AS071 Hand tools for hand devices

Hand_make_timber_joints_-_Cover.jpg Intro.jpg


Lead organisation: Box Hill Institute
Pauline Farrell and Barbara Macfarlan
Retention and training of construction trades suffers from multiple issues that can be solved with mobile solutions. In addition the buoyancy of Victoria during the GFC continues to put pressure on the demand for construction workers. This project will look at developing content and assessment activities on both Apple i0S5 and Android devices. Current methods, applications and resources will be evaluated for transforming existing practices into new activities. Construction trades are also increasingly required to refer to up-to-date documentation and so ePublisher formats will be used to make available these materials across mobile devices. In addition the collaborative potential available for commenting and sharing materials within these formats will be investigated. Finally creative methods for assessment will be incorporated into the activity.

How does this project align to the jurisdictional and national priorities?

A present the Certificate III in Cabinet Making and Certificate III Furniture Making use a traditional approach to training that consists of apprentices attending the Institute for ten blocks of five days per year. There are several barriers to training being successfully completed:
  • limited engagement with the employer and limited acknowledgement and assessment of workplace based learning
  • Attendance at TAFE is poorly valued due to the off site time required
  • Increasing need for retaining access to learning materials and online documentation
  • Increased pressures of mobility in a competitive training environment
  • Increased pressures on physical training space within the TAFE compared with demand

In this project, 30 students will be introduced to iPads and android devices within the Construction area. The challenge is to re-develop existing resources and develop new resources to ensure the resources and delivery strategy designed support this project for both the teachers and students.

These devices will also allow the capture of informal learning that can be formalised through the design of better mobile delivery and assessment tools and strategies.
We are eager to improve our retention rates which we believe will be partially achieved through better meeting their learning needs. Most trade student also use smartphones and their personal devices can also be integrated in the delivery.

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The summative assessment task will be workplace based and require employer input. This will provide BHI with the opportunity to better engage with employers and apprentices to and better meet the needs of both groups. Improved mechanisms for acknowledging workplace learning should also assist with retention strategies.
Offering a more flexible and workplace focused approach to apprentice training will also assist with attracting more students and then being able to adequately being meet demand.
  • 80% of BHI students want more eLearning and Blended Learning (AFLF National Indicators, 2011)
  • 98% of our building students have a smart phone.
Internal BHI data shows that BFS has the lowest proportion of linguistic learners. This has significant implications as the current resources being used for the furnishing and cabinet making students are mainly text-based. These students are predominately kinaesthetic, social and visual learners. This demographic is perfectly suited to a more mobile approach to learning where authentic workplace activities and learning can be more easily captured and used as evidence to show competence, thus contributing to the fast track of their apprenticeship.

Consultation will occur with:
  • Industry bodies
  • Employers
  • Teachers
  • Executive.

Intended outcomes from your project

What do you hope to achieve with the funding?
The project deliverables will be :
  • An understanding of how we can transform existing resources that are mobile ready and student relevant
  • A transformation of the assessment strategy to be mobile ready and relevant
  • A training program to upskill teachers into understanding the assessment and delivery re-design process around utilising a mobility in education strategy delivered to 20 staff.
  • The design and development of one eLearning unit as an exemplar
  • The design and development of one interactive print/eBook as an exemplar
  • This project will be trialed with thirty students with the intention that it is rolled out to 300 apprentices in the 6 months following this project.

Intended outcomes for learners:
  • Increased employability skills
  • Increased digital literacy and responsible digital citizenship
  • More rapid skill development and placement in employment
  • Increased workplace training and assessment
  • Increased student retention Development of e-skills to broaden their learning window and increase the amount of training time in the workplace.
  • Increase the amount of kinaesthetic and social learning that will engage the students

Intended outcomes for employers:
  • Increased engagement with the RTO and better capacity to negotiate customisations of the program to meet their learners needs
  • Development of a ‘learning culture’ with Industry partners
  • Increased access to mobile resources and well-trained teachers
  • Greater flexibility for the students and greater choice around where and how they learn

Intended outcomes for the RTO:
  • Higher completion rates
  • Individual and personalised learner plans that document learner aspirations, progress and achievements
  • A suite of mobile resources and tools selected to reflect the learning styles of the learners
  • Opportunities to showcase project success to industry partners and compel other institute teaching centres to adopt a more flexible workplace base model of learning

Resource Development
  • BHI – BeLS will develop a generic competency for the trades area that will be dual published for elearning in both Moodle and also as an interactive ePub
  • Templates and processes that will allow for rapid redevelopment of existing resources
  • Research and adapt resources available through state repositories, former Australian Flexible Learning Framework projects and other Creative Commons licensing arrangements, where applicable.

