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australian flexible learning framework news

Monday, June 14 2010


1. Inspiring Indigenous participation through e-learning
2. New Framework paper: Verifying VET Learner Attainment Data
3. FREE two day online conference!


 

1. Inspiring Indigenous participation through e-learning

The national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework), has announced its support for the Australian Government’s draft Indigenous Economic Development Strategy, released for public comment last week.

The national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework), has announced its support for the Australian Government’s draft Indigenous Economic Development Strategy, released for public comment last week.
 
The draft strategy suggests five key action areas to increase the wellbeing and prosperity of Indigenous Australians:
 
  • increasing individual capacity to participate in the economy through education and motivation
  • creating and filling sustainable job opportunities
  • supporting Indigenous business and entrepreneurship
  • assisting individuals and communities to achieve financial security and economic independence by leveraging economic assets
  • creating the right environment and incentives for economic participation.
 
Framework spokesperson and Flexible Learning Advisory Group (FLAG) Northern Territory representative, Roger Bryett, said that there was clear alignment between the five action areas and the broader social and economic outcomes that e-learning can achieve.
 
“E-learning does much more for Indigenous communities than bridge geographical distances and increase access to quality education and training,” Mr Bryett said.
 
“It can build the skills and capabilities of Indigenous people, affording them increased opportunities to participate in the economy.
 
“The active, learner-centred nature of e-learning fosters leadership, self-reliance, independence, confidence and motivation – the very skills, habits and attitudes acknowledged by the draft strategy as being central to achieving increased Indigenous economic participation and wellbeing.”
 
Mr Bryett also supported the draft strategy’s focus on creating entrepreneurship and sustainable business opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
 
He said that Framework e-learning funding and support is directed toward projects that recognise and respect the unique ways in whichIndigenous Australians can participate in the economy and focuses on providing access to these opportunities.
 
In 2008 and 2009, the Framework provided E-learning Innovations funding and support to New South Wales based Kiama Community College (KCC), which worked with Boolarng Nangamai art studio to help Indigenous artists take their art and culture online. The project gave talented Indigenous artists the technical skills required to reach potential markets. It provided commercial viability for the studio and for the artists, allowing them to sustain their culture and earn a livelihood at the same time.
 
Funding was also provided to Coonara Community House, which developed a learner-contributed wiki containing a range of e-learning resources to help learners develop an understanding of the importance of cultural awareness and respect for diversity. Indigenous learners developed and shared digital content via the wiki, including digital stories to share their experiences. Learners involved in the project developed essential technical and communication skills, which increased their confidence and employment prospects.
 
The Framework has also funded the development of a suite of interactive, media-rich e-learning and assessment resources for Indigenous learners. The Indigenous Flexible Learning Toolboxes (Toolboxes) provide relevant and engaging support for learning on the job, in remote locations and where formal Indigenous training programs are not seen as economically viable. They can be cheaply and easily customised to form complete training programs and meet individual learner requirements.
 
Interested individuals and organisations are invited to provide feedback on the Australian Government’s draft Indigenous Economic Development Strategy. The process for making a submission is available for download at: http://resources.fahcsia.gov.au/IEDS/
 
The closing date for submissions is 1 November 2010. The final strategy is expected by the end of the year.

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Being able to electronically verify learner information, such as educational qualifications, has the potential to help streamline employment applications, course admissions and RPL (recognition of prior learning) processes. 

Taking a lead role in gaining national agreement on the development of portable learner information, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework) has released the Verifying VET Learner Attainment Data paper.

This paper, based on widespread consultation with employer groups, industry groups, unions, recruitment agencies, tertiary admission centres and professional associations, found that electronic access to learner information would support learner transitions and produce significant efficiency gains for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

It presents findings around:
  • the benefits and limitations of existing learner information verification systems and their relevance to the Australian VET sector
  • the verification needs of ‘information consumers’ (eg employers, recruiters and education and training admissions centres)
  • key issues surrounding the introduction of electronic access of VET learner information.
 
The research found that existing learner verification services are limited in scope or immature in development, and so the paper makes recommendations regarding the continued development of learner record systems which allow learners to electronically access and share their VET learner records.
It stresses that any implementation of electronic learner record systems would need to proceed alongside an education program and address issues of privacy, governance and access protocols. 

The paper highlights the need to cater for the diversity in information consumers’ verification requirements and to address a number of concerns, including:
  • verified learner data being directly associated with an individual’s e-portfolio, which may lead to fraudulent assertions
  • the need to have third party learner record systems to support aggregated lifelong, electronic learner records.
 
The paper builds on a previous Framework investigation into managing learner information and supports the verification goal from the Framework’s VET E-portfolio Roadmap, a national strategy designed to support the introduction and use of e-portfolios to support lifelong learning in the VET sector.
Continued work into electronically accessing VET learner information will continue in 2010 with an investigation of registered training organisations' willingness and ability to offer electronic learner data as well as the attitude of learners to such services.
The paper forms part of the E-portfolios Resource Bank – a comprehensive and central online resource including reports, articles, news, blogs and events dedicated to e-portfolios and their application in VET.
 


Making e-technology work for you
 
16-17 June – 4 days to go!
 
Looking for a FREE e-learning professional development opportunity that gives you access to a range of e-learning experts, from the comfort of your own desk?
 
The Making e-technology work for you online conference will provide insight into exciting ways to use social media and e-technologies, as well as strategies for embedding e-learning across a range of industry contexts.
 
The conference will feature nine interactive web conferencing sessions, including international social media e-learning guru Jane Hart, who will provide insight on social and collaborative learning, including highlighting some ‘cool tools’ and ‘picks of the day’ from her popular website.
 
There will also be opportunities to network and interact informally with a panel of e-learning experts and other conference participants.
 
Registration is now open at: http://flexiblelearning.net.au/networksevents 

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