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GippsTAFE has developed a pathway for students undertaking a qualification in Education Support that caters for people without formal secondary qualifications. Completion of the TAFE Diploma allows students to progress to a degree in primary education at Monash University.

Previously training was delivered following a traditional distance education model using paper based workbooks but trainers at GippsTAFE reported that many students felt isolated. With this in mind the trainers want to develop a more engaging model of delivery with an emphasis on online community. The program will use online technologies such as online discussion and reflective blogs to build a supportive community that will allow students to interact with and learn from each other. Learners gain practical experience through work placement in a school and draw on this and a range of other resources to complete a series of online activities. This project is funded under the National VET E-Learning Strategy, E-Learning for Participation and Skills.

Three units from Certificate IV in Education Support have been chosen for this pilot program. The units are:
• CHCEDS408A Support students’ mathematics learning for numeracy
• CHCEDS409A Support students’ literacy learning
• CHCEDS312A Work with diversity in the education environment

Moodle is being used to deliver this training. Each unit includes some theory based information for learners to read through but it is expected that much of their learning will occur through their own research as they complete the four online activities for each unit. Two of the online activities for each unit are discussion based forum activities and these will give learners the opportunity to learn from each other as they would in a classroom based program.

As well as the unit based activities learners will develop an individual learning plan for each unit highlighting their individual goals and achievements. This activity will give them the opportunity to reflect on their learning journey. Learners will be encouraged to share this information by making postings in the course blog.

The program commenced with an intensive orientation week to introduce the learners to the online program. Introductory activities were set up to give the learners the opportunity to get used to some of the online tools they will use. They were encouraged to have a go and given the opportunity to ask lots of questions.

Each unit will be delivered over a two week period and learners are aware that they need to undertake the activities during those two weeks in order to make the program a success. A trainer will be actively supporting the students as they participate in each unit.

We were pleased with the amount of activity that occurred during in the orientation week and positive attitude to learning online that many learners have expressed. The first unit is now underway and we can see that some learners have already made a start.


Over 70 staff from Monash and GippsTAFE attended the eLearning Forum held on Thursday, 21 February 2013 at the Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland Campus. Our two very important themes for the day were centred around assessment and student engagement within the online environment. The Forum was aimed at sharing ideas about online delivery, highlighting innovation in the development of online assessments, showcasing good teaching practice, and providing networking opportunities for staff from both organisations.

We have collected most of the presentations given on the day and provide them here for you to view.


Morning session:  Theme – Designing relevant online assessment

 Afternoon session:  Theme – Engaging students online

The project, “Wirelessly Connecting Youth for Future Success”, investigated the use of mobile technology to connect with disengaged youth.

Students from the GETT Centre used a variety of apps on iPads to develop and build their literacy and numeracy skills.

The project found that the use of this technology has improved the engagement and learning outcomes of students involved in the program.

Click here to view a video of Malcolm Jolly – Project Manager interviewing Tanya Joiner – Project Officer. 
The video may take a little while to download as it runs for 8 minutes.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that GippsTAFE is making the move to Moodle. We are in the middle of the first round of training and there is a positive Moodle buzz about the place.

 No doubt the success of this program is due to the planning undertaken prior to commencement. The plan involved three stages:

  • Raising awareness
  • Introductory training
  • Ongoing Training and Support

 We were keen to create a positive attitude to this program so created a series of splash screens to promote the three stages. These screens appear when users logon to the GippsTAFE network. The screens were based on a sky diving theme. Click the headings below to view the screen associated with each stage of the program.

Raising Awareness

Innovation department members attended meetings at our various campuses and delivered a short presentation about Moodle including information about what it is and the forthcoming changes.

