Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Australian Training Packages Unwrapped

Looking around for material on records management I came across the intriguing "Training Packages Unwrapped" by Peter Shanks.This aims to demonstrate how to use web technology to present training material online, specifically for vocational training courses listed in the Australian National Training Information Service (NTIS). Peter promises an easy-to-use format, moodle, tiddlyWiki's and wikiversity ready text. But I had difficulty finding the context for what he was doing and when he did it.

Trimming the provided URL to ""results in a web page entitled "Peter Shanks" with a tag cloud of some phrases. The me link explains he began teaching IT at Bathurst TAFE in 2005. There is a link to the Bathurst TAFE Moodle system, but it appears you have to be enrolled at the TAFE to use the site. The link to ICA05 , dated June 2006, describes how to integrate ICA05 with lesson plans and assessment tasks. I had to do a search to find that ICA05 is the vocational system's code for ICT Training.

What is interesting is the claim to be able to auto-generate moodle module skeletons and automatically generate tiddlyWiki's for each unit. But it was difficult to find any further explanation.

There is a link to a blog called Cert IV web, which is running commentary about a web design course (Certificate IV in the National Skills Framework). The latest post was September 15, 2008, so this is current material, with interesting postings on web technology and techniques.

So now with some context the Training Packages Unwrapped, makes a more sense. This takes the definition of what is in the course and converts it to formats used by learning management systems, such as Moodle, to Wiki-like formats and to office document formats which the student can fill in. Those in higher education should note that nothing comes for free and the vocational sector have put a lot of time and effort into precisely defining the formats for course definitions in very great detail, without which such automated tools would not work.

Training O2, appears to be a social networking site for vocational students and teachers can discuss and vote on training materials. This also seems to have been done by Peter Shanks.There appear to be several hundred users of the system. The Tag cloud for all resources shows a mix of technical web issues and course topics:

(children's (community access analyse apply asp audit australia automotive business children client communication community conduct construct control css customer database debugging design develop development disability dom equipment events festival financial food forms frames howto html identify implement industry information internet interview javascript laboratory learning links maintain making manage management mechanical monitor needs people perform performance personal php plan planning prepare procedures process programming programs provide public record requirements research review risk safety safety) samples security service services services) software sound sql support systems technician technology test tips training tutorial tutorials using web design web development website with work workplace xhtml xml your

From:Tag cloud for all resources, Training O2, Peter Shanks, 2008

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