Online training and assessment
Online training and assessment can provide innovative ways for students to develop their skills and knowledge.
Online learning is becoming increasingly accessible for students.
You need to ensure online students get the same quality outcomes as other students.
Your training and assessment practices need to align with training package requirements.
Delivering training online
All training and assessment delivery modes have the same regulatory requirements outlined in Standard 1, Standards for RTOs 2015.
Face-to-face delivery doesn’t always transfer online easily.
Some students might need to experience a workplace to complete your training product.
Provide opportunities for students to engage with their peers.
How you structure online training and assessment will influence student engagement and progress.
You could structure learning to include:
- online activities
- discussions between students
- additional reading and research
- pre-recorded real-time webinars.
Encourage students to complete learning tasks and other checkpoints to ensure progress.
This allows you to check their comprehension, competency, and ability to take part in assessments.
Online learning resources
Ensure your learning resources, facilities and equipment support online delivery and your students.
Online resources need to be current, accurate and meet training package requirements. Check industry related content is current and monitor links to external resources.
Your learning resources are an opportunity to engage with students.
Understand your student’s learning styles:
- Develop different resources to meet their needs and provide additional support when needed.
- Offer a variety of resources to encourage students to absorb knowledge and practice skills.
Online student assessment
You assess all students to determine their level of competency.
Your assessment needs to align with the unit of competency requirements.
If you use different assessment methods for face-to-face and online assessment, the competency measure needs to be the same.
Tell students if you need to do the assessment face-to-face to meet unit of competency requirements.
Students need to know the assessment requirements before they enrol.
The assessment process must show and evidence a student’s practical skills.
Consider how you will gather valid, sufficient, authentic, and current evidence of students’ practical skills.
Make sure you clearly describe the assessment conditions to students:
- equipment and materials
- physical conditions
- additional people and roles
Record and keep all assessments for validation.
Your assessors may need to measure units of competency through workplace observation.
Sometimes they can’t attend a workplace to observe an assessment.
They could use digital tools to watch students working remotely such as:
- video recordings
- video conferencing.
Remote and onsite observation checklists need to measure and observe the same skill requirements.
A third party, such as a workplace supervisor, could also be used to assess students onsite.
If your training package allows, you could use a simulated work environment to assess your students.
This simulates assessment normally conducted in the workplace.
Simulated assessment needs to meet the assessment conditions of your training package:
- Provide realistic workplace conditions.
- Use equipment and resources stated in the Assessment Requirements.
Review training package requirements and determine if you can replicate the workplace environment for online students.
An example of a simulated workplace assessment:
Use role play scenarios in a real-time video-based assessment. Students can show practical and oral skills.
Mandatory work placement requires students to spend time in the workplace to show competency in a unit of competency and qualification. This can’t be done online.
Maintain regular contact with workplace supervisors to monitor student progress and ensure student authenticity.
Retain records of work placement using logbooks reviewed by the workplace supervisor.
Online delivery can make it challenging to authenticate student assessment.
Always show how you have verified the identity of the student.
- Does the evidence belong to the student being assessed?
- Does it provide evidence of their skills and knowledge?
Your assessor needs to prove a student’s authenticity before determining competency.
Online delivery needs to include ways to authenticate students.
This can prevent student plagiarism.
Case Study: How Your Mac Training authenticates online students
Your Mac Training delivers graphic design training and assessment, the qualification CUA50715 Diploma of Graphic Design.
They deliver the course online for their remote student group.
A virtual classroom is used to develop and assess course knowledge.
Digital tools used for online training and assessment:
- LMS like Moodle for the storage of assessment materials, portfolios, and assessment results
- virtual classrooms, using a headphone and microphone
- webcams and personal mobile phones
- videoconferencing software like Zoom
- instant messenger platforms like, Skype, Slack and Google Hangouts.
Steps to validate student authenticity:
- Students hold up photo identification to the camera at the start of the virtual class.
- The trainer uses a camera to take photos and/or videos of students at random intervals during the online assessment.
- A third party takes photos and videos of the students performing the practical tasks. They complete and submit a report to record the task.
- Students hold up their photo identification to the camera at the start of a practical demonstration to confirm their authenticity before performing the task.
- The trainer and assessor calls the student after the task and asked questions relevant to the assessment.
Advice from providers
Provider advice on online training and assessment.
Prior to training, we now send a video conferencing link in a clearly signposted email. We also confirm students have received the email using a read receipt function.
Monthly video conferencing was supplemented with a fortnightly one-on-one phone call between the student and the trainer. These calls served a holistic purpose. This included a Q&A on learning materials, assessment progression checks and student welfare checks.
Ron Maxwell (VERTO), '2018-2020 VERTO Distance Learning Case Study'
Evolve College has a Virtual Clinic, designed, and developed at significant cost, but a truly worthwhile investment, from our view. It enables students to be supervised live in a number of scenarios. This provides leading edge technological assessment, as well as adaptability.
With technology like the Virtual Clinic, you can make online courses possible for various hands-on disciplines, as the technology is live and enables visual, real-time assessment, including close up.
Serryn O'Regan ASQA Stakeholder Liaison Group (Evolve College Pty Ltd)
This, at present, remains hard copy as we have not moved to editable PDF. The concern for us as a college is that we have trained family members in aged care and they may be completing the assessment online.
Where they are continuing to use hard copy assessments, the trainers can identify students’ handwriting. This is a concern for online training: how you can ensure authenticity of assessment; along with the amount of internet data students may require these and their learning online.
Alison Heagney and Vicki Zammit (Community College Northern Inland)
The college has been keeping records of all delivery via remote via reworking session plans to encompass the Zoom sessions, hard copy materials and extra materials that are provided, electronic or hard copy.
More recently, we have formalised a remote learning plan, which is a shared document between the trainer, the campus support staff and the student prior to the sessions and documents the process and content.
Alison Heagney and Vicki Zammit (Community College Northern Inland)