Its Christmas Time

So the end of the year is fast approaching and as the working year winds down I thought I would share some thoughts on the year that was for me and it was a big one. I changed jobs, bought a new house and our youngest child finished year 12, my wife burnt her hand badly and got the flu for 6 weeks and we renovated our new house (not quite finished just the kitchen to go), so really it was one of those years.  It really doesn’t feel like 12 months have passed since this time last year it has been that busy, but I know I am definitely looking forward to steeping on to a cruise boat on Saturday to do tripping around the pacific islands.

This time of year is also a time for thanks to the many people I have encountered throughout the year who have added something to my life, be they old friends or new ones.  So to my LinkedIn friends, people like Jim, Kath, Brett, Phillip your willingness to share your views and opinions, to engage in thought-provoking conversation, and to share you depth of knowledge joy and more people in the VET sector listened to people like you we would be in  much better place.  To all the moderators of the groups including the Department of Industry, thank you for taking the time to provide us with forums where we could discuss things, learn thing, argue and generally chew the fat.

To my twitter and conference buddies, Ryan, Helen, Con and the rest of you, I know I haven’t seen you all as much this year (Sorry Elizabeth I know I missed the AITD conference this year) but I value your insight, opinion and knowledge and look forward to catching up more next year.  To the rest of my twitter friends particularly those on #lrnchat thanks for interesting topics and stimulating conversation.

To the readers of my blog, thank you so much for your interactions and comments. I know that those of you who have your own blogs will understand that sometimes it feels like you are talking to yourself and it is the people who interact with you  that make the difference.

So thank you all very much for being a part of my life and work, for listening to my rants, arguing with me when I was wrong and generally just being good people.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to catching up at least some of you at some conference next years (at this stage I am probably doing AITD, EduTech and VELG).

Be safe, have fun with your families and most of all enjoy yourselves.

Thanks for the year.



Current state of VET reform in Australia

5 Reasons We Shouldn’t Bury Instructor Led Training (ILT) just yet

C2C Consulting & Training blog

It has become a very popular hobby among L&D professionals to bash Instructor Led Training (ILT) at the profit of social learning, self paced learning or even individual coaching.

There is no doubt that new technology based forms of learning are great in the way that they allow learners to use new interfaces that sometimes fit their learning style and lifestyle  better. There is also no doubt that coaching is an extremely powerful, highly personalised development approach.However, this does not mean that our ancient ILT was never effective or “just doesn’t work for digital natives”(sic) or “goes against adult learning principles.”(sic)

When I read or hear this, I really wonder what kind of ILT people have been attending or have been facilitating. If done properly, ILT can be a very effective part of someone’s development.

1. ILT allow participants to share experiences with one another with someone to facilitate the…

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I can’t use Facebook

E-Learning Provocateur

This one goes out to all the L&D folk who are wary of the “I haven’t been trained” excuse.

I can't use Facebook because I haven't been trained in it (said nobody ever).

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On VET reform, some observations and comments

So everyone has been talking recently about the VET reform agenda of the current federal government and the changes needed in the VET sector to better meet Australia’s needs. The demise of the NSSC and a language focusing on the needs of Industry and outcomes points to a different landscape.

So I thought I might make a couple of observations and some comments on Australia’s VET system and what changes might be useful to see.

I think one of the things that we will see very quickly and are already seeing is a increased focus on the needs of industry or more particularly a focus on industry advising government on the direction that VET needs to take. We have already seen this happening in QLD with seemingly a much stronger link between government and industry in relation to the VET sector. Is this a good thing? While I applauds the idea of stronger links between the training sector and industry, a focus on industry opinion will certainly have an effect on priorities. One of these changes is the continuing discussion from industry around the need for delivery of skill sets. The use and delivery of skills sets either as an adjunct to or instead of qualifications to needs of organisations is a completely different model both in terms of delivery, funding and the commercial operations of an RTO.

One others comment I would like to make is about the focus of compliance activities. It amazes me and always has for that matter is that an audit can be carried out on a training organisation. An auditor can spend days with an RTO before deeming them compliant and never once actually have to look at the content and how it is delivered. No one ever sits through the face to face training or does the online training before they deem an RTO to be compliant. I have always found this more than a little weird. I know that the argument is that if the assessment tools are right and they are properly utilised then of course the training must be ok, because how else could have the participant successfully completed the assessments. I also know that this argument is rubbish. If we are going to change the system for the better then in my opinion one of the ways we could make that actually happen is by having auditors actually sit through some of the training that is being delivered by the RTO in in whatever form it takes.

Remember exceptional outcomes are the result of exceptional training.

Dealing with difficult people when facilitating

Great post by Sukh

Thinking About Learning

There comes a time for most facilitators when they’re met with that person in the group who is difficult. In the context of the learning session, this is quite broad. A difficult person is someone who:
– is dominating a lot of the conversation because they have things to say
– are openly questioning and challenging the facilitator
– is making inappropriate remarks or comments to others in the room
– is cynical to an uncomfortable level
– is challenging because of recent change affected to them
– and other behaviours I’m not remembering to list

I’ve had cause in recent learning sessions to deal with these types of difficult people. And it’s caused me to reflect on what role I play in their behaviour.

First and foremost I have taken the opinion that if it is happening in the learning session, this is the right place for it. Something…

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The future of L&D and The VET sector in Australia

Over the past few months I have been seeing an increasing number of concerning trends in L&D in Australia particularly in the VET sector, but in reality across the board.

One of these seems to be a move away from having specialist L&D people looking after training within organisations and a move towards having generalist HR folk, or senior management either in charge of or responsible for the training needs of either the organisation or their department or unit.

Now on the surface this may not seem like a bad idea, surely managers know what their staff need, or a good HR person can figure it out and get it delivered, however particularly in Australia with our quite complex VET system there is without a doubt, at least in my mind, at least some degree of specialist knowledge which is required in order to successfully navigate training within Australia, which goes beyond, ‘that program seems good and is a good price’.

The accredited training environment in this country is complex, and navigating that complexity is something that a lot of organisations do not seem to do very well. They fall into the ‘we can give you free training’ line pandered by a lot of RTO’s, without real thought for the outcome for their staff and the organisation. Sure it may not cost them anything directly, but it doesn’t give them the targeted outcomes they may have got if they had examined the process and the offerings more closely, or if they had understood how the sector works and what ‘free training’ generally means.

Even if we step outside the VET sector and look at training in general, there is so much choice in terms of offerings and price, and who is delivering the material to sometimes make it difficult even for a seasoned professional to make a well informed decision about the best direction to take.

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the good people in L&D have made it look easy and organisations creating a situation where organisations are not valuing the input and outcomes produced by their L&D folk as much as they once were.

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