Identifying and organising foundation skills support, particularly through eLearning, involves a systematic approach to ensure learners possess the necessary language, literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, and employability skills for successful training completion and workforce transition. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and the Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (CSfW) provide structured methods for assessing and developing these skills. Integrating eLearning adds a layer of accessibility and flexibility, vital for diverse learner needs.
1. Initial Assessment and Identification:
- Pre-Training Review: Conduct a comprehensive pre-training review for all prospective learners to understand their existing foundation skills. Utilise discussions, self-assessments, and formal assessments aligned with the ACSF to identify levels in reading, writing, oral communication, numeracy, and learning.
- ACSF Tools in eLearning Formats: Employ ACSF assessment tools presented in eLearning formats, such as online quizzes and interactive activities, to gauge current competency levels in the five core skills, identifying areas requiring support.
- Digital Literacy and Employability Skills Assessment: Evaluate digital literacy and employability skills as part of the initial review, using relevant components from the CSfW, focusing on navigating the world of work, interacting with others, and getting the work done, all through online assessments.
2. Tailoring Support Strategies:
- Individual Learning Plans (ILPs): Develop ILPs for learners needing support, outlining specific foundation skills to be developed, available resources and support services, and timelines, all managed through an eLearning management system (LMS).
- Incorporate into eLearning Curriculum: Integrate foundation skills development into the VET eLearning curriculum, ensuring that online training and assessment materials align with the ACSF levels and CSfW dimensions required for the qualification.
- Contextualisation in eLearning: Ensure that foundation skills support is contextualised to the vocational training provided, embedding language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN) tasks within industry-specific online scenarios.
3. Providing Support Services:
- Specialised eLearning Support: Offer access to specialised support services, such as LLN practitioners or tutors, through online platforms, providing targeted assistance via webinars, virtual classrooms, and one-on-one online sessions.
- Digital Resources: Utilise digital platforms and resources extensively to support digital literacy, including online tutorials, interactive activities, and simulations aligned with the vocational context.
- Peer Support and Mentoring Online: Establish online peer support systems and mentoring programmes where more proficient learners can assist others within a virtual learning environment.
4. Ongoing Monitoring and Feedback:
- Regular Online Assessments: Use eLearning platforms for regular formative assessments aligned with ACSF to monitor progress in foundation skills development and adjust ILPs as necessary through the LMS.
- Feedback Loops in eLearning: Create mechanisms for ongoing feedback from learners, trainers, and support staff within the eLearning environment to identify any emerging needs or adjustments required in support strategies.
5. Professional Development for Trainers in eLearning:
- eLearning ‘Train the Trainer’: Ensure that vocational trainers and assessors are equipped with the skills to identify and support foundation skills development in an eLearning context, understanding the ACSF and CSfW, through online professional development programmes.
6. Utilising Technology:
- Technology-Enhanced Learning Tools: Incorporate technology-enhanced learning tools that support the development of foundation skills, such as educational apps for literacy and numeracy development, and digital communication tools accessible through eLearning platforms.
7. Collaboration and Partnerships Online:
- Engage with eLearning Support Services: Collaborate with external eLearning support services and organisations specialising in foundation skills development to provide additional resources and expertise accessible online.
By systematically identifying learners’ foundation skills needs and organising targeted support through eLearning, VET providers can enhance learner engagement, completion rates, and ultimately, employability outcomes. Employing the ACSF and CSfW within these strategies, alongside the integration of eLearning, ensures a structured, nationally recognised, and flexible approach to foundation skills development.