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First Nations e-Learning: National Strategy

Burston, H., McDonald, A., Verhulst, M., Hill, V., Potter, D., Dempsey, K., Maloney, A., & Barbour, M. K. (2014, January). First Nations e-learning: National strategy. A presentation to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau, QC

Allison McDonald

on 17 October 2014

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Transcript of First Nations e-Learning: National Strategy

First Nations

National Strategy

Challenges in First Nation Education
Models of First Nation
Cost Comparisons
of Various Models
Funding Models
National Collaboration
Learning Repository
Shared Resources

Rapidly growing field in education
Provides greater access to educational programs
Teachers and classrooms remain essential in the world of e-learning
Flexible curricula
Auto-save technology
Growth Possibilities enrich community programming
Lower costs (compared to F2F)
Credenda Virtual High School
Keewaytinook Internet High School
13 partner communities in NW Ontario (10 air access only)
Communities all have small on-reserve populations of ~ 300
KiHS is the only on-reserve alternative for 12 communities
Alternative schools are boarding/ residential schools
KiHS established in 1999 by Keewaytinook Okimakanak
KiHS mission to provide quality secondary education for students in their home communities
Instructional Model
Physical classroom on reserve with trained certified teacher on site for regular school hours
Courses available online asynchronously
Students take variety of courses from teachers based throughout north
Teachers act as mentors to students in face-to-face class, while developing/delivering online courses
Independent students and credit purchase options exist for non-partner communities
Growth of Program
Growth of Program...cont'd
Success Rates
KiHS began in 1999 as a pilot project and in 2000 offered a grade 9 program of 6 courses
Senior courses began in 2004
In 2005, KiHS had its first graduate
In some partner communities, retention rates are as high as 80%
KiHS av. retention rate is ~70%
Trends of KiHS success rates are increasing yearly

% of KiHS Students Earning 6 + Credits
KiHS Cost Comparison (2013-2014)
$7,714 KiHS Student compared to $22,647 Fly Out Student

KiHS projects $1,735,675 for 225 on-reserve students:
Cost projection $3,510,359 for 155 fly-out students:

Historical effects in present day
Lack of local high school programs (full or partial)
Low graduation rates / High drop out rate
Limited options beyond basic courses / credits
Absence of credit recovery options
Availability & retention of qualified subject area teachers

Educational Attainment Gap
Improving Educational Outcomes
Call to Action:
"Childhood lasts only 988 weeks and school years pass by even more quickly, it is, therefore, critical that the government of Canada and First Nations leaders move forward together to change a system that has consigned so many First Nation students."
Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan is quoted...
"We are working to put students first and ensure they have
an education that supports strong, self-sufficient individuals
who can participate fully in Canada's economic opportunities,"
Implementation of Change
Learning options have been successfully implemented
National Panel
*costs are determined from projected funding from both programs
In five years, not much progress has been made especially on-reserve
Percentage of Students
attaining a Grade 12 high school diploma
Achievement of high school diplomas is
48 First Nations in MB
only 21 with full high school program
14 with partial high school program
13 no programming beyond grade 8
WVC currently partners with 12 communities, offering 18 different courses
Through project funding (EPP), WVC began developing and offering online synchronous courses in 2009
Instructional Model
Synchronous live instruction via Elluminate
Trained certified MB teachers
Semesterized school year, with defined school day
Media rich course content available online asynchronously
Live classes are recorded, posted and archived
Teachers perform a dual role developing/delivering online
Purchase options to be piloted for non-partner communities
Provincial School Accreditation
Signed M.O.U. with MB Education that Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate is Manitoba's first provincially accredited online school
Success Rate
Qualitative feedback from pilot communities school personnel and students is positive
High Course pass rate (~90%)
Demand for more courses (Language, optional credits)
Demand for increased service (Summer School, evening hours, Credit Recovery Program, Special Education)
Time is of the Essence...
Project Funding $ (from EPP) sunsets at the end of the fiscal year for the Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate
Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate Cost Comparison
$33,000 for a fly-out student (like-institutions annual cost)
Fills a gap in Saskatchewan’s remote First Nations through its programming
Removes the hurdle of finding accredited teachers
Provides a quality education to both southern and northern First Nations

