This talk by Brett McCroary is an update on the same topic he delivered last year on his initiative to provide online training for a Certificate IV in Building. This Certificate is required by Australian building authorities for registration as manager of small-to-medium-sized low rise building businesses.

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McCroary manages the Certificate program for the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Illawarra. TAFEs belong mostly to the vocal education tier under the Australian Qualifications Framework. The  demographic for this course has helped in his impressive completion rates: 40% to 74% within a year and to 77% a year after that. In his talk, McCroary showcased different implementations that help create an understanding about why those who want the Certificate choose to earn it online, besides the fact that Australia is huge.

Among the changes implemented, McCroary lists:

  • A greedy growth strategy where the number of teachers and students increased. Although most of the effort fueled online activity, physical locations also increased.
  • A more robust Moodle, paired with Adobe Connect for live streaming sessions. Tools such as forums increased the volume of “learning by peers”.
  • Flexibility and lots of “catching up” options, which increase the amount of “great students”.
  • Use of SMS and staff available 24/7.
  • More elaborate assessments, to the detriment of simpler activities such as multiple-choice quizzes.
  • More robust SCORM implementation with recorded webcasts available to download by students.

Positive results all around are shown. Not only completion rate was higher, enrolments were too, so total certifications reached new heights.

See the full talk in the video.


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  1. […] We reviewed McCroary’s talk last December, itself the continuation of a talk given the previous year in the same venue. With the incessant growth of the construction industry across states in Australia, professionalization has become a pressing issue. Australian authorities made a Building Certificate mandatory for building managers, even at small firms. Tasked with managing the certificate program for the Illawarra TAFE, a vocational school in New South Wales, McCroary successfully leveraged Moodle to offer a quality program that certifies more than 70% of enrolled students. […]


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