ALaN WA Newsletter June 2012

Welcome to edition 4 of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network of Western Australia Newsletter!

Views expressed by contributors to the newsletter are their own and, unless expressly stated, do not reflect the opinions of their employers/organisations.

This contents page links individually to each article enabling you to go immediately to those of your choice. Alternatively, if you go to the main blog link, you can access the articles by scrolling down the page.

We welcome your comments and contributions to our newsletter. If you are an Adult Literacy/Numeracy practitioner in Western Australia or indeed, anywhere in the world, we invite you to subscribe and comment. If you interested in joining the GoogleGroup for our network, please visit our “How to join” page and complete the online form.


1. Project Based Learning for Youth – CGEA II or III

Our  story this month is from Perth where young people are taking ownership of their learning in this project based approach to CGEA.

2. Do you (or your students) Toon?

A look at engaging students through an online cartoon making tool.

3. CGEA Curriculum changes

CGEA Review and Version 4 Implementation

4. Moderation EGE

A Planned Moderation meeting for EGE

5. IBSA Foundation Skills projects status update

Catching up with IBSA’s current Foundation Skills projects

6. IBSA Scope new TAE qualification

New qualification for delivering and assessing Foundation Skills

7. Conference Updates

An update on the conferences happening in the near future

8. Teaching Strategies for LLN Teachers

Brief review of article from the Literacy and Numeracy Stuudies Journal


Project Based Learning for Youth – CGEA II or III

At Central Institute of Technology, Community Learning and Partnerships Portfolio, we have a growing group of young people who have disengaged from the school education system and joined us in the TAFE system to continue their education.

This cohort has challenged our staff to come up with ways of engaging these students, managing behavioural problems and focussing energy in a way to promote a positive learning experience.

Our students are aged between 14 and 18 with the average age of 15 years.  All students have left the school system for one of many reasons.  Some of these are:

  • Depression and anxiety (this group is the largest)
  • Family issues which have resulted in lost school time
  • Bullying (either as the bully or the bullied) and
  • Drug and alcohol issues (either their own or in their family)

Given the wide range of negative experiences these students have typically faced, we work hard to try to make their experience with us here at Central, a positive one.

Our programmes are learner focussed and learner led, based around projects the students identify as a group.  The focus is on positive involvement and the empowerment of the individual, encouraging each student to take responsibility for his or her own learning.

This is challenging our lecturers to come up with a range of engaging ways of deliver the curriculum.

One of the first of our project based learning activities was based around the “pop up” idea.  This involves creating a “pop up” whatever for a one off use.  Some examples of pop ups are a pop up restaurant, that appears, is set up, delivers a meal and then disappears again, a pop up market that creates a market place for a day and then disappears, a pop up concert etc.The first pop up one of our Youth classes undertook in Term 1 2012 was to organise and run an Easter Fair at a local kindergarten.

This project covered up the units listed below.

VBQU143 Implement & review a project

PUATEA001B Work in a team

VBQU152 Investigate and interpret measurements & related formula for everyday purposes (part)

VBQU153 Investigate, interpret and produce measurements & statistical information (part)

The project involved the students working through a number of steps over about six weeks to achieve the final outcome which was to run a two hour Easter Fair for 3 year olds at a local kindergarten.  These steps were:

  • Organising themselves into a project team, selecting and nominating roles of Project Manager, Finance Controller, Marketing Team and small Activity based teams.
  • Producing marketing materials including requests for donations towards a raffle to generate funds for the materials needed for the activities they were going to run at the kindergarten.
  • Organising and conducting a series of meetings with the Manager and Class teacher of the kindergarten to discuss and finalise dates, times, activities etc.
  • Researching costings and materials needed for activities
  • Managing donations and money as it came in to the project
  • Organising and running the raffle to raise funds
  • Purchasing the materials needed for the activities
  • Conducting risk analysis and contingency planning
  • Preparing the activities
  • Running the Easter Fair
  • Reflecting on the success of the fair and each individual student’s input to the project.

