Around the world, many people start tertiary learning programmes but never finish. Sometimes there are perfectly good reasons for this. Circumstances or priorities can change. But sometimes learners just need more support, and things can be done to avoid wasted effort or investment. If we could just understand more about what is going on for learners—which ones need support, and the kind of support that would be most useful.
NZCER is creating a research-based tool
That’s what the Learner Success project is all about. NZCER is creating a research-based tool that will help the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) support its apprentices to complete apprenticeships and become qualified tradespeople. It’s a ground-breaking project and very collaborative. We need to measure people’s dispositions and situations, work/learning environment, and business characteristics.
Whether or not learners complete involves a complex interplay of influences. And we’re also allowing for the idea that, for some learners, “success” does not necessarily mean completion. Not only that, as we build the tool, apprentice and employer/trainer lives are being lived, and their trajectories are unfolding. So the tool’s mathematical modelling needs to “learn” about the data and relationships as they happen in real time, in order to forecast possibilities.
The tool will provide a 'health profile' for each apprentice
By the end of 2019 the tool will be able to provide an overall, and updating, “health profile” for each apprentice, including a likelihood of completion. It will also provide guidance about appropriate learning support interventions against that profile. It is designed to augment, not replace, the learning support already provided through the BCITO’s Training Advisors. In other words, the humans will always be important!
Contact Karen Vaughan at NZCER for more information.