Equity, pedagogy and inclusion. Harnessing digital technologies to support higher education access and success
AbstractAustralia is striving to reach a 20 per cent across-the-board higher education target participation rate for students from low socio-economic backgrounds by 2020. This paper focuses on enabling higher education access for students who might otherwise be excluded by complex socio-economic circumstances. Digital learning and communication tools provide a vital pathway to higher education and a means of re-engineering pedagogies to better meet students’ learning needs, especially when students cannot access regular on campus face-to-face teaching. On-line learning enables both access to higher education and effective ways of engaging students with learning, especially those who are isolated by location or by circumstances associated with work and family commitments. This paper focuses on broad-brush factors students say supported their study success while undertaking an externally delivered, on-line teaching degree. It reports on students’ decision to study and their subsequent on-line study experiences, progression and outcomes. Analyses of students’ perceptions indicated the value of on-line pedagogy supported by ‘face-to-face’ interaction (albeit at a distance) with academics. While students wanted to study externally and on-line and in their ‘own time’ and at their own ‘pace’, all valued a personal, on-going relationship with their lecturer, teacher or other university-based mentor. Overwhelmingly, students , found the on-line learning relatively straightforward to navigate, practical and rewarding, but all wanted conversations with a “real person” although this could be on the phone, in a video conference/Skype situation or as part of a remote site ‘tutorial’ or consultation.
All material submitted to the Journal of Community Informatics is protected by and subject to the Creative Commons Public License "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International". Subject to the following conditions, all material submitted to the Journal of Community Informatics may be freely copied, distributed, or displayed, or modified:
- Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
- Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
- Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
See the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License for complete details.