An unfortunate and fatal accident in infantry training for the Australian Army precipitated the need for change. The Director for Training and Doctrine led a team of learning and education stakeholders with Spinifex piloting a training course transformation.
Exceptional learning outcomes?
Our vision for technology-enabled learning is so much more than delivering learning content through video lectures, e-resources and Zoom classrooms. Learner engagement is only a baseline. Our aims included accelerating the speed at which we achieve workplace preparedness and achieving greater capability.
Spinifex was tasked with piloting educational excellence to inform the adoption of organisation-wide ‘blended learning’.
This necessitated taking an evidenced-based approach to workplace analysis, design and development.
Implementation, however, required a transformative approach based on three pillars – strategy, structure and support – to achieve success.
The use of the Defence Learning Management System (LMS) meant evaluation was in real-time using student data.
Better learning outcomes. Faster to knowledge. Faster to capability.
Spinifex created customised blended learning course evaluation tools to align the investment in technology against risk to outcome and difficulty to teach. Stakeholders, subject matter experts, instructors and students were observed and surveyed.
This allowed teaching assets such as video, animation, dynamic graphics and active images to be aligned where the learning need was greatest and ensured best ROI.
However, discovering insights didn’t end there. The use of data collected as students transitioned from the traditional classroom model to the new blended learning environment, with real-time analysis, allowed gaps in the digital course content to be identified and remediated during course delivery.
People and digital platforms.
Adopting a blended learning approach means ensuring technology enhances rather than replaces learning.
Spinifex designed a learning solution that utilised the existing Defence LMS. Data was used to test new technology, enabling ways to learn that used an active, constructive, authentic and collaborative pedagogy.
Spinifex used an innovative approach that integrated the learning content – what learners needed to learn – with the right pedagogy and technology using a framework of four blended learning models. These models aligned the technology investment against the pedagogical requirements.
To execute the program successfully meant engaging with leaders, facilitators and learners, recognising the cultural change required and delivering the professional learning support needed.
Real practice, where you apply your new knowledge in Defence, can require live firing, equipment platforms, qualified, current and competent soldiers, and safety personnel, ammunition, range bookings – and risk.
This can limit an individual’s opportunity to practise before being found competent.
Spinifex focused on using technology to increase the number of digital practices with authentic scenarios, allowing students to practise and reflect as they hone their new skills before entering the real environment.
Innovation that delivers results.
The Spinifex pilot delivered 29% better learning outcomes.
The average learner improved their test scores by 29%.
To achieve the exceptional, Spinifex was required to understand highly technical content – everything from ammunition ricochet distances and safety angles, to weapon safety precautions and explosive ordnance, but also translate that learning into a digital learning space, allowing students to realise their full potential.
Spinifex analysed, designed, developed, tested and deployed the Australian Defence Force Range Qualification course, transformng it into 17 lessons in the blended learning course. Results were evaluated iteratively in real time.
New processes were introduced that used data to target interventional training to individual students as learning gaps were identified.
The transition to blended learning was supported by professional development that was tailored to the needs of both instructors and students.
High risk, challenging learning space …
… an extraordinary result.
29% better outcomes.
Using the Spinifex-designed blended learning approach, the new modality was proven to deliver 29% better outcomes when compared to the original classroom lectures.
Lowest performing students improved most.
Lowest performing students lifted their test scores more than 30% up to an average pass mark of 80%. And using the rapid test-and-learn approach, the course used ongoing data to improve learning outcomes with each new student intake.
The pilot has led to a training transformation commitment for Australian Army and wider Defence.
Spinifex acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that Spinifex operates on the land of the Traditional Custodians and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.