The complexity of Australia’s vocational training framework means that most RTOs rely on pre-prepared materials to create their courses. This is a cost and time-effective method of developing courses, but it relies heavily on the quality of the RTO materials you purchase. Resource providers come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of them are created equal. As an RTO it’s your responsibility to evaluate your RTO resources and materials and make sure they provide the quality your students and trainers need to successfully complete courses. In this article we’re going to cover the 5 things you need to look out for to ensure you’re investing in the high quality RTO resources students need.
- Engaging and Interactive Content
The best way to impart a lesson to your students is to make it engaging. Research shows that being positively engaged is linked with greater academic performance, improved real-world results and the overall success of students.
Choosing RTO resources that are built around engaging content and interactive components is the best way to keep students interested. Rather than relying on text-heavy resources, engaging materials typically include a broader variety of content, such as videos, images and practical exercises. Not only do these things help keep students’ attention, it improves their focus and recall of the material. In particular, RTO resources that encourage students to get hands-on with the material are far more likely to make an impact.
- Logical and Structured Training
The common theme among low quality RTO materials is the way they are structured. This happens because the Australian Government develops training and assessment requirements, but it’s then up to resource developers to interpret and create the content. The result is RTO materials that adhere too closely to the performance criteria at the expense of creating a natural flow of information.
High quality RTO resources follow the performance criteria, but they are adjusted to provide a logical content structure. This improves the way the material is delivered to students and allows them to obtain a much greater degree of understanding. So, rather than looking for RTO materials that tick off the right boxes, spend some time going through the course. Look for a logical flow of information that’s easy to understand and provides the knowledge students need to succeed in assessments and knowledge checks.
- Make Sure the Curriculum Is Student-Friendly
Too many RTO resources simply translate the course requirements directly into the curriculae that is distributed to students. This creates confusion among students who aren’t familiar with the way RTO resources are designed and developed. The Units of Competency (UOC) required by the Australian Government are often couched in technical jargon. This can be challenging to interpret even for experienced RTO developers. For students, this language is next to meaningless, particularly for international audiences.
High quality RTO resources take the time to decipher tricky UOCs and translate them into simple, logical and easy to understand requirements. For example, if a UOC requires that students “evaluate and implement three different types of intellectual property within an organisation,” high quality resources will turn this into something students can understand. Ideally the translated UOCs should contain specific and measurable goals for students and trainers alike.
- Training that Prepares Students for Assessments
RTO resources are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in real world environments. This is typically done by designing assessments that test their knowledge in a particular field. The challenge is that the rest of the training resources may not be structured to deliver the right learning in the right places.
High quality RTO resources design their training around the information students need to successfully complete assessments such as by letting students know when something will be on an assessment. These simple things help to focus learning resources around the outcomes students need to achieve, ensuring their success in the course.
- The Quantity of Learning Content
Quality is king when it comes to RTO resources. But, trainers are often delivering complex material, so you need to ensure your resources provide enough content to help students succeed. When investing in RTO materials make sure that the product you receive contains:
- Comprehensive learner guides
- Diagrams, practical examples and in-class activities
- Trainer guides
- Assessments and knowledge checks
- Additional links and resources students can use
The simplest way to determine whether your RTO resources contain enough content is to test them. Read through the materials and figure out whether they provide the information you would need to complete the included assessments. Speak to your trainers and show them through the trainer guides. Make sure they are comfortable with the material and that they are provided everything they need to deliver effective lessons.