eBooks in Indigenous Tertiary Education

The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) at Macquarie University has recently completed an OLT project aimed at providing indigenous tertiary students with resources than can help them to begin their studies in higher education. Titled Impact of accessible eBooks on learning outcomes for Indigenous students, the project involved the development of course components that can be accessed as stand-alone resources on tablet devices that do not require access to the Internet.

The approach provides a solution for tertiary students who may spend part of their study year in remote communities where web access may be intermittent or absent. When Internet access is possible, students can use included online browsers to access further learning resources.

The courseware was built around a unit taught at the Batchelor Institute at campuses located in Alice Springs and Darwin, and an Indigenous Health unit taught at Macquarie University. Students were given tablet devices and basic training in how to access the learning materials, conduct online searches, and use social media to support their learning.

Tom Kerr, one of the project report authors, said that the project represents a significant step forward in providing equitable access to education for students from indigenous backgrounds, as it leverages recent technology to provide them with a means of accessing critical course content in a rich media environment, with or without an Internet connection.

The project’s Final Report is available for download from the OLT website here.

A video overview of the project can be viewed on the LTC’s Projects website at:

http://staff.mq.edu.au/teaching/projects/indigenous_ebooks/