Unpacking Your RTO’s Need for an Online Assessment Solution
As an RTO, you may have many reasons why you need to turn to technology to solve your business problems.
These might include:
- Huge amounts of data to process
- Requiring a bulletproof audit trail
- Having more tech-savvy students
- Wanting a paperless office that is more sustainable
- Needing to increase efficiency in your RTO for profit/growth
It could be all of the above and more.
The reasons are compelling, and ultimately if you are not moving forward with tech you are connected to the past, not the future, which is where your target market is.
So how does Online Assessment fit in with this? Find out as we unpack the fundamentals of why your RTO needs an Online Assessment Solution in this blog.
1. What is at the core of your business as an RTO – Learning or Assessment?
Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences. Learning is not heavily audited or prescribed in the Standards for RTOs 2015.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) host learning content online, making it easier to connect with students remotely and at any time of the day or night. However, do they provide a truly digital space for assessment? Most LMSs were born out of the needs of schools or universities where learning is the main deliverable rather than skills and competency. They are geared for courses that are purely online and may include quizzes and auto marking but are rigid when it comes to digital assessment. An RTO therefore may need to use other systems or methods to create and conduct assessment. This can be at the cost of the student experience.
Assessment is the process used to ensure that learning has taken place and skills or knowledge have been acquired. Knowledge can be gained and transferred in many forms i.e. in a classroom, on the job or online. Assessment must be carried out under defined assessment conditions. Depending on your scope and Training and Assessment Strategy, you might want to capture evidence using a range of instruments like observation checklists, workplace simulation, verbal questioning etc. An audit trail must be left and quality checks in place. Assessments must also be retained for a specific length of time, whereas learning resources have no required retention period. One of the biggest non-compliances found by ASQA, presented in the 2018 Training Provider Briefing was from Standard 1 Clause 1.8 Assessment.
A Training and Assessment Management System or Online Assessment solution allows you to present your learning online but also gives your RTO boundless opportunities to contextualise your assessments and run a compliant process. Cloud Assess is a solution that was built for the Vocational Education and Training sector. Flexible and easy to use for both Trainers and Assessors as well as students, the team develop features with the student experience and compliance requirements in mind.
2. What sort of Student Experience do you want to provide?
With ASQA’s new audit model focused on the Student Experience, it’s a good exercise to check what your process looks like to them. Is it seamless or are there time lags? The last thing you want is to create non-engagement which can cause high dropout rates, poor feedback and no payment.
The traditional approach to process improvement is to check each step in the process and try to make each one faster, i.e. We need to print 100 assessments in 1 hour. Currently, it takes 2 hours to print 100 assessments, so let’s get an extra printer to achieve this. However, this just allows for more capacity on that step, it doesn’t get rid of the slow and laborious tasks of collating the paper, posting it, and dealing with paper jams (and cuts)! What if you eliminated this process altogether and instead of a team working to push the paper around or buying more hardware, they are training and mentoring your students to reach their full potential?
Online Assessment has been proven to massively improve customer satisfaction. Assessments can be marked immediately, results given instantly, and new attempts (if required) released straight away. By utilising built-in automation tools, you can keep the process moving with a consistent method of communication throughout.
Best-of-breed tech companies look at your end-user experience to ensure it is the best it can be with the technology available. In an IBM study that Year 13 reviewed, they found that while 87% of Gen Z-ers have access to high-speed internet at home, 62% will not use an app or website that is difficult to navigate. They state, “This puts the onus back on the business – if your product isn’t extremely convenient to access, it’s not even in the race.” With Cloud Assess your students have their own user interface, and you can even give 3rd parties access to support your assessment processes or customer requirements.
3. How much value do you want to gain?
As explored earlier, huge amounts of time can be spent printing, processing, scanning and storing (or losing) important documents. There is only a small amount of time during this process where information is changing the assessment and creating value for your business:
These are when it’s:
By cutting out the processing of paper assessments by using a solution like Cloud Assess you are choosing a cost-saving. Calculate your annual cost of assessment with paper now.