Better online learning

A new website provides technology-enabled learning resources and information for primary sector educators and providers.

The website has been developed from the experiences of teaching staff and learning in the New Zealand food and fiber sector. It is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and supported by the Food and Fiber Center for Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE).

The threat posed by Covid-19 to primary sectors led to the formation of the Technology Based Learning Project, which was the start of a process that culminated in this website. Research analytics specialist Scarlatti was commissioned to lead the project, working with Dairy Training NZ, Wintec and Primary ITO.

The project was designed to capture the experiences of staff and students from training organizations providing vocational education and training for the primary sector. The goal was to better understand the role of technology during lockdown, its unique needs, and how technology-enabled learning experiences could be improved in the future.

The initial objective was to find new modes of training and the best way to support the attraction and retention of displaced workers from other industries. However, the direction and results of the project were informed by the initial research and interviewed managers, tutors and learners who brought their own experiences of levels of confinement.

Paul Hollings, chief executive of Food and Fiber CoVE, says the information gathered during the project was too good not to be used in a meaningful way.

“When a research project is completed, there is a risk that it will end up in a report that is not widely distributed. The idea of ​​this website was to make this information accessible to those who had it. need.”

Hollings adds that while the website is designed specifically for tutors and providers in New Zealand’s primary industry, it is relevant to all tutors and providers in the vocational education and training sector.

“Given the rural setting of the industries within it, we have real connectivity issues in the food and fiber sector and the site is responding to these by identifying areas of good and bad connectivity and offering ideas for circumvention,” he explains.

Tutors have the option of creating their own toolkit of resources they deem appropriate for them. An interactive dashboard is available to find out what the research says about technology-enabled learning in the food and fiber sector. Training providers also receive information on how to implement effective learning solutions. There’s also an ROI calculator, a connectivity map highlighting areas of poor reception, and practical infrastructure advice.