Using Portable Moodle and eReaders to Enhance Learning at a Distance for Incarcerated Offenders
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Using Portable Moodle and eReaders to Enhance Learning at a Distance for Incarcerated Offenders

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Incarcerated offenders face a number of additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a ...

Incarcerated offenders face a number of additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly characterised by online course offerings.

This paper outlines a project underway at the University of Southern Queensland and the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre in Gatton that is aimed at addressing this challenge. A standalone version of Moodle is being developed that will run on a server and an isolated network of computers within the education centre of the prison. Satellite Moodle will run independently of the internet and will not be able to connect to any computers or networks outside the education centre. The features of Moodle will be modified to allow students to access their coursework and engage in forum discussions. Library resources and course readings will be provided on eReaders, without internet connectivity.

It is expected that the project will result in numerous benefits, among them: students will be participating in learning experiences more closely related to those experienced by students outside of the prison system; they will be learning relevant IT skills, e-literacy and e-research skills; USQ will be fulfilling its obligation in relation to equity of access; and will be addressing the Federal Government’s agenda of increasing participation by socially and economically disadvantaged groups in higher education. Satellite Moodle will also enable USQ to provide internet independent versions of courses to students in other areas that do not have access to the internet.

Moodlemoot 2012 Theme: •Slip, Slop, Slap - Breaking Barriers The project supports at risk students in the form of incarcerated students who are often from Indigenous or low socio-economic backgrounds.

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  • Transferable solution – rural and remote health, low scio-eco
  • Incarcerated offenders face additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly characterised by online course offerings
  • Because move online, others are ditching incerated student sas a group
  • With our focus and support for incaretardeyydstudnets, we have a growth in numbers
  • Workshop on barriers and challenges – one is prisoners are forced to chhose non-online optionsLot of time, albeit willingly, spend by teaching staff on exception handling
  • Serco runs gatton (only)
  • Note e resources – journals, readings etc plus open ed resources; packaged on eReader; note about cost of text books; method is cost-effective: avoids return, student ‘owns’ (or CC) the device. Still a trial so using disocntinued.
  • STILL PERMITS THEM TO RESRACH WITHIN PROVIDEDmateraisl – extra includedCollaboartrion allows learning by all; moderayion of discussion will eduacteed officers and allow them to share new ways to do thingsEd officer can mark then and now – and can see results; before had to wait to get resultsCan do things course wide – instead of person by person in the pastAccess to video, podcast; b4 was too big
  • Tech limits are a challenge – only use IE6, tryting them on open source eg Firefox
  • Note about extended usefulness – eg recycled eR’s can be used to load books for low literacy inmates – can read to them; can be used in Prison libraryFuture glue shut the SD card slot and like them to have multimnedia and quizes; advantage of pre-loaded with books2 reasons – overcomes cost or text books or buy 2nd hand; so have to be donated to library; $20 / WEEKL SALARY; 2ND – SPACEResrach – search within reader
  • Challenge is content in non-standards formatChallenge of copyrigt, successful in many, but some electroni c resourecs don’t allowdownload toeReaders
  • TPP = bridging4ed officers – ratio of 1 to 50
  • Open uniuk – are doing similarTas polty tech doingGov does give companies incentives to employ

Using Portable Moodle and eReaders to Enhance Learning at a Distance for Incarcerated Offenders Using Portable Moodle and eReaders to Enhance Learning at a Distance for Incarcerated Offenders Presentation Transcript

  • Using Portable Moodle and eReaders to Enhance Learning at a Distance for Incarcerated Offenders Helen Farley, Des Janke, Angela Murphy, Jonathon Fowler
  • USQ’s Mission Enable broad participation in higher education: – Quality professional education opportunities that are accessible, flexible and borderless; – Create fulfilling experiences for all students based on the commitment of skilled and caring staff; – Develop graduates who are positioned to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world; – Pursue world-class research, innovation and practice in sustainable futures; and – Engage with communities, business and government through ongoing and mutually beneficial partnerships.
  • accessible, flexible and borderless …
  • Incarcerated offenders face additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly characterised by online course offerings.
  • The learning landscape is changing… Increased online course provision Digital learning environments Interactivity and collaboration Elimination of exceptions handling Withdrawal of support for incarcerated students Difficulties providing equivalent learning experiences to students without internet access Difficult for incarcerated students to develop the skills required for success in future employment or study Further exclusion of the already socially excluded
  • Enrolment of correctional students in the TPP course at USQ have increased by 92% since 1990 with 256 in QLD in 2010.
  • Choice of courses is increasingly influenced by the extent to which a course requires internet access • Materials are delivered to students in hard copy format and CD roms. • Educational officers are responsible for researching and printing learning material and liaising with the university. • Limited access to resources and opportunities for obtaining digital literacy and researching skills. • Students study independently with little opportunity for collaboration or discussion with peers. • Increasing demands on USQ lecturers, library and student support personnel to provide alternative materials and activities and print and post the resources and materials required by students.
  • mutually beneficial partnerships …. Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Department for Correctional Services (DCS) Serco Australia - Southern Queensland Correctional Centre (SQCC) University of Southern Queensland
  • The project consists of 2 components: Stand Alone Moodle (SAM) e-Readers • Internet-independent version of the USQ StudyDesk • Loaded directly onto a virtual computer within the education centre’s computer network • No access to prison computers or outside world • Coursework materials • Relevant library resources • Provided to students to take back to their cells • No access to 3G or Wi-Fi • No SD card slot • No removable batteries
  • innovation….
  • Stand Alone Moodle (SAM) • Offline course content • Replication of USQ’s study environment • Research & digital literacy skills • Engagement & collaboration • Comparable experience
  • SAM Features • Open Source application • Open source virtual machine • Packaged with content • Internal interaction but no external integration • Future is efficient data exchange
  • E-Readers • Extends learning beyond the computer lab into personal time. • Ownership of own research and learning. • Advanced search skills. • Experience with digital technology and digital literacy skills.
  • ePub • Open format may give flexibility • Convert existing content • Compatible with mobile online delivery
  • meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world….
  • Project Prototype • Trial project • 17 students • Southern Queensland Correctional Centre in Gatton. • TPP7120 Studying to Succeed within the Tertiary Preparation Program. • Prospective students over 18 and can’t gain entry via traditional pathways. • Trial commences in Semester 2, 16 July 2012.
  • 26% of the students enrolled in the TPP at the start of the 2010 academic year were offenders in custody. 74% were in Queensland correctional centres.
  • fulfilling experiences….
  • Expected outcome… • e-literacy and e-research skills required in future studies and work environments. • Reduced workload and more efficient use of time for USQ staff. • Reduced costs, particularly printing and resources. • Improved access to materials required for successful completion of coursework. • Improved employment opportunities.
  • Enhanced potential for active, asynchronous and social learning • Thinking and reflection • Conversation and interaction • Experience and activity • Evidence and demonstration
  • Learning designers have access to current technologies whereas students may be struggling with technology that is old, unreliable or non- existent. These technologies offer transferable solutions that broaden rather than narrow the access to education.
  • fulfilling lives…. “From a scholarly perspective, prison education reduces recidivism, enhances life skills, and is a cost-effective method of crime reduction…” But from a humane and ethical perspective, prison education allows those who want to change their lifestyle the opportunity to do so.” Christopher Zoukis , former prisoner and contemporary author Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/8/prweb8703640.htm /