a developmental learning strategy for training packages l.
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… a Developmental Learning Strategy for Training Packages. http://linkup.tafesa.edu.au. Employability Skills in Training Packages. To emphasise the importance of Employability Skills, they have been explicitly embedded in all Training Packages and must be ‘ assessed and reported’

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employability skills in training packages
Employability Skills in Training Packages
  • To emphasise the importance of Employability Skills, they have been explicitly embedded in all Training Packages and must be ‘assessed and reported’
  • Trainers are responsible for…
      • learning and development – ensuring graduates develop knowledge of AND competence in the Employability Skills
      • integrated assessment – assessing Employability Skills in an integrated manner with technical skills as part of Units of Competency

… is a system specifically designed to support ‘learning and development’ (& prepare students for integrated assessments)

history of linkup
History of LINKup
  • 1991 – Action Research commenced at Tea Tree Gully TAFE
  • Driven by educational vision
  • Influenced by acclaimed world’s best model of generic skills assessment – Alverno College, USA.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

history of linkup4
History of LINKup
  • 2001 – 10 years later LINKup achieved international recognition when benchmarked against Alverno model

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

June, 2001

history of linkup5
History of LINKup
  • Focus on effectivepractical implementation
  • Years of action research&continuous improvement
  • Extensive stakeholder involvement - industry, VET, uni, academic researchers, students, staff, international experts, Training Package developers, national policy staff etc
  • Subject of numerous research reviews & case studies
  • Trialled in VET, University, Workplace contexts and School VET contexts
what is linkup
  • LINKup is a new ‘specially designed’development strategy for Employability Skills
  • Research tells us such new approaches are necessary for the development and assessment of generic skills

– traditional methods are not effective.

Employability Skills “differ quite dramatically from technical or the ‘doing’ skills both in nature and the way they aredeveloped”(2007, Allen Consulting Group, p11)

what is linkup7
  • LINKup’s exclusive‘Validated Self Assessment’ is a learner-centred developmental system designed to …

(i) inform people about Employability Skills AND

(ii) improve competence in these skills

“Assessing employability skills is a pedagogical activity, naturally linked tolearning strategies for developing employability skills.”(2007, National Quality Council)

what is linkup8
  • LINKup has added an educational focus to the Employability Skills framework by means of its Validated Self Assessment (VSA)process.
  • VSA forms are specifically designed to provide a developmental learning process for students.
linkup online
LINKup Online

The comprehensive LINKupwebsite provides EVERYTHING you need

including many interactive multimedia resources !!


linkup developmental learning features
LINKup ‘Developmental Learning’ Features
  • Self assessment ensures students develop comprehensive knowledge and understanding of these skills.
  • Employability Skills mustalways be demonstrated integral with technical skills to ensure authentic performance of these skills.
  • Self assessments are validated by an appropriate assessor to ensure validity and reliability of the learner’s understanding and competence.
  • Validation provides perfect opportunities for trainers to provide developmental feedback and support to the learner.

(1) Validated Self Assessment

Of all the strategies evaluated “the validated self assessment approach provides the greatest value to the learner”(2007, Allen Consulting Group, p40)

linkup developmental learning features11
LINKup ‘Developmental Learning’ Features
  • Self assessment involves systematic ‘analysis’ of Employability Skills performed in authentic activities to better understand these skills.
  • This helps people to more consciously and methodically ‘synthesise’ these skills with technical skills in new contexts (ie transferability).
  • Employability Skills facets have been unpacked and systematically incorporated into self assessment tools to support this analysis and learning.

(1) Validated Self Assessment

“Use reflection and self assessment in the development and recognition of employability skills.”(2007, National Quality Council)

linkup developmental learning features12
LINKup ‘Developmental Learning’ Features

Features and benefits include:

  • Learner-centred – based on self assessment to inform and empower learners
  • Systematic – educationally designed developmental framework
  • Authentic – based on analysis of demonstrated holistic performance
  • Generic assessment strategy – nurtures transferability of skills
  • Efficient and effective – one consistent easy-to-use strategy
  • Universal – anywhere, anytime, any context (future workplaces etc)

(1) Validated Self Assessment

linkup developmental learning features13
LINKup ‘Developmental Learning’ Features
  • Performing an Employability Skill is a ‘process’
  • LINKup has organised ‘facets’ into a developmental ‘process’ of defining, planning, implementing & evaluating each Employability Skill in authentic activities.
  • This offers students a systematic ‘learning experience’ rather than merely an ‘assessment checklist’.

