Accellier is the provider of choice for thousands of people and hundreds of organisations in Australia and around the world. Under our former name SAVE Training, we built a solid foundation on which Accellier now stands, embodying almost 10 years of service to Australia’s Tertiary and Vocational Education Sector. As a testament to this, since our inception in 2010 we have spent only a few thousand dollars on advertising. Our clients are almost entirely referred from our happy graduates and business customers.
Accellier is the trading name of SAVE Training Pty Ltd and is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 32395) that offers a range of nationally recognised courses in education and business Australia wide through our online and face to face courses.
Our mission is to enhance people’s value through excellence in service and learning outcomes.
This case study only begins to summarise our experience with running a free scholarship and subsidy program on the TAEDEL501 Facilitate E-Learning micro-credential.
The purpose of this is to celebrate the success and consolidate what we learnt from the incredible experience of facilitating this program.
So what’s this all about?
When you bring 55 exceptional education professionals together virtually, connect them to share their wisdom and challenges, something amazing happens. It’s real “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts stuff.”
Every now and then something special captures your attention and energy. It drives you. You lose track of the hours and the energy being poured into it. That’s what this program was like for Accellier Education and what drove its success.
It was April 2020 and things were just starting to get out of hand with COVID-19. We’d taken concerned calls from people whose institutes were deeply rooted in face-to-face learning. We realised this was going to cause widespread disruption in education.
Educators suddenly had to get their courses online and many were struggling.
We found many institutes already had e-learning technology in place, or were reasonably comfortable selecting and implementing it. The minor tech hurdles along the way could be solved with a phone call to I.T., the provider, or by watching a Youtube tutorial.
Remember, too, we’re talking about experienced educators. People who know how to structure great learning experiences and write good content.
An overly simplified analogy of the situation might be, “we just bought a bus!”
“Management and students are all on board, we know the destination, our trainer Nancy knows how to operate it… how do we get there, safely? What are the road rules? And can you recommend any sights to see along the way? How do we make this an enjoyable journey?”
Applied to e-learning, it was these questions we felt we could help with. Our core business has been online learning for the past decade, things were steady for Accellier, and we brainstormed ways we could help.
“Why are you doing this?” Asked one participant. “Like, what’s the catch?”
Many organisations have mission statements, and many organisations with mission statements don’t use it. We use ours often.
We have a whole internal education program based on what that statement means. We use it to make decisions and drive the work we do. To us, one little webinar about e-learning wasn’t a demonstration of excellence, or of much service to anyone looking for real value.
We felt that to truly be of service and to make a difference, it had to lead to real skills, real competency. And, in accordance with our mission statement, we could build value by making it a nationally recognised outcome.
This is how we felt we could truly help people solve their problems.
As Paul points out in the video above, we are a bunch of nerds. As such, it’s easy to forget what it could be like for someone whose just been handed the keys to a Learning Management System (LMS) and told to “run this course online, pronto!”
The applications we received were passionate. Reading through them we saw the problem faced by educators was bigger and more pressing than we realised. The more practical and hands-on the learning, the more challenging the online learning solution becomes.
There’s no silver bullet for the complex challenges faced by educators pivoting to online learning. We are confident that educators, equipped with a toolkit and deep understanding of how great e-learning experiences can be facilitated, have a much greater chance of helping their learners achieve their learning objectives.
Receive a fish; eat for a day. Learn to fish; eat for a lifetime – or so the old proverb goes. If we teach someone how to use an LMS, we’re dramatically reducing the number of ponds that can be fished.
We knew from the beginning that this program could not be just about the tech. Necessarily, tech makes an appearance in the course, and tips and tricks are collected along the way. It had to be platform and sector agnostic. This way it can be of value to everyone, for example:
We do know that the TAEDEL501 Facilitate E-Learning competency gives people the opportunity to develop a toolkit and deep understanding of how great e-learning experiences can be facilitated.
With a modest budget, and the plethora of tools available, anyone can “get their course online.” The real challenge is creating great online learning experiences. That’s what this course does.
Accellier Education is a private company, a for-profit organisation. From a ‘dollars and cents’ perspective, this program ran at a significant loss to the business. There were times when it was difficult to justify the time and energy we spent on it.
As mentioned above, someone asked us “what’s the catch?”
This lead to a key lesson on doing things ‘for fun and for free.’ It has to be done properly, otherwise, the value is diminished.
We made a commitment from the very beginning that participants in this program get the full Accellier experience as if they’d paid the full fee. This was, at times, challenging for an organisation of our size. We had other programs running concurrently with full-fee-paying students. When faced with finite hours, and both fee-paying and free clients needing support, both whom you’ve made commitments to, who do you help?
Admittedly (and hopefully understandably) we sometimes had to prioritise. This meant some participants waited longer than usual for feedback on tasks and activities. We are very grateful to the scholarship participants who were so understanding about our position at these times.
In every other sense, we gave this program our all. And when we run it again, we’ll do the same.
One of the highlights of the program (both for us and our participants) were the guest speakers. They shared their wisdom and expertise in a number of live interactive sessions. Each session focussing on a key area of expertise as related to their experience.
