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SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS & VET PROVIDERS 2014


TABLE OF CONTENTS LEADING VET WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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OUR STRENGTHS

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BLENDED DELIVERY

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INDUSTRY CURRENCY

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND NUMERACY (LLN)

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CUSTOMISED PROGRAMS

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A SNAPSHOT IN NUMBERS

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OUR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM

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OUR RESEARCH CAPABILITY

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OUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY

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TEACHING FELLOWS, SPECIALIST SCHOLARS AND SCHOLARSHIP FUND

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The VET Development Centre is an Australian leader in VET workforce development. We are constantly focussed on delivering professional development that supports VET professionals and training providers to meet the current and future expectations of learners, industry and government. The Centre’s investments in workforce development extend the capability of teachers and trainers, leaders and managers, and VET professionals in support roles. Solutions 2014 surveys professional development activities supported and managed by the Centre during 2013. They demonstrate the power of well designed professional development in reinforcing the VET sector’s capacity to design and deploy innovative delivery models, to engage with emerging pedagogies, and to align training with industry’s evolving skill and knowledge requirements. The Centre’s contributions to workforce development are diverse. They include programs customised to meet a provider’s strategic and operational objectives, open access professional learning programs, support for networks of VET professionals, and research into VET practice and professional identity. Our participants work for public, private, not-for-profit, and adult and community education providers. It is a privilege to contribute to the professional and personal growth of the VET sector’s professional workforce. Their dedication builds strong futures for VET learners, the communities they live in, and the services and enterprises in which they work.

Denise Stevens Angela Hutson CEO Chair

FEBRUARY 2014


LEADING VET WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Solutions 2014 is the VET Development Centre’s survey of selected projects the Centre managed and funded in 2013. Solutions 2014 celebrates innovative approaches to learning and teaching resulting from VET practice that emphasises quality and collaboration. The quality of VET provision relies on the capability and commitment of the VET workforce. The Centre strives to meet three underlying purposes through its engagement with VET professionals and VET providers: • First, our programs are dedicated to improving the knowledge, skills and practice of VET teachers, trainers, assessors and the professional staff who support them.

The Centre has enduring relationships with many stakeholders committed to VET workforce development. They 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, and the Australian Education Union. Key government relationships include the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), the

Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, and the federal Department of Industry. We maintain strong networks with VET practitioners and VET researchers, including 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 Solutions 2014 represent the versatility and creativity of VET professionals, and the vitality of the VET sector in which they work. We are grateful for their support, and we are privileged to support them.

THE QUALITY OF VET PROVISION RELIES ON THE CAPABILITY AND COMMITMENT OF THE VET WORKFORCE

• Second, our programs are designed to improve the learning environment, experience and outcomes for VET learners. • Third, we create and deliver programs that improve the confidence, capability and responsiveness of VET sector leaders on whom we rely to match the demands of policy, learners and provider business strategy. Workforce development demands continual attention. The relevance of VET workforce development strategy and planning is determined by the sector’s capacity to adapt to ongoing changes in the profile and expectations of VET professionals. Strategy and planning must respond to the sector’s diversity – to the needs of VET professionals who work in enterprises and in public, private and adult and community education providers, who deliver trade training and higher education qualifications, and who work in metropolitan and remote areas.

SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS AND VET PROVIDERS

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OUR STRENGTHS The VET Development Centre’s reputation is anchored in our reliable delivery of four key service elements. Our strength in each of these elements underpins the Centre’s workforce development activity. They guide our approach to designing, managing and delivering flexible, well-structured professional and personal learning. Attention to these service elements means that the Centre is always aware of how best to enhance our products, services, and service delivery channels. Our strengths are matched by our understanding of the complex VET environment, our commitment to the VET sector, and our ability to balance flexibility with rigour. Our grasp of, and contributions to, contemporary research in VET workforce development reinforces our capacity for innovation in high impact professional learning. The Centre has an enviable track record in delivering specific programs to wide audiences, and customised programs and services to meet niche requirements. Our customised fee-forservice programs are both sharply focussed and competitively priced.

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.

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THE VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE’S REPUTATION IS ANCHORED IN OUR RELIABLE DELIVERY OF FOUR KEY SERVICE ELEMENTS 2. THE CENTRE RESPONDS TO WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS.

4. THE CENTRE VALUES ONGOING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR CLIENTS.

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.

We seek to understand and respond to their objectives. With the direct involvement of our clients, we monitor and evaluate our programs, projects, initiatives, and services. Feedback is a pivot for our work.

3. THE CENTRE EMPHASISES STRONG PROJECT AND EVENT MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY. Our work is informed by rigorous planning, scheduling, risk management, and reporting.

SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS AND VET PROVIDERS


BLENDED DELIVERY CREATING THE BLEND THROUGH IMPROVED TEACHING PRACTICES BOX HILL INSTITUTE

VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE SUPPORT FOR CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT IN BLENDED DELIVERY

The e-learning revolution has been slow rather than sudden. Educators were quick to realise that blended 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 or workshop. The challenge has been to learn to how to make good on the promise. We are now much more confident about how blended delivery strategies can contribute – strategically, practically, and cost effectively – to improved learning outcomes. Among the certainties we have about blended delivery is that the role of the teacher is centrally important to effective design and delivery of appropriate programs. Building the digital literacy 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 and blended delivery design know how.

In 2013, the Centre funded 13 blended delivery projects. Twelve projects were funded via the VET Development Centre’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Program, and one project was funded under the Centre’s Workforce Development program stream. Together they demonstrate the VET sector’s broad commitment to e-learning innovation, and to designing and implementing blended learning delivery strategies. In 2014, 20 grants valued at up to $15,000 are available on a competitive basis. The funding supports practicebased renewal with a focus on strategies that encourage innovation in teaching and learning. In 2014, the Centre will further extend blended learning capability among VET practitioners. Our Professional Learning Program calendar will increase the number of digital literacy and e-learning programs, including access to new programs. Blended learning challenges us to reconsider teaching practice, individually and collectively. E-learning pedagogy is not concerned only with 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, a blended learning delivery model is integral to any broad conception of teaching and learning excellence.

