Online service standards

MCIE online service standards

These standards are the minimum level of support provided and offered to all students of MCIE and Explore English who choose to, or are required to, access their learning and assessments via web based LMS and communication programs. These standards apply regardless of the programs used for specific courses.

 

Explanatory notes

Please note: in these standards references to ‘Trainers’ means Teachers and Trainers and references to ‘MCIE’ means MCIE VET and Explore English.

 

Student support

MCIE provides students support in various ways, including support provided by:

  • Trainer/assessors
  • Administration staff
  • Information Technology staff
  • Student Welfare Coordinator
  • LLN specialist

Each member of staff holding one of these positions offer support services that are available in person and via our online Student Request system. Students can send a ticket for support at any time of day and receive the support during operating hours. Students are advised via onboarding messages, by their trainer, signage, posters distributed on campus and regular email updates, of the support options available to them and how to access that support.

 

Student welcome

On completion of their enrolment at MCIE, students are sent a welcome email which provides:

  • step by step instructions to access their online classes
  • detailed instructions explaining how to activate their MCIE email account
  • a video tutorial guiding to access and use Microsoft TEAMS which provides a virtual classroom environment
  • contact details of the Head of Department and IT Support
  • contact details for wellbeing support
  • instruction to download the MCIE Student Handbook

 

Support from teachers/trainers

Students who require support from their teachers/trainers can contact them directly and can expect a response usually within 48 hours but not longer than 7 days. This may vary according to the teacher/trainer’s workload and hours of work with Explore English/MCIE, trainers will advise their students of the hours they are available to provide support.

 

Student requests

MCIE’s standard hours of operation are from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. MCIE is closed on Sundays.

Administration staff are contactable during operating hours, via the online student request form and will respond within a maximum of 48 hours during weekdays, and 72 hours when requests are submitted after 3pm on a Friday.

Technical support, during the Covid-19 pandemic and on weekdays, MCIE aims to respond to student technical support requests within one hour of a request being made. These requests must be made online via the Student IT Support form https://www.mcie.edu.au/student-it-tech-support/. In normal circumstances response to student requests during operating hours will be made within 24 hours.

Student welfare – in addition, MCIE employs a qualified Student Welfare Coordinator who meets with students by appointment. Students may arrange an appointment with the SWC by emailing wellbeing@mcie.edu.au.

 

Student entry requirements and induction

Prior to enrolment students are asked to advise if they use technology, have access to technology, internet and data. Entry requirements and induction, include:

  • Confirmation of digital literacy
  • Details of platform/s to access learning materials and resources.
  • Minimum hardware and software requirements. Students are only enrolled in courses that are suitable and appropriate. Students are aware of the minimum requirements to be able to participate in the course.

During induction, a member of the technical support team guides students to logon to their class, students are also given information about the support services that are available to them and the ways in which they can utilise these services.

During their first lesson students are given information about the information technology requirements that apply to their course and their trainer ensures that they understand how to use them.

In applying to study at MCIE students are required to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy Quiz which is conducted on computer.  This enables MCIE to determine if the student has a basic level of digital literacy.  Following this, as part of the Pre-Training Review students are required to self-assess their digital literacy skills in relation to aspects of their course that may involve the use of digital platforms.  As a result of this, recommendations are made to the student about the type of learning that is most applicable to them and if virtual learning is suitable for the student.  Upon enrolment, students are sent detailed information and instructional videos about accessing their MCIE email, how to use Microsoft TEAMS and how to access online content applicable to their course.

 

Minimum requirements

For Windows, the processor requirement is 1.6 GHz or greater, and the recommended memory requirement is 2 GB RAM or greater. A minimum hard disk space of 3GB is required. The operating system should be Windows 10, or Windows 8.1 in 32-bit and 64-bit. A standard laptop camera, microphone, and speakers are required.

For MAC OS, the processor requirement is Intel Core 2 or later, and the recommended memory requirement is 2 GB RAM or greater. A minimum hard disk space of 1.5GB is required. The operating system should be Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later. A standard laptop camera, microphone, and speakers are required.

 

Learning materials

Learning materials, including

  • Various formats to optimise the learning experience.
  • How the high-level principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are met. Learning materials cover all aspects of a unit of competency and all necessary information to enable competency to be achieved. Learning materials are accessible to a wide variety of learners.

MCIE uses a range of formats to enhance the successful delivery of its programs. Examples include guided content, PowerPoint presentations, videos and audio material. These formats enable students to experience different types of learning media and enable students to access information in their preferred learning style which helps students to acquire and consolidate knowledge.

In addition, virtual classes and discussion forums are utilised to allow students to engage with content provided by trainers/assessors and interact with their peers. This enables students to have the opportunity to ask and answer questions, workshop ideas and consider the opinions of other perspectives.

MCIE is committed to enabling access to all students and ensures that our website and its content is available to the widest possible audience, including readers using assistive technology. Our website and web templates are designed to meet the required standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

 

Student engagement

Student engagement, including:

  • provision of collaborative learning opportunities with peers and others.
  • provision of ongoing feedback – the Training Provider’s approach to collecting feedback and frequency.
  • monitoring of student activity or non-participation. Students are engaged in learning and monitored to ensure they continually progress through their program.

