VET students and financial capability

Ben LawBen Law is a Financial Education Officer for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). His main role is developing online professional development for teachers to assist in effectively teaching young people about money. In this blog post Ben tells us about an online resource for students, teachers, trainers and community educators, to assist in developing and teaching critical money skills.

Financial challenges for students

For students personally and those considering self-employment or starting a small business after finishing school, understanding money and finance is vital. The financial decisions young people need to navigate are becoming increasingly complex and the money choices they make now can have a real and lasting impact on their futures. ASIC have therefore developed an online resource for students and a complementary professional development module for teachers, trainers and community educators, to assist in developing and teaching of these critical money skills.

What does the research say?

Research undertaken by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2012 informed the development of the Be MoneySmart Certificate III unit of competency FNSFLT 301, which aims to build financial capability in students completing a trade qualification.

The field research included:

  • an online survey with over 1300 apprentices, trainees and field workers, and
  • phone interviews with key stakeholders including Industry Associations, Group Training Organisations, Business Enterprise Centres and Industry Skills Councils.

The research found that most apprentices and trainees want simple, clear and engaging online learning delivered in sessions of less than one hour. Access to a mentor was a consistent message that came out of the study as well as the need for the information to be kept current and relevant.

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart online training resource

Following on from the research, ASIC worked with a steering group with representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Group Training Australia and Innovation and Business Skills Australia to develop ‘ASIC’s Be MoneySmart, an online training resource to help VET students (including apprentices and trainees) develop money management skills.

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart offers five video-based online modules:

  • Saving, budgeting and spending – Students establish savings goals, create a budget and a savings plan.
  • Personal tax – Students establish a system for storing receipts and work through tax topics so they can prepare a return.
  • Superannuation – Students compare super funds, work through a super statement and learn how to keep track of their super.
  • Debt management – Students compare debt products, learn to manage credit cards and find out what to do if debt becomes a problem.
  • Insurance – Students investigate car, home and content insurance and learn how to choose the right type of insurance and level of cover.

Each module features real life examples and video case studies of young people from a range of occupations, and a mentor who provides information and money management tips on key aspects of each topic. The modules support one hour of online activity and two hours of offline study. Each module includes a student workbook and there is also a trainer/assessor guide for the entire resource. The resource can be delivered as an accredited elective unit of competency or as individual modules as part of non-accredited courses or training.

Delivering ASIC’s Be MoneySmart

ASIC has developed an online professional development module to assist teachers, trainers and community educators in using ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource with learners. It is designed to help trainers gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource, consider strategies to deliver the resource in both accredited and non-accredited settings, and understand how the program aligns to the unit of competency FNSFLT301 Be MoneySmart, which is part of Financial Services training package.

Want more information?

For more information, contact us at moneysmartteaching@asic.gov.au, and have a read of our previous blog post.

Need an e-learning check-up?

Jeanette Swain

Jeanette has worked in education and training for over 20 years as an environmental educator, e-learning leader and in quality and compliance. She specialises in helping clients to maximise system integration, change management, reporting, learning analytics and the learner’s user experience. Jeanette has recently joined the talented team of Accredited Consultants at eWorks, a group of experts offering specialist advice across the e-learning spectrum. Here Jeanette reminds us that we all need an e-learning check-up from time to time, and that this process offers a simple first step towards change and improvement.

Is it time to question the status quo?

Perhaps you have been running a learning management system (LMS) in your organisation for some time, but have you questioned the status quo? We’re all busy – it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of rushing to get work done, without taking time to reflect on where we’re at, how we got there, and whether it’s where we want and need to be. Is the present way of working smart, scalable, sustainable? Some of the questions you may need to ask about your existing e-learning practices and processes can be difficult through existing eyes. Working in e-learning across several organisations has provided me with insight into the many approaches that are taken when it comes to online delivery. Are you taking advantage of the latest developments in this constantly evolving (aka exciting!) area?

Status Quo cartoonCredits: Status Quo by Mimi and Eunice

An e-learning check-up can help you consider new options

An e-learning check-up doesn’t need to be time consuming or laborious. It is simply about asking a few questions – then answering them honestly – any gaps, holes or issues will soon become clear. Where you don’t have the answers, it’s time to get some expert advice. A few questions that you might like to consider include:

1. What is your user experience like?

How consistent are your courses? When teachers are developers there are countless approaches to course development. Does this confuse your learners? What are the organisational strategies you can use to ensure consistency of user experience?

2. How sustainable are your courses?

Are your e-learning stars individuals with passion? What would happen if they move on? Are you utilising the skills of these staff in mentoring and coaching others? What are your continuity and professional development strategies?

3. How scalable are your e-learning processes?

The uptake of e-learning has been growing over time, but are processes such as course development, course requests, backups and storage falling on individuals? What about content? Is it accessible to other staff, do you know what and where your e-learning assets are? Can the existing processes be scaled up to meet demand?

4. Are your organisation’s compliance requirements built into your learning programs?

Is this transparent or a hybrid paper/digital solution. Are you able to easily extract compliance data? What changes could you put in place to make the LMS part of your compliance solutions

5. Is the LMS part of your business systems?

What other business systems does your LMS talk to? Is there duplication of effort across multiple systems? How can these systems or their data outputs and inputs be integrated to increase efficiency and reduce costs?

6. Is it time for a stocktake?

What is actually going on behind the numbers? Is it time for a stocktake? How do you delete old material without losing valuable assets? Are your assets accessible to all staff across your organisation?

