WebTrain - What is it really?
• WebTrain is a new
programming
language for the
WWW that has been
specifically designed
for education and
training applications.
Why build a new language?
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Learning management systems have mainly been built using existing WWW
languages like JAVA, HTML, ASP’s, XML, Cold Fusion etc.
Whilst those technologies are good for the WWW, they have limitations when
applied to education and training.
The current State run VET E-Learning systems are University designed and they
are great at what they do (in Universities). They were never designed to operate
in the VET sector yet State governments have thrown hundreds of millions of
dollars at overseas companies and software to try to make it “fit”. They never
will. This has all been at the expense of Australian companies.
Australia has many situations where apprentices and trainees are being forced to
train using university style learning strategies because their teachers have an
academic bent, a university designed LMS and they know no better. The
students have no choice but to put up with it.
Eg. Metals is only one subject area but it requires a specific type of Learning
Management System, not a generic one. All subject areas require their own
strategy, not a generic one.
WebTrain was built to address those shortfalls. We have created over 400 ELearning applications that address the actual needs of the VET system and its
students.
What makes us different?
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Reverse Engineering
Speed of development
Tracking and reporting
Assessment types
Programming language
Customisation
Sustainable models of online delivery
The Amount of Content available using WebTrain
(1200+ units of competency over 20 Training
Packages)
Reverse Engineering
• The majority of software platforms require
some level of staff and professional
development to train people to use them.
• WebTrain has a very quick learning curve.
• Instead of you knowing where to find the
necessary tools, WebTrain figures out who
you are, where you are and what tools you
need. “The tools find you”
Speed of Development 1
• Why learn WWW languages?
• The languages you learn will probably not
exist in a few years.
• WebTrain can remove the need for
developers to learn any new language.
• This adds up to development times that
other packages only hope for.
Speed of Development 2
• Resources must to be managed. It is very
difficult for teachers and untrained
developers to develop a system that allows
them to upgrade and find their files.
• WebTrain manages resources in many ways.
• Even if you forget where you left certain
files, WebTrain can figure it out for you.
Tracking and Reporting
• Detailed Student Progress reports
• Graphs generated “on the fly” about time
spent online
• Reporting on Tutor activity
• Reporting on Developer activity
• You can decide on what you want recorded
and how you want the reports displayed
Assessment Types
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Multiple Choice
Multiple Answer Multiple Choice
Multiple Question Multiple
Choice
Numeric
Randomly generated numeric
JAVASCRIPT
Timed Exams
Assignments
Self Assessment
Check Boxes
Text Entries
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Macromedia
IP Lockout
Multimedia
Tick a Box
Drag and Drop
Print it out and email to your
Tutor
Print it out and mail it to your
Tutor
Programming Language
• Allows customisation of resources and Learning
Management System to individuals
• Has no limits in the education and training field
• Every introduced functionality has been added due to
actual needs rather than using technical wizardry to
produce a “make do” solution.
• Allows WebTrain to produce E-Learning sites with any
content, look and feel and logo for any organisation within
an hour. That is on the WWW and with all necessary
training ready to go.
What makes E-Learning work?
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Every VET online resource must have 7 levels. Miss one and it won’t work.
The online resource must:
– Be capable of being administered
– Be capable of being tutored
– Be capable of being edited and managed
– Be capable of being learnt
– Contain relevant content
– Be delivered within a very simple, easy to operate LMS
– Sustain itself and pay its way educationally and financially
The Toolboxes being developed by ANTA have missed most of these points to
some extent because they have aimed their resources at using LMS’s that are
University designed and at producing learning objects not working resources.
They produce resources that won’t work online unless a huge investment is
undertaken by the organisation wishing to deliver these resources.
There is one, however, that is still growing after 6 years of use within the VET
sector.
Sustainable Models 1
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In late 1997, WebTrain was selected for a Series 1 Toolbox in Metals Engineering mainly because we
already had an LMS that was designed for the VET sector. The content for that Toolbox (13 units)
was developed using a WebTrain based LMS under licence to ANTA. A single site was created and
hosted by WebTrain to deliver that content. The Toolbox was completed on time and within budget
in 1998.
