFE to upskill teachers in two key domains. The first domain was in knowing how to

with the same framework that teachers encountered as they completed the unit of competency. That shared framework has enabled teachers and LLN specialists to communicate with each other more easily about students’ LLN. The VET Development Centre grant provided resources to develop a resource kit that LLN champions can draw on when they work with their colleagues to further build capacity and understanding of LLN needs and support services.

Among the strategy’s priority actions was to ‘significantly upscale successful approaches to adult language, literacy and numeracy’. identify the LLN requirements in a unit of competency. The second domain was student-centred: understanding, recognising and responding to LLN challenges among students enrolled in preapps and among first year apprentices. Forty LLN and trade teachers received training about the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), delivered by an ACSF developer. Using a practice based professional learning approach, training included analysing units of competency by matching LLN requirements with ACSF outcomes, and writing and validating assessment tasks using ACSF guidelines and workplace material.

LLN Champions project Chisholm Institute Chisholm Institute used a grant from the VET Development Centre to refine a collaborative, team teaching model of LLN delivery. With an initial focus on preapprenticeship and apprenticeship training, LLN specialists and VET practitioners worked together with all students in a group. Thirty-six staff undertook the LLN Champions program. The project aimed to establish a team teaching model that developed LLN skills that are the foundation for employability skills at the relevant AQF level. To achieve

this outcome, the model was tested for its capacity to provide contextualised LLN skills through a seamless, integrated, standardised LLN/VET teaching and assessment approach. The co-delivery model was developed through classroom practice, an ongoing LLN Champions Community of Practice and workshops that explored topics like theories of adult learning and LLN development.

LLN Champions project Swinburne University of Technology Swinburne University of Technology had planned to train ten teachers in a unit of competency from the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment: TAELLN401A Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills. Demand was such that part way through the project, more than 60 teachers had completed the unit and there were as many on the waiting list. Those who completed the unit are now the University’s LLN champions. LLN specialists sought RPL for the unit and in doing so they helped secure a primary objective of the project: to strengthen relationships between teaching departments and LLN specialists. In preparing their evidence for RPL, LLN specialists worked

LLN Champions project The Gordon The Gordon has steadily developed its LLN teaching capability. The LLN Champions project drew on learnings from a 2010 project funded by the VET Development Centre – ‘Let’s Talk Language, Literacy & Numeracy’. In 2010 and 2011, the Institute researched 19 industry/teaching program areas to determine the nature and extent of LLN needs. Using that knowledge base, The Gordon designed a pilot to guide development of an integrated LLN delivery model. Using team teaching and professional learning workshops, the pilot provided expert LLN mentoring to VET practitioners in a trade teaching and a services industry teaching area. The LLN Champions project produced positive, sustainable outcomes. Increased awareness of LLN needs and strategies is evidenced by continuing involvement of LLN specialists in delivery during 2012 and planning for 2013. The concern of VET practitioners in the pilot, that integrated LLN delivery would mean ‘lost time’, proved inaccurate. The project delivered LLN strategy documentation, improved LLN assessment tools, and activity templates for use in program areas across The Gordon. As one Program Manager wrote: ‘This LLN strategy is the best thing to happen to us in 10 years.’

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers


Our Professional Learning Framework The VET Development Centre’s Professional Learning Framework (see opposite) was refined through a series of consultations with VET practitioners throughout Victoria. Consultation participants included teachers, managers and CEOs. Perspectives on the draft model were sought from secondary schools, Learn Local providers, enterprise RTOs, TAFE institutes and private providers. The Framework has a variety of uses. It helps VET practitioners to plan their professional learning by organising domains of VET practice in a way that links learning, practice and outcomes. The Framework assists practitioners to prioritise their professional learning needs. It helps them to plot a professional learning path that enlarges their career opportunities in the VET sector. It supports managers to link professional learning to organisational strategy and capability. When VET managers approach the Centre seeking customised programs, the Framework offers a common language that in defining a provider professional learning requirements. An underlying feature of the Professional Learning Framework is the recognition that VET practitioners are education and industry professionals who also have responsibilities to the organisations for which they work.


The VET Development Centre’s Professional Learning Program The Centre’s Professional Learning Program offers more than 40 events every six months. They are offered in a variety of formats – workshops, seminars, summits, webinars and networks. Events are open to VET professionals across the VET sector. The Centre customises programs to suit the needs of individual providers and can be delivered in-house in all locations. Our six month schedule enables you to plan for professional learning. It enables the Centre to keep a close eye on emerging issues and needs and to design professional learning activities that are closely aligned to practitioner needs.

• VET system governance and compliance arrangements are represented by programs that, for example, consider the role of auditors and unravelling the expectations of particular AQTF standards. • The impacts of government policy on VET practice are represented by programs like those that respond to the policy emphasis on RPL • VET pedagogy is represented by programs that develop confidence through practical approaches to a wide range of learning and teaching matters, such as LLN, challenging student behaviour, and e-learning. The Professional Learning Program is readily accessible online via the Centre’s website.

Every event in the Centre’s Professional Learning Program deploys an applied learning approach, and takes VET practice as its primary reference point:

The Framework assists practitioners to prioritise their professional learning needs.

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers






PR O CE SS PROCESS Contributing to high quality, client, focused, efficient and robust systems and processes.

