The Learning Communities Project: Bringing distance education to Alberta's remote work camps and rural areas Patrick Fahy ...
Origin of the Learning Communities Project <ul><li>Athabasca University model: open and distance university offerings on v...
Project objectives <ul><li>To transform the workplace and communities. </li></ul><ul><li>To address personal goals with re...
Project principles <ul><li>Focus on 4 targeted audiences: camp workers, northern and rural residents, aboriginals </li></u...
What is distance education? <ul><li>Same time  Different time </li></ul><ul><li>synchronous asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li...
Communities of present LCP interest <ul><li>Horizon site (mobile workers) </li></ul><ul><li>Wood Buffalo region (Fort Chip...
Numbers of Horizon site workers <ul><li>Total workers on site = 19,720 </li></ul><ul><li>1,108 CNQ employees </li></ul><ul...
Characteristics of Horizon site workers <ul><li>Worksite 70 Km north Ft. McMurray – often a 2 hour drive  </li></ul><ul><l...
LCP activities on site <ul><li>Project “launches” at 5 camps </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set-up in lobby areas </li></ul></u...
Findings: Learning preferences expressed <ul><li>36% Business, Finance & Management </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MBA </li></u...
Finding: Learning interests expressed <ul><li>Others: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer applications, including Microsoft...
Responses to inquiries <ul><li>Inquiries from events or other forwarded to  AU Advising for a timely response. </li></ul><...
Issues and challenges <ul><li>Communication on-site is complicated – no common link </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing events ti...
Research products to date <ul><li>Seven  Occasional Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Interim Report 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Literatur...
Next steps <ul><li>Continue regular information and speaker sessions at the Horizon site </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Populat...
For more information … <ul><li>Website:  http://www.athabascau.ca/lc/ </li></ul><ul><li>Email: asklc@athabascau.ca </li></ul>
Thank you <ul><li>Pat Fahy ( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>866-514-6234 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nancy Steel ( [em...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The Learning Communities Project 25 Apr08

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Presentation at CNIE Conference, Banff, 29 April 2008.

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The Learning Communities Project 25 Apr08

  1. 1. The Learning Communities Project: Bringing distance education to Alberta's remote work camps and rural areas Patrick Fahy & Nancy Steel Athabasca University CNIE Conference, Banff 29 April, 2008 Banff Park Lodge
  2. 2. Origin of the Learning Communities Project <ul><li>Athabasca University model: open and distance university offerings on various “lines” </li></ul><ul><li>DE model: reduce barriers for remote, rural communities, camp residents, due to work, personal realities </li></ul><ul><li>Project funded by a donation from Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ), in-kind from AU. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop people, wants competitive advantage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do well while doing good. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Project objectives <ul><li>To transform the workplace and communities. </li></ul><ul><li>To address personal goals with respect to career change, advancement. </li></ul><ul><li>To find new ways of creating learning communities in rural and remote areas. </li></ul><ul><li>(For corporate sponsors): To address problems attracting and retaining skilled workforce </li></ul><ul><li>To identify and promote viable offerings from Alberta institutions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Project principles <ul><li>Focus on 4 targeted audiences: camp workers, northern and rural residents, aboriginals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Initial focus on CNQ’s Horizon construction site workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop partnerships to provide access to range of target groups, based on ongoing assessment of needs, interests, and preferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Offerings must offer “distance” access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communities contribute access, time, expertise, and material support </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is distance education? <ul><li>Same time Different time </li></ul><ul><li>synchronous asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Same Place 1 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Site-bound </li></ul><ul><li>Different Place 3 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Site-independent </li></ul>
  6. 6. Communities of present LCP interest <ul><li>Horizon site (mobile workers) </li></ul><ul><li>Wood Buffalo region (Fort Chipewyan and Fort MacKay) </li></ul><ul><li>Cold Lake (town and CFB Cold Lake) </li></ul><ul><li>Three Hills </li></ul><ul><li>Wabasca </li></ul><ul><li>Fort St. John, B.C. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Numbers of Horizon site workers <ul><li>Total workers on site = 19,720 </li></ul><ul><li>1,108 CNQ employees </li></ul><ul><li>18,612 contract workers </li></ul><ul><li>2,176 Female </li></ul><ul><li>17,544 Male </li></ul>
  8. 8. Characteristics of Horizon site workers <ul><li>Worksite 70 Km north Ft. McMurray – often a 2 hour drive </li></ul><ul><li>Residence lodges (5) </li></ul><ul><li>Largely construction workers </li></ul><ul><li>Work long shifts, outdoors, overtime, “mobile” </li></ul><ul><li>Often find free time boring </li></ul>
  9. 9. LCP activities on site <ul><li>Project “launches” at 5 camps </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Set-up in lobby areas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Materials on hand, staff available to answer questions and take requests for detailed information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher present to record nature of inquiries & requests </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Speaker series </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Eating for Health” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Life Balance” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>MBA Sessions </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The AU MBA program </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Findings: Learning preferences expressed <ul><li>36% Business, Finance & Management </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MBA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Business Administration, Accounting, and HR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>34 %Trades & Engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blue Seal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health & Safety </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Red Seal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>APEGGA courses or exam preparation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Finding: Learning interests expressed <ul><li>Others: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer applications, including Microsoft Office </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>English as a Second Language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign Languages – Spanish, Italian, French </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Academic upgrading, or grad 12 equivalency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General interest : fitness, guitar, flight training, martial arts </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Responses to inquiries <ul><li>Inquiries from events or other forwarded to AU Advising for a timely response. </li></ul><ul><li>Research team follows up re customer / student satisfaction, intentions. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Issues and challenges <ul><li>Communication on-site is complicated – no common link </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing events time-consuming and complex – procedures and people constantly changing </li></ul><ul><li>Audience is shift / mobile workers; may be temporary foreign workers </li></ul><ul><li>Computer/internet access not always available to or used by all </li></ul><ul><li>Potential students often not familiar with, or actually skeptical about, distance education </li></ul>
  14. 14. Research products to date <ul><li>Seven Occasional Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Interim Report 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Literature annotations </li></ul><ul><li>Paper submitted to peer reviewed journal </li></ul><ul><li>“ Post-Secondary Learning Priorities of Workers in an Oil Sands Camp in Northern Alberta” (In review) </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline study </li></ul><ul><li>“ Programming Available and Requested in Remote Areas of Alberta” (In progress) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Next steps <ul><li>Continue regular information and speaker sessions at the Horizon site </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Population will soon change once into production </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Intensify research into learning interests in other identified communities outside the oilsands </li></ul><ul><li>Continue Occasional Reports (formative evaluation) </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to produce papers for peer-reviewed journals (dissemination) </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to evaluate project operations (1 more interim report, final report at project end) </li></ul>
  16. 16. For more information … <ul><li>Website: http://www.athabascau.ca/lc/ </li></ul><ul><li>Email: asklc@athabascau.ca </li></ul>
  17. 17. Thank you <ul><li>Pat Fahy ( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>866-514-6234 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nancy Steel ( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>866-569-8051 </li></ul></ul>

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