Updated Implementation Guide for CGEA

The latest Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) curriculum was accredited in 2013 and a free Implementation Guide is now available.

I found the new guide to be quite an improvement on the previous version. The focus is mainly on showing users how to integrate units in various ways so students get the chance to use authentic texts.  Case studies are used to demonstrate what the writers mean by this.

I liked the Case Study that showed how a class organised  a fund raiser morning tea as an official part of  the Cancer Council’s Australia’s Biggest Morning tea.

CGEA Imp Guide pic for Post

This offered a reasonably simple class activity that could provide assessment opportunities for a number of units.

Case study 3 is based on assessment activities for the Initial CGEA course based around the local library. The writers used this activity to show how to record the integrated mapping of four units focusing on Reading and Numeracy. There is also a recording sheet to allow evidence to be captured while watching a student interact with online information.  You will need to do some adaptation as the online resources suggested are Victorian. This year’s WAALC conference will have a session on how Western Australian libraries are now accessible 24/7 which will offer ideas on how to adapt the activity for higher level students.

I will be using the new Guide in this year’s Introduction to the CGEA Part 1 workshops for teachers new to CGEA.  But even if you are a more experienced user of the CGEA courses, you might want a quick browse through this Guide to see what it has to offer you.

Cheryl Wiltshire
Department of Training and Workforce Development

Digital literacy for “offline” students – Part 1

Worried about how to incorporate digital literacy in your literacy course if your students have no, or limited, Internet access? There are downloadable tools that you can use to help you with this. Most need to be installed on the computers your students use although some may be run from a USB memory stick or a CD/DVD. This article focuses on PowerPoint as a tool for creating digital texts.

The maths resource “Language of shape” on this blog page, was developed in PowerPoint. It is a digital text containing internal hyperlinks and audio so that it has a degree of interactivity. The links below connect to short “how to” tutorials on creating different interactive texts using PowerPoint:

Some ideas for student tasks that create digital texts using PowerPoint advanced features.

Wordle ideas for Ppt projects

There are a number of other tools that may be used to create digital texts without being connected to the Internet, however PowerPoint is probably the most easily available in most teaching contexts.

Jo Hart

Literacy Research Matters

Looking for that critical research report, journal article or conference paper?

The VOCED & ALADIN online databases may help you.

VOCED is a free international research database from NCVER relating to workforce needs, skills development, and social inclusion. It encompasses vocational education and training (VET), higher education, adult and community education, informal learning, and VET in Schools. International in scope the database contains over 63,000 English language records, many with links to full text documents. You can easily search by keyword or ‘Browse’ by author, title, journal or subject.

Adult Learning Documentation and Information Network (ALADIN) , is an initiative of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. It was created to support networking and capacity building between documentation centres and libraries in the area of adult learning and literacy. Today it comprises of 96 documentation centres in 47 countries in all regions of the world, from complex university libraries and research units, to small NGO resource centres and some virtual collections. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) is an ALADIN member organisation.

KEEP UP TO DATE: New research is collated into a bi-monthly ALADIN Online Alert located on the ALADIN News webpage – no ‘subscription’ or signup required. Find out about recent online and full-text information in the areas of adult learning, adult literacy, lifelong learning and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Jane Jones

New ALaN Network projects 2014-2015

The Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network  continues to be supported by the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) with the task of fostering collaboration and professional learning between adult educators in Western Australia.

Network facilitation

Jo Hart will offer support to the online functions of the ALaN Network including acting as editor for this Edublog ALaN WA. Her expertise in online learning will continue to offer us access to new ways to collaborate as professionals and to use these tools with our students.

Claire Willis takes over from Dani Murray as membership manager, offering assistance to practitioners to gain and maintain access to our members only facilities and to make the best use of them.

CAVSS Leaders Projects

A new initiative this year will be the development of a CAVSS Leaders Network. C. Y. O’Connor Institute of Technology and Durack Institute of Technology have offered to start us off with some products to share with the objective of creating much wider understanding of the CAVSS model across organisations and how to make it work.

Adult numeracy projects

The new adult numeracy projects build on the great start we made in 2013 and early 2014.

Phil Hart will maintain the Edublog What’s in a number?  that resulted from our 2013 round of projects. This provides us with a dedicated numeracy and mathematics space to share teaching and learning ideas online as well as access the great work done over the last two years.

