“As Indigenous researchers with strong connections to their communities, II faculty understand the needs and priorities of Indigenous peoples, and can develop research projects to deliver direct benefits to their communities. As the connection point between the Traditional Knowledge Keepers and prospective knowledge users, IIs are perfectly placed to engage in research and knowledge mobilization while respecting and protecting the roots and cultural importance of that very knowledge.”
Resource Report Year: 2021
This report offers insights into how Indigenous Institutes, and all education institutions, can deliver a holistic approach to online education that supports Indigenous learners.
The Indigenous Institutes Consortium and its members have always prioritized course development that responds to the needs of community members so that they can gain the skills and credentials required to secure employment. An alternative form of skills development, microcredentials are becoming increasingly important in Ontario’s shifting employment landscape because they are vital to the economic recovery of the Province and country. They demonstrate that individuals have acquired specific skillsets that are required in the workplace and that there are individuals who require quick upskilling to be competitive in the evolving workforce. Recently both Indigenous Institutes and the Ontario government have realized the need to invest in microcredentials to improve the employability of residents, and particularly Indigenous learners. With increased funding through eCampusOntario for virtual learning and microcredentials, Six Nations Polytechnic conducted research on how this new type of learning could be developed and applied at Indigenous Institutes.
In this report, Six Nations Polytechnic provides an overview of the current microcredential landscape in Ontario, explores how it needs to evolve so that Indigenous Institutes can actively take part and assesses how virtual learning impacts the delivery and educational experience of this new certification. Following its analysis of the landscape, the report sets out nine recommendations to help Indigenous Institutes and their funders support and administer microcredentialling programs.
Nine Recommendations for Developing Microcredentials at Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes
- Leverage drivers & benefits of e-learning.
- Address the interaction of barriers to technological access, asset availability, and digital literacy.
- Revisit (and revise) teaching staff engagement, training, and support strategies .
- Augment organizational resources for e-learning.
- Invest – strongly – in educational design.
- Develop robust e-learning assessment strategies.
- Explore entrepreneurial approaches.
- Lay the regulatory foundations.
- Advocate for true inclusivity in e-learning frameworks and policy making.
Following this research, Six Nations Polytechnic and several other Indigenous Institutes went on to successfully earn funding from eCampusOntario to further develop microcredential, virtual learning and hyflex learning opportunities.
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