Throughout 1999 and 2000, 3 people were paid under the toolbox funding to support any
organisation that wished to use this Toolbox. WebTrain also hosted an E-Learning site (for free) to
support any organisation who wished to use this Toolbox online. The 3 people listened very carefully
to the RTO’s and their students and made changes to the LMS that was specifically required for
Metals online.
In 2001, WebTrain split this E-Learning site up into 2 sites (which we again licenced for free) in
order to handle the excessive student numbers.
In 2002, WebTrain split one of these sites into 7 sites (one for each Australian state and we again
licenced these for free) to handle the increase in the numbers of students.
In 2004, we have split the 7 State sites up into 23 sites (some of these sites are for individual
departments within TAFE’s and Secondary Schools and we still licence them for free). We now have
some 40 units available within the Metals sector. http://www.webtrain.com.au/metals.html
A great many of the organisations using these materials and the WebTrain based LMS that supports it
have been with us for 6 years. We expect that the number of sites will increase in 2005 to over 50 in
order to handle the increase in student numbers. Some 2500 students per year is the figure for 2003.
2004 is already higher.
These organisations are paying a fraction of their previous paperbased material costs by using ELearning as an alternative.
Sustainable Models 2
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Multimedia or not?
– Is it necessary and is it sustainable?
– Most multimedia is sometimes used because it is “bells and whistles” and it looks great to some
people. Very little thought is put into what effect it will have on the Learner. If you want an
insight into what mismanaged multimedia production does to a student, watch the start of the
Simpsons TV show.
– It is useful in certain applications (and Webtrain does use it when it has been well thought out
and directed)
– It is extremely expensive and therefore very difficult to recover development costs.
Sustainability is also accountability in the spending of education dollars
Ask yourself 3 questions. Before Multimedia came along:
– “Was the main resource in a classroom a Text Book or paperbased document”?
– “Did that resource contain mostly black and white text and images”?
– “Did it work”?
If you are being honest, you will know that your answer to all 3 questions was “Yes”
It begs the 4th question which is what it is all about. “Why did it work”?
The answer is “The difference between success and failure in a classroom is the TEACHER”. Put
your efforts into producing the best TEACHERS and you will succeed no matter what medium you
use (online included). If you were in a race for our life, the management and organisation would be
last and TEACHERS and STUDENTS would be first every time. That is not necessarily on the
minds of training organisations. A lot of E-Learning organisations in Australia do what is convenient
for them, not the people who can make them successful. STUDENTTS AND TEACHERS.
It is no different in the virtual/online classroom. The TEACHER is the key. The only difference is
that different tools are used.
Sustainable Models 3
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Example/Scenario
1. I have a group of 15 students with a very good teacher. All of the knowledge is
in the teachers head including fantastic methods of teaching the subject. This
group is going to be examined externally.
2. I have another group of 15 students with another very good teacher. This
teacher has access to the most unbelievable, whiz bang, bells and whistles type of
resource that money can buy. This group is also going to be examined using the
same exam as the first group.
What is the difference in outcomes between the groups?
The answer is very little except that the second group could cost many times more
to train/educate.
Why do it? You can never recoup the cost. The resource also has a limited
lifespan.
If online education and training is to succeed, practitioners must be educated as to
the pros and cons of using multimedia. From experience and having a successful
business that relies entirely on online education and training, we know that
multimedia is very over-rated. We do use it but we are very careful about where it
is used.
Content Subjects Available
•Business Services
•IT
•Metals Engineering
•Retail
•Workplace Trainer and Assessor
•Business Admin
•Hospitality
•Electronics
•Quality
•Security Guarding
•Harness Racing
•Financial Services
•Professional Development of
Teachers
•Horticulture
•Tourism
•OH&S
•Construction
•Automotive
•Aged Care
•Child care
•IELTS Preparation
•ESL
•Primary School Maths
•Rail Training
•Nursing
•Accounting
•Real Estate
•Agriculture
Summary
• WebTrain allows an
organisation to
produce their own
online solution that
can be altered at any
time
• WebTrain can also
provide a total
solution for your
organisation
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WebTrain - What is it really?