Development of flowchart, templates, exemplars and case studies of individual learners and programs to support other organisations and individuals to be able to adopt the design process and structures created and trialled in this project
Integration of project activities and outcome in a reference group and staff meetings.

Evaluation and measurement
The statistical analysis of feedback from the students, teachers and employers will assist us to track this information.
We will also review Moodle usage rates for this cohort
We also track retention rates

Actual Outcomes resulting from this project

What was done?
The schedule - where we are at is outlined in this powerpoint.

Outcomes from this week
  • Project plan confirmed
  • unit of competence unpacked and videos planned
  • stage 1 of the filming completed
  • stage 2 of videoing completed; editing and voiceovers completed
  • research into supporting materials and ePub formats begun
  • iBook author was chosen for its range of built-in features
  • storyboard begun and supplementary videos organised
  • videos reviewed and handed to Learning Designer
  • resources, files, images for ePub sourced
  • students started their course and were given iPads
  • iPads were used for accessing the generic units (OHS, Communication units) in the LMS (StudentWeb)
  • Handmake Timber Joints FM2006A was developed and integrated into StudentWeb - students access this on their iPads
  • Pre-project survey distributed to learners and teacher
  • Learning Designer works with the teacher and students to facilitate the use of their iPads in their practical and theory classes - assessments, images, downloading Apps, etc
  • ePub was completed and delivered to the students' iPads. The comparison to the traditional Learner Resource (pdf) was talked about by the students who loved the interactive ePub with videos and activities.
  • post-project survey distributed to the staff and learners who will access it online
  • Project executive manager and Project Manager attend the workshop in Sydney 30 May

Lead agent
Partner (s)
Team Member
Benefits and Learnings
Barbara Macfarlan
  • the opportunity to work with the teachers as they developed a new assessment strategy for delivery online and to mobile devices
  • creating an interactive ePub which demonstrated another format for the content which is traditionally a photocopied pdf
  • bringing mobile technology into the learning environment and showing that mobile devices can be used for 'good' when there are meaningful purposes
  • developing a learning-to-learn, collaborative relationship between the teachers and students as they shared expertiese. Teachers - cabinet-making skills, students - iPad technology skills
  • transforming the learning environment by incorporating digital resources and capability
  • creating an enthusiasm in teachers who now think about eLearning as something that they want to incorporate into their methodology
  • development of javascript templates for the interactive learning materials in the LMS
  • teacher expectations of what the iPads could do
  • limited skills in using the technology - LMS & iPads. Teachers needed to be up-skilled; students learned very quickly
  • iPad's limitations meant a re-think of the assignments and activities
Sue Stapleton
  • Familiarisation with a number of ePUB applications and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Development of 'templates' which can be reused for further development
  • Knowing what file formats, sizes, resolution of images is appropriate in order to maximise the quality of the end product
  • Being able to create a very 'image rich' ePUB which gives the student an experience much greater than just a PDF with videos in it...
  • creating an enthusiasm in (not only) teachers - every teaching Centre in the Institute now wants ePUBs developed - but in the students who are now far more engaged with their learning
  • Learning experience all round - limited or no experience developing ePUBs
  • Researching different software apps to find which was appropriate to the project's needs
  • Reacquainting myself with the Macintosh environment and the wonders it provides after many years of PC use...
  • Being responsible for the look and feel of the publication as well as the development of the assets
  • Becoming aware (through trial and error) of the idiosynchrasies of using the iBOOK Author App, including the limitations of the inbuilt 'widgets' (interactivities), and where necessary, reworking the storyboard to allow for these restrictions
  • Ensuring file size was managable, yet bearing in mind image quality; particularly with regard to video compression
Gregor McNish
  • Some time spent understanding the epub format as zipped html5 with manifests
  • Important to be careful with the file formats and target audience, epub can be used widely, ibooks format only on apple devices
  • epub is standard, but epub readers have different levels of support that goes beyond the standard, particularly around javascript interactivity
  • Creative Book Builder is a brilliant ipad ebook authoring tool, very well suited for simple ebook development by anyone. Especially nice because can edit existing (DRM free) ebooks.
  • Initial minor technical issue making sure ipad target for development was set up with recent OS, ibooks so that it could receive the ibook developed in iBook Author
  • Minor challenge getting resulting ibook/epub files to be downloadable from moodle-- had to add relevant mime types so the files could be opened in ibooks from a moodle course.
Pauline Farrell

