The 2006 E-learning Benchmarking Project has built on the baseline developed in 2005 by conducting national surveys of the uptake and use of e-learning by vocational education and training (VET) providers, VET teachers and trainers, and VET students.
The surveys, run in September and October 2006, captured information on the use of e-learning in all TAFE institutes, private and enterprise training providers, adult and community education (ACE) providers and VET in Schools providers. The 2006 surveys also include providers of government-funded non-accredited training.
The 2006 surveys show an increasing level of uptake of e-learning over the past 12 months. It is now estimated that 17% of all VET activity involves e-learning, up from around six to eight percent in 2005, and initial estimates of three to four percent in 2003-04. The growth in the uptake of e-learning is being mainly driven by those registered training organisations (RTOs) that were delivering some e-learning in 2005 now doing more.
Surveys of RTOs indicate the uptake of e-learning in TAFE institutes is higher than among other training providers. Around 50% of all RTOs, and up to 70% of smaller RTOs, are not yet offering e-learning in their VET units.
Sixty percent of students said that the e-learning in their course had increased their confidence and skills in using computers, and around 60% said that they thought the e-learning in their course would improve their future employment outcomes. Students also say e-learning is delivering benefits in terms of flexibility in when and where they undertake their study.
Eighty-five percent of VET teachers and trainers report that they have used some form of e-learning in their training delivery, most commonly through encouraging students to access and download learning materials and resources from the Internet or electronic submission of work. The 2006 surveys also found that many more teachers are using e-learning in more and different parts of their teaching programs, including class discussions and assessment.
Analysis of the survey results by state and territory shows a fairly consistent response from students and teachers to the use of e-learning around the country. Analysis of the results for different types of training organisations (for example, TAFE institutes, schools, community-based providers, and industry and government providers) are also accessible in the full report.
Additional analysis benchmarks teacher and student results by age, gender, location and other demographic characteristics.
In addition to examining the uptake, use and impact of e-learning in VET, the 2006 surveys also have a special focus on the use of e-learning in training related to 'traditional trades', including building and construction, metals, manufacturing and automotive trades. This complements research in this area on approaches adopted by training providers to use technologies in trades training.The analysis shows that training providers and teachers are using e-learning in these trades, although not yet to the same extent that this is occurring in other teaching areas.