Racing into e-Learning

Manager/ Facilitator:

Margaret Bell – Margaret.bell2 [at]
Michele Jackson – mjackson [at]

Sponsoring RTO: Orange TAFE, Western Institute

Target client groups: youth; learners in the workplace; skills shortage

Project summary:
Project participants, from across RTOs and the racing industry, work with stablehands, trainee track work riders and apprentice jockeys. They will
1. learn how to integrate the new Series 8 Toolbox “They’re Racing” into their training plans and delivery through exploration, “chunking” and customization followed by testing, evaluation and reflection,
2. design and develop, in teams, small interactive learning “vignettes” using Microsoft PowerPoint, leading to development of exemplars, guidelines, reflections and ideas for broader application and
3. establish collaborative networks across RTOs involved with the racing industry to develop and share the learning in on-going processes beyond the life of the project.

Online presence:

Blog -

Check out the Toolbox we're working on at

We found Photo Story 3 easy to use to create short learning objects.
Available from
See online guide at

Postcard from the Field

Proposed LearnScope visit/s: Robyn – 13 July

Team events


Background to the project:
The Series 8 Toolbox “They’re Racing” was developed during 2005 and recently released. Three participants have been involved in this Toolbox development or in online learning. Their knowledge and skills in this area will be used and built on for the rest of the team.
Most participants have had little or no involvement in e-learning nor have they incorporated it in their training with the racing industry. Learners in the racing industry are located over a wide geographic area, very mobile both within the industry and within and across states, mostly quite young, early school leavers disengaged from formal training, often have literacy problems. This learner profile indicates that there could be opportunities for much greater use of e-learning with this group. The customised Toolbox “chunks” and vignettes to be developed in this project may be suitable for delivery via mobile technologies, building on the PINR Faculty LearnScope 2005 project.

Proposed project outcomes:
· Develop a set of Toolbox customisation ‘how to’ guidelines outlining the processes developed, examples and the team’s learning reflections.
· Provide guidelines on design and development: How to PPT ‘vignette’ for teachers’; exemplar ‘vignettes’; reflections and ideas for broader application.
· Establish collaborative network links with other State RTOs to develop and share the learning, during and beyond the life of the project.
· Showcase cross-state developments at the National Racing Industry Training Conference.

Benefits to client group:
The racing client group are geographically spread throughout NSW. For example, in 2005 there were 3214 licensed stablehands in NSW, of these 589 are located in provincial and 1507 in country areas. These learners are at different stages and require varying degrees additional support.
The professional development of a group of teachers across three TAFE Institutes will open up a wider array of opportunities for racing [and other equine] training courses to people in rural and remote communities and locations. This is especially applicable to the many young people in the racing industry that often have no means of transport to access training or their employers do not like the time and cost involved and the overnight absence required to attend training. The e-learning approach will be much more engaging for young learners than current flexible delivery methods.
Students in the racing industry will have the opportunity for the first time to learn via the internet and mobile technologies. Vignettes developed by LearnScope participants will be trialled with current students who wish to take that opportunity. Interactivity, graphics and sound will be used to involve and engage students with a range of leaning styles. Progress of these students will be monitored and their responses sort.

Evaluation strategies:
During the project, participants will conduct a ‘test and see’ activity with a selected group of clients to evaluate tools developed and gain feedback.
Two target client members will participate in the second face-to-face training session to test the possibility of clients modifying or creating their own learning resources. We see this as an option for improving the motivation and involvement of clients.
Beyond the project, retention rates, quantity and quality of contact between teachers and students and time taken to complete will be useful indicators.

We are capturing our learning via:
Skills relevant to the e-learning tools used will be assessed by a skills audit at the start and end of the project. The skills looked at will be those relevant to using Toolboxes, PPT and the internet, email and other online collaboration methods. The results of both will be used to plan both team and individual learning, including formal training as a group and individual coaching and mentoring which can be continued after the project ends.
The pre-and post-project skills and attitudes audits of team members will provide numerical data.
After the learning phases team members will be asked to complete an evaluation form about the effectiveness of the learning strategies used.
During the project team members will be asked to record their thoughts and feelings on a team online discussion/EdNA Group or blogg (decided by team at initial team meeting).
Team members will develop a number of vignettes and a guide to their development.
Brief reflections of team members on their learning will be captured on video for inclusion in the final report.

We hope to share our learning :
· Use the skills of previous Learnscope teams, especially in relation to engaging young learners in e-learning and use of PDAs and blogging in e-learning, by inviting them to join our online discussion.
· Establish an AFL Private Discussion Forum for the NSW team and organise access across other state teams. Challenges will be set during the project for team members to research and provide feedback regarding certain aspects of e-learning through the AFL site.
· The team will share experiences, through online discussion, with previous and current LearnScope projects, relevant projects elsewhere and colleagues across faculty program areas.
· Some team members will attend the National Racing Training Conference and showcase the project.
· Project progress and outcomes will be posted to the Agri-Food Industry Skills Council website for information of the wider industry sectors’ networks.
· Project progress reports will be posted on the EdNA Groups site by the project facilitator

We’ll connect with others via:
§ Progress will be reported at monthly PINR Faculty Management Group meetings, keeping the Project mentor and other senor staff informed
§ The project manager will report to the Institute Delivery Committee, including colleagues from across all faculties.
§ Project participants will attend the Racing Conference in September, with the opportunity to inform racing industry colleagues about the project
§ The project will be publicized in the Western Institute Journal, which goes to all staff.
§ Information about the project and its products will be placed on the Faculty SharePoint site
§ Team members will be promoted as “champions” within the PINR faculty at their locations
§ Postings on EdNA groups and the NSW LearnScope sites

Proposed project products/outputs:
· The initial team meeting will decide on the ongoing reporting method, probably selecting an online discussion or blog.
· As the project will focus partly on using PowerPoint for interactive vignettes this format will be used for reporting the project along with a portfolio of the products produced.
· Team members will have access to digital cameras with short video ability and will be asked to “give it a go” to add to their own reflections on video to the story.