 Introductory Training

Hands on workshops were organised at all campuses of the institute. In this initial round of training two workshops were offered:

  • Workshop 1 – Introduction to Moodle
    Participants had the opportunity to
    • Participate in a Moodle course
    • Edit a Moodle course
  • Workshop 2 – Build Your Moodle Course
    Using the basic skills gained in Workshop 1 participants began to design and build their own Moodle courses

 The main aim of these training sessions was to upskill teachers so that they can begin to set up courses for 2012. The sessions included information about migrating existing content from Blackboard to Moodle and emphasised the need to review such resources to ensure they are still up to date and relevant to the course.

 Participants were supplied with introductory support documents.

Ongoing Training and Support

Moodle training will continue throughout 2012. In Term 1 the focus will be on using Moodle as a teacher. Future sessions will focus on different aspects of Moodle and how they can be effectively used.

 Support materials for both teachers and students will be developed and added to the GippsTAFE Online Learning Help Guides as needs are identified.

Factors Contributing to Success

We developed a GippsTAFE theme in Moodle which includes links to GippsTAFE information and policies. This helps teachers comply with AQTF standards.

We created a simple course in Moodle with a minimum number of blocks and are using this as the template for new courses. This means teachers are starting with the basics and can add more complexity as needed.

Teachers all have access to the demonstration course used in the workshops. Training resources are available for teachers to access.

Teachers have been encouraged to develop their own course templates with their preferred layout and colour scheme and include any information they need in all courses. This material can then be copied into all their courses to save time on repetitive tasks.

Bye Bye Blackboard

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

GippsTAFE is leaving behind the TAFE VC Blackboard and moving to a new Learning Management System (LMS).

This new online space will be known as GippsTAFEOnline and will be powered by moodle.

Such a change raises questions for everyone involved and here I will try to answer the most obvious ones (FAQs).
Why change in the first place?Well sometimes we choose to change and at other times we have change thrust upon us. The move to Moodle is of the latter variety. Blackboard will no longer be supported after June 2012 and so as an institute we have had no choice but to seek an alternative to the current system.
Why Moodle?
Moodle is the LMS of choice of some of our largest educational providers (including Latrobe Uni, Monash, Homesglen TAFE and many others). In total over 2.1 million teachers use moodle worldwide. Over many years it has been continuously developed to a stable and highly functional platform.
Why now; hasn’t moodle been around for some time?
moodle has been around for many years but only six months ago it was updated from the original moodle to moodle 2.0. This change has brought with it a great increase in functionality, speed and stability.
Will this mean that all the content that I have developed in Blackboard will now be lost?
No, most Blackboard content will be moved across (migrated) to the new LMS.
When will that happen?
The moodle migration will happen in December at the end of the current term.
Will I need to do anything in the migration process?
No, the migration process will be carried out automatically on your behalf.
Is there anything in Blackboard that will not migrate?
Yes, the following will NOT come across to moodle from Blackboard: Student details (names, grades, assignment submissions etc.), and selective release conditions.
Will I need to do anything after the migration?
You will need to go in and have a look at the way in which your course has arrived. Some formatting will have changed because  moodle displays content differently to Blackboard.
Will I need training? If you haven’t used moodle before you will benefit from training to bring you up to speed in moodle knowledge and skills. This will also be a good time for those that have never supported or enriched their teaching with online content and activities to get up and running.
How will training be provided?
The Innovation Department is offering a series of workshops to support staff as the move takes place.
There are two workshops available – Workshop 1(Introduction to Moodle) and Workshop 2 (Build Your Moodle Course) you are welcome to register for just one or both workshops.

Please see the attached flyer for session times and further information. To register is a simple email or phone call advising us of your choice of session to the following:

• Alison Taylor
• Shona Hoggard
• Phone: 5120 4548

Sing the following to the tune of Bye Bye Blackbird ….just to get you in the mood:

Pack up all my quizzes and woes
here i go singin’ low
bye bye Blackboard

Where my moodle waits for me
with lots of function-ality
bye bye Blackboard

No one here can navigate or find me
oh, what difficul-ties they all hand me

Make my resources and activities fine and bright
i’ll be working on my LMS late tonight
Blackboard, bye bye