This project is using a pioneering approach to literacy, ensuring that the training is functionally and context oriented.
This project will be delivered using interactive CD-ROM technology. The obvious problem in the provision of technology based literacy training is that the audience often has considerable difficulty reading. For this reason, the medium for providing the material must have audio as well as visual capabilities. Interactive video is a possibility, but is relatively expensive and the video component, while stimulating, is not essential.
CD-ROM technology fulfils all the requirements. It allows the self paced, non threatening, stimulating, relevant and individualised combination of computer based training and high quality voice reproduction. CD-ROM is also relatively inexpensive yet still has vast amounts of storage space.
The course will be divided into five modules: Safety Signs, Procedures, Forms, Notices and Flowcharts/ Diagrams. The 40 hours of training will use examples and exercises which are typical of an Australian workforce environment.
The project participants are indicative of the strength of the venture:
Emphasis is now being placed on the consequences of illiteracy and how this impinges on workplace productivity and safety, the capacity for people to participate in training programs, the limitations illiteracy imposes on upward mobility, and the risk at which peoples' jobs are placed by being unable to participate in award restructuring and multi-skilling processes. "Illiteracy is estimated to cost the nation $3.2 billion a year in lost production, such as through workplace accidents and health problems caused when workers cannot understand safety instructions written in English, ... (and) social problems arise when people cannot perform basic literacy skills such as filling out a form ..." (Literacy strategy targets home, workplace: The Weekend Australian, 31/8/1991, page 3).
This project aims to significantly assist ESB and NESB adults, by providing the improved productivity, safety, communication and job flexibility associated with greater literacy skills.
CD-ROM presents visual images coupled with textual and audio information, all integrated with interactive learning exercises, and thus provides the exceptional medium for self paced literacy education.
CD-ROM's greatest advantage is the speedy and comprehensive access to large volumes of information. This makes it an ideal vehicle for distributing training to thousands of students, without incurring the penalties of high online costs, difficult access methods or long response times. With CD-ROM there are no restrictions on the type of information stored in a single "multimedia" disc.
The proposed design methodology minimises the maintenance due to separation of modules onto separate disks; each disk is a discrete component of training. Thus changes to one module of the training will not affect any other module of the course.
It is expected that, eventually, any updates to the disk will be less expensive than an equivalent print replication of similar material, as pressing multiple disks reduces the costs significantly.
A modified version of the Gagne-Briggs nine events of instruction (Petry, Mouton and Reigeluth, 1987) formed the skeleton of the design methodology. Each lesson has a similar structure, as follows:
Correct, incorrect, exit feedback
Mastery, non-mastery feedback
Correct, incorrect, exit feedback
Mastery, non-mastery feedback
The examples and case studies used maximise relevancy by relating specifically to the Australian work environment.
Criterion referenced assessment also ensures that the training meets the requirements of the Training Guarantee Legislation.
By using a scenario based approach, the courseware developed ensures that the target audience:
Quality assurance was implemented at all stages of this development cycle.
The literacy framework is based on a successful text based literacy methodology, supported by linguistic and skills analyses of workplace texts.
The courseware design utilises a sound instructional design methodology.
The courseware will be delivered using proven CD-ROM technology, which is durable, has the capacity to store the multiple media, and can be mass produced and distributed as a reasonable cost.
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|Please cite as: Conyer, M. (1992). "English in the Workplace": CD-ROM, self paced literacy training course. In Promaco Conventions (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 644-649. Perth, Western Australia, 27-31 January. Promaco Conventions. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/iims/1992/conyer.html|