Digital technologies now provide diverse opportunities for structured, formal VET learning to take place anywhere at any time. For effective learning to occur in this borderless virtual classroom, teachers must have the pedagogical knowledge to use digital learning technologies with precision. They must have the skills and confidence to exploit the delivery and assessment potential those technologies offer. Box Hill Institute used VET Development Centre funding to create a teacher education program that led all new and existing teachers through a design process that assists them to set up excellence in delivery and assessment strategies. The project objective was to modify delivery through a combination of classroom delivery, workplace learning supported by mobile phones, and online and mobile learning. Through the project, the Institute developed a delivery model, and an online teacher and student interface. In 2014, the model and interface will be introduced in all qualifications delivered by Box Hill, supported by professional development. The easy to use, mobile friendly interface is integrated with the Institute’s Learning Management System. Learners can track their progress and teachers can access learner progress reports. The delivery model and interface support a structured approach to developing online training and assessment, using gamification which deploys challenge and achievement of learning outcomes as part of the design pedagogy. The model and interface also support compliance. During a recent audit, the Institute streamlined evidence provision by calling up centrally available data from pilot programs.

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DEVELOPING THE MULTI-MODAL DELIVERY CAPABILITY OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS KANGAN INSTITUTE Kangan Institute’s Learning for Life strategy adopts blended learning as a key driver for achieving Kangan’s vision of innovative leadership in customised learning products and services. It is a vision that relies on a workforce adept at recognising and harnessing the specific strengths of online and face to face training. In 2012, Kangan established Blended Learning Teams and a Blended Learning Network as part of a planned approach to increasing teachers’ capability in online delivery. In 2013, VET Development Centre funding assisted Kangan to embark on a project to deepen teachers’ skills in integrating their practice in both online and face to face domains – to become multimodal educators who are focussed on facilitating strong learning outcomes. Through structured professional development workshops, and access to mentoring, Kangan teachers built their technical understanding of online environments. They developed their knowledge of how online social networks can be harnessed to engage learners and achieve learning outcomes.

ONLINE DELIVERY FOR DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL MARKETS TRAINING SENSE Training Sense believes that an active approach to professional development is central to its success in meeting and exceeding the training expectations of its clients. Active professional development is a characteristic of the way Training Sense implements its policy for continuously improving teaching and learning. The capabilities of experienced and qualified trainers are maximised through professional learning that explores emerging learning technologies and concepts in training delivery and assessment. 4

The VET Development Centre supported Training Sense to initiate and complete an e-learning project focussed on expanding teacher capacity to respond effectively and sensitively to the diverse range of needs among disadvantaged learners. The project aimed to embed the skills, and introduce the support tools, that enabled trainers to engage all students effectively. Trainers and assessors working in selected qualifications participated in a professional development program that reinforces Training Sense’s online delivery capability in domestic markets, and that will underpin its expansion into global markets. The program extended participants’ understanding of teaching practices that are effective when using platforms like the internet, Skype, intranet/extranet, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. Through the project, Training Sense also enhanced its use of Moodle, and created a stronger interface with its Student Management System. Trainers, assessors, students and clients now have access to accurate reporting about training progress. A primary objective of the project was to ensure that e-learning design, delivery and assessment integrated literacy, language and numeracy skill development – to enfranchise disadvantaged learners through e-learning rather than disempower them. Enhanced use of Moodle has assisted Training Sense’s business through better access to, and management of, training resources and documents. This benefits trainers and agents, and supports compliance reporting.

BUILDING E-LEARNING CUSTOMISED TRAINING Customised Training used VET Development Centre funding to commence a whole of business approach to framing an e-learning strategy that would offer its students access to an on-line e-learning environment. The Building e-learning Project saw Customised Training embark on a sharp learning curve, supported by an e-learning development team from eWorks. Trainers were joined in the project by staff

SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS AND VET PROVIDERS

from Student Services and other areas of the business. The project enabled Customised Training to identify staff with an aptitude for e-learning who could provide mentoring and peer support to their colleagues in using learning technologies. During the project, Customised Training realised the need to implement risk management strategies which ensure its e-learning capabilities are not diminished when staff with e-learning expertise leave the business.

AUGMENTED REALITY TRAINING FOR LEARNING INNOVATION HOLMESGLEN Augmented reality (AR) is emerging as productive technology for VET learning and teaching. AR is the live display of digital content in context with real-world objects – for example, your mobile device recognises an object and then displays on screen information about the object. Teachers at Holmesglen encountered AR at an Institute teaching and learning event and were keen to explore its potential. With VET Development Centre funding, Holmesglen connected eight teachers in a series of workshops and webinars through which they garnered the skills and knowledge to design and develop AR mobile applications. Professional development challenges assumptions about teaching, learning and assessment. Holmesglen’s project was valuable in this way, with teachers demonstrating interest in using AR to generate engaging learning resources.

USING E-LEARNING TO IMPROVE VET TEACHING PRACTICE AND VOCATIONAL OUTCOMES RINGWOOD TRADE TRAINING FACILITY To maintain and extend its positioning as a VET provider of choice, Ringwood Trade Training Facility (RTTF) wanted to expand its capability in deploying e-learning strategies.


RTTF’s objective through this project was to demonstrate that its innovative teaching practice brings improved outcomes for staff, students, RTTF, and industry. The project investigated simulation software and game based learning. It developed strategies to implement their use in three industry areas: information technology, and automotive and engineering trades. Project outcomes include a strategic plan for implementing e-learning practice for RTTF staff and students, improved student access to learning resources using Moodle, and better communication between students and staff using e-learning platforms and pedagogy. The project produced Moodle courses for Certificates II and III in Engineering, introduced Argo ‘Electude’ instructional software in Automotive certificates, and preliminary development of Moodle portal access for Automotive students.

