We Revisit Painful Truth #8 as ASQA Cancels Qualifications


 

In January, Fortress Learning published an article called The Ten Painful Truths About The Cert IV TAE.

Recently, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) announced that it will cancel 432 Security and First Aid Qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued to 276 individuals.

This rings true to Painful Truth #8. Just because you get it, doesn’t always mean you get to keep it.

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Overcoming Learner Discomfort


 

What is learner discomfort?

“When a learner becomes conscious of their own performance – or lack of – that then can lead to them becoming anxious, which is an uncomfortable place to be.

So by “learner discomfort”, I guess I am talking about feelings of anxiety, worry or concern. A lack of confidence in the learner’s ability to participate in any meaningful way; to progress in any meaningful way.” – Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Diploma Trainer.

Now that we know what it is, how do we overcome it? 

The four episodes below are from Fortress Learning’s series on teaching microskills called The Small Stuff.

In each episode, Bryan offers some strategies that you can implement in the classroom to make learning a much more comfortable, and therefore more productive, experience.

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Didn’t get marked as Satisfactory the first time? It’s not the end of the world.


 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison.

Sometimes at Fortress Learning, our students get an assessment submission marked as Not Yet Satisfactory. This can cause disappointment, anxiety, sadness, and even anger!

The reality is, being marked as Not Yet Satisfactory is not the end of the world. It just means you get to have another shot at fulfilling the requirements of the task.

I sat down with Diploma Trainer and Managing Director of Fortress Learning, Dr Bryan West, to pick his brain about what it means to be marked as Not Yet Satisfactory.

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Feel the Power with The Small Stuff!


 

Silence… Pause… Predictability… While these three things may sound like the character traits of your 90-year-old Grandfather, they can prove to be very powerful when used in the classroom.

The three episodes below are from Fortress Learning’s series on teaching microskills called The Small Stuff.

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Fun games to boost learner engagement


Learner engagement: sounds easy enough, but in reality, sometimes engaging a class can prove to be an uphill battle.

Whether you have just started your lesson, just resumed class after a break, or if things are starting to get out of control, you need to have some strategies in place to get things back on track.

One way to do this could be to play a fun game.

While I call them games, Bryan doesn’t like them to be called games as they are “serious”. He prefers to use the term higher level engagement strategies.

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Actions to take when study is stressing you out


We’ve all been there. We have all sat at a desk re-reading the same section of text over and over again, becoming more and more frustrated by the second. Frustration leads to stress which leads to anxiety which leads to feelings of flight or fight.  We want to quit, or we want to argue.

If you are studying a Cert IV TAE, Dual Diploma of VET/TDD, or a Triple Diploma of Business, Business Administration and Leadership and Management and felt this way, you are not alone. When we get stressed, often we get caught in the same loop of thinking. The trick is to have coping strategies for when the stressful moment arises.

Here are 4 actions to take when study is stressing you out:

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Completing Your Qualification with Fortress: Robyn’s Experience


Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do.  Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and try to explain why we think they are so appropriate.

Here is what Robyn said:

“In this day and age it is important to keep current in your competency (whatever that may be). More importantly it is vital to be able to prove that your competency is current.

With that desire, I enrolled with Fortress Learning to update my 2010 Diploma and complete the additional Units to achieve a double Diploma in Training (TAE50216 Design and Development and TAE50116 Vocational Education and Training).

On review of the Course Work and the associated requirements to complete, with a hectic work and personal life, I really did wonder how I was going to complete it all within the required timeframe. However, have you heard the expression ‘how do you eat an elephant’?

The answer is: one mouthful at a time. So following that analogy, I started the Course Work and uploaded each assignment as I completed them.

On each upload, Fortress acknowledged receipt of my work and provided encouraging feedback which helped spur me on to completion.

When I had issues, concerns or questions, Fortress were quick to respond and help me through.

I enjoyed the relationship with Fortress, the newfound learnings I acquired through researching and completing assignments. Learnings that I can apply at work and most of all I am very happy that I made the decision to update my qualification(s) with Fortress.” 

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Accountability: It’s a two way street


 

What does it mean to be accountable?

Here is the definition for “accountability” in the Business dictionary: “The obligation of an individual or organisation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.”

Here at Fortress, we pride ourselves on being accountable. However, the thing about accountability is it takes two (Rod Stewart and Tina Turner say it best).