Accellier would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the following guests for their contribution:
In Australia, nationally recognised competencies and skill-sets have been the ultimate vocational micro-credential for over 20 years. TAEDEL501 Facilitate E-Learning, as a micro-credential, takes it a step further than just professional development. It gives people national recognition for their capability as a competent e-learning practitioner.
We recognise, however, that some people may not want the assessment ‘overhead’ that comes with the requirements for demonstrating competency. Therefore, future versions of this course will include the nationally recognised statement of attainment as an optional add-on.
The default program recognition will be a Digital Badge, so people can take the course, network and participate in the practice communities. People will undertake the same learning activities.
People will have the option, as the program concludes, to submit a portfolio demonstrating their e-learning skills and obtain an official nationally recognised statement of attainment from the Accellier Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
None of the above matters if there are no results so here are the results:
I’m one of the lucky ones who makes a living out of what I enjoy most. I am an instructional designer and write training and assessment resources for RTOs all over Australia.
I am also a trainer/assessor specialising in TAE qualifications and it’s my delight to know that every student I train will go on to train hundreds in their vocational area of expertise.
This program was a chance for me to develop greater skills and knowledge of how to facilitate on-line learning.
Since all of my students are remote learners, I was looking for ideas on how I could make their learning journey better and more engaging.
It’s also necessary for me to continuously learn and stay in touch so as to improve my own professional practice.
I think the most interesting aspect of the course was the dialog with other students.
This enabled me to look at online training from other perspectives.
They were also busy experimenting with a range of platforms so I was able to benefit from their experiences.
This course has enabled me to clarify my thoughts on the best approach when writing learning and assessment resources for use online.
My current resources are often used for online training but I believe they can be improved to guide the online learning journey.
The next iteration of my resources will be designed specifically for this platform, as it’s the way of the future.
I started teaching LLN in the SEE Program (Skills for Education and Employment) in 2005 when we moved to Australia from the UK. I gradually moved into the compliance side as the hours were a better fit with our young family. I now manage the curricula and the compliance.
E-Learning is something we have been talking about for a few years, but has always fitted into the ‘too hard’ category. With the changes in teaching brought about by Covid 19, I felt it was something that we needed to address and I felt this was a good starting point to learn what would be possible with e-learning and how to go about creating a program.
The weekly discussions and Q+A sessions were particularly helpful. While I was rarely able to attend them ‘in real time’, I found it useful being able to catch up on the weekend. These videos in particular would be very helpful for our language students.
We recently started an Alternative Education Program for youth at risk and we have had some enquiries for online learning. We were unable to offer this before, but hopefully it’s something we can start moving towards. Online lessons and especially videos would also be a fantastic resource for many of our language students, to encourage them to continue with their language learning outside of the classroom. It is not something we have considered before, but again, it’s something we can hopefully start trialling now.
David sent us the following video out of the blue. David is very detail-minded and passionate when it comes to compliance and training quality, so unsolicited feedback like this means a great deal – thank you David.
Thank you, I am thrilled. I found it quite difficult to juggle work, life and online study but I’m so pleased I did not give up.
Thank you for all of the fantastic feedback and time you took to email privately when I had concerns.
Best of luck during these covid times, you are amazing at what you do.Adele 🙂
Thank you Paul,
Quite impressive feedback! I love that you took the time to make this.
This has been a very insightful journey. I am currently designing the Pool Lifeguard theory skill set for remote delivery (hence why I wanted to get this extra bit of knowledge) Thank you again and hopefully our paths cross again on day!Jackie R.
Thank you Paul for such careful, thorough and considered feedback – yay I passed!
When I started I felt like I was on the back foot as I had never officially taught in the VET sector or knew what a LMS was. You set me at ease and got me on the track to find an LMS. I also think having recently finished TAE40116 was of great benefit as it was fresh in my mind and so relevant.
I think that Facilitate e-learning is a must for all educators, even in mainstream schooling as we are increasingly faced with the reality of thinking outside and delivering outside of the box. I feel confident now to apply these e-learning skills and tool kit to other disciplines such as Early Childhood Education and Care. I just can’t stress enough how much this will open up opportunities for marginalised and isolated communities.
Already I’m having women who live in regional NSW accessing and learning dance and connecting with community through this platform. It is such a blessing!Min Rivers
A huge thank you to all of our participants in this course for your enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism. It was abundantly clear that you are passionate about ensuring great learning outcomes for your students. We trust the investment of your time and energy will pay dividends for years to come.
To the hundreds of amazing applicants who applied but didn’t get a place – thank you for making the job of selecting the 55+ scholarship and subsidy awardees SO DIFFICULT! ? You are all incredible, please apply again for the next course! We want you all to do this course!
In addition to our guest speakers (highlighted above) a special thank you to the following people and organisations:
One of the managers John Morriss added that one of the best aspects of the course was the use of real life examples that were relevant to his industry and role.Baiada Poultry
Learn more about our TAEDEL501 Facilitate E-Learning Micro-credential.
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