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If you’re doing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, you’ve probably been asked to describe the guidelines or rules for contextualising of units of competency.
The requirement to understand what contextualisation is, and the guidelines for it, appear throughout the Cert IV including in units such as:
What does contextualisation even mean? It’s quite the mouthful.
Let’s break it down:
Context means the circumstances or situation surrounding something (e.g. an event, statement, or idea). When you give context to something, it adds meaning.
The question “what is that?” has very little meaning without context.
But if I ask “what is that round green shiny fruit?” while pointing to an apple, I am adding context to the original question.
Now we know what context is, we can see that to contextualise something is the act of adding context.
When I added “round green shiny fruit” to the question “what is that?” I was contextualising the question.
So contextualisation is about adding details to something general, to give it a more specific meaning.
Here are some more relevant examples:
|Shut down the device||Shutdown the iPad|
|Serve customers||Serve park kiosk visitors|
|Operate the vehicle in accordance with relevant rules and regulations||Drive the school bus in accordance with NSW road rules|
In Vocational Education and Training (VET) we mostly teach and assess students based on Nationally Recognised Training Packages. Or more specifically, the units of competency found within these training packages.
These units of competency are generic. They have to be, otherwise we couldn’t have a nationally recognised training system.
So trainers and assessors with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment will need to understand how to contextualise a unit of competency, to make it relevant to their student’s needs, and their students’ employer’s and workplace needs.
The rules for contextualising are:
This is according to Australian National Training Authority, Australia Department of Education, Science and Training, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE Research and Development Department & Australian Training Products 2005, Contextualising teaching and learning: a guide for VET teachers, ATP, Melbourne.
You can download this guide here from NCVER’s VOCED Plus database. In it they include the steps in contextualising including:
If you want to learn more about contextualisation this guide is incredibly detailed useful.
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) say in the user’s guide to the Standards for RTOs that when developing assessment materials, we should ensure that assessment tools “are contextualised (or can be contextualised) to the student cohort to produce valid skills that are relevant to the student’s industry or work context.”
The following is a list of tips and ideas that are useful to keep in mind while contextualising units of competency:
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