Beth Marr will continue her work in offering a range of professional learning options that develops teacher skills related to using collaborative learning in the context of teaching adults numeracy. This will include:

  • A repeat of the three block series piloted in 2014 Collaborative Numeracy
  • A two day workshop for those unable to commit to a longer course see item 2
  • creation of videos and a PD leaders guide based on the pilot workshop and designed for in house use by RTOs
  • working with Centacare Employment and Training staff to develop an adaptation of collaborative activities to support numeracy development for low level ESL students.
  • Delivering an initial Practical Strategies workshop in  Geraldton (co-funded by Durack Institute of Technology will partially fund  for their teachers to avoid the cost of sending teachers to Perth).

Other projects

Gerard Laumen from Challenger Institute of Technology will share his experiences in using free Google applications with students building literacy by creating a Google Circle focused on this topic.

Watch the newsletter and the Google Group for more information on all these projects in the next few months.

Cheryl Wiltshire
ALaN Network Coordinator



Useful links and resources August 2014

Service Skills Australia has a new webpage “Taking the Lead” which it describes as a “one-stop shop” for information on the development of core LLN skills in the service industries.

Several of the Industry Skills Councils have developed resources relating to Foundation Skills in their industry areas. These may be useful to anyone delivering LLN in an industry context eg CAVSS, USIQ or WELL (soon to be replaced by the new Industry Skills Fund). They include the following free resources:

Construction and Property Services – Foundation Skills Resources for CPC08 and CPP07

Agrifood Skills Australia – Two LLN resources “From the Ground Up” and “The Get Real Factor”

Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council – a series of videos on LLN Awareness & Foundation Skills Implementation

Government Skills Australia – a series of videos on Foundation Skills in a government and community context



Supporting effective delivery of foundation skills to Indigenous, remote and disadvantaged learners

We are looking for input from foundation skills (LLN and Employability Skills) practitioners into the “Technology Innovations Applied Research Project” that CY O’Connor Institute is currently undertaking (funded through the National Vocational E-Learning Strategy (NVELS)).

The project focus is on building the e-capability of the VET workforce to identify and address the foundation skills needs of disadvantaged learners.

Natures window distance

One of the main outputs from the project will be a “toolkit” for foundation skills teachers working with the identified learner groups that will provide them with:

  • A framework of e-pedagogy outlining the key principles for teaching foundation skills to disadvantaged learners in VET
  • Advice on the use of selected media and technological applications for foundation skills training for disadvantaged learners
  • Good practice examples of the use of e-learning technologies for the development of foundation skills for the identified equity groups
  • Case studies of ‘e-mbedding’ foundation skills in vocational training for the identified equity groups
  • E-teaching strategies that will enable foundation skills teachers to ‘deliberately’ introduce and teach the literacies, numeracies and foundation skills that are taken for granted within the vocational course.

We are seeking examples and ideas from foundation skills (LLN/Employability Skills) practitioners to help us create a useful resource for others. So please, please share if you use/have used any e-tools and strategies with your students.

We are looking particularly for:

  • case studies of how you/your students have used technology to support LLN/Employability Skills development, in a vocational or general education context;
  • information about any media/technology/apps you have trialled/used and how successful these were (especially if you had any bandwidth – speed – issues)
  • any strategies you have used to introduce vocationally specific foundation skills to students

Please add a comment here on the post or visit the Google group and comment on the post there so that we can contact you for more information. It is so important that we have input from as many people as possible so that we can create a terrific toolkit!

Sharon Ross, Lina Zampichelli, Jo Hart (CY O’Connor Institute)

Slideshare – sharing on the web!

Slideshare is one of my favourite tools for sharing the slides from any PD sessions that I deliver. If you have been to any of my BlackboardCollaborate or face-to-face sessions for the ALaN network it is quite likely that I have shared my slides via Slideshare. I have found it a really useful and easy to use tool for both me and my students. I use it mainly to share presentations and resources created in Powerpoint (.ppt and .pptx) so that students and others accessing the content are not required to have Microsoft Office in order to open the resource. My students who have used it have used it for sharing their own presentations and stories – again they don’t need to have Powerpoint, presentations made in OpenOffice Presentation Document (.odp) can be uploaded as can .pdf and other documents.

