ASQA | Spotlight On Student support, Chapter 4
Support during online delivery
Chapter 4 aims to help training providers to develop support during online delivery to maintain quality learning outcomes.
The move to online learning
There has been a notable increase of online delivery since 2020, highlighting the importance of providing additional support for students undertaking online training and assessment.
While the Standards do not outline the difference in support for online students, our Strategic Review into Online Learning confirmed that there are additional or different support needs for these students.
For example, in the second paper of the strategic review, we identified “screen fatigue” as an issue, where a student may disengage due to a lack of face to face contact. It can also lead to health issues such as blurred vision, headaches and muscular pain.
Successful learning online
To help your online students achieve success, you can:
- determine a student’s digital literacy skills before enrolment
- engage students by providing frequent communication channels.
Determining digital literacy skills at pre-enrolment
As well as determining the language, literacy and numeracy skills, you need to ensure an online student has sufficient digital literacy to succeed in an online environment.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment's Digital Literacy Skills Framework gives clear direction on digital literacy requirements for a potential student. Like other language, literacy, numeracy and digital (LLND) assessments, it’s necessary to work out if any gaps can be resolved with little to no financial or time cost to students.
Ensuring online access
Besides digital literacy skills, you will need to ensure the student has the resources to access the online environment, such as a computer or a headset. They may also require alternative accessibility tools, such as video subtitles.
Student engagement through communication
Monitoring online progress
In chapter 3, we discussed the importance of monitoring a student’s engagement and progress. This is even more relevant for online students as they are not regularly observed in-person.
To prevent students from feeling isolated, we recommend:
- regular one-on-one communication between students and trainers
- providing digital communication methods for students to reach out to support staff and their course mates, such as an online chat portal or a monitored group email inbox.
There may be informal support services available to your students in their local community. This could be places like local libraries, peer groups or support network contacts.
Download the checklist of considerations which will guide you, your trainers, assessors and other support staff as you develop student strategies. These considerations will help you comply with regulatory and legislative requirements, along with encouraging best practice.
More Spotlight On