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Jason Renshaw: training the trainer [student case study]

by Yvette Maurice
jason renshawJason has achieved a lot in the world of online education; he is the author of Boost! – a series of books for kids, designed to help them with learning English. Jason has been teaching English for almost 20 years in Australia, Sweden, England and Korea and has a passion for materials design and course creation, maintaining a resource site for teachers called englishraven.com.

There came a time when Jason realised that he needed formal, accredited qualifications in training others so he decided to undertake the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment TAE40110 at Open Colleges.

Before undertaking the course through Open Colleges, Jason was working in Vocational Education and Training (VET) at TAFE. Gaining this qualification was something Jason had to do for compliance, in order to train others.

Jason came to Open Colleges after researching other education providers, “I did look at options – the course I wanted to do was offered at my home institute but I needed to be available on certain nights, plus it was expensive. It was natural for me to do it on my own.”

Jason found studying online suited his personality, “I found it very convenient. I’ve done a few courses online; it can be great or it can be disappointing. Undertaking this course with Open Colleges was such a nice surprise.”

“I did look at options – the course I wanted to do was offered at my home institute but I needed to be available on certain nights, plus it was expensive. It was natural for me to do it on my own.”

Jason had particular praise for his trainer who helped him customise his course for his particular needs. “I had a really good trainer, Megan, who was so professional. At Open Colleges I found the course to be very dynamic – Megan knew her stuff. The course was very rewarding and it directly led to a promotion for me. The impact was immediate, because Megan helped me customise the course to my needs.”

Boost Books

Jason’s line of work keeps him very busy, with multiple projects on the go at any time. “I have a weekly schedule rather than a daily one. I teach, I work on applied literacy for VET courses and then I teach a blended learning program. I also work one day a week on developing elearning materials and my other day is about enhancing and developing ‘teaching excellence’ where I work on the education delivery.”

Being a high-achiever, Jason completed his course quite quickly, “Seven months was all it took, and I had a break in the middle. I stopped for a total of about two months when something came up. Doing a course online is great as it was so flexible I was able to fit it around my yearly rhythm.”

Jason spoke about online learning and whether it takes a certain amount of discipline, saying, “of course it does. You are self-directed. If you are already in the workforce that discipline translates to your course. Make sure your study is relevant to your life.” Jason continues, “It’s important to find the work/study rhythm.”

Jason was also recently awarded the Gordon TAFE Teacher of the Year 2012 Award (also called Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning), a huge achievement.

As an online educator, Jason is passionate about the benefits of online learning and says that one of the main advantages is, “being able to take control of your learning: you can drive it, you can think for yourself, you can be more pro-active, you learn better employability skills.”

“People who learn online are good at multi-tasking. Online learning makes you independent and proactive, so the best thing is how independent it makes you.”

Open Colleges offers more than 100 courses, including TAFE and other nationally recognised qualifications, such as the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment TAE40110.

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