ENGINEERING ONLINE TRAINING PROJECT SPECTRA TRAINING Spectra’s starting point for blended learning innovation is to enhance client engagement and to provide a positive experience for each student. With those ends in view, Spectra set out to develop, trial and review a blended training model for its engineering apprenticeships. The project offered professional development for trainers and other Spectra Training staff to design and deliver training in new ways. Spectra’s engineering trainers were used to the traditional delivery mode of classroom based training with simulated practical activities. Shifting to a blended model that included more workplace training and assessment meant engineering trainers had to develop their technology skills through learning to use tablets, administering the site, and linking tablet to iPhone to overcome wi-fi issues in workplaces. Throughout the trial, trainers went online to track apprentices’ progress with their online assessments. A notable benefit of online assessment is that trainer time

THE PROJECT ENABLED SPECTRA TRAINING TO TRIAL BLENDED LEARNING METHODS AND TO DEVELOP BETTER ONLINE WORKFLOW. spent coordinating paperwork could now be spent on coaching and assisting apprentices. Moving learning, teaching and assessment activities online has also meant reduced business costs for paper and printbased resources and files. The project enabled Spectra Training to trial blended learning methods, to identify design and delivery issues, and to develop better online workflow. These outcomes will inform rollout to other qualifications in Spectra’s scope of delivery.

E-LEARNING IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TOTAL BUSINESS SERVICES & TRAINING Professional development is organisational development. Total Business Services & Training (TBST) wanted to extend its workforce capabilities in designing and managing e-assessment. TBST chose to pursue this objective through an active learning approach that engaged selected employees as active e-learners and e-learning tool developers. The project outcomes exceeded TBST’s ambitious objectives. An online assessment tool was developed and trialled. Exploring online assessment has prompted greater use across the organisation of LMS functionality. While not initially planned, project participants were introduced to the potential of gamification to increase student engagement – it is now part of the online assessment design. Trials of the online assessment tool revealed higher student satisfaction with feedback, improved learning outcomes, and accelerated completion. TBST believes the project’s benefits include improving the training experience for both learners and trainers, maximise the

time trainers spend on active training by reducing time spent on administration, and support the design and marketing of new training products.

INTRODUCING BLENDED DELIVERY IN ELECTROTECHNOLOGY SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Swinburne University of Technology used VET Development Centre project funds to secure a transformative change in the way it designed and delivered electrotechnology qualifications. The objective was to revamp training through extensively incorporating blended delivery into delivery and assessment. The project involved teachers in investigating existing online resources, developing new resources, and exploring and making greater use of the functionality of Blackboard. Through participating in a structured approach to capability development, teachers built both confidence and skills. One teaching team developed a standard model for a Blackboard learning shell which was then populated with resources and showcased to other teaching teams. This work laid the foundation for a 2014 pilot project that will see the Blackboard model trialled by other electrotechnology teaching teams, and by teaching teams in environment and horticulture programs. It’s important to note that Swinburne’s project will have particular benefits for sessional teachers. In developing blended delivery resources, the focus was on both apprentices and teachers. Sessional staff will now have easier access to unit outlines, learning resources, and assessment tasks and matrices.

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INDUSTRY CURRENCY VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE SUPPORT FOR MAINTAINING INDUSTRY CURRENCY

VET professionals have two professional allegiances – one to their role as teachers, and one to their industries of origin. Maintaining a current understanding of what is happening in industry – from the latest technology to innovations in work practices – can pose challenges for VET teachers and providers. But industry currency is a priority for industry, it improves learning outcomes, and it satisfies the professional identity of teachers. Industry currency also underpins the training system’s integrity. Its centrality is highlighted in the 2012 Standards for National VET Regulator Registered Training Organisations. The Standards state that 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’.

The VET Development Centre’s Industry Engagement Program supported 15 projects in 2013. Four projects are summarised here. Our Industry Engagement Program 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 2014, the Centre will provide 20 Industry Engagement Program grants, up to the value of $20,000, on a competitive basis.

Industry currency is a field of VET endeavour that invites industry-provider-teacher links and partnerships.

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SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS AND VET PROVIDERS

‘IN AND UNDER’ SuniTAFE VET providers play a vital role in regional economic development. Access to skilled local workers is a key success factor for local enterprises. That’s a particular challenge for businesses establishing operations in industry sectors that are new to the region. That’s a challenge that SuniTAFE worked to meet in partnership with the Sunraysia Solar Alliance which is developing a large scale solar power station at Carwarp near Mildura. With funding assistance from the VET Development Centre, SuniTAFE’s ‘In and Under’ project supported a four-day placement for a team of four trainers at the new solar energy plant during the final stages of construction and during the plant’s commissioning phase. The structured placement required the trainers to complete an experiential, projectbased activity. The team was tasked with testing the post-training impact on safety and competence in high risk activities, including emergency response to potentially unstable situations. This workplace experience gave the trainers a close perspective on work carried out onsite on a day to day basis, including the work that encompasses high risk tasks. The training team is now in a position to contextualise training delivery and assessment for solar plant workers. The placement increased their understanding of renewable energy technology and the high risk activities involved in its production. They had onsite access to detailed explanations about operations and construction processes, including onsite problem solving. Their experiential project anchored an understanding of how injury risks are minimised during commissioning of equipment through using strict start up procedures and accurate checklists. Hands-on, practical professional development has led to a closer working relationship between Sunraysia Solar Alliance and SuniTAFE.


INDUSTRIES AND ENTERPRISES ARE TOO DIVERSE TO EXPECT THAT ONE MODEL WILL SUFFICE FOR MAINTAINING INDUSTRY CURRENCY. Observing another provider’s delivery of art and community programs, and its operational practice, offered a rich source of reflection and exchange between the parties.

TRANSFORMING PRACTICE IN THE EVOLVING MEDIA LANDSCAPE RMIT UNIVERSITY

KEEPING UP WITH ELECTRONIC ADVANCES IN LOCKSMITHING NMIT

Ongoing training package renewal is a feature of our national VET system. It explicitly recognises that skills must evolve to incorporate best practice and for industry to remain competitive. The media industry is changing rapidly and VET professionals teaching in this industry area must maintain a high degree of industry currency.

New technology and work practices mean industry expectations of trade training change frequently. NMIT used VET Development Centre Industry Engagement funding for a 24-day industry placement that allowed a trainer to work in locksmithing electronics in areas like automotive, safes, and access control systems. The project formed new links with industry partners and strengthened existing partnerships.

