Future Builders


Brett McCroary

TAFE Illawarra

The Certificate IV in Building and Construction has previously been offered as a fully face to face course over 2 years at TAFE Illawarra. We decided to restructure this traditionally hands-on trade course to utilise a blended delivery model to increase student numbers, allow greater flexibility and to improve completion rates. The course is now delivered, utilising Moodle and Adobe Connect, over one year. Students attend classes three nights per week for 40 weeks. They can choose to come to the campus or attend the classes via Adobe Connect. The course is delivered one subject at a time, with a clear structure and deadlines for assessment task submissions.

All of the learning and assessment materials are stored within Moodle and classes are all recorded through Adobe Connect. Moodle resources include the recorded classes, learning videos created by the teachers and hosted in YouTube, self-marking practice and assessment quizzes, books and forums.

The results so far have been encouraging. Enrolments were 300% higher this year. Assessment tasks are being submitted on time by 80% of students. The quality of students' work has improved. Students are creating videos for some of their tasks, e.g. Workplace Inspections of a construction site, which they enjoy making and the videos provide authentic evidence for assessment.

Pros


  • Students who can't attend classes (due to their workload or location) are able to participate, resulting in increased in enrolments for the section.

  • Delivering one subject at a time ensures an easier to manage workload for students and teachers.

  • Clear deadlines for assignments increases completions and keeps students on track.

  • Video assignment submissions provide authentic assessment evidence and the activities are interesting for students.

  • Students' digital literacy skills have significantly improved.

  • Self-marking quizzes reduce marking time for teachers and give students instant feedback.

Cons


  • Difficult to teach students who are both online and face to face during the same class.

  • Flexibility for students demands a greater workload for teachers.

  • A significant amount of time is required to setup the Moodle resources at the beginning. We are working one or two units ahead of the students. This will be a lot easier next time we run the course.