Steve McMahon - Fabrication
I teach in the metal fabrication and welding qualifications across all courses including adult community education (ACE) short courses, statement of attainment courses and longer apprenticeship courses up to and including Certificate IV in Engineering.
- Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication;
- Certificate IV in Engineering (soon to be completed);
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment;
- Advanced Diploma in Vocational Education;
- Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) Metal and Engineering Assessor;
- Training for literacy courses such as WYNN, DRAGON and PDF reader to assist apprentices that are challenged when reading.
I have spent the past 26 years in this trade across a wide variety of roles. For instance I have owned my own business and worked in supervisor roles in industry which has given me a sound understanding of what employers expect of apprentices. I have been teaching at CIT in the metal fabrication trades for the past 12 years.
Customised training for industry
I recently worked with our local industries to construct the Certificate IV in Engineering, a qualification that had not existed previously. I responded to industry feedback that identified the need to lift the statistics on higher qualifications in trade areas as well as recognise the skills that students are achieving on the job, above and beyond their original Certificate III level. To date we have enrolled ten staff members from one business in a Certificate IV qualification.
In 2010 I worked with the ACT Department of Education and Training on VET delivery of Certificate II and III courses for the High School Trade Training Centres.
How I've improved training for students and industry
I have developed e-learning tools which encourage more interaction from students, particularly in the compulsory theoretical aspects of their course. I have moved all resources online (no need for printed workbooks) so students can digest information via text, images, diagrams, videos and links to other sites. They can interact by zooming in or rotating images, re-playing videos as needed etc, which makes the content more interesting.
Students often become so engaged they compete against each other to see how quickly they can achieve 100 per cent on the daily quiz. This is a first time experience in my teaching career and proof that all students can engage in learning if it is presented to them in a way that supports their learning styles.
I also developed an electronic roll book which can store information about attendance, handouts, assignments, tests, evidence of skills in the workshop, results, and all contact with the student’s employer. This information can be viewed by the apprentice, their employer and their teacher, leading to greatly improved communication between all three parties.
This tool also support naturally advanced students by allowing them to progress more quickly than the rest of the class. If they develop a skill at work that we haven’t covered yet at CIT, they can demonstrate this by taking photos or video on their mobile phone uploading the content to eLearn. I can see it and the student can progress more quickly.
I am now being contacted by other TAFEs, ACT colleges and industry bodies nationally regarding these resources.
- Finalist – ACT Vocational Education and Training Teacher / Trainer of the Year 2011.
Professional and peak body memberships
- I am an industry approved Manufacturing and Engineering Assessment System (MEAS) workplace assessor accredited through Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA).
- I regularly attend MSA conferences to maintain the currency of my skills, and have been approached by the Metals Industry Skills Training body (MSKILLS) to contribute to a national eLearn rollout.
- I have been a member of the National TAFE Automotive Network since 2005.
- I am a workplace safety representative (through Workplace Safety Australia) for the Fyshwick Trade Skills Centre
- I am a member of the AUSTAFE network.