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Workshops, Seminars, Summits Master Classes, Webinars and Network Oppurtunities for training and education professionals

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Professional Development

Workshops, Seminars, Summits Master Classes, Webinars and Network Oppurtunities for training and education professionals

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Insources has more than 10 years' experience helping organisations, RTOs, and individuals to deliver quality, industry relevant training, and maintain compliance in a highly regulated environment.

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Our flexible training programs are designed to develop the capabilities of trainers, quality and compliance professionals, managers, and CEOs leading RTOs.

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We bring together the most Vocational Education and Training (VET) practitioners and decision makers from across Australia. Each relevant aspect of the VET sector is covered in our events every year.

VET News



Are we developing appropriate skills for the digital economy?

What skills will the Australian workforce require in the digital economy? Can the VET system and other industry training packages as they currently stand meet these needs?

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Australian Training Awards 2018 now open

Australian Training Awards 2018 now open

Commencing in 1994, the Australian Training Awards are the peak, national awards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia. Applications for 2018 awards are now open.

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Government announces review of VET legislation

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews yesterday announced a major review of the legislative framework governing regulation of the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

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New Self- Assessment Tool published by ASQA

ASQA has developed an online self-assessment tool for RTOs to monitor compliance against the Standards for RTOs 2015, support continuous improvement, and prepare for audit.

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New Users’ Guide to the Standards for RTOs now available

ASQA has released a new version of the Standards Guide to assist RTOs to understand their obligations under the revised Standards for RTOs 2015, and in line with the new ASQA’s audit model.

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Updated National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students

The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2017 came into effect on 10 April 2017. The new code is simply an administrative update which adopts terminology consistent with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) as amended in 2015.

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Latest Posts

Is VET Trapped in The Capabilities Vs Performance Issue? Is VET Trapped in The Capabilities Vs Performance Issue? 02 Nov 2017 - Frequently, I encounter VET practitioners whose actions and comments indicate an assumption that building capability and enhancing performance are the same thing. Learning alone will not yield performance... More detail
Can VET Match Micro-learning Solutions? Can VET Match Micro-learning Solutions? 31 Oct 2017 - Using Skill Sets to meet industry needs. Vocational Education and Training must provide solutions and support individuals and industry in Vocational Preparation and Vocational Development (Continuous ... More detail

feedbackMany trainers find the topic of providing feedback confusing, and some colleagues only look at regulatory implications of the trainers'/assessors' feedback, so I thought it might be a good topic for review.

To better understand feedback, let's define what it is and what it should do. The kind of feedback I'm talking about is written or verbal responses to answers or performance on questions or activities.

The main purpose of feedback is to reduce gaps between current competencies (skills, knowledge and performance) and desired competencies (skills, knowledge and performance).

Feedback has been shown to help learners most when it specifically addresses forgotten information or strategies, difficult aspects of performance, or a faulty interpretation (misunderstanding), explains Hattie and Timperley in their article on Review of Educational Research, "The Power of Feedback."

Feedback doesn't help nearly as much when it addresses a lack of understanding, as this implies that the training didn't meet its goals or has one or more of the following problems:

  • Training didn't consider the prior knowledge levels of participants (for example, we assumed they knew more than they did)
  • The delivery of training is problematic (for example, participants were unable to find or review parts they sought to review)
  • Content, practice, or assessment elements are problematic (for example, there is inadequate practice to help remember or apply training on the job).

Trying to fix a lack of understanding in training is generally beyond the scope of feedback. Even well-written feedback, given in the right circumstances, cannot always help because participants don't always understand or use it.

Feedback Types and Conditions
Hattie and Timperley reviewed training feedback meta-analyses (a statistical approach to combine results from multiple studies), to show what types of feedback are likely to help the most and the least. The most powerful outcomes came from feedback about tasks and how to do them more effectively. Goal-oriented feedback and cues (hints) could also be effective. The least powerful outcomes came from praise, rewards and punishment (extrinsic rewards).

They also looked at how to make effective types of feedback work well. Remember at the beginning of this article I said the main purpose of feedback is reducing gaps between current competencies and desired competencies. Hattie and Timperley explain that to reduce this gap, feedback must answer three questions:

  • What are the goals?
  • What progress am I making towards these goals?
  • What do I need to do to make better progress?

Clear goals along with knowing where you are and how to progress, target the right places to focus effort to reduce gaps between current knowledge and actual performance and desired knowledge and performance. Some feedback strategies work opposite to this and include non-specific or fuzzy goals, accepting poor performance, and not offering enough information. Research shows that when people don't know what to do, feedback can be demotivating.

Goals must supply actions and outcomes for a specific task or performance. They must also include success criteria that allow for consistent performance when facing common obstacles. In other words, goals are defined in the units of competence. Feedback cannot lead to a reduction in the "gap" if the goal and the criterion aren't clear. Otherwise, people may rely on any method that works (for them), and their methods may have undesirable consequences.

Telling people how they are doing shouldn't wait for summative assessment. People need specific feedback against specific goals (with success criteria) while learning so they can learn to self-correct. Feedback is required also in formative assessment activities, even if those activities are not used to make a competency judgement.

I hope you can see that feedback is complex, and we shouldn't write it only as an add-on response to assessments, or to meet compliance requirements. We need to better integrate feedback into the design of instruction to support learning.


  • Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research.

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