Tag Archives: elearning

Creative Coffee Morning Tea – Creating and designing online effective PLN spaces for VET training

Assessment 5

Focus of the morning: Design of online spaces to improve Personal Learning Networks to support training in the VET sector

I held my Creative Coffee Morning Tuesday 16/09. I was lucky enough to have a wide group of online facilitators, managers and administrators from the WA Vocational Education Training (VET) sector in Perth for another event so piggy backed my Creative Coffee morning with it.

I had members from the DTWD elearning team host the event and participate in small breakout group work around ‘Design of online spaces to improve Personal Learning Networks that can support training’ in the VET sector.

I kicked off with a quick look at how students are already building personal networks, then straight into morning tea where it was great to hear enthusiastic discussion from attendees around the topic. 

Creative Coffee Morning tea opening slide
Creative Coffee Morning tea opening slide

After tea and coffee were drunk and the sumptuous morning tea eaten we broke into small groups to discuss and reflect on how the attendees could use this idea in someway in their training. It was good to see ‘heated’ debate around the subject as it made people consider and think about the topic. Each of the small groups were encouraged to brainstorm on butchers paper to share back, which you can see an example of in the flicker album.

From speaking with everyone who attended they went away afterward with some inspiration as to how to either trial this idea or to open discussion with their teaching cohort and management to move the idea forward, which is fantastic.

Not only that but because of the networking everyone came away with contact details of like minded participants who can become part of their own Personal Learning Network.

Some images from the event


Event takeaway thoughts

  • Timing is everything! This group were able to come together very quickly as we had them for another event, which meant that they were more than happy to join in on an added mini-event
  • Location, location, location. The choice of a venue was driven by our other event and was in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Perth. This was close to public transport and parking, which made it so much easier for delegates.
  • Good food. It always helps to ensure that food is filling and tasty, which was met in abundance we had outside catering which provided amazing food and a very small cost..
  • Last point – WiFi DOES matter (no matter what people say). Unfortunately CCI had told us we had access to WiFi for the event, but this was not forth coming. As a result we did not push twitter.

The final fantastic outcome was that my boss see’s the power of this type of event for engaging people and as a result we are going to continue with ‘pop up’ events throughout the year as a tag-on to our large events.

My comments on other blogs

Comment 1 – Matt


Comment 2 – Monique


Comment 3 – Heather


Essa Academy – a triumph of design for learning

It is a very interesting thought on how if given the possibility that we could have the repurpose our spaces to interact more effectively and learning spaces for our students.

This thought that education could benefit from a redesign of its building spaces is not new. The Essa Academy, Bolton, UK is one example of how opportunities in elearning actually became the design change agent for their whole school space.

At this school in 2009 they saw 70% of their students failing their subjects. The teaching space was dingy and teachers were doing their best.

By some radical changes to the structure of the school, firstly becoming an academy which enabled them to access different funding. However, the power of technology was understood by the new administration and they committed to turning Essa into a hub of technology-assisted learning.

This truly is a wonderful success story of a school which rose phoenix like from the ashes and achieve a 100% pass rate in 2011/12. However for me the key feature is that their success as a school enabled them to design a whole new building that was built around and designed for learning and complete integration with the technology.

No longer did they see classrooms in a traditional sense but have built what they call a complete learning ecosystem.

More information here