The Journey So Far

Posted on August 31, 2008 by admin
Filed Under E-learning Innovations 08 | Leave a Comment

sunWith funding provided by the E-learning Innovations project, a project within the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (the Framework), Bernadette and her team have embarked on an exciting new learning opportunity – the development of an Aboriginal Mentoring Program. Its aim is to improve the learning, retention and progression for Aboriginals in the NSW Public Sector. The funding provided by the Framework is to explore technologies that could underpin this program to maximise learning opportunities and extend them beyond the face-to-face environment.

As Bernadette said in her post, at the beginning of a new project there is often a great deal of uncertainty. There is also excitement. . The Aboriginal Mentoring Program is no different and, because of its cultural components, it is certainly presenting many deep and worthwhile learning experiences for the development team.

Fortunately we have been able to draw on the experiences of others to help us on our journey. These have included

With the added assistance of Alexander Hayes who is providing technical advice (and who always has the ability to challenge mindsets) and Robyn Jay, NSW Manager of E-Learning Innovations, who has a wealth of e-learning experience, Bernadette – being the hands-on developer and Project Manager of the team – had plenty of work ahead.

peopleAnd would you believe, choosing a name has been one of the biggest hurdles! Lets face it – ‘whitefellas’ can’t impose a name on a program that is going to be targeting ‘blackfellas’! So the naming was delayed until more access to feedback from prospective Aboriginal mentors was available. While the team thought we had come up with a few good ones to select from, the creative ability of some of the mentors left us floundering and we now have quite a list! We’ll let the process evolve though and look forward to hearing the final decision this week.

Frank Edward-Haines has come on board to assist with the cultural awareness component, and Paul Newman (no, not that Paul Newman but just as personable I am sure) from the Dept of Aboriginal Affairs, has also joined the team and will work with Bernadette as a program facilitator and general adviser to the project.

And lets not forget the design! We were keen to have an interface that was visual and appropriate. Teresa Leon has helped us out there and as soon as it is bedded down you can see too:-)

We are now half-way there with the shell of the online environment almost there and content on its way. The finalisation of the interface, designed by an Aboriginal, is nearing completion, technologies continue to be tested for inclusion (although we are waiting to test those dreaded firewalls more), and the design of the f2f component is almost complete.

And so the learning continues …


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