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The Real Value that "Online" Gives to RTOs

The Real Value that "Online" Gives to RTOs image

The word “online” is synonymous with many things including being connected, available and remote. Since the pandemic began, the word online has been used more than ever. A recent National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) report states that 22.1% of RTOs are likely to permanently shift more units or parts of qualifications online.

However, when we talk about “online” what can it really mean for RTOs and their ongoing delivery and management of their business.

This article unpacks what online is and addresses common myths about online training and assessment. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. What is online?
  2. Why are RTOs embracing online learning, training and assessment?
  3. What are the different contexts of online learning, training and assessment?
  4. Debunking the online=remote myth

What is “online” when it comes to learning, training and assessment?

Online learning uses digital technology and best practices — like the internet and specialist software— to deliver learning in the form of video and html, no matter how, when or where the learning takes place. For example, you could be empowering learners to learn remotely or using digital technology to deliver face-to-face training and assessment with instruments like observation checklists.

What are the different online learning contexts?

When adopting online learning methods and technologies, RTOs need to consider two major contexts:

  1. The location of the learners
  2. Delivery approach

Location

Online learning is location-agnostic, which means that learners can be anywhere — within the classroom, externally (that is in a different location) or in the workplace. As long as the learners have access to the right digital tools and technology, they can benefit from streamlined course delivery.

Delivery approach

RTOs can choose distance/self-paced learning or a blended online learning delivery approach, depending on their training and assessment strategy. Let's delve into what these options entail.

Distance/Self-Paced delivery

This delivery method gives learners a high level of control or independence over how they learn. They are not restricted to the classroom—rather, they can learn in their homes, in the library or even in their workplace. In addition, the training can be self-paced or learners might be required to complete specific modules within a fixed timeframe.

Since there are little or no real-time, one-on-one interactions between the trainer and learners throughout the learning period, the trainer must provide clear instructions that help learners to complete different tasks in the Learning Management System (LMS) or Training and Assessment Software, on their own.

Blended delivery

Data from NCVER shows that more than 60% of RTOs intend to use more blended online and face-to-face learning in the future. The blended delivery approach is the midpoint between remote and in-person learning. However, that doesn't mean that software is not used in both in-person and online contexts. In fact, Cloud Assess clients deliver all their learning, training and assessment through the app regardless of the delivery method. Why? Because the solution has the most flexible assessment builder on the market. Not only can students work through their tasks independently i.e. a question bank, but Trainers and Assessors can also conduct site reports, observation checklists and more. The app is online but the delivery method is not.

Why are RTOs embracing “online” learning, training and assessment?

The COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, caused a major disruption to Australia’s Vocational Education and Training sector, driving more RTOs to turn to  digital technology to facilitate training and assessment. However, now more than ever people are seeing the many other benefits that “online” brings, especially Cloud Assess Clients.

These include:

  • A robust audit trail as all work and actions are time-stamped and records, signatures etc do not go missing (like they can with paper).
  • Quality controls and error proofing, through required responses in assessments preventing incomplete submissions.
  • Efficiency through automation of workflows including integration to Student Management Systems and auto release of assessments.
  • Transparency through clear dashboards and reports that give you real-time information.

Busting the online-remote myth

More often than not, online learning is erroneously equated to remote. In reality,  remote learning is simply one of the many benefits of working online. Remote learning is really part of the umbrella term Distance Learning when the learner is not with the trainer. 

Online, on the other hand, means learning, training and assessment can happen anywhere — internally, externally or even at the workplace. You just need to make sure you have the right software to ensure a seamless learning experience.

ASQA has created a great source of information that can be accessed here that details the many forms of “online learning”. They recognise that technology supports learning, training and assessment, regardless of how or where learners learn.

How Cloud Assess can help?

Cloud Assess is a fit-for-purpose technology for the VET sector and workplace skills, that meets compliance requirements while delivering streamlined and efficient training and assessment. Learn more about their software to see how they can help you deliver the best experiences.


Date posted May 12, 2022

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