UEENEEE104A A case for Change?

This page has been rewritten as a submission to the Australian Industry Skills organisation to have a new UEENEEE104A unit dedicated to Electronics courses.  Recommendation in the last paragraph.

143 sub-topics for Cert 2?

There are so many variations in the way a single unit of competency is taught in Australia.  Even that unit is supposed to be taught to the standard criteria set in the training package unit details, many RTOs lighten the work to suit their student level.

One such unit is UEENEEE104A.  This is a unit which is set at AQF Level 2.  This is detailed in Australian Qualifications Framework page. Accessed Mar 9, 2016.

The graduates of this unit will use knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy and limited judgement in structured and stable contexts and within narrow parameters. Autonomy means that person can work alone with minimal supervision.  Structured contexts is the ability to make meaning and understanding from what we read or are doing.  Stable contexts means that what we are doing is not changing and is always the same. Narrow parameters means here that if there is a variation to our stable contexts, then, that change is very subtle.

Graduates at AQF Level 2 will have basic factual, technical and procedural knowledge of a defined area of work and learning.  In other words, they should know the basic facts but not much more that that.  The skills at this level include the ability to undertake defined activities.  Kind of like changing the batteries in one model of a digital multimeter. The graduate should be able to provide solutions to a limited range of predictable problems.  Like, the battery in the multimeter falls out because the spring tension is insufficient on the battery terminal.

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Lets examine whats inside this unit in question.

UEENEEE104A – Solve problems in d.c. circuits

So, we examine the performance criteria for UEENEEE104A.
  • 1.6

    Tools, equipment and testing devices needed to carry out the work are obtained and checked for correct operation and safety.

  • 2.4

    Established methodological techniques are used to solve d.c. circuit problems from measure and calculated values as they apply to electrical circuit.

  • 2.5

    Unexpected situations are dealt with safely and with the approval of an authorised person.

  • 2.6

    Problems are solved without damage to apparatus, circuits, the surrounding environment or services and using sustainable energy practices.

  • 3.3

    Justification for solutions used to solve circuit problems is documented.

Critical Aspects of Evidence
    • Solving problems in d.c. circuits as described in 8) and including:

    A

    Using methodological techniques to solve d.c. circuit problems from measure and calculated values 

    B

    Determining the operating parameters of an existing circuit.

    C

    Altering an existing circuit to comply with specified operating parameters.

    D

    Developing circuits to comply with a specified function and operating parameters.

    E

    Dealing with unplanned events

Range Statement
  • This unit shall be demonstrated in relation to single source series, parallel and series-parallel d.c. circuits as they apply to problems related to installation, fault finding, maintenance or development work functions and at least two of the following types of circuit problems and on more than one occasions:

    • Determining the operating parameters of an existing circuit 
    • Altering an existing circuit to comply with specified operating parameters
    • Developing circuits to comply with a specified function and operating parameters

Consensus

Each phase I have highlighted in red is potentially outside of the scope of AQF Level 2.  This far exceeds the structured and stable contexts and narrow parameters sections of the AQF definitions.  Here we have unplanned events which mean that change is happening all the time.   This is in direct contrast to the AQF Level 2 definition.  Methodological techniques here mean best practices which can be applied in specific cases to calculate a specific result.  The calculation of the specific result is variable depending upon the different circuit being serviced.  This is again, not within the confines of the definition for AQF Level 2.  The graduate must be able to alter and develop circuits.  This is a higher AQF definition.  These terms I have highlighted all point to unpredictable problems and using theoretical knowledge to solve the problems. Provide and transmit solutions to predictable and sometimes unpredictable problems. (under the skills heading in AQF 3 below)

AQF 3 is shown here:               This is detailed in Australian Qualifications Framework page. Accessed Mar 9, 2016.

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This can make a  problem in delivering the training package unit, where Certificate 2 to Advanced Diploma students all study the common UEENEEE104A.  There are certainly elements of this unit which go far beyond AQF 2, and this creates a problem in the delivery of the package to how the writers intended it to be delivered.  I have not even addressed the topics yet. There are 143 sub-topics under 15 major topic headings in this unit.

The 143 sub-topics, taught with theory and practical, need every hour of the (nominal 80 hours nationally agreed) 72 hours TAFE NSW provides for the delivery of the unit.  Certificate 2 students need to do a lot of work to cope with the full implementation and delivery of this unit the first time.  Even Certificate 3 and higher students struggle with some of the content. Educationally this unit should probably follow UEENEEH169A (which is good overview of DC and AC and Test Equipment) for Electronics students, and for Electrical students it would be sound to precede UEENEEE104A with UEENEEE141A where a good overview of electrical wiring and quantities used in DC and AC is learned.
UEENEEE104A flow

Placing UEENEEE104A with it’s 143 topics up front in a course can work when the time allowed to complete the unit is spread over many weeks, but in an accelerated delivery, say 8 hours a week, there is a lot of work.

How can it be justified at a National level of AQF 2? 

We need to look to the following Qualifications:

  1. UEE22011 – Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  2. UEE30811 – Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

These share the same unit UEENEEE104A, which has no choice but to be at AQF 2 to match the Certificate II course.  UEE22011 is a ‘pre-apprenticeship’ course.  But the current unit UEENEEE104A is challenging, full and unmistakably slanted closer to AQF 3.

A new DC circuits unit similar to this one but at AQF 2 with less content, different performance criteria, critical aspects of evidence and range statement is needed.  Its been needed for a long time, but the wheels of progress churn slowly here.  Different RTOs deliver the unit to suit themselves, so topics are removed and the overall unit is changed to suit.  What sort of standardisation is this?

Oh, and should I mention that this unit is the foundation unit to all other units in the training package to build on.  If this is not taught at an appropriate level for that course, the student will struggle with all following units, more so in the electronics steam as shown in the above illustration.  In the Advanced Power Supplies unit and the Advanced Amplifers unit, the level of DC knowledge for current dividers and voltage dividers is so very important.

The current UEENEEE104A needs to be changed to AQF 3 for the Electronics path and a new unit developed which is less challenging for Certificate 2 and Certificate 3 Electrical students.

I have recently seen the new draft unit for UEENEEE104A and I can see it more suits the Electrical trades area.

I recommend that the current UEENEEE104A unit be maintained as is with it’s 143 topics in the Electronics courses and the new version of the same unit be used for Electrical courses.

 

GM October 2017


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