(2) Define – Plan – Implement – Evaluate process

linkup developmental learning features14
LINKup ‘Developmental Learning’ Features
  • Facets can be performed at different ‘Dimensions of Competency’ representing different levels of self directedness.
  • LINKup has defined all facets at 3 Levels (based directly on these Dimensions of Competency) creating a meaningful framework for analysing, understanding and performing these skills in different contexts.
  • Students say this helps them ‘make sense’ of the different ways of applying these skills.

(3) Dimensions of Competency

“Use the four skill areas known as dimensions of competency to create a holistic image of the competent individual and to identify which employability skills could be unpacked into learning and assessment activities.”(2007, National Quality Council)

the secret to implementing linkup is
The secret to implementing LINKup is …

*** Validated Self Assessment forms ***


(1) Validated Self Assessment

(2) Define – Plan – Implement – Evaluate process

(3) ‘Self-directedness’ Performance Level Framework


LINKup Validated Self Assessment Forms

Validated Self Assessment

‘Dimensions of Competency’ Levels

Define – Plan – Implement – Evaluate Process


LINKup Validated Self Assessment Forms

New Online Interactive VSA Forms:* same developmental processes* PLUS lots of additional multimedia help

Example Evidence Statements

Fill-out Online

Audio Help tracks

Simplified Performance Criteria Layout

how to use linkup in training packages
HOW to use LINKup in Training Packages

eg. Employability Skills Summary: SIT40107 Cert IV in Tourism (Guiding)

Employability Skills facets required to be assessed for this qualification

Map ‘facets’ to Dimensions of Competency ‘Levels’ and use LINKup self assessments throughout training to nurture development

Dimensions of Competency = LINKup Performance Levels

linkup individualised profiling
LINKup Individualised Profiling
  • Mandatory “descriptive reporting” provides a summary of Employability Skills customised to a particular qualification and industry but not to the individual – therefore it is recommended that students generate their own portfolios.
  • LINKup helps students generate their own individualised Employability Skills profile
  • Full details of all Validated Self Assessments are recorded for each student (in the same way their technical achievements are recorded).

LINKup can generate individualised validated Employability Skills profiles

linkup individualised profiling21
LINKup Individualised Profiling
  • Completion of VSAs for all facets identified in the Employability Skills Summary is a confirmation of readiness/capability to perform ‘integral assessments’ for a qualification.
  • LINKup provides ongoing opportunities for self assessment and development of Employability Skills for each individual learner until they achieve the necessary level of understanding and competence for the qualification – essential for an effective developmental learning system.
  • Helps graduates develop portfolios of evidence for job interviews and helps employers in the recruiting process.

“Employers would be able to draw upon detailed, validated information about learners’ skills”(p40, The Allen Consulting Group, 2006)

linkup individualised profiling22
LINKup Individualised Profiling

Dimensions of Competency Levels


VSMART computer-based student management system is designed to record all Employability Skills self assessments

(* in addition to all other course assessments)

Employability Skills

Descriptive Employability Skills Profile


Using LINKup

LINKup is comprehensive yet easyto implement because it:

  • has been deliberately designed as a developmental learning process
  • uses a common self assessmentprocess for all Employability Skills
  • can be applied anywhere anytimeany context
  • For further information see LINKup website

National Quality Council 2007, produced by John Mitchell & Associates, The model for assessing and reporting employability skills

The Allen Consulting Group 2006,Assessment and Reporting of Employability Skills in Training Packages, Report to Department of Education, Science and Training, Melbourne, March.

Precision Consultancy, 2006,Employability Skills – From Framework to Practice, Department of Education, Science and Training, Canberra