QuickSmart for Jobseekers

Project Leaders

Professor John Pegg

Developing literacy and numeracy

The QuickSmart Online for Adult Job Seekers trial project seeks to develop and deliver a resource for improving adult job seekers' literacy and numeracy skills. QuickSmart Online is intended to be used by Job Services Australia through Centrelink to improve job readiness, career pathways and entry into employment.

QuickSmart Online will demonstrate the value of high-speed broadband using the National Broadband Network (NBN) to deliver media rich and high-resolution graphics, and through synchronous interaction between the QuickSmart instructor and adult learner.

QuickSmart Online is based on the highly successful QuickSmart Numeracy and QuickSmart Literacy developed for use in schools. Its prime purpose is to reverse the trend of poor academic performance for students who have been struggling at school for several years and who are caught in a cycle of continued failure.

In 2012, the opportunity arose to join the EduONE project trialling development of digitally enabled applications to improve services in the key sectors of health, education and emergency services in regional, rural and remote communities across Australia. Under the sponsorship of the Federal Department of Broadband, Communication and Digital Economy, this project seeks to develop and deliver new models of TAFE and University education services and resources to students, teachers and lecturers using the national broadband network. The addition of the QuickSmart component to the project provides an additional focus — improving numeracy and literacy skills of job seekers.

Innovative developments

QuickSmart in schools is a print-based program enhanced with audio responsive software to measure the speed and accuracy of student's responses. Students working in pairs are supported and guided by an instructor who directs the students through the program, evaluates their progress, determines problem areas that constrain the students' learning and provide strategies to overcome these barriers.

QuickSmart is material-rich and uses flashcards, speed sheets, problem solving exercises, and games to introduce and build understanding of number, fact and operation concepts.

At one level, this project transforms the resource materials from being manually handled, print-based and instructor-directed to being computer-based, on-screen, with intelligent semi-automated and automated actions.

In addition, the computer-based version also seeks to build significant higher order automated tasks that reduce the need for teacher mediation, including:

  • software to collect and analyse student data to enable identification of patterns of use and problems constraining learning and to facilitate without instructor mediation direction of students to appropriate learning tasks and strategies that address their learning difficulty;
  • the construction of reward systems (e.g. badges, stars) that appear during learning activities to motivate and challenge students to improve their performance;
  • the collection and archiving of each students performance to facilitate automatic feedback and drive progression through the course;
  • the graphical representation of results; and
  • systems development to enable a instructional supervisor to over-ride the default lesson plan and structure a tailored program to suit the learning needs of a specific job seeker or group of users.

Functionality that takes advantage of the capability of the NBN is also being incorporated, including:

  • synchronous high definition videoconferencing to enable an instructor to connect with a user and provide personal tuition or guidance; and
  • the introduction of high definition video and audio material to supplement text based instruction and to assist users with low literacy levels.

Inquiries: Professor John Pegg