Telecommunications Online Western Australia 2009

Integracom Training Solutions


Background

INTEGRACOM Management Group Was formed in 2006 as an amalgamation between two successful multi skilled nationally represented training companies. Integracom delivers professional training and consultancy services to the Security and Telecommunications industries at all levels.
Integracom operates a purpose built training centre specialising in telecommunications and technical security training in Burswood, Western Australia.
Integracom is the national provider for telecommunications training resource material for almost all TAFEs in Australia.

Organistations capability to embed e-learning

As a result of the project, Integracom Training Solutions has begun to embed e-learning into all training courses currently run.
We have developed our own LMS Server running Moodle, and currently host it within our building. This is soon to be expanded to an Integracom-owned dedicated server in a datacentre in the Perth CBD.

Learner's involvement and capabilities

Our target learners were existing students, remote learners and VET learners.
We have successfully delivered online assessments to almost 100 students in our computer training rooms and are set to deploy our LMS to remote learners in January 2010.

The problem

Our project sought to address the shortage of registered cabling providers in Western Australia, by increasing the numbers of students trained by supplementing existing face-to-face training methods with e-learning.

The e-learning planning process

Integracom possesses the necessary staff and contacts to complete this project. Due to the small size of the team working on this project, communications between team members were minimal. Where appropriate, planning and review meetings were held and designs and implementation were tested and evaluated.
Subject matter experts were consulted to ensure the accuracy of material presented. Integracom employs some of the most experienced trainers in the field of telecommunications training in Australia.

What work was done

Our application for 2009 Innovations funding was initially turned down. As we were dedicated to embedding e-learning on our RTO, we proceeded, albeit more slowly, with an LMS server (Moodle) implementation
Approximately 2 months into the project timeline, we were notified of a potential ‘second round’ funding offer, which we graciously accepted. This enabled more time to be devoted to embedding e-learning. As we had already begun an implementation, we were well positioned to complete the project in the original time line.
Owning and hosting our own LMS Server (Moodle) enabled us to more easily control the look and feel of our site, by having the ability to directly edit themes and graphics. It also made it possible to prototype each and every step of the implementation as it was created. This real-time feedback enabled faster progress toward our solution.

Benefits experienced by Integracom

Integracom has already begun to benefit as a result of this project. With nearly 100 online assessments completed it has already had a positive impact on trainer time (ie less time taken by trainers to grade exams) and learners being assessed get instant feedback of results of assessment. Learners have also reported that they find the online multiple choice exams to be easier to complete than paper-based written exams, although individual exam complexity has not changed.

Lessons learnt

Most of the lessons learned were of a technical nature. Integracom’s IT department has become proficient in the implementation on the Moodle LMS package, as well as the various software tools used to create and edit content. (eg Photoshop, Captivate, ARED) as well as various web technologies such as Flash.
One lesson of a non-technical nature learned was that development of good e-learning content takes time. The amount of time taken to implement each step was initially underestimated due to the concept of embedding e-learning being new to Integracom. Future projects will therefore include a more accurate estimate of development times.

The results

The result for Integracom is that we now use e-learning daily within our RTO.
We have a sustainable plan for future development, and as a private (commercial) RTO we aim to bring e-learning to the wider business community through developing commercial hosting and implementation packages, for industry companies in our area of (subject matter) expertise.

Reflections and suggestions

We have been very grateful to the Framework for their support this year. Without which, we may not be in the strong position that we are in to embed e-learning in our organisation.

The Framework connection

Integracom’s project output to be delivered to the Framework is in the form of a SCORM compliant toolbox aimed at teaching learners of the competency ICTTC137C the correct use of a telecommunications network boundary. This is an area that continues to confuse learners and our toolbox seeks to provide clarity in its teaching.
This toolbox will be available to, and suitable for, any RTO that currently teaches the national competencies ICTTC136C and ICTTC137B.

For more information

For more information on Integracom Training Solutions
Brad Knox
E-Learning Co-ordinator
Telecommunications Online Project
Phone: (08) 9355 5770
Email: brad@integracom.com.au


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