Reflections and Suggestions

Team Member
It has been interesting to watch the development of the teachers into ePractitioners. Although, they thought that eLearning was a good idea "in principle" it was for other people. The teachers now think about eLearning as an imperative that they are anxious to embrace. This project has them planning and developing resources that include multimedia, social interaction, real workplace incorporation, and online assessments. They will continue to incorporate mobile devices into all aspects of their delivery.
We have an iPad Planner document that outlines a procedure for implementing mobile devices. The plan incudes focus questions around rationale, pedagogy, implementation advice, getting connected, and so on.
Ensure that you have a few weeks lead in before delivery to enable the teachers time to develop assessments and delivery plans.
Using an app such as iBOOK Author restricts the output to Apple devices so care must be taken with file formats. It was for this project however the perfect solution for our target audience.

Our basic strategy of focusing on web standards, not devices, is a good one.


This is a sample of one of the videos from the ePub.
It opens in YouTube to alleviate any file format and size issues.

Training and Assessment plan


This project gave us the opportunity to work with the teachers in the Cabinet-making department and help them to develop a mobile pedagogy for delivery and assessment.
The teachers had a lot of enthusiasm but limited experience with mobile learning in general and iPads in particular. Barb worked with Scott Keating (Cabinet-making teacher) to look at the assessments and establish that they were mobile ready and approriate to meet the assessment criteria. She then worked with the Scott and his students for three days helping all to utilise the iPad to its best advantage for teaching and learning including gathering evidnce of competence in the form of photos; accessing the online courses from their iPads; and using the ePub created for the unit LMFFM2006B Hand make timber joints. The students also completed several other units from the training package that had been developed in Moodle to be compatible with iPads including OHS, and Communication skills.


The images on the right are:
  • a screen capture of the wiki which the learners had to complete with information for assessment task 1. To protect the learners' privacy we have used a capture of a page made by Barb as a demonstration for the learners. Each learner did something similar as part of their assessment.
  • a screen shot of the assessment task 2 quiz

Have a look at one of the assessment tasks that was modified to include the use of iPads.
The learners used their iPads to complete formative and summative assessments including drag and drop activities, matching activities, quizzes, posts to the forum, assignments (like the wiki) with supporting images, and filling in forms.

The ePub

The highlight for the learners was the development of the ePub which was image and video rich, and yet contained all the information that they had previously had in a seventy-eight page pdf. The interactive nature of the ePub enhanced the learning as the students went back over the videos again and again. The teacher also commented that he could refer them to a video in the ePub to reinforce in-class demonstration.

Moodle course

We also built a Moodle course for this unit and it will be integrated into the blended delivery of this unit to other students.
You can access this course here with guest access.
The Moodle course has the assessments and the content for this unit and will be used by all students enrolled in Certificate III in Cabinet-making.
a screen capture of a page from the wiki for assessment task 1.
Assessment quiz

Sustainability of project outcomes

Box Hill Institute has embarked on a significant Mobility in Education initiative. Five of our Teaching Centres have now deployed iPad's within targeted courses. These projects have required significant research and collaboration and have proven to be very exciting but also quite challenging. Designing and developing ePub's is critical to the success of this strategy both in the short and long term. Our short term strategy has been to design and develop templates that the BeLS Team can use for rapid deployment and long term is to develop these templates for the teachers to be able to use themselves.

The critical sustainability issue for this project however was the implementation of the ePub which Barb Macfarlan managed brilliantly. We integrated this project with an exitigng larger scale apprenticeship block project which aims to redesign the way BHI delivers our apprenticehip program. Barb invigorated the teachers and students to the point where we are now committed to completing another two ePub's with planning underway to complete the whole course in 2013.This project overall proven so successful that we will now we deploying the apprenticeship block with the option of introducing iPads across the majority of the apprenticeship programs.

Our greatest challenge will remain:
  • Getting teachers on board - skilled and confident
  • Working with Industry so they can also see the benefits of mobility in their apprentices training
  • Getting the systems and learning technologies to work together
  • Finding the resources we need to make this all happen seamlessly on an Institute scale

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the opportunity and funding - it has been a wonderful experience :)


This is a an Access to Skills project output, developed by Box Hill Institute - Blended eLearning Solutions Centre, TAFE TV and most importantly Building and Furnishing Studies with seed funding from the National VET e-learning strategy.

For more information

For more information on Box Hill Institute
Pauline Farrell
Executive Manager
Blended eLearning Solutions
Phone: (03) 9286 9237

For more information on the Access to Skills program:
Phone: (08) 9229 5200