Ahead of a major redevelopment that will maintain the industry relevance of its programs, RMIT used VET Development Centre funding to extend the skills and knowledge of teachers in the School of Media and Communication, supporting implementation of the new Entertainment Training Package in 2015. Working directly with audio-visual industry experts, teachers developed a range of new skills, and engaged with specialised and emerging technologies and work practices. Two teachers completed their Australian Construction Industry White Card. They now have specialised training abilities and can work in the industry to maintain currency. Teachers widened their networks, supporting increased trainer and student engagement through closer relationships with Fremantle Media, Channel 10, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Harry the Hirer. Participation in the project led to Rowan Humphrey’s successful application for one of ten 2013 Higher Education and Skills Group Overseas Fellowships. He will consult with technology experts from key industries in Germany, The Netherlands and the US. Rowan’s findings will influence design and delivery of high quality vocational qualifications.

The teacher shared his learnings with six colleagues. This proved an effective way to maintain industry currency for teaching team members. They collaborated on further research to support updating of student resources and assessment tasks, closely linking training package requirements and industry needs. The team approach ensured consistency in NMIT’s training and assessment, and aligned them with national models for teaching locksmithing.

THE COMPETITIVE EDGE GIPPSTAFE Industries and enterprises are too diverse to expect that one model will suffice for maintaining industry currency. GippsTAFE recognises that maximum value is derived when activities promoting industry currency marry with organisational objectives, and when knowledge gained is shared across the organisation. VET Development Centre funding enabled GippsTAFE to plan and apply industry engagement activities that met business objectives and improved teaching practices by sharing knowledge with peers and managers. GippsTAFE’s devised flexible and intensive ‘vocational engagements’. For example, one industry placement maintained currency in the VET industry itself. GippsTAFE’s Team Leader – Art and Community Programs undertook a placement at Swinburne University of Technology for 110 hours over four months.

The project also supported GippsTAFE teachers to contribute to planning for the E-Oz 2013 Conference via input on the Technical Advisory Committees for the gas and electricity supply industries. Knowledge gained in other industry activities was shared with colleagues. Their understanding of industry requirements has involved them in framing and implementing new policies, practices and techniques, and in identifying appropriate training resources and infrastructure. They established industry relationships that enhance GippsTAFE’s reputation in the energy industry.

MODIFYING TRAINING DESIGN TO MEET INDUSTRY NEEDS BENDIGO TAFE Professional development leads VET professionals to reflect on their habits and assumptions. Backed by close attention to industry requirements, team reflection can generate new ways of thinking about learning and teaching. Two nursing teachers at Bendigo TAFE attended a conference that explored the outlook for the expanding health sector. Teachers gained a greater understanding of the trends in skills and knowledge required by health service professionals. With knowledge gained from the conference, and later exploration of skills needs with local health services, they engaged 15 of their colleagues in exploring new training practices and delivery options, and in redeveloping qualifications and skill sets. A tangible project outcome is Bendigo TAFE’s allocation of additional floor space and resources for a simulated workplace. The decision embraced teachers’ views that this environment was the best option for ensuring training outcomes are attuned to employers’ evolving expectations of nursing graduates’ skills and knowledge.

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE SUPPORT FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

VET teaching is a dynamic professional endeavour. No two learners or groups of learners are the same. Employer expectations constantly evolve as workplaces change and adapt to economic circumstances and opportunities. Great teachers are great learners, prepared to try new approaches in their practice. They are 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.

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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 four projects outlined here take different innovation pathways. What is consistent across the projects is the 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. 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 2014, the Program will provide 20 grants up to the value of $15,000 each.

SOLUTIONS FOR VET PROFESSIONALS AND VET PROVIDERS

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING – PROMOTING LEARNER ACHIEVEMENT WILLIAM ANGLISS INSTITUTE Assessment is at the heart of VET system integrity. Narrow views about assessment are often encountered – for example, that it is always summative and travels in one direction from teacher to learner. William Angliss Institute (WAI) has endorsed a broader and more exciting view – Assessment for Learning (AfL). The VET Development Centre supported a WAI professional development project that broadened teachers’ understanding and application of AfL pedagogy. WAI focussed on five strategies: 1. Providing effective feedback to learners 2. Active involvement of learners in their own learning 3. Adjusting teaching methodologies in response to results of assessment 4. Recognising the impact of assessment on learners’ motivation and self-esteem 5. Assisting learners to assess themselves and understand how to improve. These strategies were piloted by three small teaching teams. Two teams focussed on campus based delivery – one in a practical subject, and one in a theory subject. The third team focussed on workplace assessment. The teams were supported by a group of WAI staff with expertise in LLN, instructional design, and managing assessment across a qualification. From first semester 2014, teachers involved in the project will continue to implement AfL principles and practices. Data from the AQTF Quality Indicator – Learner Engagement, and from WAI VET subject evaluations and VET Teaching evaluations will be analysed for student cohorts of students using Assessment for Learning methodologies. The data will be compared with outcomes from cohorts not exposed to AfL.


WAI plans an evolutionary spread of AfL. Thus far, teachers using AfL have expressed greater satisfaction in teaching and improved student learning outcomes.

LEADERSHIP PROGRAM AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR PRIVATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING New and emerging leaders are the future of any enterprise and any industry. Supporting their personal, professional and leadership development is an essential workforce development strategy. The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) used VET Development Centre funding to offer structured professional development support to eight staff members from a number of VET providers who were recently appointed to positions responsible for managing a small team. The Centre provided funding for the first offering of the Leadership Program in 2012. The project comprised three linked components: • access to an external mentor who worked with them on a one-to-one basis • membership of a Community of Practice, supported by ACPET, in which they shared ideas and developed their professional networks • a training workshop, organised by ACPET, that investigated the leadership dimensions of building and managing effective teams. Participants expressed more than 85% satisfaction with the range of experiences made available to them, and with the support they received. Their self-assessments demonstrated increased confidence in their ability to meet the expectations of their team leader roles. Their supervisors tracked their progress during the project. Reflecting on performance management reviews at the commencement and completion of the project, supervisors reported that participants had demonstrated team leadership skill development.