Before introducing the Framework, the Centre commissioned an independent validation of its capacity to make practical contributions to professional development. The stakeholder validation sought input from its intended user group: regional and metropolitan VET practitioners and managers drawn from ACFE, Enterprise RTOs, private and TAFE providers, and VET in Schools programs.

Building personal career pathways and an apetite for ongoing learning and development.



PRODUCTS Promoting educational innovation to meet learner and industry needs.


Supporting industry currency, leading business practices and professional integrity.

The validation process, undertaken in 2011, found that our stakeholders believed the Framework recognised the breadth and complexity of VET practice. Despite the diversity of VET practice, the Framework enables all VET practitioners to situate their continuing professional learning needs within it. That view continues to resonate with our program participants and their managers.

PEDAGOGY Advancing educational leadership and teaching models and practices.

PARTNERSHIPS Strengthening engagement and partnerships with industry, enterprise, community and educational providers.

The Centre’s Professional Learning Framework is both rigorous and practical. Providers have reported that the Framework can be aligned to their internal staff capability and development schemes. The Centre uses the Framework to design its suite of professional learning activities, and to inform its customised professional learning programs.

Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers


Our Project Management Capability The VET Development Centre has honed its project and event management skills through frequent and reflective application in professional learning contexts.

Event management The Centre organises more than 120 events each year for teachers and other VET professionals. Our events include webinars and digital workshops, half and full day workshops, forums, two day conferences and lunch meetings. Face to face events are conducted in regional areas and capital cities.

Evaluation We are committed to improving our professional learning products and services. To that end, we have developed expertise in conducting evaluations and extracting optimum value from evaluation practice which includes: arranging participant evaluation for every event; commissioning external evaluations of our funding programs and other activities; seeking structured feedback from clients who implement a customised professional development program; and every 12 months undertaking a survey of participants who have attended one of our programs.

Project management Our project management capability has many facets. The projects described below offer insights into the depth and breadth of our capability in customising programs to meet client objectives.

TAFE Disability Liaison Officers Forum In 2011 and 2012, the VET Development Centre organised the annual Disability Liaison Officers (DLO) Forum on behalf of Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). The Centre contacts DLOs before the Forum to determine areas of relevance and interest, researches priority areas, sources expert speakers, and shapes the Forum program. The 2013 Forum program will include focussed attention on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and how to support people with disabilities during an apprenticeship. Like all Centre program designs, the DLO Forum program emphasises interactive participation, professional self-reflection, the value and practice of networking, and generating practical insights through activities like best practice case studies and presentations.

Indigenous Capability Program for VET Educators The Indigenous Capability Program (ICP) involved participants in eight full day sessions over nine months, and enrolled them in the accredited Course in Assessment of Informal Learning (AIL) and the unit Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers. The Centre coordinated support for participants, design and delivery of workshops by Kangan Institute’s Indigenous Education Centre (IEC), design and delivery of mentoring workshops, training and assessment for the Course in AIL through Chisholm Institute, production of an extensive Learner’s Guide and Facilitator’s Guide to aid further delivery of the ICP, and thorough project evaluation. The Centre maintained frequent contact with participants during the ICP to support


Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers

their continuing engagement. The program commenced with 27 participants from 15 Victorian TAFE institutes. All 27 participants completed the Course in AIL, 26 completed the coaching and mentoring component, and 25 completed the entire Indigenous Capability Program. The Centre completed the project for the Higher Education and Skills Group in Victoria’s DEECD.

ACFE Professional Learning Programs ‘Roadshow’ In 2013, the VET Development Centre will again collaborate with Victoria’s Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board to jointly fund professional learning programs to adult and community education (ACE) providers. The 2012 Roadshow project comprised 18 workshops delivered in central and suburban Melbourne, and regional Victoria – 15 workshops ran over 12 weeks from August to November. Roadshow programs attracted 427 participants from 83 Learn Local and other ACE providers. Delivering the Roadshow relied on the Centre’s considerable project management expertise. Marketing to Victoria’s extensive network of ACE provider is a substantial undertaking. The Centre understands how to capture VET professionals’ interest in professional learning. The Roadshow drew on our capability for managing the logistics of registration, multiple venues, technology requirements, presenter preparation and catering. Response to the 2012 Roadshow program ‘Digital Learning Tools’ exceeded expectations. The Centre’s ability to respond to demand saw three additional offerings scheduled, marketed, filled and conducted in just six weeks.

The VET Development Centre 2010-2012 A statistical snapshot VET Development Centre programs are building the capability of VET professionals working throughout the VET sector.

FIGURE 1 Attendance at Professional Learning program events (consistent growth each year)


In 2012, more than 2600 VET practitioners participated in a program organised by the Centre, up from just over 1500 participants in 2010. Over two years this represents an increase of almost 75 per cent.

1400 1200 1000 800

The Centre has energetically pursued it broadened charter to support professional development across the VET sector. As the pie charts below show, growing proportions of participants in Centre programs are drawn from private providers and the adult and community education sector.

600 400 200 0

Jan - Dec 2010

Jan - Dec 2011

Jan - Dec 2012 Sem 1

Sem 2

Figure 2 Attendance at Professional Learning Programs by sector



11% 6%


ACFE 11%; Private 6%; TAFE 82%











ACFE 18%; Private 13%; TAFE 69%








ACFE 20%; Private 29%; TAFE 51%


Solutions for VET professionals and VET providers


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