Keynotes and Speakers for ITx Rutherford
Education Business Solutions
Rural and remote delivery has presented numerous challenges for regional Polytechnics seeking to provide sustainable and diverse delivery supporting regional Māori communities as envisaged by the current government policy.
The effect of cyclic employment trends and student demand has resulted in limited offerings and in courses being cancelled due to insufficient numbers. This has a profound effect on both the community education provision and wellbeing and impacts negatively the reputation of the Polytechnic in the community.
This paper offers a model which is based on learnings from the Digit Project and Set4Life. It combines elements of synchronous, asynchronous and virtual delivery in a supported and community focussed environment. The use of these three methodologies supported by a generalist educator has educational as well as scale advantages with regard to financial and educational delivery sustainability. The educator is a generalist who is well versed in understanding thresholds and barriers in education with good links and connections to the community they serve. They have a broad understanding of literacy and numeracy education acting as the focal hub for remote subject specialist support. They are the key glue in the network that links the students to the wider learning, student support and work environment.
Where this is a predominantly Māori community they must have an understanding of Kura Kaupapa Māori and respect Tino Rangatiratanga as well as key skills in Ata.
As we look to offer a broad range and agile provision of courses across a wide regional area responding to market forces it is impossible to maintain individual cohorts without an innovative approach. Online virtual learning alone, has issues in retention or completion rates. It is also not well suited for developing literacy and numeracy and serving communities that have disparate access to internet and learning facilities.