WELL STRUCTURED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING MAKES AN OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO INNOVATION IN TEACHING PRACTICE. BUILDING TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITY CHISHOLM Constant change is a permanent feature of our national VET system. Grasping the opportunities change brings, and effectively implementing change through people, is a complex task that falls to senior leaders in the system. Chisholm recognised that transformational leadership capabilities would be essential in meeting the challenges posed by Victoria’s Refocusing Vocational Training reforms. The VET Development Centre supported Chisholm’s People Leader project which aimed to build and activate the leadership skills necessary to implement Chisholm’s transformation plans. Chisholm saw these skills as the foundation for building workforce capability across the organisation. Twenty-seven senior managers from both teaching and non-teaching business units participated in the project. Chisholm’s evaluation of the project’s outcomes are positive. Capability growth was evident in areas as diverse as people management, generating solutions to operational issues, and a heightened orientation to collegial support within the senior management group (including mentoring). Buoyed by the impact on leadership capability, Chisholm is now planning a leadership development program for approximately 70 Senior Educators.

development, and contribute to industry development more broadly. Doing so requires a willingness to innovate with design and delivery models, a close understanding of the clients’ business objectives and operating models, and a preparedness to contribute training skills and expertise in unfamiliar ways. Advance TAFE sought VET Development Centre funding to assist in developing and delivering a program in fisheries that uses a flexible e-delivery model. The task before Advance TAFE was to deliver the program using online technologies, including leveraging access to the web on fishing vessels. Workshops delivered by an external presenter gave 35 teachers an opportunity to learn about designing courses for blended delivery. Teachers explored the production of learning resources such as ‘vox pops’ – street interviews that investigated consumer habits and public opinion of fishing practices. The project also assisted in developing six blended learning models into which learning resources like the vox pops were integrated. The project enabled Advance TAFE to design new products which offer a platform for industry consultation about training solutions that can be applied to a range of fishing and shipping practices.

IMPROVING HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AWARENESS ACADEMIA INTERNATIONAL

APPLYING FLEXIBLE DELIVERY TO FISHING SUSTAINABILITY ADVANCE TAFE VET providers make substantial contributions to their clients’ workforce

Industry partners can be among the best providers of VET workforce development. Academia International took this view when it engaged industry experts to provide professional development through workshops tailored to Academia’s needs.

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VU’S PROJECT HAS ESTABLISHED THREE COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AS PRIMARY VEHICLES FOR ONGOING COLLABORATION. VET Development Centre funding supported the design and delivery of a three phase professional development program which drew on expertise from industry partners, including The Langham Hotel, The Westin Melbourne, the RACV Club Hotel, and hospitality industry organisations. In phase one, Academia trainers attended tailored workshops and undertook industry visits. Phase two involved Academia’s support staff, who attended workshops presented by industry experts. The workshops provided a deeper understanding of the hospitality industry and how to shape support roles to ensure that their contributions aligned with the needs of trainers, students and enterprises. The project’s final phase asked Academia’s trainers to draw on the updated knowledge they gained during the project to develop training and assessment strategies aligned to industry needs and the new Hospitality Training Package.

MEETING STUDENT NEEDS ENCOMPASS COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING Encompass provides a range of services to people who have a disability, including accommodation and respite services, labour hire and employment services. Encompass is also home to an RTO – the Encompass College of Education and Training which provides a range of qualifications including the Certificate I in Work Education, Certificate II in Visual Art and certificate and diploma programs in aged care, home and community care, community services, and disability. The VET Development Centre provided funding to Encompass to deepen the skills and knowledge of six support staff and managers who are in daily contact with students who have a disability. Support staff completed the Certificate IV in Disability, and managers completed the Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health). Structured, accredited training for Encompass College staff members has

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delivered substantial benefits to students who have a disability. They now have access to increased levels of skilled, knowledgeable support and guidance that assists them to work through barriers to learning and eventual employment.

SUSTAINABILITY FOR INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA Leadership Management Australia (LMA) incorporates accredited training into customised programs that are designed to develop their clients’ leadership capability and to improve organisational performance and productivity. LMA applied VET Development Centre funding to a project that ensured its delivery team had the skills, knowledge and attitudes that would assist LMA’s clients to improve business outcomes through improved environmental performance. All LMA’s Victorian facilitators (full time and contract) commenced the TAE10 Sustainable Practices Skill Set: • TAESUS501A Analyse and apply sustainability skills to learning programs • TAESUS502A Identify and apply current sustainability education principles and practice to learning programs. To better reflect its delivery model, LMA customised IBSA’s resources for the Skill Set. Thus far, 19 Victorian LMA facilitators have completed the Skill Set – a 93% completion rate. LMA facilitators who have completed the Skill Set are now personally invested in securing improved environmental performance. New program design now incorporates the principles of Education for Sustainability, and facilitators actively look for opportunities to improve environmental outcomes for clients through delivery and assessment tasks. The project’s success has led LMA to plan delivery of the Skills Set to its facilitators in other states, and to further embed sustainability into its professional development activities.

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LIFTING THE BAR ON COLLABORATIVE LEARNING APPROACHES FOR TRADE TEACHERS VICTORIA UNIVERSITY Victoria University (VU) is using VET Development Centre project funding to integrate strategies that extend teaching practice capabilities in trade teaching teams. With a common objective of improving student engagement, the project has established three Communities of Practice as primary vehicles for ongoing collaboration on redeveloping trade pedagogy. The Engineering Community of Practice (CoP) is reviewing instructional design and planning changes to delivery practice. The CoP is paying particular attention to engaging their diverse student cohort through blended delivery tools such as video, online activities, action and problem based learning activities, and workshops. The hairdressing CoP has re-clustered Certificate III units into salon specific job tasks, reducing the number of clusters from 15 to 7. Assessments have been adjusted to suit new clusters and new assessments developed. The CoP is working on learning and assessment plans and a blended delivery strategy for the new clusters. The Electrotechnology CoP has reduced to six the number of assessments in the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start), and mapped the units to the assessment tasks and training package requirements. The CoP will align the assessments to the appropriate AQF and ACSF levels and develop blended delivery strategies, with LLN support embedded. VU’s project is resulting in heightened confidence in team collaboration, including knowledge sharing, and maximising use of individual team members’ strengths. Early indications are that the work of the CoPs is leading to improved learner engagement, retention, and progress.


LANGUAGE, LITERACY & NUMERACY VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE SUPPORT FOR RESPONDING TO LLN NEEDS

Low language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills are related closely 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 and personal environments: • 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..

