Importance of study skills for VET learners

Importance of study skills for VET learners

Written by Sally Tansley

Following my recent article on Training Package reform and the link to regulation, I’d also like to share another insight from the ATHE curriculum I reviewed recently.

The Level 4 Extended Diploma of Management includes a unit called Study Skills. In summary, the unit outcomes are to assist learners to develop research skills (including identifying, evaluating and accessing sources of information), understanding and developing skills in good academic practice (e.g. academic writing), as well as learning about plagiarism and correct referencing, and finally reflective learning.

As part of my consulting work, I regularly review assessments prepared by international students and can only conclude the skills above are lacking. The most common issues I see are incorrect answers, plagiarism (directly from the Internet) and a low standard of written English (unless copied directly from the Internet!). I think this is partly an issue to do with too low a bar on entry requirements by the RTO, but it is also that students simply do not have experience in study skills.

I understand issues with completed assessments are just one of many issues that result in low quality work (sadly, usually marked as C by trainers/assessors). However, the concept of study skills introduced into Training Packages or as a standard of practice required by RTOs is much needed. Therefore ideally, on commencing their course learners will spend their first few days immersing themselves in study skills which can be reinforced throughout their course. Obviously this is not needed for all students, but based on my many years of experience in the international sector, I believe is absolutely required for this sector at least.

By the way I know this isn’t rocket science, rather commonsense. However, attention to the above seems to be missing in practice and in standards.

For more information on the inclusion of the study skills unit, see:

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