Research Roundup – March 2018


This month we have focused on drawing strategic plans to broaden our research and publications.  Our plan stems from our belief in the significant impact that this research will have on the development of the vocational education sector. The next months will focus on composing a variety of research papers, such as occasional papers, working papers and research reports, which will then be published in refereed and non-refereed journals.

Thank you to our research partners

We are very grateful to our research partners – Professor Stephen Billet and Dr Sonal Nakar from Griffith University, Mr Chris Jones from TAFE Papua New Guinea, Mr Avito Hendriques from Timor Hopeseller and staff of Colombo Plan Staff College in the Philippines, for sending their consent to work with us collaboratively in future research programmes.  Dr Olivia Wang from China has also agreed to publish articles on the Fortress Learning website that will reflect her firsthand experience of Australian VET TAE. This will include a comparison of Chinese and Australian VET TAE as well.

Research Interviews

We recently conducted research interviews with Fortress Learning students in order to gather data for a research that focused on students’ perceptions of their experience and identity formation in vocational education including their views on employability development. These interviews were conducted through telephone conversations.

So, a big thank you goes to all our Fortress Learning students who generously gave their valuable time to interviews and to all other students who sent their expressions of interest to be part of this data collection process.

The thoughts and ideas these students offered are highly valued.  I look forward to sharing our findings with you in future research and publications. Engaging with our students in this way provided a wonderful opportunity for me to gain an understanding of VET TAE students’ experience, as well as perceptions of employability skills.

Learner Engagement Surveys

The data that was gathered through Fortress Learning learner engagement surveys has been another valuable source of data for our research. This has allowed us to analyse students’ perspectives of their learning experience in gaining VET TAE qualifications.  A research article based on our findings is currently underway.

International research project

The main aim of this research project is to figure out the alignment of Australian and international Vocational Education Training (VET) trainer preparation programmes. We will be focusing on comparing Australian TAE40116 trainer training programmes with other countries: Bangladesh, China, East Timor, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Sri Lanka.

This research project comprises of different stages since it involves a lot of information from various countries. We have been able to compare Australian and Philippine VET TAE frameworks this month. Again, our intention is to prepare a research article using this analysis.

Analysing TAE Diploma RPL outcomes to identify common gaps in VET performance and knowledge.

We have started to collate data collected from the RPL assessments that we have conducted for TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education & Training and TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design & Development.  This analysis is looking to discover which assessment benchmarks appear problematic for substantial proportions of RPL applicants.

Since these applicants are often operating in roles that include management or leadership of VET processes within RTOs, this analysis will help to identify a potential area of operational and regulatory risk and inform future decisions regarding professional development and the structure of roles.

Post Graduate Early Career Researchers’ (PGECR) meeting

I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend the Post Graduate Early Career Researchers’ (PGECR) meeting, held by University of Southern Queensland. This session discussed new reforms related to Australian copyright laws. Clear knowledge about updated copyright issues is always useful in research as it heavily involves scholarly communication.

Exciting updates

We’ve been able to get Velg training membership and look forward being empowered by their services.

I am excited about the upcoming AVETRA conference which will be held in April in Melbourne and will bring you more details about that in our next monthly Research Roundup.

Dr Chula Seneviratne

Research Manager

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