Investigating flexible delivery strategies that meet the needs of Remote Area Teacher Education Program (RATEP) Diploma of Education (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) students

Year: 2006

Author: Bartlett, Claire

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports on the findings of research which investigated RATEP Diploma of Education (ATSI) students' opinions, attitudes and perceptions of flexible delivery strategies. The three students who participated in this qualitative research studied the Diploma of Education (ATSI) between 2003 and 2004. Data was collected via semi-structured, open ended interviews and presented as case studies.

The research findings highlight the complexities of student-centred flexible delivery. This study found that all participants needed regular interaction, support and feedback from peers and teaching staff, however, the focus on self paced, independent learning inhibited this. Each case highlighted a preference for different delivery modes and strategies, however, participants could cope with delivery modes and strategies that did not match their preferred way of learning if there were high levels of support, convenience and flexibility. Conversely, timelines for participation were necessary in order for participants to develop independent learning skills.

In conclusion, recommendations for practice are suggested. These include increased group paced delivery in order facilitate regular interaction, support and feedback. Strategies include more face to face block delivery and the facilitation of an online community of learners. Production of a student handbook containing course information, delivery plans and due dates for assessment needs would assist students to develop independent learning skills.