This short screencast gives the steps for signing up to Slideshare. Once you have signed up you are directly in an upload screen. However you will get an email with a link for you to click to confirm your membership. Remember to click this or your account will disappear!

The embedded Slideshare below will show you how to upload and embed a Slideshare in a blog or other website, however you can also easily just share the link.

If you already use Slideshare please add a comment about how you use it. If you are encouraged by this post to try it yourself and/or to use it with your students, then again please post a comment to share your ideas and feedback.

CAVSS in the digital age

Technology has become an important component of adult education and training.

When I first started delivering the Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills (CAVSS) there was no computer in sight. Over the past decade I have seen an increase in use and need for technology. I teach with a number of lecturers in a variety of industries (Trades, Aged Care, Disability). Much of my work is with Cert III in Engineering (Fabrication). Many apprentices have unrealistic expectations of Engineering. They expect it to be a practical subject and are unprepared for the amount of theory and mathematics involved. And increasingly, we use technology as part of training and in the workplace. Technology has become an important component of their training.

Students access course information and assignments from Blackboard which also has web links, presentations and videos. They use the internet to research and access information and watch videos from web sites such as Miller’s welding video library and YouTube. Some of their assessments are online. They create workplace journals on the computer and upload photos from their mobile phones.

There are learning guides, charts, tables, manuals and drawings to read and interpret. A huge demand for literacy and numeracy skills.


FabricationToolbox 300px A good resource is theTotal Fabrication flexible learning toolbox

Each day, the apprentices use maths skills in their jobs in order to complete projects and other job duties. Maths is used to determine material requirements and costs, interpret drawings and specifications, draw using measurements, and read codes.

There are countless resources on the internet for maths. I will illustrate just one here.

Apprentices learn to draw using only a compass, straightedge and pencil (Construction in geometry). These construction techniques give tools to draw things when direct measurement is not appropriate.

These skills are transferred to marking out on sheet metal using, dividers, steel rule and scribe.

Many of the apprentices cannot understand the written instructions and find a demonstration of the steps easier to follow.

A useful site is:http://www.mathopenref.com/constructions.htmlgiving step by step instructions and animations.Example: constructing a 90° angle 90deg angle 300px

The apprentices are required to interpret technical drawings and sketch isometric projections. Many students find instructions in a book are difficult to follow. Students have found the following video useful and inspiring.


Apprentices use a number of Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) programs. Autosketch is used to create precision drawings. See the simple example to the right. Autosketch eg 250px

Apprentices learn to construct templates using geometric development. They develop the templates on paper or on sheet metal. Lots of maths skills and knowledge required. Reading and following instructions on geometric development is quite daunting for many of the apprentices. The Total Fabrication Toolbox has a section on template making.

Constructing shapes using triangulation is particularly difficult for apprentices to learn. They find a demonstration useful.  I assist with each step, drawing, measuring and calculating. Another strategy is to watch an Animation. Follow link for demonstration on constructing transitional shapes.

 square to round 250px The apprentices use a program, Plate ‘n’ Sheet Development, to generate templates and check their layout and measurements.I needed to learn how to operate this program so that I would be of use to the students.There are a number of mathematical concepts, including geometry and measurement, which students need to know to be able to complete this task.


In addition to providing traditional literacy and numeracy support I am increasingly providing more digital literacy support.

Technology may provide the motivation to learn the theory and mathematics adults need for their training and in the workplace and it may facilitate more meaningful learning for them.

Lina Zampichelli

CAVSS Lecturer

C Y O’Connor Institute




Drowning in information?


How do you manage all those links to websites that you come across every day? Even if you don’t currently use very much digital or web-based content in your teaching you probably visit websites for printable teaching resources. There are many printable resources available from websites as well as the truly digital content. I know I was accessing (and printing) masses of such material some years ago, well before my face-to-face students had any computer access in class.

Information curation

Keeping the links that you need and want while discarding those items that are not useful for you is a big problem that is continuing to increase. Information curation has become a major issue for many people. This is compounded by the fact that most of us now access work related links and content on more than one digital device. In my own case I need to be able to regularly access links from at least three different desktop computers, my laptop and my iPad. This excludes classrooms and any one-off situations such as workshops or conferences. Browser “Favourites” are no longer sufficient to keep all those links especially when they are still often lost during updates.