The process of the project was the most important part, as it was through each of the steps listed above that the lecturers covered off the competencies around which the project had been built.  The students understood the process and were active participants not only in the learning process but also in the assessment process.  This was done through using self reflection and peer assessment and feedback techniques, as well as the lecturer’s assessment methods and tools.

The six weeks were fairly intensive work for the students because in the process we were dealing with team work activities and skills development, maths skills development and guidance, project based work requirements etc.

In order to model some of the process, our lecturers used clips from “The Australian Apprentice”.  The students really clicked with this and could see how various skills were useful and implemented before they had to replicate them in their project.

The day of the Fair there was both excitement and nervousness in the air, but the overall feeling was confidence and control.  It was great to see and to be involved.  The students ran a number of fun activities including face painting, biscuit decorating, Easter Basket decorating and Bunny ears making!!The students loved both the process, the feeling of empowerment they felt in carrying the project, and the final Fair.  The children at the Kindergarten loved the afternoon too.  All in all, the project was interesting and engaging and a pretty seamless way of clustering a group of units together for this target group of students.

The beauty of it is that you can use various units at both Cert II and Cert III level when working with project based learning.  We have tried to ensure that from planning and choosing the project (sometimes with our guidance of course!) through to cleaning up afterwards and reflecting on the successes, difficulties and changes they would make, all was in the hands of the students.

It took a lot of work by our lecturers, both before the term began in planning and preparing assessment tools, mapping tools to ensure all elements, performance criteria, etc were covered, and then in guiding students through the project steps.  It also took a lot of effort by the lecturers to work together for a common final outcome.  All in all it was a great project –  one we will repeat.

Our other teams worked on other projects and I am happy to write on some of them at another time.

If you wish to know further details about how we went about specific parts of the process I am happy to answer questions through the Google Groups CGEA Network.

Sue Brennan


Do you (or your students) Toon?


my students are all off-campus and so are using their own computers with widely varying software. Many of my students are also not particularly computer literate so expecting them to use sophisticated features of word processing or presentation packages is not an option. The strategy I adopt for a lot of work with my online students is to use mostly (though not always) online tools. This post is about using one of them – ToonDoo – an online cartoon making tool.

How do we use ToonDoo?

I have been using ToonDoo myself for several years to create occasional texts to engage student attention and to break up heavily text based resources.

Then about 3 years ago I first used it with online students when we created a cartoon together via virtual classroom (Elluminate). Each student was given control of my desktop in turn to add their own “bit” to the cartoon. These students then signed up to ToonDoo and made their own cartoons. I have also shared my use of ToonDoo fairly widely through webinars and associated blog posts.

Recently I have extended the use of ToonDoo with my students as part of my National Vocational E-Learning Strategy project Extraordinary Learning For A Digital Age (ELFADA) funded under the Partnerships for Participation initiative. This was part of a mini-project on digital safety. The students learnt about ToonDoo in a virtual class session through an Application Share demo and together we created a Toon. This was shared through the course blog in a post on visual texts.

The next step was for the students to visit a series of links to cartoons each addressing an aspect of digital safety. They chose some of these to review and evaluate.

Finally the students created their own cartoon choosing a topic from those they had learned about through our work on staying safe online, they then published a blog post with links to their cartoon, or with the cartoon embedded. These are two of the student posts,  Jordan’s looking at scams and some consequences and Meg’s with a warning to take care what you share.


I have found using ToonDoo to be a great engagement tool for students and will continue to use it with my own online students. I also find that ToonDoo is used easily by students across all three levels that I currently teach online. In common with many other online tools it is relatively simple to use – this is a huge bonus for online students who don’t always have a lecturer available for immediate help.

Please use the comments to share your own and your student experiences with ToonDoo or other cartoon making tools. Or if it is new to you let us know if you think you might try this with your own students.

Jo Hart

CGEA Curriculum changes

CGEA review

CGEA accreditation expires at the end of 2012.  We are now awaiting the results of course concept proposal.

CGEA Version 4 Implementation July

The Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network in WA will hold webinars via Elluminate to share implementation issues in first week of July. There will be an updated assessment overview by that time to allow easy comparison of units in the same stream, including all changes to elements highlighted down to performance criteria level.

