What are the options out there?
When looking for software, you can become overwhelmed with the choice on the market. Not to mention the different ways of implementing software as an enterprise-wide i.e a “Jack of All Trades” option, or procuring specialised “Best-of-Breed” solutions that can fulfil specific business requirements. You may need more bespoke solutions depending on how niche your business area is. In this article, we are not comparing software solutions for typical business functions like accounting, but the core business area of the RTO, Training and Assessment.
Standards for RTOs
Firstly, let’s look at what governs registered training organisations. The VET Quality Framework which is regulated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), which includes the Standards for RTOs 2015. When analysing the Standards, the majority of ASQA’s requirements are focussed on assessment. Learning is only a small part of what is prescribed.
Secondly, let’s take a look at the options out there to support RTOs. They include eLearning, now incorporated into Learning Management Systems and Online Assessment Solutions.
What is eLearning?
eLearning is learning
A great means to attract students to education who had barriers for travel or time, however, RTOs found a shortfall as the VET space also requires learning that incorporates on the job and face-to-face training. They encountered a range of difficulties in engaging students and delivering elements of a course that just couldn’t be conducted online.
With the Velg Training eLearning Focus Week coming up, it is important to understand that eLearning can only play a part in how an RTO will deliver a unit, course or qualification. In a recent Velg survey, 74% of respondents stated that they didn’t use online learning for every course because, “We Still Need Face-To-Face Course Delivery Experience”, which reinforces this opinion.
What are Learning Management Systems? (LMS)
An LMS is a tool that was influenced by the concept of eLearning. They offer an extended solution to an organisation as it encompasses administration, document management, tracking and reporting. They are, though, more commonly used for Higher Education within universities and most recently within schools. The majority of the features, focus on “learning” and academic testing requirements, and less on assessment and evidence gathering to show competency.
LMSs are great tools for interoperability and accessibility, plus they offer some features that align to RTOs. As the Australian Vocational Education and Training sector is a very niche market within the Education industry, however, an LMS doesn’t have all the features to support the ongoing complexities of managing compliance requirements in line with your Training and Assessment Strategies.
RTOs can procure a generic LMS like Moodle and spend time and effort customising it to suit the specific needs of assessment, however, this comes at a cost. It will need adapting or enhancing to meet your requirements as well as hosting. You will also spend time specifying what you need. In the age of the technical revolution, there is a high chance there will be a system that can support your needs already. If you go down the route of procuring a generic tool, it may lack the flexibility of a best-of-breed solution that will adapt to your process. The design and interface for the end user may be compromised if you have budget constraints, which could be a competitive disadvantage when marketing to your potential customers. You will need to invest in an in-house or external IT team to be available on an ongoing basis, as it will be down to you to keep it up and running for your users.
The reality of using any of these options means that paper may still need to be used within your organisation which can involve laborious and costly delays.
What is an Online Assessment Solution?
Online Assessment from Cloud Assess, is a similar tool to an LMS, however, it allows you to perform all parts of assessment from authoring, conducting and managing assessment and training. It bridges the gap between face-to-face and online all in the one mobile solution.
As a niche product, Cloud Assess is a solution that was created out of the need to deliver not only course content
Described as the future of assessment. Don’t get left behind, try Cloud Assess today