TAFE Western Nursing Teacher Letisha Finlay has witnessed some drastic changes to the way her courses have been delivered since starting with the organisation in 2010.
Most of these changes have been positive, according to Letisha, who believes that today’s state-of-the-art teaching methods at TAFE are far more advanced and make studying much easier for students, especially those in remote areas of western NSW.
“It’s all about flexible learning now,” Letisha said. “Students would much prefer to do their study in their own time, in their own chosen location. Gone are the days when students want or are able to come to class full-time to learn.”
A perfect example of TAFE’s flexible, remote delivery is Letisha’s Certificate III Individual Support (Ageing) class that she delivers via TAFE Western Connect (TWC) each Wednesday.
Letisha runs the course via video conference from her base in Dubbo, but not one student is in the classroom. Instead, students from right across western NSW participate through video link or interactive web page Adobe Connect.
“This allows the students to stay connected but remain in their own towns, making the training more accessible and affordable for our students,” she said.
“This particular class has 30 students enrolled and today we have participants from Lightning Ridge, Dunedoo, Walgett, Condobolin, Gilgandra, Wellington, Nyngan and Trundle all tuned in.
“After the class I am available for help and tutoring for two hours and I’m also available for six hours on Thursday. While students love learning during their own time, it’s also vitally important they have access to teachers for one-on-one help and assistance.”
As part of her tutoring, Letisha will also visit all of the students at their remote locations, each video conference is recorded and available for students who are unable to attend any of the classes, and a Facebook group is formed for participating students so they can discuss everything they learn in class.
“It’s really important that we look after each student’s individual circumstances. Each student has particular needs and individual learning styles,” she said.
“I encourage students to use our latest technology, but understand this is not possible for everyone, so we adapt the teaching and learning methods to suit each individual student.
“TWC and remote learning means that students can participate from their local TAFE College or workplace. But full-time workers, mums and isolated people also have access to these courses from home and they can complete their written components in their own time from their chosen locations.”
Letisha said she continues to be surprised at the advances in technology offered at TAFE Western.
“This place is all about the students and rightfully so,” she said. “We have to adapt to different circumstances and continue to improve our services to cater for a variety of environments.
“A lot has changed in my time with TAFE – training’s now a lot easier to access and as a whole I think it’s providing a lot of positive results.”
TAFE Western Manager of Educational Programs Michael Bourke praised Letisha’s teaching methods and the fact she was not afraid to try new techniques – all for the betterment of her students.
“Letisha is a very hard working and innovative teacher with excellent organisational skills and the ability to fit into her team well,” he said.
“She has a strong background in the health industry with extensive experience in regional and remote communities.
“Letisha’s skills see her meeting student needs both in the classroom and remotely using technology. She also helps develop high quality teaching resources that are used by other teachers.”
TAFE Western offers hundreds of courses through TWC, and the organisation prides itself on offering training that caters to the needs of each individual.
For more information visit www.tafewestern.edu.au or phone 1300 823 393.