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Three Diploma Graduates share their experiences


 

When it comes to study (and life!), everyone’s experience is different. We all have different demands, priorities, routines, preferences and motivations, so it only makes sense that everyone has their own unique experience when it comes to online learning.

We interviewed three of our Diploma Graduates to find out about their own online learning experience.  While each experience was different, the end result remained the same: they all successfully completed their qualification!

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Enhancing International Cooperation Among VET/TVET Professionals – An Invitation to Participate


There is a lot written about the need for cooperation between nations in the area of VET and TVET. To support this, there exist many opportunities for high level executive and decision-makers to meet and share ideas.

However, the same opportunity does not exist for the individuals who work at the frontline of VET and TVET. This means that the Teachers and Trainers from across different VET and TVET systems do not have the opportunity to share their ideas and to learn from each other.

We would like to change that.

Australian International Vocational College of Education (AIVCE) would like to encourage trainers and assessors who work in VET and TVET to share their ideas, experiences, thoughts and opinions about their work.

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What is considered a critical incident in the new Dip VET?


So, what does ‘critical incident’ even mean?

As a trainer, a critical incident is an event that has significance for you. Critical incidents can change an outcome.

Now that we know what it means, what constitutes a critical incident?

The name suggests something dramatic. You are not alone if you jumped to the conclusion of critical incident = something really really really really bad happened and then the office caught on fire and then Karen from Finance filed a complaint about it.

This is not the case. Some incidents will be more critical than others, but in the context of training we define a critical incident as an event which had significance for you.

Think of an event which was essentially a “light bulb” moment in your role as a trainer; an event which triggered a change or revelation about the teaching-learning process and your part in it.

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Your ‘why’: to comply or to perform?


Every now and then, a Triple Business Diploma student writes a Review that we believe deserves to be featured and discussed. Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and let you know our thoughts about them.

This is what Raj said:

When I started this program almost a year ago, my aim was to quickly go through a program to maintain industry currency and compliance in an industry sector that is becoming more and more complicated with stricter governance standards.

However, as I started working through the materials, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of support, and professionalism from you and your team.  That level of professionalism forced me to stop and reconsider my motives, and apply what I already knew, more professionally, and as would be expected from a professional in the L&D sector.

I want to thank you and your team for all your support and efficiency in making this possible.  As you know, in this year I have also embarked on a new business venture and having someone from your office monitoring my progress and keeping me on track has been a huge plus.

I would recommend your RTO – and I do – to anyone looking to further their studies.

All the best to you and your team.

Best Regards

Raj Nathoo, Fortress Learning Triple Diploma of Business, Business Administration and Leadership and Management Graduate.

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The 10 Leadership Attributes of a Trainer and Assessor


The role of a Trainer and Assessor requires efficiency, an eye for detail and, most importantly, the ability to lead students to success.

Here are 10 leadership attributes of a Trainer and Assessor, with quotes from those who know the profession well:

1. Self-efficacy 

Self-efficacy can be defined as a person’s belief in their ability to succeed. Having a full belief in oneself and one’s occupation allows both the Trainer and Assessor and student to feel confident that they, together, can succeed.

“Teach with passion… A passion that comes from an innate place to harness knowledge and nurture skill.”

– Vijia Chain, Ready Health Nursing College CEO and Director of Clinical Governance.

“I believe it is difficult for most people to have a full belief in one’s self. A lot of people have trouble with that for whatever reason. I don’t believe it is necessary to have a full belief in one’s self in order to have a full belief in what you’re doing.

From a point of view of leadership it’s so much easier to lead others; to encourage others; to be a role model for others, if you believe, and if you together believe, in what it is you are trying to achieve.”

– Dr Bryan West, Fortress Learning Managing Director.

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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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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…

Let’s take a leap of faith, together.


Every now and then, a graduating student writes a Review that we believe really captures what we try to do.  Instead of them ending up hidden among the others, we will share them with you, and try to explain why we think they are so appropriate.

Here is what Angela said: 

“I signed on with this company with reservations after unsuccessfully trying to start studies with another online company. I need not have worried. Bryan and his team were professional from the outset. Enrollment was simple and commencing studies breeze. I always knew what was required of me during the course. Further advice direction and support was only ever an email or call away. Very professional company with caring people to assist learners. Will study with this company again & wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others.”

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