Online Service Standards

Purpose

  • This Contract Notification is to notify training providers of the Department’s prescribed online service standards as required in Clause 1.5 (d) of Schedule 1 of the 2017 VET Funding Contracts.
  • These standards aim to assure the quality of online delivery of training and assessment within Victoria’s training and TAFE system.

Background

  • Through the Skills First program, the Victorian Government is committed to providing high-quality training that aligns with industry and community demands and workforce needs. Skill First sets a high benchmark for training quality and is aimed at supporting the courses that are most likely to lead to improved employment outcomes.
  • The VET Funding Review recommended that standards for online learning be incorporated within provider contracts with the aim of improving quality.
  • Clause 1.5 (d) of Schedule 1 of the 2018-19 VET Funding Contract states that a training provider must publish in a prominent place on its website its online service standards as prescribed by the Department from time to time.
  • To help inform and develop initial online service standards the Department engaged key online delivery providers and canvassed best practice guidelines.
  • The Department requires online service standards to include, at the minimum, the information outlined in Attachment 1. The Department has prescribed the items to be included but has not prescribed specific benchmarks for compliance, recognising that this may vary depending on the course or type of provider.
  • The Department has provided examples and additional information as an illustration of compliance. The examples are not intended as mandatory services and instead are provided as examples.

Critical information

  • This Contract Notification is effective from 1 July 2017.
PRESCRIBED REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE SERVICE STANDARDS
The following are the minimum prescribed items that Training Providers must include in their online service standards. These online service standards must be published in a prominent place on the Training Provider’s website.
PRESCRIBED ITEM TO BE ADDRESSED RATIONALE
1. Student support, including:

  • Details of how and when Teacher/trainer/assessors, administration staff, information technology staff, and any other key staff can be contacted by students and response times for queries.
  • Support services available and how they can be accessed by students studying online.
Students are supported throughout their study and have clear information about how to access this support.
2. Student entry requirements and induction, including:

  • Confirmation of digital literacy.
  • Details of platform/s to access learning materials and resources.
  • Minimum hardware and software requirements.
Students are only enrolled in courses that are suitable and appropriate.
Students are aware of the minimum requirements to be able to participate in the course.
3. Learning materials, including

  • Various formats to optimise the learning experience.
  • How the high level principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are met.
Learning materials cover all aspects of a unit of competency and all necessary information to enable competency to be achieved.
Learning materials are accessible to a wide variety of learners.
4. Student engagement, including

  • Provision of collaborative learning opportunities with peers and others.
  • Provision of ongoing feedback – the Training Provider’s approach to collecting feedback and frequency.
  • Monitoring of student activity or non-participation.
Students are engaged in learning and monitored to ensure they continually progress through their program.
5. Mode and method of assessments utilised, including:

  • Forms of assessment used.
  • Tools and technology used to facilitate assessment of practical skills.
Students are assessed against all aspects of a unit of competency and practical skills are assessed using contemporary technology.
6. Details of trainer and assessor skill and experience in online delivery, including

  • Relevant qualifications and professional development.
Trainers and assessors are skilled in online facilitation and have current qualifications or have completed professional development to enable them to deliver an engaging learning experience.
TMG College – ONLINE SERVICE STANDARDS
TMG College offers a range of courses that can be delivered party or wholly online. TMG College is
committed to providing a quality learning experience for students studying online and these online service standards explain our commitment to students in key areas.
STUDENT SUPPORT
TMG College will provide the following support to students studying any aspect of their course online:
Trainers/assessors

  • Will be available for queries about learning and assessment by phone and email Monday to Friday for the duration of the course.
  • Will reply to queries within 48 hours.
  • There will be a maximum of 75 students to each trainer/assessor for each course

Administrative Support

  • Will be available for queries by phone and email between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday.
  • Will reply to queries within 48 hours

IT support helpdesk for technical queries

  • Will be available via email and online chat between 10:00am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday.
  • Will reply to queries within 48 hours

Support services

  • Counselling service available by appointment between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday, in person or via video conference.
STUDENT ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND INDUCTION
TMG College conducts a comprehensive Pre-Training Review for all prospective students to determine
whether a course is suitable and appropriate for their individual needs. As part of the Pre-Training Review, we will include assessment of your level of digital literacy, by:

  • Asking you to undertake a self-assessment quiz
  • Discussing the quiz outcomes and making recommendations about whether the course is suitable for
    you, and identifying additional support where required.

TMG College uses a learning management system (LMS) for online course delivery.
The following are the minimum information technology requirements to enable optimal access to the LMS:
1: Knowledge and skill with:

  • Windows or Mac OSX system
  • MS office word, excel and Powerpoint
  • Adobe PDF reader
  • Media Players such as Windows media Player and VLC
  • Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE browser

2: Hardware and software equipment or above the following specification:

  • Operating system Window 7 or Max OSX 10.9
  • CPU Intel i3
  • RAM 4GB
  • Hard drive 20GB
  • Screen 13 or 15 inch with resolution 1024×768
  • Browser Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE 10
  • MS Office 2007
  • Adobe Reader XI
  • Internet ADSL2+ with stable connection

Web-based content is available on hand held devices including mobile phones and tablets.
An introductory module and FAQs on the LMS can be found at http://interact.tmg.edu.au

LEARNING MATERIALS
TMG College ensures that learning materials used in online training are interactive and are presented in a variety of formats, including:

  • Guided content
  • Graphics
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Interaction through discussion forums and webinars
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
TMG College provides an online learning experience that is engaging and interactive. We will monitor your participation and ensure that you continue to progress through your course.
Collaborative learning opportunities will be provided so that you can interact with peers, through

  • discussion forums
  • webinars.

Ongoing feedback will be provided as you study through:

  • interaction with trainers/assessors in informal discussion forums
  • in response to individual queries and in relation to tasks you complete

We will contact students who have not logged on within 2 months of the course commencement date.
Students who have not logged on within 2 months of the course commencement date that do not reengage after 5 attempts at contact will be deemed to have withdrawn from the course.

MODE AND METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
A minimum of two forms of assessment will be used for each unit of competency.
Forms of assessment will include:

  • knowledge questions
  • projects
  • case studies
  • demonstration of practical skills.

Where students are asked to demonstrate competency in practical skills, video technology will be used.

TRAINERS AND ASSESSORS
All trainers and assessors delivering online courses at XYZ Training are experienced in online delivery and have undertaken professional development in online delivery, which includes:

  • Professional Development online facilitation.
  • Participation in staff reference group of online trainers and assessors, who meet and share ideas for improvement.