Teaching Talia

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

On twitter we were having a discussion about the colours of clinkers, a much loved lollie/chocolate.

Carly linked to the Cadbury site which sited 102, 123 and 133 as the colours used.

To find out what the colours were exactly I did a bit of digging and found this site which gave me this information about the colours used:

Colour 102
A real Long list. In summary, causes Asthma, concentration & learning  difficulties, depression, swelling of lip and tongue, insomnia, not reccomended for children and carinogenic

Colour 123
Hyperactivity, hives, asthma, rhinitis, carcinogenic, may affect reproduction, liver, kidney.

Colour 133
Brilliant Blue
Not Recommended for children. Causes  Asthma, Hive, Hay Fever, allergic reactions. Carcinogenic.

So yeah, never eating clinkers again…



apply past knowledge to new situations
communicating with clarity and precision
creating, imainging and innovating
Thinking Flexibly
Finding Humour
Managing Impulsivity
Thinking Interdependently
Listening with Understanding and Empathy
Remaining open to continuous learning
Questioning and posing problems
Taking responsibly risks
Gathering knowledge through all the senses
Thinking about thinking
Responding with wonderment and awe

Australian Flexible Learning Framework eGems Session.

DIY Benchmarking by Melanie Worrall.

*** *** *** ***

We think of measurement in terms of our outcomes, but there are lots of other ways to measure as well.

Benchmarking: Identifying processes and results that represent best practices and performance for similar activities, inside or outside the organisation. How can you improve what you don’t measure?


It’s important to measure apples with apples- so to speak.

Flex. Learning Framework DIY benchmarking tool:

Uses Survey Monkey (Boo!)

Step 1: Survey Monkey Account, get template.

Step 2: Use the Framework survey, Customise the questions to suit your needs

Step 3: Select survey sample, set up recipient list, monitor responses

Step 4: Download survey results, Transfer data to online DIY eLearning Benchmarking tool. Compare Results

You can benchmark against TAFE/RTO/School/Community and in any state.

*** ***


DIY Benchmarking tool

elearning Benchmarking

eGems session Details

I’ve spent the last few weeks complaining (with outher members of our work place) about the complete and unter lack of training that the Department of Training, actually gives. And here I am, in a staffing predicament, where one of my staff members obviously hasn’t been trained properly on how to do their job. My staffing problem leads itself to all sorts of issues, but as I complained about the ironic lack of training the department gives, I was struck with the ironic lack of training we give our staff when we are in fact, a training organisation.

I have no other choice then to take this on board and do something about it. Hence the pages of lists I have been writing all afternoon. The problem I find with training staff, is that it is incredibly time consuming, and difficult to know what to put in. It is easier to think, “I will just teach this person XYZ when they need to know it, not when they first start”. Only then, it gets to the time when XYZ needs to be done, and you end up with no time to do said training. The end result is an unacceptable piece of work from your employee, a frustrated self, a frustrated boss, and a frustrated employee. Ah, the joys of Middle Management!

Because I BELIEVE in training (and more specifically online training), I believe it’s worth the time you put into training staff. My big question is though, WHAT do new staff need to know?

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (in no particular order):

  • Philosophy of our company
  • How we started/got to where we are today
  • Our training beliefs
  • Why we do what we do
  • Expectations of staff
  • How to do specific things (thinking this will be a “How To” manual…)
  • Processes
  • Policies for staff and students
  • Procedures for various positions
  • Company heirachy

Do you have anything you can add to my list?! Help!

Today I stumbled across this fantastic resource from over at the Wodonga TAFE blog. If you haven’t checked out what they do before, I highly recommend their blog- it’s always full of fantastic information!

Extract from their blog:

Joyce Seitzinger, an eLearning advisor at the Eastern Institute of Technology in New Zealand has developed the fantastic “Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers” which helps teachers choose which Moodle tool will give you the best learning outcome taking into consideration what it is you want to achieve in the classroom or online; it even gives your choice a score based on categories in the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Many thanks to Joyce for her generous provision of use through her Creative Commons licence.

