Online RPL Triage

A Victorian eLearning Innovations 2011 project

Reflections on our Elivic2011 project

Reflection by Anderson Mancini, on FlickrWhilst the fact that a project has been delivered on time and within budget is satisfying for some it’s not always the most enjoyable part of the process.
One outcome of note for this project has been the enthusiasm of the Skills Recognition Centre (SRC) team for both their project development work but also for their genuine enthusiasm for learning Moodle and the other skills that go in to developing a project of this type. It would be fair to say that the SRC had had no previous exposure to online learning, blended learning, Learner Management Systems or online course development.
It was a real thrill to see both Ian and Rosemary from the SRC embrace new ideas, skills and technology to develop a tool that will have significant benefits to the Institute, our staff and most importantly our learners.
The aim of this project was to ‘explore the use of a Learner Management System to facilitate an online Recognition of Prior Learning process at the Wodonga Institute of TAFE . It will combine a mix of online evidence submission (including online assignments, uploading of evidence files and Moodle “Choices”) and traditional face to face assessment‘. What we wanted to do was create an online ‘go to’ place that would specifically assist the following cohorts-
  • Mature age learners
  • Migrant & ESL learners
  • Geographically isolated learners
  • Retrenched workers

It was identified that the above groups have been identified as cohorts that would benefit from access to online learning resources and online RPL services. Given our geographical location and regional status an online method of skills acquisition and/or recognition would solve a number of common operational issues-

  • travel by learners &/or teachers to meetings
  • time wasted by both parties in establishing-
    • the correct skills sets to be assessed versus recognition
    • the paperwork required by the learner for RPL submission prior to meeting with the assessor
  • “Is this the qualification I actually want?”
  • Back log of applicant waiting to see an assessor
Did we accomplish this? The short answer is Yes. Without doubt we now have in place a process that enhances a service we offer our learners regardless of location or skill. yes there are some issues that are unavoidable-
  • ICT skills & abilities
  • Access to the internet
While they are issue we believe that on the whole they are not insurmountable and if they do prove to be a problem the SRC can revert to ‘the old way’ of dealing with applications. The beauty of the process that is in place now means that there are options for our learners (and staff) that had not previously been in place or thought of.
Would we do anything differently? On the whole, No. The success of the final product lies in its simplicity and how that new process adds value to the whole process. Again key to the its success has been the active and enthusiastic input from the SRC in offering input and suggestions that streamlined the vision, not added overhead to a potentially convoluted multi discipline, multi department workflow.
Many thanks to Rosemary Bartell and Ian lack from our Skills Recognition Centre for their knowledge, ideas and patience, Howard Errey for his continuing support and encouragement of me, my team and Wodonga TAFE in general and finally the Australian Flexible Learning Framework for their continuing vision and support.

Geoff Young
Team Leader, Learning Innovation

Learning Innovation and Organisational Development

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Anderson Mancini 

Ian explains the online RPL triage process

In this video Ian Lack  our Skills Recognition Service Project Leader explains how the online RPL process will benefit our students. Ian has played a crucial role in the development of the process from the early planning stages right through to the implementation and review stages.

Follow this link to the Skills Recognition page on the Wodonga TAFE website.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Nearly there….

While the project deliverable is now ‘live’ it’s safe to say that development is still taking place.

We’ve added an online contact form to the Skills Recognition page on our website which will allow applicants to make initial contact electronically, the benefits of this-

  • Applicants can make contact 24/7 without having to telephone the Skills Recognition Centre (SRC)
  • Reduced travel time for rural & remote applicants
  • The introduction of better sustainability practices to reduce-
    • Paper consumption
    • Reduced CO2 emissions via reduced travel

We have had to tweak the reporting workflow a little which was a result of our online application form- this is work in progress and will change in the upcoming days.

Howard is coming to visit us next week (21/3) so I’m sure there will be some further thinking to be done after this- stay tuned. It must be said though that at this point in the project our SRC team are very positive, receptive to change, constructive in their criticism and above all looking forward to taking the project still further in the future.

Below is an indication of the site as it currently stands on our Moodle site.

A view of what a student would see after logging on

A view of what a student would see after logging on

Moodle course update

Capture

As you can see from the screen shot above, there’s been a lot of work done on the Online RPL Triage course on Moodle. Updates include more detail content, graphics, added blocks to name a few. Further tweaks will continue to happen as we run users through the process, obtain feedback and implement fixes.

SRC improved, updated.

Since the meeting last week, a lot of work has taken place on the project.