7. What analytics and reporting tools are you using?

Are you collecting relevant data? There may be a lot of courses on your LMS, but how are they being used? Is the data you are obtaining informing your practice? How should it be? 

So how did you go? 

Answers to these questions will vary depending upon your organisation, your staff and your learners. Perhaps you need a hand answering them or figuring out what to do next? That’s okay. Or maybe a pair of eyes outside of your business or organisation would help? Continuing with the status quo might be the easy way for now, but the longevity of any organisational business system comes from ensuring that it can meet the long term aims of the organisation and embrace change in the field.

Contact Jeanette for a chat about any or all of this.

The power of video-based learning to educate

Helen Port

Helen Bitmead is the co-director of Training Snippets, an online library of mini videos that can be used to demonstrate workplace health and safety procedures, business development and soft skills. Helen has witnessed firsthand the power of video content to educate and is on a mission to get everyone on board. Recently becoming a VET Commons publisher was one big tick on the Training Snippets journey. Are you up to speed when it comes to video-based learning?

Videos are so 2015 (and beyond!)

Video content is emerging as one of the best forms of education no matter what age. This makes sense – for Gen Y and Z it is intuitive and a seamless way of learning. But even if you’re a little more ‘mature’ than that, I bet you have noticed that the way you access information has changed over the years, with a movement towards more video content. Who hasn’t turned to youtube to work out how to fix, operate, manage or simply view how something is done. And social media can certainly put its hand up for fuelling the unquenchable thirst for video content.

A crucial part of the education sector

As an administrator, video is the fastest growing part of the education sector globally and a huge trend at university level. For industry, it is consistent in its training approach and ticks a lot of boxes for compliance in industry, especially where there is an accountability factor such as Workplace Health and Safety. Combined with a learning management system (LMS) that tracks the videos within a course and includes a test to acknowledge that the recipient has understood the content, video training can be a very powerful tool.

‘You can learn anything’

Salman Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, – a not-for-profit organisation that provides ‘a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere’ and produces micro lectures in the form of YouTube videos. It is worth watching his Ted Talks presentation that explains how Youtube seeded the idea and how he has helped thousands of people to learn with the help of videos.

What are training snippets?

Training Snippets creates short training video snippets that demonstrate correct workplace health and safety. To give an example of its application, we recently developed a series of nine driver training snippets in conjunction with Melbourne Health. Melbourne Health has 1000 registered drivers and some 300 vehicles across their networks and recognise the need to educate their staff when it comes to health and safety.   Melbourne Health has taken a different and innovative approach by using the video medium to train all their fleet car drivers from an operational and safety perspective. But you don’t have to read my thoughts on it all – why not take a look at a couple of the videos from the driver training series…. they say it all!

WorkCover Authority NSW is another example of how Training Snippets prove to be successful learning tools. WorkCover NSW has recently made a variety of training snippet video topics available for their members to access via their website. Here are a couple of examples.

A picture tells a thousand words

Training Snippets is very excited to now be offering content via VET Commons. If you haven’t yet joined this community, which gives you access to free and paid, ready-to-use content directly from your Moodle, you’re missing out.

A humanist approach to health and safety at last!

Annabel Dawson

Annabel Dawson is the project and custom manager for the higher education and vocational professional group at Cengage Learning. Annabel’s love for the world of academic publishing has only increased with the release of this humanistic approach to management, with an emphasis on health and safety. Whether you’re after a presentation on a specific topic, a chapter or the entire book, here is a little peak at what you will find inside.

A new perspective on health and safety

WHS: A Management Guide, 4e is now available to purchase through VET Commons by specific presentation, chapter or the entire book. The updated edition takes a humanist approach to management, attempting to go beyond the accepted understanding of health and safety as a form of risk management. While the concept of risk management lies at its core, WHS: A Management Guide, 4e consider how the workplace can satisfy human needs as much as organisational objectives. Only when we step beyond safety and speak not just of physical health, but also of psychological and social needs, do we begin to see what vital, active working lives can be.

Cover of the 4th edition of WHS: A Management Guide

The legal stuff

In the previous edition of WHS: A Management Guide, the Model Work Health and Safety Act made its introduction. Harmonisation of the law has been achieved in all major jurisdictions except for Victoria and Western Australia. However, Victoria’s Act closely resembles the Model Act and the differences in Western Australia are largely procedural. In effect, most businesses are operating under a national system. This book uses the model WHS Act and is also based on health and safety best practice principles applicable to all Australian workplaces.

Key revisions to this edition

The latest edition encompasses many revisions, particularly the chapters on consultation and management systems. It has also been generally improved – simplified wherever possible and the content modified to include up to date examples and case studies. Special attention has also been made to supplement the text with effective easy-to-use online resources for teachers. The text addresses the following qualifications:

  • BSB41412 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
  • BSB51312 Diploma of Work Health and Safety
  • BSB60612 Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety

What other Cengage resources are in VET Commons?

Good question!

Brand new Moodle course

A brand new free Moodle course to support the delivery of WHS: A Management Guide, 4e has also just been launched.

Each topic in the course is supported by the following resources

  • Chapter text from WHS: A Management Guide, 4e
  • YouTube videos and activities
  • Web links
  • Instructor manuals
  • PowerPoint slides

View a PDF preview of the WHS course content (PDF, 601 kB)

Join the VET Commons community today to access these valuable teaching resources.