In 2012, the VET Development Centre took up the challenge. Since then, the Centre has funded LLN projects aligned with one of the three 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. VET Development Centre funding for LLN projects is made available through several Centre programs. In 2014, the Centre will emphasise support for projects that build teacher capability in working effectively with the revised Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). Our emphasis recognises that from July 2014, the unit TAELLN401A Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills, will become a core unit in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. The Centre’s expertise in professional development that builds teachers’ LLN capability is exemplified in our successful bid in 2013 for the Victorian Adult, Community and Further Education Board’s LLN Project. The project saw 80 practitioners complete TAELLN401A. The Centre is committed to assisting providers and teachers to respond in an integrated way to the LLN skills of learners, training package requirements, and the demands of the training environment (whether in the classroom, the workplace, or online).

SUPPORTING SKILLED LITERACY AND NUMERACY PRACTITIONERS VICTORIAN ADULT, COMMUNITY & FURTHER EDUCATION BOARD Reports from many quarters – including the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, the Australian Industry Group, and a joint paper issued by the eleven Industry Skills Councils – have underlined the uncomfortable reality of low levels of literacy and numeracy in significant proportions of Australia’s workforce. Limited foundation skills impact on workforce productivity and flexibility. They also constrain individual’s life opportunities. In response to the calls for action, Victoria’s Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board developed the Literacy and Numeracy Flagship Project. The VET Development Centre was successful in bidding for a component of this project – Supporting Skilled Literacy and Numeracy Practitioners: Development and implementation of a leadership program. The Centre’s work enhanced the capacity of LLN leaders in Learn Local organisations to deliver LLN programs in the workplace. The Centre designed a workshop that was delivered on eight occasions in five locations across Victoria to more than 170 participants. To better support Learn Local teachers’ needs the workshop content was mapped against the unit TAELLN401A Address adult language, literacy and numeracy needs. The pathway to achieving this unit was planned and 80 teachers completed the unit. Four communities of practice were initiated for workshop participants. Community of practice activities included webinar presentations and extensive use of the Centre’s online learning management system. Of the 172 participants who attended the workshops, 161 engaged in one or more community of practice activities.

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LLN: CAPACITY BUILDING FOR THE VET PRACTITIONER THE GORDON The Gordon built on the success of its 2012 LLN Champions Program, also funded by the VET Development Centre. In 2013, an institute wide LLN Community of Practice was created to provide The Gordon’s VET practitioners with training in identifying and supporting their learners’ LLN needs. A series of workshops was conducted in which VET practitioners developed their LLN awareness and reflected on current practice. Workshop participants explored practical strategies for adjusting their learning materials and teaching styles to meet the LLN needs of students. The LLN Community of Practice provided opportunities to share ideas and seek advice and managed an online ‘portal’ for staff to access resources for their own self-paced learning.

UNPACKING THE PACKAGE NMIT NMIT’s LLN project played a key role in actively promoting the objectives of NMIT’s Learning Skills and Assessment Unit. The project promoted a primary focus across NMIT literacy and numeracy professional development for all VET teachers. ‘Unpacking the Package’ built on the outcomes of NMIT’s 2012 ‘Right Now’ initiative, also funded by the VET Development Centre. ‘Right Now’ established a training and mentoring role for an expert LLN practitioner to work in teacher development with VET teachers across the organisation. Increased levels of awareness by VET teachers of literacy and numeracy methodology and practice were clearly evidenced in the high standard of materials produced by the VET staff involved in ‘Unpacking the Package’. During the project, teachers took advantage of opportunities to discuss and dissect

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TEACHERS REPORTED AN INCREASED CAPACITY TO EMBED LLN IN THEIR DESIGN OF TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES. training packages. Having the time to determine the ‘core intent’ of each unit of competency led to more confidence and effectiveness among the participants in working with their training packages. Regular feedback from the participants in both the workshops and one to one mentoring sessions indicated that participating VET teachers were implementing teaching strategies investigated during the project. Participants developed their expertise in using the Australian Core Skills Framework and the Foundation Skills Training Package. Teachers were particularly satisfied with the project’s use of group work and peer support. The level of trust between the team members grew as teachers willingly offered support to one another. The time allocation that the project funding allowed was a key factor in enabling this to occur. Teachers reported a deeper awareness of, and increased capacity to embed, LLN in their design of teaching and learning resources. There is now enhanced motivation for deploying their expanded LLN skills developed in the design of online resources and assessment materials.

EMBEDDING LLN WODONGA TAFE The VET Development Centre places considerable emphasis on the design of professional development. Impact is achieved through structured approaches. Wodonga TAFE’s LLN project incorporates scaffolded learning, opportunities to enact new teaching practices, and supported

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reflection on those practices. The project also placed a premium on feedback and access to ongoing support and expertise. The project’s remit was to upgrade teachers’ literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge so that they meet the requirements of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. The five stages of the project were designed to ensure that teachers across the Institute meet those requirements effectively and knowledgeably. In summary form, the project stages are as follows: • Stage 1 involved 12 teachers in formal LLN training, aided by Learning Support Unit staff who have specific responsibility for providing LLN support across the Institute. • The participants formed a core of trainers who, in Stage 2, then delivered the TAE10 LLN unit to 120 teachers across the organisation. • Stages 3 and 4 are rolled out concurrently. Teachers are recruited as LLN champions, supported by their membership of a Community of Practice. The Institute’s LLN specialists mentor the champions. • Stage 5 has a dedicated focus on reflection and review. Wodonga TAFE anticipates that the learning shared by participants will yield valuable recommendations about design and delivery of future workforce development projects.


CUSTOMISED PROGRAMS The VET Development Centre designs and manages delivery of customised, fee-for-service in-house programs for VET providers. Our customised programs integrate our clients’ strategic objectives and operational imperatives, the expectations of industry, and evolving state and national VET policy and regulatory frameworks. Customisation is especially valuable when a provider has a clear intention to embed new perspectives and ways of operating within the organisation or parts of the organisation. The Centre’s customised programs accentuate professional

development design and delivery models that embed new practice in the organisational culture. The Centre began delivering customised programs in 2011. In 2012, 10 providers implemented customised programs (including seven Victorian TAFE institutes and one private provider). More than 300 VET professionals participated. The success of our customised programs was underlined in 2013 with delivery to 13 providers (including AMES and Master Builders Tasmania) and more than 1200 participants.

