- Listen to this recording of Pam McBride from Otago Polytechnic's Disabilities Unit discussing issues with access and equity in flexible learning
- Locate and read at least one article on access and equity issues and related to flexible learning.
- Write to your blog the following:
- a summary of an article you have read.
- your observations on how issues to do with access and equity can enhance and compliment your working context;
- issues which may affect access and equity for your students/clients and some possible solutions.
- You may wish to include some of these issues and solutions in your flexible learning plan.
this provides some clear guidelines to assist us with strategies and ways to increase access to this group of learners.
Wider thinking about this topic led me to the article by Zondiros in summary Zondiros is commenting on globalisation and its impact on developing countries accessing education. He adds that because of new information and communication technologies, online education there is more opportunity for people to access education by way of mediums appropriate to their circumstances. Factors which influence whether people are able to access these are:
limited digital literacy, low socioeconomic status, limited or not internet access. He notes taht thes issues have meant that access and inequity has inceased rathe than decrease the gaps in educational success. the further extends the social exclusion that these individuals may already face. He challenges those who are developing online IT technolgies and courses to consider how
they are going to improve educational access to these individuals.
My musings about Zondiros comments are that we have aspects of all of his critiques here in New Zealand and within our geographic context of Otago Polytechnics community of learners. Socio economic disadvantage has been identified by numerous Ministry of Education, Health and Social Development as being the key factor in influencing educational success at all levels. Socioeconomic status directly affect health status and so the cycle continues. "The evidence shows that ethnicity and culture, socioeconomic status and home language all impact on student achievement. Children with access to higher levels of human and material resources, such as high levels of parental education and computers, have higher achievement than children whose families do not have these resources, but the evidence identifies alternative means of providing some of these resources." New Zealand Education Gazette 2004
Some of the strategies that could be explored in regards to the programme in which i teach would be to provide targetted programmes which assist learners from lower socioeconomic groups to transition into nursing education more easily than is currently possible. However, the trade off is the cost effectiveness of this approach. Applicantions to enter our programmes far exceed places offered therefore selecting those most likely to succeed is a preferred option. However, is this socially just? are we continuing to aid the access /equity gaps? more disucssion to follow in my next posting............