The market is saturated with conversations around learning, where the jargon of the day is either online, e-Learning, digital learning or the latest being hybrid learning. Organisations and learning practitioners grapple with how "effective" the transfer of learning takes place in a digital world. Add the complexity of needing to assess learning, against a set of criteria determined by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) the notion that any one platform or training provider can achieve this, nearly seems impossible!
Making worlds collide in human capital capability and ed-tech; two South-African based organisations forged a collaborative partnership. The value-alignment has seen Omni HR Consulting’s
mission to be disruptive in education, expedited with the introduction of an e-Assessment and e-Portfolio, powered by Passion4Performance
(P4P). To share more about this exciting partnership is Cindy Londt, operations executive at Omni and Darryn Van Den Berg
, co-founder at P4P.Q: Why the collaboration?CL:
Omni is a Private FET College operating nationally within South Africa. As part of the organisations’ digital transformation strategy (nearly three years’ ago now) within the learning space, it was important for us to review how we evolve and push the boundary, with disrupting education and moving away from the traditional “this is how it’s done”.
Part of the transformation journey was ensuring we move our learning online and achieve accreditation with the SETAs (South African Education and Training Authorities). What started as a barrier due to SETA’s not recognising digital learning, came Omni’s successful transition to achieving accreditation for online learning delivery and a natural progression was to consider, how we do online assessment. The question was, do we insource or outsource this functionality. Our introduction to P4P was a perfect match, as it has allowed us to expedite what we wanted to achieve as part of our digital transformation strategy and that is moving learning and assessment online in one package.DvdB:
I started tracking Omni about four years ago, after our initial conversation did not yield any result. I quite liked their footprint in the market; they are a trusted company in the learning space and their standards are pretty impressive. During that time, P4P has grown as an organisation, so being niche and one of the first in the market to focus on the assessment side, the value we can add now is immensely more. We are excited as both organisations has done quite a lot of learning in the tech space and that is where the synergies are coming together well. “The shared-value is our passion for wanting to move education forward in South Africa”Q: Who is P4P and what is its core focus?DvdB:
Passion4Performance (P4P) is the leading e-Assessment and e-Portfolio online platform, founded for the niche purpose of assessment and the assessment process enabling the implementation and adoption of technology on the assessment side of learning.Q: Why electronic portfolios?CL:
We were very clear on our vision from a digital transformation perspective, however we needed to go through the learning in-house. Once exposed to the P4P system and having the opportunity to work through it, allowed me peace of mind that it ticked all the boxes and aligned to our vision and mission from a learning and development perspective linked to quality, compliance, serving our clients and supporting our learners in an optimal fashion.
In terms of the accreditation component, Omni and P4P has walked a journey with multiple SETA’s. Omni has ensured that its platform was accredited to offer online learning and it was an easier conversation to approach the SETAs regarding P4P and ask the question: can we have the best of both worlds and can we collaborate to achieve a mutual objective?Q: Does P4P (from a technical perspective) fit into the back-end of an organisations online learning platform?DvdB:
There are three distinct systems; an LMS (Learner Management System), e-learning content offering system and e-Assessment and e-Portolio system. A common misconception is that companies who have an e-learning system, feel they can simply add a file (in that system folder) and now have an e-Portfolio system, however it does not carry the governance side.
In terms of the collaboration, we make use of Omni Stack
; which carries Omni’s LMS and online learning and P4P carries the e-Assessment and e-Portfolio and we are currently exploring the link to create a seamless journey for the learner as the end-user. Q: How are learner and client’s data protected in the digital space being created by Omni and P4P?CL:
Data protection has been an aspect considered and built in from the start of our digital transformation journey. As part of our Quality Management System, which is key requirement for accredited training providers (in South Africa) our policies and procedures needed to be adapted for digital and online learning and will now further be enhanced based on the P4P relationship.DvdB:
When P4P started, we decided to build on the Microsoft Azure Stack which has several protocols already built in. The co-founder of P4P operates in Europe and therefore our platform is required to comply with GDPR requirements as well. We have certainly ensured we keep our finger on the pulse from a POPI perspective and its variations across the EMEA band.Q: What does the collaboration between Omni and P4P really mean for clients and skills development in South Africa?CL:
Several organisations still have staff working in the work-from-home model so participating and engaging in online learning is fabulous however the portfolio of evidence became a challenge as it is traditionally paper-based. We wanted to remove that barrier, and this is the gap we have addressed through this collaborative partnership.DvdB:
In terms of the practical workplace component that requires assessment, every provider needs to review how evidence will be collected in the digital space. In the Omni space, they have gone and reviewed their work-integrated learning component and adapted it, to still meet the criteria, providing the learner with the opportunity to collect natural evidence within the workplace. The risk that exists for training providers is not being open to digitisation. You cannot simply follow the current “low-tech or no-tech” assessment process or assessment evidence requirements, without reviewing the impact on a learner and the quality or type of evidence that can be collected when moving into the digital space. Q: Closing remarks?CL:
Clients can certainly look forward to being assured that as an organisation we have closed the loop between online assessment to e-Assessment and now e-Portfolios. Clients will have the opportunity to access a holistic and seamless (learning) package and those who support digital transformation will see the benefit in the solution. As an organisation we are certainly excited that our partnership with P4P will challenge organisations in South Africa to make the shift and think differently about learning and skills development.
For more on what Omni is doing and achieving in the digital learning space or for an online demo of their online learning platform, send an email to: moc.crhinmo@ofni