Frances Coppolillo, NMIT’s Deputy Director Programs (Teaching and Learning), believes VET Development Centre customised programs deliver significant benefits: Our teachers, managers and general staff have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the suite of customised professional development workshops developed for NMIT by the VET Development Centre. The on-site workshops have been valued by our staff for the relevant, thought provoking content and skilled facilitation by knowledgeable presenters.

THE VET DEVELOPMENT CENTRE 2013: A SNAPSHOT IN NUMBERS VET Development Centre programs are building the capability of VET professionals across the VET sector.

the Centre, up from 2687 participants in 2010. Over three years, this represents an increase of almost 70 per cent.

In 2013, more than 4546 VET practitioners participated in a program organised by

In 2013, the Centre organised more than 200 events, including open access

FIGURE 1 Number of participants in professional development projects managed by the Centre – 2011-2013

Professional Learning programs, customised programs, webinars, Thought Leaders events and the Centre’s annual conference.

FIGURE 2 Participants in professional development programs managed by the Centre – by sector – 2013

5000 4500 4000

PRIVATE 38%

3500

TAFE 41%

3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500

ACFE 21%

0 2011

2012

2013

Professional Programs

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OUR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM Our Professional Learning Program events are open to all VET professionals. Events are offered in a variety of formats – workshops, seminars, summits and webinars. In 2013, the Centre’s Professional Learning Program offered more than 100 events. Our six month schedule for the Program enables VET professionals, their managers and organisations to plan professional

learning. It enables the Centre to keep a close eye on emerging issues and needs and to design, organise and deliver timely, high quality programs that align closely with practitioner and provider needs.

rating (satisfied or very satisfied) from our Professional Learning Program participants, up from 94% in 2012. The Centre’s 2014 Professional Learning Program schedule is readily accessible via the front page of our website.

Each event in the Centre’s Professional Learning Program uses an applied learning approach, and takes VET practice as its primary reference point. In 2013, we achieved a 96% satisfaction

The Centre uses the Professional Learning Framework when designing its Professional Learning Program.

OUR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FRAMEWORK

The Framework supports managers to link professional learning to organisational strategy and capability. When VET managers approach the Centre seeking customised programs, the Framework

PRODUCTS

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offers a common language that assists in defining a provider’s 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.

PATHWAYS Building personal career pathways and an appetite for ongoing learning and development.

PAT HW AY S

PA

PROCESS Contributing to high quality, client focused, efficient and robust systems and processes.

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M ALIS ION S S FE

PEDAGOGY

PRODUCTS Promoting educational innovation to meet learner and industry needs.

PR O

PROFESSIONALISM Supporting industry currency, leading business practices and professional integrity.

P R O CE SS

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. It helps them to plot a professional learning path that enlarges their career opportunities in the VET sector.

IPS RSH NE RT

The VET Development Centre’s Professional Learning Framework 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, and public and private providers.

PEDAGOGY Advancing educational leadership and teaching models and practices.

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


OUR RESEARCH CAPABILITY Since 2005, the VET Development Centre has commissioned evaluations of its programs and undertaken market research. Since 2010, we have commissioned and managed research projects investigating aspects of VET practice, professional identity, and workforce development. The Centre has a role in developing VET workforce research capabilities. We recognise that VET practitioners must undertake research in these areas, and that VET providers are increasingly active in delivering qualifications at AQF level 7 and above. The Centre has strong relationships with research bodies such as the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, and Victoria University’s Work-based Education Research Centre. Our relationships, partnerships and alliances provide breadth and depth to the Centre’s research capability and our delivery of targeted workforce development programs. The Centre will extend its research capability so that in our areas of expertise we bring an evidence-informed voice to policy dialogue and research planning.

SCHOLARLY ENGAGEMENT In 2012, NCVER commissioned the VET Development Centre to investigate what scholarship means for TAFE Institutes in the emerging tertiary sector. The project report explored how scholarship is understood and practised across the Australian tertiary sector as a means of better understanding and supporting scholarly practice in mixed sector institutions. In 2013, the Centre followed up this area of inquiry, commissioning Melanie Williams to investigate how VET practitioners work with industry and the community to create new knowledge. This kind of engagement is a strength of VET practice, and has strategic potential for positioning mixed sector providers as reputable research entities. The research report considers how this kind of scholarly engagement relates to TEQSA

requirements for demonstrated scholarship in any institution offering qualifications at AQF level 7 or above. The report presents a set of draft indicators for scholarly practice in mixed-sector institutions.

NAMING AND CLAIMING RESEARCH IN TAFE The Centre commissioned Pam Jonas from the Victorian TAFE Association to investigate the quantity and types of research TAFE Institutes undertake. The paper is part of a larger VET Development Centre project looking at scholarship and research activity in the VET sector and its implications for workforce development. Peer reviewed by Berwyn Clayton and Hugh Guthrie from Victoria University, the research findings were presented at the AVETRA conference in 2013.

RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIPS IN 2013 After considering the findings of the two research projects summarised above, and reflecting on TEQSA comments about the lack of scholarship in VET providers, the Centre decided to initiate a research scholarship scheme to recognise the contribution of research to the VET system, and to support the development of quality scholarly practice in VET environments. In 2013, we provided research scholarships valued at $5,000 to VET professionals delivering higher education programs. The scholarship program was completed by ten teachers from five non-self-accrediting higher education providers. The scholarships support the growth and development of a scholarly culture in mixed sector institutions. They enable recipients to improve their professional capability in a particular field of research, enhance their research capability and development, and build networks. To encourage knowledge sharing and to build a supportive community, the scholarships provided support to scholarship holders through three face to face meetings and six webinars. At the Mixed Sector Symposium, ‘Research grants for scholarly culture’, held in

December 2013, recipients of the Centre’s research scholarships made six of the 15 presentations. The scholarships and support program will be offered again in 2014.

EVALUATION OF THE CENTRE’S CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS In 2013, the Centre commissioned an independent evaluation of our professional development programs. The evaluation was undertaken by Professor Stephen Billett from Griffith University’s School of Education and Professional Studies, along with his colleagues, Dr Sarojni Choy and Dr Raymond Smith. Professor Billett concluded that ‘the Centre is providing a platform and activities for building and sustaining a professional VET community’. The research report notes that: ‘...the Centre’s programs have generated positive outcomes for the majority of respondents for a range of different goals associated with becoming a VET professional and for sustaining and developing further these capacities within a very dynamic and turbulent field of practice.’

