What comes to your mind when you hear the word contextualisation? You may think about tailoring the information to suit specific needs which indicates flexibility.
From a Vocational Education and Training (VET) perspective, contextualisation relates to making the learning and assessment applicable to the learner’s context of work. What then defines the context of work?
Context of work includes:
– the type of work and the way it is performed
– the type of industry or enterprise for example retail, hospitality or aged care.
The objective of quality training and assessment is to equip the learner with the skills they need to competently perform a specific job role in a particular industry. Through contextualisation of training and assessment resources, we are able to make the learning more relevant. It is important, however, to be careful about the amount of contextualisation – be sure not to make it too specific. Why? We might compromise the transferability of skills, meaning the learner is not able to competently perform in a different work context. It is expected that when a learner does move into a different work context, they should still have the concepts, knowledge and core skills required for the new context where appropriate. One simple example is Work, Health and Safety (WHS).
Unit(s) of competency or even a qualification can be subject to contexualisation. The rules around contextualisation for a unit of competency are that contextualisation must not:
– diminish the breadth of application of the competency to reduce its portability
– narrow down the competency outcomes and limit its use
– remove the content of any element and performance criteria related to the unit involved
What are your thoughts about contextualisation?