Research - Applied
This guide was developed by Deste Consulting Services and Deschepper Consulting on behalf of the Victorian Department of Education and Training. It provides information about, and examples of, good practice in teaching and learning for Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers. It was developed by drawing on the wide and varied experiences of VET practitioners working in the government-subsidised training market in Victoria.
pdf Challenge-based Learning (2.13 MB) (October 2018)
The Victorian TAFE Assocation and the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) were pleased to host two workshops in October 2018, including Applied Research and Industry Collaboration and Entrepreneurship and Challenge-based Learning. These workshops were delivered by experts from TKNIKA, one of Europe's leading VET promotional organistion.
A PDF of the presentation delivered at the Challenge-based Learning workshop has been provided (refer to above link).
pdf Applied Research and Innovation in VET (505 KB) (October 2018)
This discussion paper was commissioned by the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) as background for a discussion about how applied research is best defined in vocational education and training (VET) contexts. It was tabled at the Applied Research and Innovation Affinity Group workshop held at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) World Congress in Melbourne in October 2018, and extended beyond the workshop through the use of technology.
The major contribution of the TAFE sector to Victorian prosperity was confirmed in a report released by the Victorian TAFE Association in conjunction with KPMG.
Written by Professor Stephen Parker, KPMG’s National Education Leader, and drawing on analysis and modelling by KPMG Economics, The Importance of TAFE to Victoria's Prosperity outlines the ways Victoria’s 12 standalone TAFE institutes and four dual sector universities support Victoria’s economic and social prosperity.
This research project investigates the realities and challenges for Victoria’s 12 TAFEs and 4 dual sector universities in providing young people from disadvantaged circumstances with a learning environment and support services to enable them to successfully re-engage with education. The report is based on information collected through qualitative and quantitative data collection processes conducted with TAFEs and dual sector universities in 2015.
The rationale for this paper is set against the significant changes to TAFE systems that have occurred in other State jurisdictions largely in the last four years.
Victoria is now the only State that retains a diverse system of TAFE Institutes.
TAFE providers have extensive expertise, developed over many decades, in developing and delivering training programs that match the skill and knowledge needs of business, health and community services agencies and a myriad of other organisations. TAFE has invested energy and capability in instructional design, delivery practice and assessment models for effective training, be it on campus, online or in the workplace.Loading...
Applied research opens a new dimension in which TAFE providers can extend the impact of their industry contacts, energy, discipline knowledge and training know-how.
Applied research is activated when a TAFE industry client – large, medium, small, micro or startup – identifies a problem or promising idea and seeks TAFE’s participation in responding to it.
Applied research concentrates on technical challenges, business process bottlenecks and service delivery inefficiencies. It may also be concerned with designing high quality training programs that overcome such problems, including examining what constitutes best practice in teaching and learning. But it’s the challenge, the bottleneck, the inefficiency, the idea in a business setting that is the flywheel of applied research.
Applied research harnesses the skills and knowledge of TAFE teachers to devise solutions in collaboration with an industry client. The benefit for TAFE students is becoming active participants in resolving a live problem in their industry of study. This scenario means they can apply what they already know and can do, develop new skills, make a difference. It’s a scenario that fosters engagement, boosts learning outcomes and lifts career opportunities.
Applied research can be a particularly valuable TAFE service to startups and to small and medium sized businesses. Businesses of this size often confront problems that need solutions in a shorter time than a detailed, long term research program can provide. Smaller businesses rarely have the financial resources to invest in long term research, and rarely have the staffing resources or capability to oversee a research program.
TAFE knows how to work with business of all sizes and all stages of development. Applying that sound understanding to collaborative applied research problem solving and idea development is an essential pathway for successful applied research.
The engine that moves along that pathway has a number of moving parts that are less familiar and need further crafting. Key among those unfamiliar moving parts are:
- developing a shared understanding across the TAFE sector about applied research pedagogy so student engagement in problem solving and idea development is maximised;
- devising models of applied research support that invite many businesses or agencies to collaborate with TAFE on tackling a common challenge; and
- understanding how to define a problem or opportunity and how to design an efficient research program which has the fastest path to resolution.
Some TAFE teachers are already active in applied research. Sometimes it goes under other names, like prototyping, or tinkering, or applied commonsense. The great opportunity for TAFE is to grow applied research expertise across the sector and to share it for the benefit of our students and the industries we serve.
- Winemaking at Melbourne Polytechnic
- Boatbuilding at GOTAFE
- e-learning, BlendED, at The Gordon
- Holmeglen Institute's integrated capability
- The Textile and Fashion Hub at Kangan Institute
- Chisholm Institute's Berwick Technical Education Centre
The VTA regularly produces case study publications that showcase the extensive leadership and contribution of Victoria’s TAFE Network.
These publications demonstrate how the TAFE Network’s extensive expertise and partnerships have been deployed to find solutions to diverse problems in diverse settings, and the deep and rich role that the TAFE Network plays to help students fulfil their aspirations and industry meet their skill needs.