WA10BP183 - E-Local Works

Executive Summary

Background

This project has developed through on-going training and liaison between the combined
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Cheryl and Kath
Shires within the Mid West Regional Council in the Mid West of Western Australia and Durack Institute of Technology. These Shires are currently undergoing an amalgamation process that will see smaller Shires combine with the larger Shires to become more viable. In addition to this there are a number of large mining projects in the region that are and will drain labour from the Shires. There was a need to train new and up-skill existing workers in supervision training.
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Morawa Main Street




The training initially commenced with a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process followed by gap training. The intended clients were supervisors and managers within these Shires or individuals with the potential to become managers. The intent was to develop a range of online learning products at Certificate IV level that could be used to service these clients who are spread throughout the Mid-West.



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Zane

In 2009 a comprehensive training needs analysis of the eight Shires (Perenjori, Morawa, Minegnew, Mullewa, Three Springs, Carnamah and Coorow) was completed as part of the on-going training relationship with the Durack Institute of Technology (DIT). Due to remoteness from a large centre most of these shires and their employees having little access to traditional training. Much of the lower level qualifications that DIT had previously delivered was delivered through RPL and then tailored workplace training. With the higher level qualifications it is difficult to provide all the required knowledge and skills through this mode. By developing online learning products to supplement the performance and knowledge gaps a higher level qualifications is achievable. DIT had knowledge of the shires business and was be able to tailor the e-learning to their organisational needs. The individual employees will then have greater access to training and therefore portability of qualification.
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Chris



What was done

The project commenced with a meeting between the Mid-West Regional Council representative and DIT. The meeting discussed appropriate qualifications and the selection of appropriate skill sets to commence development of the online courses. An appropriate lecturer from DIT was appointed and a meeting was scheduled with each of the individual shires to implement the enrolment process. Online development commenced with the target date set for completion of the first cluster of units, or skill set, by the end of semester two, 2010..

Visiting students in the regional shires

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Students from the shires of Perenjori and Morawa enrolled in the Certificate IV in Frontline Management. There were no major issues so far and at present all students have progressed through the first cluster of units.
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From a learning design perspective DIT have endeavoured to develop the learning content around activites and the assessments around practical work-based tasks.
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Lessons in learning design

Skills and knowledge gained through attending Cathy Moore’s workshop titled Dump the Drone at the Framework’s Western Australian Online09 E-learning by Design conference have been utilised by this project team.
Cathy provided insight into how organisations can strengthen their instructional design skills for e-learning, providing a positive experience for the learner and a return on investment for the organisation.
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Kelli

Dump the drone
Although DIT tried to emulate the work that is done by Cathy Moore, it was not as easy as first thought. Once DIT had developed it realised that it had probably added too much knowledge and not enough action so DIT conducted some redevelopment. Next time DIT will have a checking system in place that would stop the development of too much knowledge for knowledge sake and add more based activities that have the knowledge embedded in them. Hopefully this will ensure future developments are better instructionally designed. It was a learning and a continuous improvement process.
Below is an example of a checklist that we have designed to ensure more interactivity in the course. If you open the checklist, you will need to use the Back button in your browser to return to this wiki page.


Benefits experienced DIT

While working on the project the team have developed their instructional design skills and their e-learning facilitation skills. They have also learnt working in an enterprise partnership makes the project very real and accountable and the product has to be good.

Lessons learnt

The key lesson learnt is that when a project has a number of different stakeholders it becomes more complex. A tight project plan needs to be agreed on and adhered to by all parties.
Also when developing resources it always takes much longer than you think and requires a significant input at the blueprint phase of the development. Once you have the recipe book developed well it is then easier to add to and improve. The time spent at the blueprint phase is valuable but needs to be done early so the project timelines don’t get blown out.

The results

The key outcomes of the project were:
  1. Skill sets completed for the Certificate IV in Frontline Managment course in Moodle
  2. A growing business relationship with the Mid-West Regional Council and the combined shires
  3. Two more lecturers are now available who have more fully developed e-learning resource development and facilitation skills.

This link will take you to DIT's Moodle site: http://durack.moodlesites.com/
The success and failures of the project have been analysed with reflecting on what has worked and what hasn't and why.
The experience of the learners and the workplaces has been captured through having discussions with them and also quantitatively through the numbers who are taking advantage of the training.

Reflections and suggestions

On reflection DIT has achieved an enormous amount of learning which will allow the organisation to continue to develop more e-learning products and also to improve the products we currently have available both in the resource materials and in the servicing of the students.
A full VET qualification was too big to achieve in the timeline and as a result some of the units are not yet to the quality and standard we would like. A business relationship takes time to grow and mature; it needs to be built around individual relationships and is bigger than the project. DIT envisages that this relationship will grow over the next twelve months as the students continue studying their qualification.

Framework connection

The national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework funds and supports E-learning Innovations projects which aim to embed e-learning into the national training system by supporting and enabling innovation in training design and delivery, at the state and territory level.

This project has further embedded e-learning into another delivery section within the Institute it is also a start to introducing e-learning as a viable alternative to a core client. This innovative model of workplace delivery and assessment for regional workplaces is being fine tuned throughout the project so as to be replicated elsewhere within the Institute with other business partners and industries and with other registered training organisations (RTOs) through sharing the learning’s with the Framework. The learning objects developed for skill sets will be made available to the sector, including the power point presentations. The learning resources have been developed in exe, allowing for easy transfer to any learning management system. Also customised and adapted learning objects used from LORN will also be returned to share with others.
The Learning and Assessment Strategy has been documented, so that other RTOs within the sector can use it to implement this model into their organisation.

Acknowledgement

This is a Western Australian E-learning Innovations project output, developed by Durack Institute of Technology and the Mid-West Regional Council with seed funding from the Framework.
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For more information

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Kath Wallace
Project Manager
E-Local Works - partnership between Durack Institute of Technology and Mid-West Regional CounciI
Phone: (08) 99562707
Email: Kath.wallace@durack.edu.au

For more information on the Australian Flexible Learning Framework:
Phone: (07) 3307 4700
Email:
enquiries@flexiblelearning.net.au

Website:

flexiblelearning.net.au