Website
The new Skills Recognition Centre page on the Wodonga TAFE website has been updated to include a contact form. Completing this form will kick off the RPL process, after submitting their details students will be contacted usually within 2 working days. A Skills Recognition Centre representative will either phone or email the student offering the online RPL submission as a quick, easy way of providing the evidence required.

Moodle Course
The Online RPL Triage course has been significantly improved. Additional resources on ‘Methods of gathering evidence’ and ‘RPL and Credit transfer’ have been added. There’s also a new ‘Useful Links’ section, providing additional information on the RPL process, should the student require them.

A new module on the right hand side has information ‘About the team’. This builds on the existing contact details section, should a student require assistance. Each team member’s profile links out to a page for more information on their involvement in the process. It was decided photos weren’t necessary at this stage, although if user-feedback suggests, this would be beneficial, they may be added later.

The final change was to update some fo the graphics used to better represent the information provided.

As students upload the required evidence online, RPL staff are notified and assign the appropriate RPL assessor from the desired RPL course area.

Next
From here we will run some test students through the process and refine it further based on feedback. Our test subjects will range from entry-level inexperienced users, right through to very experienced technologically-comfortable users.

Ch.. ch… Changes…..

Team meeting 10/2 in The Project factoryToday Ian, Jason & Geoff met to move the project still further.

Items discussed and agreed upon-

Images

  • Change images use Creative Commons

Web form

  • Required fields (Name, Phone, Email)
  • Optional fields (Date of birth) – include explanation of why its required
  • Email / Phone as contact methods (potentially skype in future)
  • Size issues ?

Email address / public folder

Email to RPL applicants

  • New users instructions
  • Existing user instructions

Ian will send through forms to be included on Moodle RPL course

  • CF004 RP document – to be PDF on Moodle
  • CF003 CT document – to be PDF on Moodle
  • RPL vs Credit transfer

Test users for workflow to run through once built

  • Kelly Dwyer (high level user)
  • xxxx (entry level user)

Workflow

  • Create a Visio document to be included as a hidden topic in moodle course
  • This will ensure its included if the course is backed up and shared (contract requirement)

Website

  • The skills store website has been updated to the new SRC branding

About the team

  • Create a profile for each of the team members, including a photo and description.

Additional documentation

  • Contact Rosemary Bartel to get her documents for the RPL course

Create a Camtasia on How to upload multiple documents

  • Embed in RPL course  on the right hand side (small)
  • Upload video to YouTube using the Learning Innovation account

These enhancements are set to be completed by COB this week. Things are looking good and we’re about ready to do some live testing next week, initially with selected staff of varying ICT skills & abilities.

Stay tuned for more updates next week.

Taking shape……

 

The SR team at the presentation

A concerted effort by the Learning Innovation (LI) team  last week has really brought the project along.

 

Today LI presented the fruits of their labour to the Skills Recognition (SR) team for their feedback.

 

Tasks to be completed as a result of the presentation are-

  • SR will notate changes/additions etc.- to be completed by end of next week
  • LI will advise/assist with any changes, additional Moodle skills as required (these will be minimal)
  • GY to liaise with Michael K. to have additions made to the SR web page on the WIOT website
  • LI to provide SRC with their ‘Welcome to Moodle’ template which will be used as the basis of an email that will be sent to the clients

At this stage things are running smoothly and to schedule notwithstanding changes and additions.

 

Moving forward…

I had a meeting today with Ian from the SRC team. We planned the broad categories that all resources and instructions will fall under within the Moodle shell.

We’ll meet again next week to commence the uploading process formally; this will be a work in progress so we’ll not be too concerned about getting 100% correct first off.

It’s been interesting listening to Ian discuss what he and the team would like to see the Moodle course comprise of- his previous teaching experience is going to be a huge benefit in helping the rest of the team who have a primarily administrative background.

Till next time…

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28009451@N03/4411801078/sizes/s/in/photostream/

Project plan

Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials, Dec. 1954We’ve just completed our project plan, it’s going to be a work in progress however you’ll notice that at this point in time we’re running to schedule.

It will be interesting to see how close we can stick to our projected timelines once the development and testing phases come online- stay tuned!

RPL online triage project plan

Skilling up

Today we commenced training the Skills Recognition team (Rosemary & Ian)  in Moodle.

Required modules touched upon today-

  • Web pages
  • Books
  • Uploading files
  • Glossary

The team will now plan their topics and resource content and return to us next week for some further training with other Moodle tools, Stay tuned.

Rosemary & Ian in the Project Factory learning Moodle basics