This Version change affects the numeracy and Mathematics stream most.

Download the new version from the Training Support Network in Victoria.

WA Implementation

The new Numeracy and Maths Units have now been assigned WA subject index numbers (SIN) and the new course structures are now available on VETinfoNet


Students enrolled before July 1 2012 are able to complete the numeracy units in which they are enrolled. However RTOs are encouraged to make the revised numeracy units available to students prior to July 1 2012. Students enrolled on or after July 1 2012 must complete the revised numeracy units.

Please comment here as you decide how to respond to changes in this revised curriculum.

IBSA Foundation Skills projects status update


It is all systems go at IBSA on the foundations skills front!

Here is brief status report to help you keep up.

The Foundation Skills Training Package  was released in draft form at the end of April. Feedback is now being considered. Western Australia hosted webinars that were reviewed by the project team so hopefully we should have some impact on improving the next version.  We are expecting a draft of the companion volume in July and the Training Package itself to be complete by September.

Work is proceeding  to implement the unit TAELLN401A as core in Cert IV TAA.  This will mean that all vocational practitioners will be required to demonstrate a basic understanding of a range of ways to meet the literacy, English language and numeracy needs of students seeking vocational qualifications. The skills profile needed for trainers and assessors of this unit

 Scoping of a Certificate IV for delivery/assessment of Foundation Skills has commenced. Feedback is due by 22 June 2012

The discussion paper proposes that this qualifaction is not for specialist literacy practioners but for those in the workforce who require a broader understanding of foundation skills to fulfil their VET sector role. Examples suggested are people writing currciulum and learning resources, those wishing to work better in a team teaching role with a LLN specialist and lead practioners.

Vocational Graduate Certificate and Vocational Graduate Diploma are also being discussed.

To get the full details and more information about what is happening in this area visit  IBSA’s current projects site


IBSA scope new TAE qualification

Certificate IV qualification for the delivery and assessment of foundation skills

IBSA is scoping the development of a Certificate IV qualification for the delivery and assessment of foundation skills. The proposed qualification would form part of the TAE 10 Training Package.

A consultation paper is available on the IBSA website. IBSA welcome group responses to the consultation paper and encourage interested stakeholders to get together with their colleagues to discuss the proposed Certificate.

IBSA has workshop notes and feedback forms available to support this process and can potentially be involved in group discussions via telephone. Contact Anita Roberts to access workshop materials.

Responses are due by 22 June 2012.

Conference updates

WAALC Conference • 11-12 July, 2012

Central Institute of Technology Perth

At the heart of the matter – identity and trust in adult learning

Program now released.

Limited funding is still available for travel to the conference. See the DTWD Adult Literacy Sponsorship Program on VETinfoNet for application forms.  Applications close 18/06/2012


ACAL Conference – Joining the Pieces: Literacy and Numeracy – one part of the picture

19-21 Sept • Hobart

Program will be available soon.


Australian Council of TESOL Associations International TESOL Conference (ACTA) •  Cairns •  3rd to 5th July 2012

‘TESOL as a Global Trade – Ethics, Equity and Ecology’

Pre-conference symposium Monday 2 July 2012 at the Cairns Convention Centre

‘Teaching and learning pronunciation: Local and global perspectives on research and practice’

A number of Western Australians are presenting at this conference on research connected to Two-Way Literacy and Learning.


International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics

The 19th International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics – A Research Forum (ALM19) is to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from Tuesday June 26 to Friday June 29 2012.

ALM is an international organisation which brings together practitioners and researchers who are involved in mathematics and numeracy education for adult learners in order to inform policy and practice. Information about the conference and registration are available at:


Teaching Strategies for LLN Teachers

There’s an excellent article written by Sue Ollerhead in the latest edition of the Literacy and Numeracy Studies journal, which will be very interesting for any teachers working with ESL students with low level literacy skills.  It looks at the results of traditional teacher-led classes compared to less structured classes, which develop more according to what’s going on in the classroom.

You have to register for the Literacy and Numeracy Studies journal, which takes a couple of minutes, but it’s well worth it.