EVALUATION OF TEXTILE AND FIBRE INDUSTRY TRAINING PROJECTS Since 2008, the International Fibre Centre (IFC) has engaged the Centre to evaluate IFC funded projects that support training for the fibre and textile industry. The IFC supports education and training that bridges the gap between training services and the changing needs of industry, and to encourage greater collaboration between public providers, specialist private providers and industry. Key elements of the IFC’s funding mandate include effective training programs, sustainable business growth, betterskilled staff, and sharing more industry intelligence. The VET Development Centre evaluations focus on whether IFC funded projects have achieved specified objectives and outcomes, and the quality and outcomes of the training delivered in terms of business improvements.

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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 In 2013, the Centre organised more than 200 events 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. Our evaluation practice includes: commissioning independent evaluations of our range of professional development activities; seeking structured feedback from clients who implement a customised program designed and managed by the Centre; 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 three projects described below offer insights into the scope of our capability in customising project management so that we meet client objectives.

TAFE DISABILITY LIAISON OFFICERS FORUM In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the VET Development Centre organised the annual Disability Liaison Officers (DLO) Forum on behalf of Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. 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.

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The 2013 Forum focussed attention on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The invitation to attend the Forum was extended to the wider VET sector – TAFE, Adult and Community Education providers, and Private RTOs. Approximately 55 Forum participants heard from presenters who spoke on a range of topical issues in relation to disability, including: • the latest data on students with disability accessing VET training • future research directions and opportunities to inform government policy and programs • the Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) – the types of assistance available, eligibility, and current participation • an enlightening presentation on Disability Employment Services • a best practice program presentation from Box Hill Institute’s Disability Liaison Service on assessment of support needs • a best practice program presentation from Community Education Bendigo on a training pathway model for people with a disability. Attendees were very satisfied with the Centre’s design of the Forum program and management of the event. Attendees had access to relevant and informative delivery by knowledgeable presenters, opportunities to share knowledge and consider solutions to challenges, and invaluable chances to network with colleagues and experts in the field.

INDIGENOUS CAPABILITY PROGRAM FOR VET EDUCATORS Growing numbers of Indigenous students are enrolling in Victoria’s VET system. The Indigenous Capability Program for VET Educators was designed to foster cultural competence in VET educators and to improve the participation and completion outcomes of Indigenous students. In 2012, the Centre coordinated design and delivery of the first Indigenous Capability

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Program, which relied on the skills and knowledge of Kangan Institute’s Indigenous Education Centre and Chisholm Institute for delivery of the Course in Assessment of Informal Learning. The Centre also managed the production of the Program manual. The success of the Program in 2012, and clear interest in the sector for further professional development in this area, led to the VET Development Centre providing a program of three workshops in 2013. The workshops focussed on aspects of cultural awareness required of VET teachers who deliver training to Indigenous students. Thirty-two educators (including six Indigenous educators) from eight providers registered for the workshop program.

ACFE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PROGRAMS ‘ROADSHOW’ Following the warm welcome for the ACFE Roadshow in 2012, the VET Development Centre collaborated again in 2013 with Victoria’s Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board to jointly fund professional learning programs for adult and community education (ACE) providers. The 2013 Roadshow project comprised five workshops delivered in central and suburban Melbourne, and in regional Victoria. The workshops attracted 112 participants from 60 Learn Local and other ACE providers. The Roadshow collaboration also complements Learn Local practitioner attendance at the Centre’s Professional Learning Program events. More than 400 Learn Local practitioners participated in the Centre’s 2013 programs. Delivering the Roadshow relies on the Centre’s considerable project management expertise. Marketing to Victoria’s extensive network of ACE providers 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.


TEACHING FELLOWS 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 182 Teaching Fellows – an alumni group that expanded with 23 new Fellows in 2013. Our new Fellows included four adult and community education sector teachers, five teachers from private RTOs,

and 14 TAFE teachers. The Centre supports its 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 public sectors across all industry areas.

Fellowships are offered primarily to teachers with one to four years VET experience. A Fellowship is accompanied by a grant of up to $8,000 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.

SPECIALIST SCHOLARS The Centre’s Specialist Scholarship Program provides support to specialist staff in building leadership capability and professional standing within the VET system. The Program builds a supportive cohort of staff responsible for administrative and

specialist tasks that serve the needs of internal and external stakeholders. The Centre supports specialist staff to build their capacity in a competitive market environment, and to build their professional standing within their organisations.

The program provides grants of up to $5,000 as a contribution towards the cost of a 12 month development program. In 2013, the Centre supported 24 Specialist Scholars including, for the first time, ten from the adult and community education sector.

VET SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The VET Development Centre enthusiastically supports professional development that lifts the professional identity of VET professionals, and which leads to improved outcomes for VET learners. Formal teacher training for VET teachers is an investment in both those objectives. The Centre introduced the VET Scholarship Program in 2011, funded by DEECD.

The scholarships provide financial assistance of up $1,000 to assist those eligible to complete Diploma level studies in VET teaching. Scholarships are also available for the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Qualifications can be taken in face-to-face, online or blended delivery modes, and may involve recognition of prior learning or credit transfer. In 2013, 758 scholarships were awarded across the VET sector – 310 from secondary schools, 246

in TAFE, 164 from private/industry providers, and 38 in adult and community education. Eligible applicants for the Program are secondary school teachers, current VET employees at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which is a contractor approved by the Higher Education and Skills Group to provide Victorian government funded training, and individuals wishing to qualify for teaching work in the VET sector. In 2014, 350 scholarships will be awarded.

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Level 1, 478 Albert Street East Melbourne VIC 3002 T (61 3) 9250 6000 E info@vetcentre.vic.edu.au www.vetcentre.vic.edu.au Twitter: www.twitter.com/VET_Centre LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/vet-development-centre Facebook: www.facebook.com/ VETdevelopmentcentre The VET Blog In April 2013, the Centre established The VET Blog. Through the Blog we share with the sector summaries of research papers, information about policy developments, teaching and learning resources, and news from the sector. By the end of 2013, the Blog had received more than 28,000 hits on more than 100 posts. You can access The VET Blog via the Centre’s website home page. Printed on recycled paper. Content may be subject to change.

Scan here for more details Photographs taken at recent VET Development Centre events.

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