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Unlike most other digital educational applications,
SkillsLocker is driven by the student, rather than the teacher.
The world's first app for mobile devices, enabling students to
instantly submit assessment evidence, has just been launched by TAFE
NSW. Called ‘SkillsLocker',
the free web app will greatly streamline the process of collecting,
verifying and assessing evidential materials.
Students can access the app using their DEC account, to upload media
and document files – including images, audio recordings and video – to
their course teachers using any mobile device, smartphones (iPhone and
Android), tablets and personal computers.
The ground-breaking new app was developed over the past 18 months by
TAFE NSW Customer Support, as part of its Virtual Learning Environment
Program, in a partnership with Sydney-based web developer MOB-labs.
Unlike most other digital educational applications, SkillsLocker is
student-driven meaning that it is the student who instigates the
interaction, rather than the teacher.
The app is links directly to training.gov.au, once they have logged
on, students can select a unit of competency for a course they are
enrolled in and start adding evidence for that unit.
Options are then provided to assign the relevant course and teacher.
To provide further assistance to the student there is a facility for
teachers to upload resources and notes to support students in
collecting their evidence against the critical aspects of the unit.
Typically, this function is an opportunity for the teacher to give a
‘plain English' or fuller explanation of what is required. The student
is then able to record, capture or upload their evidence: perhaps a
video of them carrying and completing out a task, an image of their
handiwork or a written document.
Once student have collected the evidence they are able to have it
verified by a designated supervisor, instructor or manager, through
either one of two digital mechanisms.
The verifier can either write their signature directly onto the
screen into a verification form, or they can respond to an
automatically generated message to their email account.
Through each step of the process, help in using SkillsLocker is
provided through help guides, videos and FAQs.
Once the tutor receives the evidential material through their own
SkillsLocker account, they can assess it. The teacher then has three
options with which to respond to the student's submission: ‘Sufficient
evidence provided'; ‘More evidence required'; or ‘Evidence not
satisfactory'. The teacher can provide instant feedback improves
teacher student communication in general, which is one of the key
benefits of the app.
All activity including evidence and interactions between students and
teachers can be packaged and exported as a PDF or HTML file.
Integration between SkillsLocker and Mahara ePortfolio is currently
being developed to enable students to export their SkillsLocker
resources into an online portfolio of their work or professional resume.
The key advantages of the SkillsLocker mobile application
identified by TAFE NSW