01 October 2007

e-Learning: Learner Needs and Barriers

“Inclusivity in education starts with the recognition of our diversity. It is treating students as individuals rather than as an homogeneous group. It is about involving all students in classroom practices by valuing their uniqueness and what they bring to the classroom. It is about valuing their interests, experiences, abilities, insights, needs, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, learning styles and intelligences.” (The Inclusivity Challenge http://www.decs.act.gov.au/publicat/pdf/InclusivityReport.pdf 3 May 2007)

Mary Schooneveldt, who implemented and managed the national Inclusive e-Learning Project for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework from 2005 – 2007 , spoke to us last week on this very critical subject. Afterall, that's what flexible learning is meant to be about isn't it? Providing options so that everyone has an opportunity to learn whether they have a disability, live in a remote location, are Indigenous or have an ethnic background, are mature-aged or youth at risk, or indeed, whether life's circumstances of whatever kind prevent attending mainstream face-to-face classes. E-learning has opened up new opportunities for so many to engage in education.

Sadly though, the stats still aren't good. There is still so much more to do so that nobody is peering in through a locked gate.

You can check out some case studies and find out more at

Image: Lost in Seattle

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