A survey has found TasTAFE teachers are concerned about a push for online learning and its ramifications on completion rates.
However, TasTAFE's chief executive officer says there is no evidence completion rates have declined and online learning will never replace face to face learning.
The concerns were raised by 80 teachers who responded anonymously to a survey by the Australian Education Union.
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The survey asked six questions including what area/industry they worked in, what level of qualification the largest or main group of students they taught was, to describe the student cohort they chose, the best teaching methods for them and how the impact of changes since COVID-19 had affected their teaching and students learning.
For the best teaching methods, the overall winner was on campus classroom based theory, practice and demonstration sessions in person in real time with a TasTAFE teacher.
A shift to online learning was made due to COVID-19, but some transition was made back to small group practical training in May. The survey claimed teachers were advised student self-directed online delivery teaching methods would continue in 2021 and beyond.
AEU TasTAFE division president Simon Bailey said the online approach was setting many students up to fail.
"Without sufficient hands-on, practical learning experiences, good campus facilities and contact with teacher experts, education outcomes and completion rates will be adversely affected," he said.
"TasTAFE's shift to predominantly self-directed e-learning and increasing student to teacher ratios means students get less time with teachers, less time on campus and less time practicing the skills and techniques demonstrated to them by experts in their field of work.
"Thrown in the deep end of the new TasTAFE approach, many students will drown and it's such a waste of potential workers for our industries with so many who just won't get through."
However, TasTAFE CEO Jenny Dodd said 74 per cent of enrolments for this year had finished their course work and that was on par with the same time in prior years.
"While there will continue to be elements of online learning, delivering practical learning in face to face and workplace learning environments is critical to the success of our students. It sets us apart for all other learning environments," she said.
"Online will only ever be a part of what we do.
"Online does improve access for adult students but it needs to be used in the right mix as part of the delivery of our programs. It will never replace face to face experiences."
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