In virtual classes and face to face teaching trainers actively provide opportunities for students to learn collaboratively as part of their normal class schedule.

Students are given ongoing assessment throughout their course by their trainer who has responsibility for monitoring student progress. Student assessment are marked by trainers and feedback is given to students within 14 days of submission.

 

How we assess you

The assessment methods used at MCIE include:

  • written short and long answer questions
  • tools and technology used to facilitate assessment of practical skills. Students are assessed against all aspects of a unit of competency and practical skills are assessed using contemporary technology.

MCIE uses a range of assessment methods to judge that a student has fully met the requirements of their units and qualification. These include: Knowledge tests, projects, presentations, case studies, and practical demonstrations. In any case that a student is required to submit an assessment online then the requirements of the assessment are the same as if they are submitted in person.

Where students are required to demonstrate competency in practical skills, face to face demonstration of skills acquired will normally be required, however suitable video technology including photos and smartphone recording may be used where this is appropriate.

 

Professional IT development of our trainers

MCIE’s Trainers and Assessors undergo regular professional development in online delivery:

  • they have undertaken professional development in online facilitation of virtual classes and have completed professional development to enable them to deliver an engaging learning experience.
  • continue to be offered training in the use of effective online learning engagement

All trainers at MCIE are fully qualified to teach their respective courses and are experienced in course delivery.

 

Thoughts and tips for effective influence in a virtual space

Given the rate of change in this space, it is likely that that any tool recommendation is likely to change over the next 12 months but it is current as of 3/11/20

 

Best tools and tips for a basic set up (most people)
Tip/Tool Reason
Decent quality PC/Laptop (recommended) Mics and cameras tend to be better. Tend to manage video better
Mic – stand alone or lapel (strongly consider) Eliminates echo, reverb or background noise
Position of PC/Laptop (necessary) Impacts background, lighting direction, acoustics. Use the width and depth of your space to gesture
Work on your speech craft and presence (strongly consider) Impact authority, credibility and engagement (remember posture, poise and presence)
Backup internet (necessary) Either a hotspot or automatic 4g backup via your provider
Know your software interface and PRACTICE tech fails (necessary) Everything is great, until it isn’t. The law of averages means a tech fail WILL happen. Additionally, certain platforms in a desire to out innovate their competition are not releasing stable versions of their software.
If your laptop webcam is not adequate – Droidcam – virtual web camera using your phone camera (optional) https://www.dev47apps.com/ works well over wifi or USB. Free download (App and PC client) to test for your camera. High resolution requires the paid app. Currently $6.99
Best tools and tips for intermediate proficiency – set up
DSLR or streaming camera

https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/zv-1

 

https://www.canon.com.au/cameras/powershot-g7-x-mark-iii

https://www.logitech.com/en-au/product/c930e-webcam
$279

 

https://www.logitech.com/en-au/product/brio

~$330

 

Both Logitech cameras would make an excellent 2nd camera angle

 

Streaming cameras are designed for video first and a bit simpler to use than DSLRs

 

The Sony and Canon are for serious streaming. They have intelligence in them to track  and focus on faces, allow for mic input and have higher quality lenses which means you can take them on the road as a regular camera (or stream remotely) around $1000

The Logitech here compresses video IN THE CAMERA taking the processing load off your computer. The C920 is also excellent as a camera but does not do the processing.

All the cameras above will not beat a proper DSLR. The price differences used to be vast. It is quickly closing. If you still want simple to use, Logitech is your best bet. The Canon and Sony will increase complexity and image quality while the DSLR will be higher and better again.

 

I (Jon Yeo) just bought the BRIO. Its a 4k camera so is future proof. You NEVER need it for streaming HOWEVER, you can use the digital zoom to move up, down, left and right so you capture only part of your room background. (Yes, you could move the actual camera but not necessarily backwards and forwards if it is placed on your laptop)

 

Low light is very good. Needs slight color correction which can be done in the software Logitech provides.

Basic lighting Depending on time of day or camera angle, good lighting can make a difference

I use a desk lamp but you can also use a relatively inexpensive studio lamp with color temperatures and brightness. You are better off with 2 or more “soft light” sources (ie diffuser or bounced off a wall) rather than a single direct and intense single light source which creates hard shadows. The brightness and temperatures allow you to adapt to changing light conditions.

 

Watch for reflections if you have glasses

Wireless lapel mic – Rode Wireless Go (allows distance from camera, can move around a bit more on “stage”)

Wired Rode Lav mic (simple, reliable)

 

I compared the Rode Lav mic, the Logitech BRIO mic and the Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop mic. Listen here

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Arr7BjvBdnMGhJNtZ55nKPLVYJXtpw?e=eXQg8d

The BRIO and Laptop are the most expensive in their respective brands and claim good microphones. Note the background noise as well as audio quality

Best tools and tips for advanced set up
Studio set up –

  • green screen
  • studio lighting
  • permanent multi camera set up
  • Vision switching hardware like ATEM Mini Pro or software mixing like OBS Studio
  • Camera monitors
Overkill unless you are doing almost daily professional presentations
AV team to manage tech and the broadcast stream Technical set ups are great until they don’t work. An AV team allows you to focus on your message so they can do the tech.