ANTA - Online Employer Survey, Year Ending July 2003 -->
B. User Requirements, Survey Objectives, and Budget
B1 Purpose of survey
Why do you need to conduct a survey? (B1)
Note. Refers to the underlying information requirements that the survey is intended to address. For example, what problems the agency is trying to solve? What decisions need to be made? What specific policies or actions are being determined or assessed? Should detail who requires the information. Survey objectives should be included in "B2" below.
The brief for this project was set by the Flexible Learning Research Steering Committee and was based on the premise that more research is needed on the demand side of the [online delivery] equation to identify existing and potential market groups and to document their demand profiles. The research includes a literature search and stakeholder interviews (completed) plus four surveys (of which this is one) that cover:
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- online VET students (to test demand factors from a user perspective); classroom/distance VET students who are not studying online (to test demand factors from a potential user perspective);
- employers who have purchased online VET for their staff (this survey - to test demand factors from a purchaser perspective); and employers who purchase VET for their staff, but not online (to test demand factors from a potential purchase perspective).
The research questions for this research are:
- what specific markets already exist within Australia for on-line delivery? What is the demand profile for these market groups and how is demand currently met?
- what is the potential market in Australia and overseas for on-line delivery? Is there a greater potential demand for exploiting existing markets more fully or in the creation of new on-line learning markets?
- which business models in Australia and overseas have been most successful in generating or meeting demand for on-line learning? Can their success be transferred across the identified market segments? What impact does the perceived RTO expertise in on-line delivery have on demand?
- what effect do: geographical/cultural allegiances; the quality of the product; and the level of learner engagement have on demand?
- how is demand affected by the nature of the vocational education and training being delivered? Do some industry areas ‘more naturally’ lend themselves to on-line delivery than others? How important is the teacher-student relationship?
- what effect do restrictions on access and delivery have on demand? Consideration will be given to a range of issues including, but not restricted to, the following:
- availability and access of suitable technology for users and potential users;
- institutional policies and processes regarding on-line delivery eg class size; third party provision of materials;
- demand for individual vs group learning;
- real consumer cost and its effect on the incentive to enrol;
- the effect of extended waiting times for suitable courses or course materials.
- What can be learned from the experience of providing distance learning to specific groups within metropolitan and regional communities about the factors that influence demand from these groups?
- What effect would providing a range of optional cost structures and/or mixed mode courses have on existing or potential demand? Consideration will be given to a range of issues including, but not restricted to, the following:
- successful models for melding on-line learning with existing modes of delivery;
- whether consumers differentiate between on-line ‘courses’ or ‘resources’;
- the potential impact on demand of integrating communication tools and strategies;
- the potential role and value of on-line learning management systems eg WebCT, Blackboard, Janison Toolbox etc.
- demand sensitivity of various mixes of on-line delivery, human interaction (teachers, peers), IT support, and practical activities.
How will the survey outputs meet the needs specified in B1? What are the target RSEs for the survey? (B2)
Note. Should include a brief overview of the main topics the survey will cover. If applicable, provides details of any constraints including: fixed costs, fixed sample size, fixed accuracy (eg target RSEs, Confidence Intervals), etc.
The purpose of the project (as identified in Schedule 1 of the Brief) is to:
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In doing so, the research will build on existing research (primarily via a Literature Search), and map identified demand factors against concepts of lifelong learning, knowledge society, globalisation and the digital divide.
- investigate specific market groups for online delivery within Australia;
- identify factors that influence demand from these groups;
- test the findings against the current supply-side approach, and
- provide a resource that will assist the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to develop marketing and delivery strategies that respond to market needs.
The main topics covered in the survey are:
- internet access at organisational locations
- years in operation/Australian ownership/industry sector
- level of involvement in staff training
- internal/external development of online training
- employee access to online computers and level/type of organisational support for online training
- online purchase decisions
- demand elements for online training.
- cost is a limited constraint, although we expect that the sample will not be affected by this constraint;
- the sample sizes are goals, once again the sampling technique is expected to achieve these goals;
- target RSE is 4% and as the samples have been ‘pre qualified’ through referrals and checks, this is expected to be a conservative figure.
What is the timetable for the survey? (B3)
Note. Should include: testing, the date questionnaires are printed or finalised, the date data collection commences, the date data collection finishes, and when results will be available. SCH approval for the survey is to be obtained before data collection commences.
We anticipate that the actual survey process will be completed by early August with the full research report completed by mid September.
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- the survey has already been tested;
- questionnaires will be live online within two weeks of final survey approval;
- collection will be completed four weeks after commencement;
- complete results will be available when published by NCVER, although industry sector representatives who have assisted with collecting samples will be provided with an overview of the findings for their sector.