Going The Distance: Equipping Rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with the Abilities & Skills to Succeed in Online Learning
Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest number of working aged people without a high school diploma at 15.7% compared to the national average of 11.5% (Literacy and Institutional Services Division, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, 2018). Sixty percent of the population of our province live in a rural area. These people have more difficulty accessing education than their urban counterparts (Simms & Greenwood, 2017).
The purpose of this project is to help learners improve their technology and writing skills so that they may be successful using an online learning environment to help further their education and increase their employability skills.
To bring education to those living in rural areas we need to provide them with an effective online learning tool. Online education is a growing trend but without computer and writing skills, individuals are disadvantaged. A national survey of 73 found that 93 percent of Canadian institutions offer online and distance courses (Bates, 2016).
Primary Research Question
What are the barriers to online learning that exist for rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have limited writing and computer skills and how might these be overcome?
Research led by Newfoundland and Labrador Laubach Literacy Council Inc.
Research to be conducted at locations in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
February 2019 – May 2022 * This project is completed.
Research Project Deliverables
This research project focused on overcoming barriers to online learning for those with low writing and computer skills to create a more inclusive learning environment at any level. Though there are many advantages to online learning, several barriers can exist.
For each barrier, the Final Report details recommendations that can be used to develop and deliver a tutor training program for Laubach which can also be adapted for other populations such as immigrants, incarcerated, indigenous, or other under-represented groups. By raising literacy levels, this underrepresented population is more likely to reach their educational goals through online learning.
This slide deck was presented at a Stakeholder Briefing on April 12, 2022.
This video was presented at the NL Workforce Innovators Roundtable 2021 on October 5.