News Archives: First Blended Online and Land-Based Learning Course at GPRC
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Assistant Executive Director, Miranda Laroche says GPRC is setting an example for other institutions and communities with the offering of new course NT2300: Introduction to Indigenous Governance.
“I really appreciate that this course is being offered at GPRC,” says Laroche. “GPRC was able to see a need, not only in our community but Northern Alberta. A lot of the students that come to GPRC are of an Indigenous background, and it’s so important for them as well as others to learn.”
This September, GPRC is adding NT2300: Introduction to Indigenous Governance, a transferable elective course to their academic options for students.
“We are really excited to see this course be added to our academic options because it holds a lot of opportunity for learning and engaging in an Indigenous context, not only for GPRC students, but also community members,” says Kirsten Mikkelsen, GPRC Indigenous Studies Instructor.
GPRC Arts and Education is excited for the delivery of this course in online and land-based learning contexts for their students. It will encompass a unique combination of teachings from Indigenous scholars and wisdom keepers that are blended into an online learning based model with a two-day adventure land-based component.
“This course is so unique,” says Anna Gillis, GPRC Educational Technologies Centre Supervisor and Instructional Designer. “It’s the first course offered here at GPRC to be completely textbook free, with all sources and course content being uploaded and made available on Moodle.”
“It is also unique because it can serve as a stand-alone elective,” adds Mikkelsen. “Any student in any program or department wanting to further their knowledge in an Indigenous context can take this course.”
Mikkelsen also touches on how the course was designed to include a combination of learning opportunities, including a land-based adventure learning component.
“The course reflects an interesting combination within its learning design,” she says. “It connects relationships between Indigenous pedagogy, educational technologies, open educational resources and their representation of learning through the Mahara ePortfolio. On top of that, participants get to spend time on the land while being exposed to the teachings of Sakej Ward, a specialist in Indigenous resurgence and governance, with all meals provided and optional shared accommodation to ensure all participants are able to come and enjoy this component of the course.”
NT2300: Introduction to Indigenous Governance is a course open to all GPRC students of diverse backgrounds. In addition, the Department of Arts and Education through the Strengthening Indigenous Education Initiative have created an open community-based non-credit option that is free to register for Indigenous peoples who are not currently enrolled at GPRC.
“It was very important to us that this course be inclusive, yet also open to Indigenous peoples who have been systemically marginalized as a result of colonization from engaging in post-secondary education” says Mikkelsen.
The online component of this course will hold all information that enrolled learners needs to know, including modules with the option to listen to the online audio narration. Recently, Mikkelsen, Gillis with co-authors Todd Ormiston, Indigenous Studies Program Leader, Camosun College and Scott Gerritty, University of Victoria were awarded the Outstanding Poster Paper Award, for Indigenous Resurgence through Transformative Land-Based and Educational Infused Courses at the Ed Media 2016 World Conference on Educational Media and Technology on a paper that embodied this new blended online and land-based course model.
NT2300: Introduction to Indigenous Governance allows students to be introduced to Indigenous governance and resurgence through the contemporary perspectives on the political relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state in Canada.
Check out the courses promotional video: https://www.gprc.ab.ca/departments/ae/nt2300.html
To register for the course, follow this link: http://register.ecampusalberta.ca/course_search_results.php?t=gp_nt2300