Your community

Please tell us a little about the learners in your community that will benefit for your proposed blended learning initiative.
On Track Learning aims to deliver literacy and basic education throughout the whole of the Wimmera region, and has a history in providing distance learning options to small communities in the Wimmera. Currently they deliver courses to these communities through a combination of face to face and self paced works books where the students have an option of coming to class or doing the whole course by distance education. Classes will traditionally have both distance and face to face participants.

One of the classes has an students group of 28 - 8 come to regular face to face classes whilst the other 20 are distance students.
Essentially On Track is a language and literacy provider and most of their student cohort need literacy support. They do a lot of work with young people.
The two ACFE funded course they want to offer in a blended mode are:
  • 7 week preparation course for individuals wanting to sit the Police entrance exam. They already have most of the materials available in digital format to put on the TAFEVC.
  • Cert III in Teachers Aid course, specifically modules such as Search for Business Information online and Use Business Technology

What is your particular challenge or challenges with this learner group(s)
The challenge for the organisation is the cost and time it takes to prepare and send the materials, as well as provide the additional face-to-face support that is sometimes needed in the form of travel to outlying communities spread around the Wimmera. Currently there is a lot of follow up through telephone contact which is time consuming and expensive.
Some of the technology challenges they face includes the fact that the majority of clients would still be on dialup internet. Computers and software owned by students is often old and outdated.

Blended learning as a solution

Which ACFE funded course will you be targeting for this e-learning initiative?
Police Plus, Certificate III in Education (language and literacy).

How do you think technology may assist in this?
Martin has recently completed TAFE VC training and is now a provider on the TAFE VC. He sees this as an excellent vehicle for supporting his distance learning model. Currently he records classroom sessions and sends these out to learners together with self paced workbooks.

What will the potential benefits be for your organisation and the learners?
The cost benefits for the organisation will be considerable. Although there will be some effort involved in putting materials up on the TAFE VC for students to access flexibly, the long term benefits far outweigh the investment in time and skills required.
Martin plans to offer students both paper based workbooks and TAFE VC options for an interim period.
It is very difficult to meet the needs of the smaller communities in the Wimmera – On Track has experimented with a range of options such as buses and teleconferencing for example. E-learning can make a real difference here.

For more information:
Martin Bride
Phone: 53622743
Email: otleo@vic.chariot.net.au