IT Certification Student Programs
e-Learning for the new millennium
Melbourne-based education and training consultancy Vocational Pathways is conducting a pilot project in ten Victorian secondary schools. The schools are implementing innovative IT programs, using world-leading e-learning courseware in enabling students and teachers to attain internationally recognised IT certifications.
Pilot Project Rationale Vocational Pathways specializes in providing consultancy services to schools, industry and the training sector on vocational education and training in schools initiatives. Since 1997, the majority of our clients have been secondary schools in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. We are currently working directly with over 100 schools. Our close working relationship with leading IT practitioners in schools has enabled us to identify two critical issues:
- The need for a formal qualification or credential confirming the high level of IT skills, knowledge and competency that secondary students have developed and acquired.
- The need for an IT professional development program which enables teachers to attain widely recognised certification as evidence of their competence in IT.
These issues highlight the need for a certification program which is widely recognised as evidence of a persons IT skills, knowledge and competencies. We also note the need for any IT training and professional development program to be highly flexible and, therefore, easily accessible to a range of learners from students and teachers to members of the broader community.
The IT Certifications The project involves the delivery of IT training to over 130 students and 20 members of staff from the pilot schools. Both students and staff are undertaking training in order to sit for exams for the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL). The ICDL is fast becoming the most widely recognised, international certification in the field of computer literacy and competency. The ICDL is accepted by industry in over forty-six countries including America, China, Great Britain and the Asia-Pacific region, thus making it a valued and portable credential. Those students completing the ICDL will also have the opportunity to undertake training towards the internationally recognised A+ Computer Technician certification.
Online e-Learning The project has enabled the schools to explore a variety of deployment options, including online and web-based delivery. Students from schools with online delivery capabilities are able to access their training courseware from anywhere and at anytime. The online delivery model literally breaks down the walls of the classroom and is timetable neutral. Schools using this model have established a student tutorial system, where students are required to attend a one hour session per week. This is mainly to monitor any difficulties and/or issues students may have.
Administration of e-Learning Schools that deployed the training courseware using a LAN or Web-based model are able to have program co-ordinators track and monitor student progress from a PC using course administrators software. The course administrators package allows a student's progress to be monitored in detail. The course administrator is able to check on any students the time and date of course access, unit completion, and unit test results.
Lessons from experience One of the most significant outcomes from the pilot project has been the ability of schools to integrate the IT certification programs within current curriculum structures and PD programs. No doubt the success of innovative initiatives such as online delivery will be dependent not only on a school's technological capacity but also on the school's capacity to integrate cutting-edge IT teaching and learning systems without compromising other program areas and initiatives.
The Pilot Schools The ten schools who participated in the ITVT in Schools Pilot Project were:
- Ballarat & Clarendon College
- Girton Grammar School
- Kardinia International College
- Kingswood College
- The Knox School
- Korowa Anglican Girls' School
- Mentone Grammar School
- St Michael's Grammar School
- Taylors College
- Yarra Valley Grammar School
Please email us for further information on the ITVT pilot program, including course information, implementation and online deployment options, and specialist e-learning courseware: