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During the last 10 years, we have helped more than 50 organisations Australia wide to become RTOs.



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VET News

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Apply now for the 2017 Australian Training Awards

Since 1994, the Australian Training Awards have recognised the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, vocational students, training practitioners, businesses, secondary schools and registered training organisations

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ASQA’s new audit model in 2017

The new audit model will be progressively rolled out across all VET and CRICOS audits in 2017.

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Foundation Skills Assessment Tool

The 2016 Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) is now available for use. Funded by the Department of Education and Training, FSAT is an interactive online tool designed to identify and measure an individual’s foundation skill levels (English language, literacy and numeracy skills as well as employability skills).

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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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Parliament passes VET Ombudsman legislation

New VET Ombudsman will commence work from 1 July 2017 after legislation passed Parliament today to build on strong protections for students.

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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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VET Assessment Practices eSummit 2017

Buy videos of all sessions now. The program for this event includes informative and thought-provoking presentations that will cover all aspects of RTOs' assessment practices, providing relevant and up-to-date information, best practices and guidance from recognised VET professionals.

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LATEST POSTS

Collecting relevant assessment evidence Collecting relevant assessment evidence 08 Aug 2017 - Don't tick the wrong box Assessment systems continue to be the most challenging area in an RTO's operations and yet the most critical to demonstrate quality outcomes. When dealing with assessments in ... More detail
Why ASQA’s new audit model should help improve VET Why ASQA’s new audit model should help improve VET 20 Mar 2017 - ASQA went through a significant transformation of its regulatory approach during 2016, and it is fair to say that the changes are promising. The dimensions of the VFH debacle, embarrassed the whole system,... More detail
Why provide feedback to students? Why provide feedback to students? 20 Mar 2017 - Many 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... More detail
RTO Core Values: Necessity or Luxury? RTO Core Values: Necessity or Luxury? 12 Nov 2016 - Last week, I was delivering a session about advanced assessment techniques and while addressing different evidence collection methods, a participant asked me: "do we get extra points during a regulatory... More detail

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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.

Reference:

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

LATEST POSTS

Collecting relevant assessment evidence Collecting relevant assessment evidence 08 Aug 2017 - Don't tick the wrong box Assessment systems continue to be the most challenging area in an RTO's operations and yet the most critical to demonstrate quality outcomes. When dealing with assessments in ... More detail
Why ASQA’s new audit model should help improve VET Why ASQA’s new audit model should help improve VET 20 Mar 2017 - ASQA went through a significant transformation of its regulatory approach during 2016, and it is fair to say that the changes are promising. The dimensions of the VFH debacle, embarrassed the whole system,... More detail
Why provide feedback to students? Why provide feedback to students? 20 Mar 2017 - Many 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... More detail
RTO Core Values: Necessity or Luxury? RTO Core Values: Necessity or Luxury? 12 Nov 2016 - Last week, I was delivering a session about advanced assessment techniques and while addressing different evidence collection methods, a participant asked me: "do we get extra points during a regulatory... More detail