In recent years we’ve worked with a number of RTOs looking at ways to manage training, assessment and compliance across the board. Our experience shows that there are a lot of different ideas out there and that each RTO finds a way that fits best for them. One area we’ve looked at in particular over the last few years is language, literacy and numeracy (LLN).
With focus coming from different areas (No More Excuses report, TAELLN unit and the development of the ACSF) LLN assessment is a major part of most enrolment processes. Our experiences have shed light on a few common issues with managing LLN in RTOs:
Throughout this article when we talk about ‘core skills’ or the ACSF we are also talking about language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) as these form part of the core skills framework.
- Consistently assessing the LLN levels of learners without spending hours with each person, or employing a full time LLN expert.
One learner may require more help than others in some areas. It is important that you are able to identify the needs of each learner to identify those ‘at risk’ of dropping out or failing due to language, literacy or numeracy issues.
- Working out the LLN levels for a unit or qualification.
A unit or qualification must be analysed to work out the core skills that it contains. This job is generally done by an LLN practitioner, course coordinator or trainer. However there is a chance that different people may interpret the units differently. It Is also very time consuming and may not necessarily fit into existing staff workloads.
- Managing learners with different LLN levels in the same class.
Each learner has strengths and weaknesses. It is important that you are able to identify these to see if there are any common trends for all course participants, or identify individual learners who may have more specific needs to successfully complete the course.
In response to each of these problems, Safe Work Resources has developed a holistic approach to easily managing LLN.
Assessment of the ACSF core skills (and broader foundation skills) can be done in a number of ways:
- There are practitioners who specialise in identifying core skills and providing guidance to RTOs on how they should work with learners to develop these skills.
- A number of Industry Skills Councils have produced ‘how to’ guides explaining the techniques that can be used to identify core skills in units and this needs to be combined with an understanding of the ACSF to decode the levels identified.
- One final option is to use software to analyse units and qualifications to give you the results quickly and easily.
The LLN Robot system has been developed to work out the ACSF levels of units and qualifications, as well as making training recommendations by comparing a learner’s levels with the levels of the qualification they want to do.
You can find out more about LLN Robot here.
Regardless of how you have assessed learners in the past, there is a need to ensure that your evaluations produce results that can be compared to the ACSF core skill levels. As more training packages are streamlined there will be more emphasis on these ACSF levels.
The Free Online LLN Indicator Tool available here is a good starting point for LLN/ACSF assessment.
In brief, the test has a range of questions that addresses Learning, Writing, Reading, Oral Communication (Listening) and Numeracy.
You can find out more about how it works and other developments in this article.
As part of the enrolment process it is important to identify any difficulties that a learner is likely to face where their current LLN/ACSF skills are under-developed.
Using LLN Robot you can compare a learner’s current LLN/ACSF levels with the levels associated with a unit or qualification. The system will produce a series of recommendations wherever a gap is identified and should be used to inform decisions made around training strategies including additional support services and alternative vocational pathways to assist the learner in achieving their training outcomes.
Based on feedback from over 100 training organisations and educational institutes there are a range of improvements under development for both the LLN Indicator Tool and LLN Robot. A brief outline of these can be found below:
|LLN Indicator Tool||LLN Robot|
|Corporate branded option with:
Upskilling Training Resources
Currently in development are a range of training resources that can be used in conjunction with your current training program to assist in upskilling learner core skills. These resources are generated based on the comparison between a learner’s current skills and the profile of the qualification they are enrolling in.
The resources will include information and activities that the learner can complete in or out of the training environment to support the development of their core skills throughout the duration of training. These resources may be used as pre-course learning modules or introductions to topics and industries to help learners ease their way into a more formal learning environment by preparing them for the training that will follow.
Each set of resources is compiled specifically for the needs of a learner and will be available in a range of contexts to suit learners who are enrolling in different subjects including:
- Community health.
- Industrial sectors.
- Business and administrative duties.