I’ve been inputting and mapping questionsfor some electrical competencies. The exams were written by another RTO, but it got me thinking about what type of questions should be differeing question types.

We’re fortunate enough to use Moodle as our LMS, so we have heaps of question types to choose from, but the question type I’m specifically looking at is written answer questions- the ‘essay’ type in Moodle. I find that in this exam I’m inputting there are written answer questions which require the answer with a single word, a yes or no, or title of standard or text the question is referring to. Is this a good use of written answer questions that take time for a trainer to manually mark?

Before I continue I think it’s worth mentioning that I am not pro mulitple choice and true/false questions for assessment. In an ideal world all questions in exams would be thought provoking, and the answer have to be written by the student. But the thing to consider, is the time that it takes to mark that. Multiple choice questions can be marked automatically by the Moodle, but written answer questions need to be manually marked. This means that you need someone who is able to spend the time marking questions. For a questions that requires a one word answer, is this an effective use of their time? My argument today, is No, it’s not.

I think that the most useful way to implement written answer questions is when you ask a student to justify, or explain a topic or opinion about the topic they’re studying. Below I’ve included an example of a bad written answer question, and good written answer question.

Bad Example:

“A customer requests a phone outlet be installed 1.5 meters from an open shower, is this allowed? Are there any rules that apply?”

Good Example:

“A customer requests a phone outlet be installed 1.5 meters from an open shower. Once you’ve explained to them that you can’t do this they tell you that they want it done anyway. Explain to the customer why you can’t do this, and what rules apply”.

So what do other people think? Am I way off, or is there (at least some) truth to what I’m saying?

So, after last week’s SCAMPER introduction, we looked at it again this week.

During the week I had made some mini-posters to put up in the room as prompts for staff, and also as reminders for when we’re working through the process.


You can download the resource pack here.

Reflections on the Teaching Process:

Earlier in the morning Graham had spoken to me about a problem he had with the introductions to subjects. We nutted out what specifically the problem was, and decided to use this as our focus for this week’s SCAMPER teaching. It was really powerful to have this real-life problem we were trying to solve. We ended up with an entire whiteboard FULL of ideas. Some went a little off track, but we still recorded them and decided we would talk about those in more detail later. I think that managing the process like this- keeping people on track etc. is vital in any creative thinking process wehre you have ‘rules’ to follow.

Having the prompts on the wall worked well, because people could read and soak the questions in at their own pace, and still be involved in the conversation. I think it was important that i was the ‘scribe’ as I had a clear idea of where we were headed with it already, and could devleop a big of a mind-map to record our thoughts. I wrote on a blank whiteboard, and having this big space was pretty important for two reasons:

1. I need a LOT of space to write everything down.

2. Everyone could clearly see/read the points already discussed.



Some staff members didn’t really participate, which was dissapointing. Even when they were called upon directly they didn’t have anything to say. This was frustrating, because I had no idea if they were understanding the SCAMPER process or not. To combat this next time I am going to ask them frequently if they have a suggestion, that way they can’t just sit there and not participate. It’s a different ball game with staff, as opposed to students. You can just be disappointed in them and not let them go out to lunch until they participate! Lol



Reflections on the SCAMPER process:

I found that by the time we got to “E” and “R” we had already covered them (partly). This was because of the natural ‘flow’ of the thought process- one thing leading to another. Sometimes when we adapted things we accidentally eliminated things… etc.

I would definitely use this again, and will continue to teach the session over and over until we have full participation, and people are using it of their own accord.

I found that some of the steps weren’t as relevant to our situation as others. When this happens to people, do they just look at it briefly and ignore, or are we just not looking hard enough at the step?



The resource pack includes:

  • SCAMPER pdf with focus questions for each letter.
  • Titles page to cut out and place under letters.


Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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