E-Learning the way of the future

Sending public works staff away for TAFE training will soon be a thing of the past for Eurobodalla Shire Council, following a study funded by a $100,000 grant from the Australian Government’s National Vocational Education and Training e-Learning strategy.

In a partnership with TAFE NSW Riverina Campus and Bega Valley, Boorowa and Wollongong councils, Eurobodalla Shire Council has been studying and trialing the latest e-learning technologies as part of the delivery of one of the core units in the Certificate IV Civil Construction Supervision, Certificate IV Horticulture and Certificate IV Water Operations qualifications required by its staff.

General Manager Dr Catherine Dale said the Shire’s remoteness and need for flexibility was behind the trial of the best e-learning technologies for staff.

“E-Learning technologies are now a normal part of the training program for staff working in our civil and building construction, maintenance, parks and gardens, waste management and plant operation areas.

“The use of flexible e-Learning tools is already delivering benefits to industry, staff and the community by reducing travel time and costs and by making it possible for staff to train during down times, such as wet weather.

“Unlike face-to-face training, e-Learning can be delivered on-demand, when and where it is needed, and be revisited by staff as often as required.”

At the completion of their training, council staff have a nationally recognised Australian Qualification Framework qualification and a thorough understanding of their role and responsibility in the workplace.

“Thanks to the partnership with our neighbouring councils, our public works staff members also have opportunities to build networks and relationships – all of which will benefit our community,” Dr Dale said.

Council first began utilising e-Learning technology in 2008 when it recruited TAFE NSW Riverina to train its supervisory staff as part of a very successful pilot program to trial the flexible delivery of some of the core units within the Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision.

Council is now using the following e-Learning technologies to train its public works staff:
  • webinar conferencing – the delivery of training online which allows students to interact with their trainer
  • providing materials on CD-ROM
  • video conferencing – when a camera, computers and whiteboards are linked up to transmit training sessions live or as a recording from the training provider.