Thinking of enrolling in an online course with Fortress Learning? Here is some advice from recent graduates


In the name of research (and because we were curious) Fortress Learning reached out to our recent graduates to ask them a series of three questions:

What questions do you wish you had asked before starting your course?
What do you wish you had known during your course?
What advice would you give someone who is about to start their course?

It was truly humbling the amount of detailed, in-depth responses we received. We felt it was only fair to share this constructive and well-thought-out feedback with those who could use it the most: our students.

To any new or existing Fortress Learning students, here are some helpful tips, thoughts and opinions from those who have gone before you:

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Did they just type that?! 10 tips to avoid misinterpreting tone in emails


 

In the workplace, email is king. It’s fast, efficient and allows you to communicate without having to engage in a real life conversation.

However, there are benefits to face-to-face conversations that don’t always translate to email conversations.

Non-verbal cues are important. Without the additional meaning that non-verbal cues bring to a conversation, the words written in an email are open to monstrous misinterpretation. Email readers and writers, beware!

Body language such as facial expressions, posture, gestures and tone of voice all aid in the interpretation and context of the message being delivered. Sarcasm, for example, is very difficult to detect in written form.

Here are 10 tips to avoid misinterpreting an email, or on the contrary, getting an email misinterpreted.

 

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Improve your communication skills with the Ladder of Inference


 

It is estimated that there are 7.5 billion people on the planet. That is 7.5 billion people who all bring with them their own individual past experiences and beliefs.

When it comes to a classroom or workplace that number is significantly less, but it only takes as little as two people for a miscommunication to occur.

Two people can share the exact same experience but due to their own individual Ladder of Inference, they could both draw two very different conclusions. This can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings and conflict. Read more…

Upgrading from TAE40110 to TAE40116 with Fortress Learning: What does it look like?


TAE40116 Upgrade

The new TAE40116 Cert IV in TAE is not entirely the same as the older TAE40110 Cert 4 TAE. While not everyone will be jumping to upgrade, people who are wanting to distinguish themselves as training professionals are telling us that they are keen to do so.

Yes, 8 of the 10 units are equivalent, but don’t be fooled into thinking that a TAE40116 Upgrade can just be a matter of showing your old certificate and showing a resume or job description.

Knowing what is involved first requires knowledge of what has changed.  Here, we will go through the differences between TAE40116 and TAE40110, and what it means for your Upgrade with Fortress Learning. Read more…

Studying your Cert IV TAE: 10 strategies to decimate distractions


Life is full of distractions (we promise this article isn’t one of them).

When it comes to completing your online Cert IV TAE course – or any other course for that matter – distractions could be the difference between success and failure.

We all know how good it feels to be completely consumed by a task and operating at maximum productivity, but how do you get rid of those pesky distractions and get in “THE ZONE”?

Here are 10 strategies to help you deal with distractions while you complete your Cert IV TAE. Read more…

How and When to Upgrade your Cert IV TAE


Cert IV TAE Upgrade

The new TAE Training Package that came out in April 2016 had a few changes. Understanding those changes is key to understanding how best to upgrade your Cert IV TAE, and when to do it. This article will introduce what has changed and what you can be doing to prepare yourself so you can hit the ground running as soon as it becomes available.   Read more…

Why the new TAE must cost more


Fair Value Line

I believe the asking price for the new Cert IV TAE and Dip VET will go up. Why?

The TAE has become a commodity. The number of RTOs advertising the qualification has, in recent years, exploded. The number of people demanding the qualification has also increased, with many of these people not really needing all that the Cert IV TAE involves.

The commodification has created a downward pressure on prices, which has squeezed Read more…

Some questions about ASQA’s new Provider Profile


How ASQA chooses to do stuff has a lot to do with risk management. Until recently, this was based on a Risk Rating that they gave each RTO. That score used to essentially inform how closely they would be watching any particular RTO.

This is changing to a new system, called the Provider Risk Profile, which includes something called a Compliance History Indicator. This article will introduce the new system, and then pose some questions about how it will be administered and used to guide future regulatory decisions. Read more…

Conversations: Meagan talks about her Diploma with Fortress Learning (video).


I had the pleasure of speaking with Meagan Probert from Key Assets, an Australia-wide foster care organisation.
Meagan is currently enrolled in a Diploma of Leadership & Management with Fortress Learning. The mother of two has a Bachelor of Social Work and has worked in the field for over 20 years. Her current role at Key Assets is Manager of Learning Development and Practice.
I had a lovely chat with Meagan, where among other things, we discussed:
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Continuing Incompetence – The loophole that will undermine the quality of the new TAE Cert IV.


The TAE Cert IV cannot be trusted.  It is common knowledge that holding one does not actually mean you have the skills and knowledge that it is meant to reflect.  That’s why the powers that be have gone to a lot of effort to ensure that Trainers and Assessors are suitably skilled to make a professional contribution to the VET sector, with much of this aimed squarely at the poor quality of Cert IV TAE courses.

However, despite their great efforts, they have left a hole that will allow for continued erosion of standards and a further decline in confidence. Read more…

What we are doing about the new Dip TAE, Dip VET, Dip TDD … or whatever else they are called.


fork in the road

Source: emok.com

Well, this new TAE Training Package has certainly got people talking!

I thought I’d best tell you what is going to happen with the new Diplomas.

The Summary:

We have the new Dip TDD on Scope, and have applied for the new Dip VET.

Any student who enrolled in the old Dip TDD is being transferred to graduate in the new one.

We will likely do the same for anyone who enrols in the old Dip VET if/when we get the new one approved.

The cost of the new Diplomas will probably go up A LOT once people get it on Scope.

It will save a heap of time and money to start now.

Read more…

Why the Cert IV TAE is (still) Australia’s most versatile qualification


 

versatilityA couple of years ago, I wrote a piece that said the Cert IV TAE was Australia’s most versatile qualification.  I still believe that.

Here’s why.

I first wrote the article after reading Unemployment jumps to more than 10-year high.  What struck me then still strikes me now:  the unemployment rate is not some shock response to some recent major calamity.  Rather, it is a symptom of a bigger trend that has been brewing for some years.

And it is a trend that shows no sign of abating.  And just like it shows no sign of slowing down, even if it did reverse, it would take another 12 years to get back to so-called acceptable levels.

On top of this, we have a workforce that is less-certain and less-confident and more casualised than ever before in our history.

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How did we apply for the new TAE40116 Cert IV TAE and TAE50116 Dip VET.


scribbles

We submitted our application to have the newest Cert IV TAE and Dip VET in early June.  Since then, we have had a steady stream of people asking how we went about it since there seems to be general consensus that the whole thing is a bit of a mess, really (see image of my brain, above, taken during the process of putting together our application).

I’ll try to break it into some simple-ish steps that we followed, and then offer some thoughts on what seemed to work.

What did we do?

  1. Ensure that our house was in order

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The most important word in a Trainer’s vocabulary


shipwreck-1854

Trainers and teachers spend a whole lot of time working with people.  They work out where people are at, and work out how to get them from here to there.  As part of becoming a trainer, they will learn about learning, and about instructional design and assessment and that sort of stuff.

But they will probably not learn the one skill that is arguably more important than all others.

That is the ability to say Read more…

Dear Future Student


Dear future student

Soon, you will be starting a journey of sorts.  It could be an amazingly wonderful experience filled with great moments of illumination, or it could be aching drudgery.  It will probably be a bit of both.  Either way, we will be in it together.

In many ways, it is like going for a walk in the woods.

When we begin, we will Read more…