As a general bookmarking tool I mostly use Diigo an online application that enables me to save and tag links and also to share with others. However this is not ideal for sharing links with students as it isn’t very structured (at least mine isn’t) and in my opinion links are easier for students to work with if they are organised in some way.

Using SymbalooEdu with students

My preferred tool for managing links that I use with students is SymbalooEdu. This is easy to sign up to and easy to use. The pages (“Webmixes”) can also easily be made public and shared.



Symbaloo is very visual using coloured “tiles” to which you can add icons and titles. In Symbaloo I create what are known as “Webmixes” groups of links that relate to particular topics. I can then share the “Webmixes” with students to use in activities.

Advantages of using Symbaloo:

  • enables me to give students a degree of ownership and choice in the links they access for activities;
  • allows me some control so that I can ensure that students visit websites which provide appropriate examples related to the activity concerned and are likely to be comparativley “safe”;
  • limits the websites students access for an activity (reduces the number I need to visit when evaluating work);
  • provides scaffolding opportunities from which students can progress to become more independent
  • I can use tile colour, page position and icon to provide clear navigation for students so that they can easily find the links they need;
  • colour and page position can also be used for level differentiation so that I can use the same Webmix for an activity that spans several levels – this makes it easy if a student needs to access higher or lower level links to meet individual needs;
  • I can give students access to the links they need for an activity without “cluttering” up their written instructions with a series of links in the text;
  • if a link becomes inactive it is easy to remove or replace without having to modify and re-upload the activity itself;
  • the visual nature of the tiles works well with literacy students.

This embedded Symbaloo page with groups related to career exploration and resume development is one I use online – the activity I use this with is similar at Certs I, II and III and, depending on standard of completion,  it may provide evidence for aspects of units on Learning Plan and Portfolio, Creating and Engaging with texts (Personal and/or Learning).


SymbalooEdu works well as a tool for managing links that are shared with students, it is easy to update links and manages student access reducing risk to students and potential for lecturer overload.

Jo Hart


Joining the conversation!


Our newsletter, like the ALaN Network GoogleGroup, is a way of starting conversations. The conversation may continue through other media but often the most useful way to join that conversation is to comment on the initiating post. Please! Please! Join our ALaN conversations – add comments to posts in the newsletter and in the GoogleGroup.

About commenting

Many very well known and experienced writers of online articles/bloggers say that the discussion that happens through the comments is the most important part for them, so being able to join in through commenting is a great way of sharing your own ideas as well as giving feedback to the writer. If someone has already made a similar comment to what you have in mind don’t be put off! You can still add your comment in support of an opinion already expressed – maybe expand on it a little, add further thoughts  or put your own slant. Also don’t be put off if you disagree – you can still comment – expressing disagreement is fine as long as it is done with respect and in an appropriate tone. Personally, I always think of the “feedback sandwich” and (especially if I disagree) try always to begin and end my comments on a positive note.

Commenting online in a public (eg the newsletter which is a blog) or semi-public (eg the GoogleGroup) discussion forum is a little bit different from providing feedback privately or within a very small closed group. Comments are an important part of both discussion forums and blogs. However remember that commenting is public feedback and so it is important to bear in mind your own security/safety as well as the tone and potential impact of your comments.


“Good” commenting

Good commenting is very much about:

  • Adding value to the conversation. You don’t have to say something totally new to do that, reinforcing someone else’s idea/opinion is fine.
  • Being respectful of others’ ideas and opinions even if you disagree. There is nothing wrong in disagreeing with someone through a comment it is how you do this that matters.

This Lifehacker post although several years old makes great points about good commenting that you may find useful for your students and for yourself.

Ideally when I am introducing students to commenting I give them these links:

or similar ones and then ask them to make their own list. I do also have “Guidelines for commenting” that I can share with colleagues for use with their students who may be commenting on blogs or taking part in discussion forums. Some of the points overlap with those made in made in the Lifehacker post mentioned above but I also raise issues of safety for the commenter and others.


Just as with face-to-face interaction respect is important! Making respect explicit is especially significant in asynchronous online interaction because we lack the body language and audio cues that can soften a possibly hurtful comment. This is one reason why using “emoticons” is so much part of online conversation.

Commenting in forums and on posts is the “life blood” of online interaction. So PLEASE join our conversations here in the Newsletter and also (if you are an ALaN GoogleGroup member) in the group. You could start with a comment on this post!