2009 Canadian e-Learning Conference Program

The Virtual learning Lodge: A Framework Under Construction

Session Title: The Virtual learning Lodge: A Framework Under Construction

Time & Date: 11:00 A.M. – 11:45 A.M., Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Location: Rm. 260, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC)

Session Description: Though the role of course management systems (CMS) is well defined in terms of dissemination of resources, opportunities for enhanced peer-review and reflection in social learning environments are still difficult to exploit without pedagogical change. Additionally, cultural considerations and attention to privacy issues and personal/professional boundaries need to be considered.

The Virtual Learning Lodge (VLL) is being designed specifically to support online and mixed mode courses for Aboriginal students in remote communities across British Columbia. The backbone of the Lodge is a CMS that gives students access to UVic resources (courses, advisors, instructors, etc.), and connection to local community cites is facilitated through RSS feeds in order to share public events. This semester, the VLL has facilitated inclusion of North Island participants in two conferences held at UVic, supported students in the School of Child and Youth Care, and included two North Island students participating a first year Computer Science course held on campus.

Our experience includes both the highs and lows associated with attempts to leverage technology in these endeavors, coupled with recommendations for possible pedagogical changes required to include these communities in our educational system. Highs include participation in on-campus events and educational offerings. Lows include unmet expectations in terms of quality of connections, video, sound, and ease of use. Pedagogical recommendations include the organization of cohort groups, the availability of distributed tutored video instruction for these cohort groups, culturally sensitive protocols for localized peer review exercises, and integrated reflection exercises appropriate for online course forums.

Conference Stream: Extending the CMS

Session Format: Paper Jam

Co-Presenter: Celina Gibbs

Co-Presenter: Yvonne Coady

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