Indigenous learners online

: designing a better experience

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU

    Abstract

    Online learning is a ubiquitous part of higher education in Australia, yet there is little in the way of design principles or learning design models to guide the design of online learning environments that are inclusive and supportive of Indigenous students. This is a significant issue given the inequitable participation and outcomes of Indigenous people in higher education.

    This study set out to develop principles for the design of online learning environments that are inclusive of Indigenous students and which enhance their experiences of online learning. Educational Design Research (EDR) was used as the guiding methodological framework. The research was conducted over three micro-cycles of the EDR phase of analysis and exploration, with yarning used as the main method of data collection. The yarning approach produced a rich picture of the experiences of online learning of the nineteen Indigenous participants.

    Qualitative analysis of the data drawn from yarning resulted in the identification of ten themes that encapsulate the experiences of Indigenous higher education students in online learning. These themes support the finding that a relational epistemology underpins the learning of Indigenous higher education students. The themes formed the foundation of the development of six principles for the design of online learning environments that are inclusive of Indigenous higher education students. The study also concluded that whole of institution approaches are needed to enhance the learning and experiences of Indigenous students. To this end sixteen recommendations for research, policy and practice are presented.

    The research findings address a need for guidelines that education designers, teaching academics and other interested people and institutions can use in the design of inclusive online learning environments that will enhance the experiences of Indigenous higher education students in online learning.
    Date of AwardAug 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRuth Wallace (Supervisor), Michael Christie (Supervisor) & Linda Ford (Supervisor)

    Cite this

    Indigenous learners online: designing a better experience
    Reedy, A. (Author). Aug 2018

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU