How to use the matrix and associated resources to revise and develop training plans, programmes, curriculum and learning content
Within the Tourism Sector Skills Toolkit there are examples of best practice curriculum that has been developed using the knowledge and skills contained within the online skills and competency matrix.
The sample session plans and resources are available for stakeholders to use in any way that they see fit. It may be that the session plan is suitable in length, level and content for the end-user to use without much, if any, adaptation. However, in reality, it is more likely that the sample session plans and associated resources will offer ideas or a starting base, but the end-user will need to adapt, add and contextualise to suit their end audience.
Throughout the sample sessions there have been some basic principles followed:
- All sessions are minimum one hour and maximum three hours. If the topic requires more than three hours, or the author of the session felt it was appropriate to split the sessions into shorter than three hours, there may be more than one session written for the topic.
- Although the online skills and competency matrix covers levels 1 – 8, the majority of the lesson plans have been written for level 3, 5 or 7. This enabled the authors to develop skills and knowledge content required for operational, supervisor/lower management and senior management/executive.
- When developing the curriculum, the authors were asked to think about whether the lesson plan was suitable for delivering in educational institutes, employers or suitable for either. This may mean that some lessons have appropriate content, but the end user may need to adapt the delivery style for their students.
- Throughout, the authors have used the term “students”. It is recognised that in the workplace they are more likely to be referred to as learners, participants, trainees, staff or some other term. The term “student” has been adopted throughout so that the end-user can easily use the “Find and Replace” function to find “student” and replace with the relevant terminology used within their training environment.
- Most lessons have accompanying presentations, and some have handouts and other resources. These are all available for the end-user to use and adapt as required. If the lesson is being used in a workplace / employers, it is likely that the trainer will want to review the resources to contextualise to their organisation’s needs and style.
- Throughout the lessons, the authors have used web links and reference material. It is strongly advised that these links and materials are checked, as links can get broken, and material outdated.
- Some authors have included assessments that the end-user can use to check learning. It is important to remember that if the lesson and/or resources have been amended/contextualised added to or removed, then the assessment will also need to be reviewed and amended so that it is still fair, up-to-date and relevant.
As mentioned, it is quite likely that the sample lesson plans and resources will need to be adapted even if the end-user is starting from new (rather than adapting existing material) due to the need to contextualise and only include content that is relevant and required for the learning. This will become even more important if the end user is revising existing learning content and is only developing content to fill gaps.
If learning content already exists, the advised first step is to use the mapping documents from the toolkit and carry out a mapping exercise on your existing programme / curriculum / content so that the gaps can be identified. Once the end-user knows what gaps they are trying to fill, then the session plans and learning resources can be used to get ideas, content and resources to help develop and adapt suitable learning resources to address those gaps. It will be highly likely that the end user will extract specific exercises, content, resources that will specifically meet the gap, which can then be contextualised and slotted into the appropriate place in the existing learning material.
To provide further support there is a brief guidance document setting out how to prepare to deliver a classroom training session included in the toolkit.
How to use the matrix and associated resources to inform and develop training strategies, full programmes and qualifications
Whilst the content and ideas contained within the lesson plans and resources will be useful to inform training strategies, whole programmes and qualifications, it is likely that a more holistic and higher-level review approach will be required. In the first instance, the mapping documents and the online skills and competency matrix will be more useful as they list the skills and knowledge required at each level, for each tourism sub-group, department and even the size of the business.
This will allow for a higher-level review of the present content to identify areas where there may be gaps in existing content, outdated content or indeed, the topic may not be covered at all in the present documentation. By using the filtering system within the matrix, specific areas of interest can be targeted either for an organisational overview and/or for more detailed analysis of a programme or qualification. This will allow for strategic decisions to be made as to the depth and breadth of the mapping and gap analysis to be carried out, priorities discussed and agreed, review and development tasks allocated and timelines set.