A TAFE experience that offers more
The Vocational Learning Model
Vocational learning at Swinburne focuses on helping you achieve your learning, workplace and career needs.
The university has developed a course delivery model that combines individual learning and assessment planning, support and a full range of services for students.
Each TAFE course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to either get a job, expand your existing skill set, advance your career and develop lifelong learning skills. Swinburne courses also provide a structured pathway to future study, when and how it suits you and your career.
When you are enrolled in a TAFE course at Swinburne, you can be assigned a Learner Mentor.
They help you to select and plan your course/s and assist you with all aspects of your learning and assessment experience at Swinburne.
Most Learner Mentors are also teachers at Swinburne. They know what students ask, how best to tailor your learning to your needs, and what is available at Swinburne to assist you.
Your Learner Mentor will be able to assist you with:
- Deciding the right course for you, at the right level with the right electives.
- Identifying opportunities for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Transfer that can fast track your course completion
- Planning any learning support you may require and help you seek the right assistance
- Familiarising you with any other services you may need to help you settle into Swinburne life
- Set up a personalised learning and assessment plan.
Throughout your course, your Learner Mentor will contact you to review your learning and assessment plan and adapt it with you, if required.
At the conclusion of your planned studies they will:
- help you apply for your qualification
- review your learning and assessment process
- help you work out 'where to from here' eg. next career steps, future study options (such as progression to a degree through the Guaranteed Entry Scheme) or combining work and study
- the Transitions Skills Course is also available for those heading to university to help you further develop the study skills required at university.
Learning and assessment options
You may be able to complete your course using a combination of learning and assessment activities, including options about where, how and how often you undertake your study. Options you can discuss with your Learner Mentor include:
- On-campus (face-to-face classroom attendance)
- Day, evening or weekend classes (depending on your course and your work/life balance)
- Online (units, whole courses, or face-to-face classes with some online learning)
- Cross-campus (units offered on more than one campus)
- Regular intakes (courses have regular intakes, so there may be options to pause and return)
- Consolidated blocks (intensive workshops with periods of individual learning and assessment between sessions).
Swinburne has a number of free services to support your learning.
Swinburne offers all students literacy and numeracy assessment prior to the start of their course.
A unit of study called Prepare to Study, accompanies all courses which introduces you to studying at Swinburne and gives you study tips, and assists you to familiarise yourself with specific Swinburne systems.
TAFE students can access information and advice from the university's Student Services. This includes advice on housing, finances and career planning. There are also services such as counselling and disability support. Find out more by visiting Student Services.
People of all ages study at Swinburne. You can develop networks and learning groups both face-to-face and online. If you are studying:
- on campus, your learning may also involve online discussions, blogs, social activities, group projects and discussions.
- online, you may have some online classroom time or you may need to attend one or two intensive workshops to consolidate and practice your learning, or for assessment purposes.
- in your workplace you will have opportunities to learn with your colleagues in agreed learning strategies that meet your workplace needs.
Whether you are learning face-to-face, online or in the workplace, some of your learning will be project based, working individually and/or in groups.
Projects offer an opportunity to learn not only about the topic, but also about yourself (how you like to learn, what you need to learn more about, how well you communicate and work with others etc.)
The end result of a project may be a product, a demonstration of a skill, a presentation or even an assignment being written. Whatever the end product, you are likely to be required to research, plan, design, build, construct or implement it. You may also be asked to evaluate both the success of the project and the learning you have gained from the experience.
Some courses may offer the option to study some or all the course online. Your unit(s)/course may be self-paced or you may follow a fully facilitated learning program online where there is plenty of online classroom time. In some online courses you may need to attend one or two intensive workshops to consolidate and practice your learning or for assessment purposes.
Studying online gives you the flexibility – although your course may offer scheduled classroom learning activity, for much of the time you may have the option to choose when and where you study, instead of working around a fixed study schedule.
Online study also requires the discipline of independent learning, but you will also have the support and guidance of your teacher and Learner Mentor.
Swinburne embraces sustainability principles across all facets of the organisation and these are embedded in all courses.
With sustainability issues relevant to every workplace, you will be confident that your work practices will meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Recognition of Prior learning (RPL)
Prior learning, existing skills and life experiences may accelerate your training or mean you could already be eligible for a formal qualification.
You will need to demonstrate achievement of appropriate skills and knowledge that apply to your course - your Learner Mentor will help you in this process.
Your demonstrated learning and skills may include completed units of study from another course, but may also include work experience, voluntary work, hobbies, leisure activities and other experiences that contribute to the assessment requirements of your course.
Assessment is part of every course.
Each course will have a standard range of assessments, but alternative assessment arrangements may be negotiated with your Learner Mentor and/or teacher.
Examples of assessment methods include:
- Course-based (assignments, presentations, tests, projects, products, interview etc as required)
- Work-based (relevant project(s))
- Recognition of prior learning (RPL assessment)
Instances where an alternative assessment method might be appropriate include:
- you need support to complete the assessments (due to a disability, disadvantage or for another reason)
- you can suggest an alternative assessment method that meets the criteria but is more suited to your workplace or personal needs (eg. a relevant project at work)
- you already have the knowledge and skills in some units but don't have enough evidence to apply for RPL, in which case it may be possible to do the assessment only, without going through the learning process (discuss with your teacher or Learner Mentor)
At Swinburne, different learning and assessment activities will enable you to develop transferable skills that employers see as critical for employment.
Skills such as problem solving, teamwork, planning and organising, communicating in a variety of ways, self-management, initiative and enterprise and learning will be essential when marketing yourself to prospective employers.
Industry-engaged learning (IEL)
Industry-engaged learning (IEL) is part of Swinburne's commitment to ensuring our students acquire relevant and recognised workplace skills. Students may be encouraged by their Learner Mentor to explore options to learn and be assessed at work to make the learning and assessment experience as relevant as possible.
IEL also includes embedding opportunities to participate in structured learning and assessment that involve direct, active involvement with industry.