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									Stellar Learning Case Study
Ella Bache College of Skin and Beauty Therapy
RTO # 4704
Project # U20

Project Overview

Stellar Learning is the distance learning mode of delivery for the Ella Bache College of Skin
and Beauty Therapy.

Beauty therapy as a distance learning mode of delivery requires a combination of both
correspondence for the theory components and a face to face component for practical
training aspects of the course.

Since we launched Stellar Learning in April 2007 our distance learning course required the
physical printing and delivery of paper based manuals, test sheets, log sheets & general

The objective of this project is to provide better access to learning resources for our remote
and regional students.

As a result of the advice provided during this process we decide to use the Open Source
platform Moodle as the Learning Management System.

Distance Student Market profile
Currently we have 54 students throughout Australia learning with Stellar Learning.
    NSW - 22
    VIC - 17
    QLD - 15

Our Stellar Learning Student Profile:
  • Age Range: 16 – 20 (19%); 21–25 (44%); 26 – 30 (25%); 30+ (12%)
  • Have worked in retail before: 85%
          – 11%(<1yr); 12%(1-2yr); 20%(2-3yr); 31%(3-5yr); 26%(5yr+)
  • Want work experience in an Ella Baché Salon: 92%
  • Stellar Learning is reaching a new market. They are a more mature age student
      (81% are 21yr +), much older than most campus based students (70% under 20yr),
      most (85%) already have extensive retail experience

Project Research:
We conducted a pre project survey, using Survey Monkey, of our existing students (53
students) to ascertain the level of e-capability, along with learning patterns, preferences
and accessibility.

2007 Copyright Ella Baché College Pty Ltd
Key results are:
   Technology
         o 100% have a computer at home
                  PC - 87%
                  Mac – 13%
         o Internet Connection
                  85% Broadband
                  15% Dial Up
         o Have a printer at home
                  90% Yes
                  10% No
         o Choice of Internet Browser
                  Internet Explorer – 73%
                  Firefox – 21%
                  Safari – 6%
   Communication
         o How often do they access email
                  Daily – 60%
                  Weekly – 33%
                  Irregularly – 7%
         o Do you access internet from your mobile
                  Yes – 11%
                  No – 89%
         o Do you use Instant Messaging
                  No – 48%
                  Daily – 22%
                  Weekly – 11%
                  Irregular – 19%
   Study
         o Between what times do they normally study
                  9am – 12pm – 33%
                  12pm – 3pm – 35%
                  3pm – 6pm – 27%
                  6pm – 9pm – 47%
         o What level do you intend to study to:
                  Diploma – 90%
                  Certificate IV – 8%
                  Certificate III – 2%
         o Are you currently engaged in other Tertiary Study
                  No – 94%
                  Yes – 6%
         o Do you have any other qualifications
                  No – 48%
                  Yes – 52%

2007 Copyright Ella Baché College Pty Ltd
Additionally, we tracked specific questions and themes of questions that our students
raised during this project.

They include:
   When can I start my studies
   How long will it take for me to complete my Diploma
   How much time do I need to devote to my home studies each week to get through
      my course in a good time frame
   Where and how do I develop my practical skills
   Who can I call at the college for support if I need it
   How much does the course cost
   What is included in the fees
   Where do I come for the practical intensives
   Am I required to do work experience with this course, if so how do I go about finding
      a salon to do it with
   How many students will be at my practical intensive days

This research will be used as considerations as continue developing our online education
delivery mode.

A Phased Approach
We took a phased approach to this project
Phase 1: Surveyed a sample of existing students – as outlined above

Phase 2: Platform selection & planning
We worked with Julian Ridden, Moodle guru, in several capacities:
 Strategic planning & implementation preparation of our Moodle experience
 Staff training in using Moodle
 Design and branding of Moodle website for our Pilot
 Strategic planning for our Student Management System requirements

Phase 3: Unit preparation for online delivery
Our Facilitator and Educators modified a core unit of competency, Apply Safe Work
Practice, which was our sample unit for this project. In modifying this unit for on-line
application they also researched what other on-line open source tools where available to
add to the student experience.

They researched extensive interactivity options that works with Moodle, along with those
provided in the Toolbox Repository, and decided on using an online instant Quiz from Hot
Potato to help students consolidate their knowledge.

This Quiz allows students to review their knowledge, test themselves, and to determine
how well they have understood the principles of safe work practices within the beauty
industry. Also allows the student to determine how well they could apply their knowledge to
salon safety situations.

2007 Copyright Ella Baché College Pty Ltd
Additionally they implemented a “Submit Online” function that greatly speeds up the
student’s assignment delivery process. Currently they are required to print and post
assignments to us for marking.

We researched several online resources from the Toolbox Repository, in particular ARED,
and from LORN - Framework Resource centre, Case Studies & Copyright Kitchen.

For the Unit we selected for this pilot we decided an online Quiz was more appropriate.

Phase 4: Piloting the online experience
Whilst we were surveying students to get a stronger understanding of the online needs we
also requested for volunteers who would repeat Unit 1, Apply Safe Work Practices, so that
they could provide feedback on the Stellar Learning interface and content quality & clarity.

Having already completed this Unit of study they we’re well placed to provide a comparison
between their previous experience with this Unit of study and online experience.

Key points that we researched during this pilot included:
 Moodle Website – Look and Feel, ease of use, getting into the first unit
 Accessing Content – read online, downloading & saving material
 Quiz – Did they use the quiz, how easy was it, was it relevant
 Assignments – Did they save unfinished work, Did they update this online. Did they
   lodge it online

Please refer to attached feedback forms

Key Learnings & Next Steps
The opportunities available online proved endless. And the more we researched the more
overwhelmed we became from these opportunities. It wasn’t long before we found
ourselves at a stand still due to the huge range of options available.

To address this issue of “overwhelm” and “blue sky” we developed the following strategy:
1. Consistency: Whatever we design for Unit 1, we will need to have the same
   technological level of interactivity and quality of student experience consistent for all the
   33 Units of study. Otherwise we risk an inconsistent student experience and this may
   lead to confusion, stagnation and potentially students dropping out.

2. Achievable Steps: What are our students used to now and how big a step do we need
   to take in Step 1.

3. Time to Market: If we phase our online development so that all 33 Units are placed
   online with a similar level of interactivity and experience, we get online faster whilst we
   continue development in the background for the next version.

4. Phased Upgrades: Our online platform will be a continual evolution. As we continue to
   learn we will update and include more functionality for all 33 Units together, rather than
   1 Unit at a time. This will result in several versions of our online platform, each level a
   generation ahead of the previous online experience.

2007 Copyright Ella Baché College Pty Ltd
    This is an industry norm as have all experienced with the new versions of leading online
    applications such as Microsoft, social networking sites such as Facebook, and even the
    world wide web itself.

Student Management System
Whilst we selected the Open Source solution Moodle for our online platform, we have
discovered that our current Student Management System will not be able to service our
needs through the Moodle platform.

Currently we are in tendering process for a suitable Open Source Student Management
System that is compatible with Moodle and can be customised for our specific needs. We
are currently in discussion with the following developers:
    Catalyst
    Edumate
    Syntonic
    FileMaker Pro

Moodle Interface
When we started this project with Moodle we had the Moodle interface customised to meet
our branding requirements and perceived online needs. Having had several months first
hand experience with Moodle, coupled with student & educator feedback, we will be
redesigning our Moodle interface to better facilitate ease of understanding and improve
online experience.

2007 Copyright Ella Baché College Pty Ltd

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