OERs in a Competency Based Environment: Fostering Access and Inclusion in Vanuatu

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Coghlan, Michael
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)

The overarching framework that houses and governs approved content (Training Packages) in the Australian system is the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and Vanuatu has recently imported a similar framework and rebadged it the Vanuatu Qualifications Framework (VQF). This has had some immediate unfortunate consequences. Prior to the introduction of the VQF vocational and skills training was occurring in Community Training Centres (CTCs). Almost overnight the introduction of the VQF meant that courses run in CTCs were deemed null and void because they didn’t meet the standards of the new framework, and the skills trainers didn’t have the required qualifications required by the VQF. As of 2015, just 5 of a possible 27 CTCs had been registered as legitimate providers of training under the new system, and many CTCs didn’t have the funds or resources to reach the minimum standards. (Activity Design Document (ADD) – Skills Development for Rural Communities, NZAid) // In 2015 Sanma province on the island of Espiritu Santo (‘Santo’) applied COL for assistance in adapting existing COL OERs in Small Engine Maintenance for use in a CBT environment. They identified the skills taught in these materials – maintenance and repair of outboard motors, grass cutters, lawnmowers and small generators - as essential for the local community. The existing OERs in Small Engine Maintenance, while good enough for their original purpose, were not written with CBT in mind. // While not yet complete, the whole exercise of adapting the Small Engine Maintenance materials has been a rewarding experience for the team involved. It has allowed educators to think more deeply about their teaching practice, recognise the value of the CBT approach, and appreciate that its flexibility promotes greater access for participation. The open-ended nature of CBT training – you exit when deemed competent – is also more inclusive. Those who need more time, support and practice to reach competence are given the opportunity to complete the training even if it takes a little longer. // Paper ID 250

Open Educational Resources (OER),Technical/Vocational Education and Training (TVET),Materials Development,Assessment