Instructional Model
Live classes at scheduled times using Elluminate
Accredited teachers deliver lesson to students
Class time used for interaction with students
Builds a committee of learning
Desire2Learn LMS
Instructional Model ...cont'd
Credenda Online Extension Program offers resources to teachers on reserve
Class content and LMS are made available to schools
Resources are used by new teachers or to help with new curricula

Program Achievements
Credenda has:
delivered 4,922 courses to First Nation students
accredited teachers offering both core and electives classes
added guidance and career counseling services for students
Great retention rate of 76%
Great success rate of 72%



Equitable Access
Successful Digital Education Models
Direct Funding for e-Learning Security
Digital education age allows more access and a strategy is needed to ensure First Nations are given an equitable chance
First Nation models of e-Learning are developed and will continue to evolve as we work together
First Nation e-Learning schools need to be supported with secured funding
Funding on Per Student Basis
Funding on Per Class Basis
Gai Hon Nya Ni: AKJR
Partner with Ontario Ministry of Education & Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB)
Fills a programming gap for First Nations
students who have fallen through the provincial system
Founded in 2010 with 8 courses
Project-Based Funding
E-Learning programs will receive a base amount of funding yearly to ensure operational needs are met and additional funding will depend on enrollment and courses taken by students.
This will continue for an initial 5 years and then be reviewed independently to determine if it is efficient and cost effective.
This could be an e-Learning program funded similar to FNSSP and evaluated nationally with some key schools as partners.
Funds are provided based on a set amount per student ($500-$750) for all the 7-12 students in the FN school

Funds only for e-learning
Nominal Roll
Many Different Funding Options
Credenda Virtual High School has secured funding until June 2014
KiHS funding is based on nominal roll
Gai Hon Nya Ni: Amos Key JR. funding is through an ASETA, Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board, which is sunsetting as we speak
Successful Working Models may be in jeopardy....
e-Learning Institution receives funding based
on nominal roll
Good option for some e-Learning Institutions
Cautionary option for e-Learning Institutions who
partner with schools & share student enrolment
Funding on a % of Actual Expenditures
Introductions & Welcoming Remarks
Opening Prayer
State of the Nation K-12
Methodology & Education Models
Shared Presentation (Prezi)
Challenges in First Nation Education
Successful e-Learning Models
Credenda Virtual High School
Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate
Keewaytinook Internet High School (KiHS)
Gai Hon Nya Ni: AKJR
National Collaboration
Funding / Support
proposed models
Q & A
Instructional Model
Synchronous course delivery
Now offers over 30 core and optional course offerings including:
Native Language (Cayuga, Mohawk & Ojibway)
Native studies
Internet schools and online learning have been expanding and growing with much
over the past decade in many First Nation communities across Canada. There is no present funding model to support this. However, First Nation communities are in a position where e-learning has potential for the greatest help. Funding FN e-learning models is an important issue which needs to be addressed and studied to ensure continued success in developing and supporting the latest in technologies to support the communities.
Inclusion of e-Learning
in AANDC Funding
Success Story
Edward Benoanie, a former high school student with Credenda
Worked with Credenda as Youth Program Coordinator
Graduated from U of S with Education degree
Currently employed in home community as a teacher
Working towards his
Credits Credenda for his success and determination
Currently KiHS offers 65 different courses at all levels and in all streams, as well as support services such as special education, FNSSP, and co-op education.
KiHS offers Native Language and Native Studies courses as well as traditional experiences connected to the local program
Our school ensures equitable access to the full range of courses that on-reserve students in Ontario would not otherwise have
KiHS Programming

Funds provided based on % of classes taken by FN students (eligible, on reserve).
If 70% of the classes are taken by eligible FN students then 70% of the audited expenditures are reimbursed to the e-Learning institution.
Holistic foundation
of education for future leaders and citizens of tomorrow by offering and embedding social, emotional, civil, linguistic, artistic, ecological and spiritual intelligences throughout their course offerings.
Alumni will graduate with a solid foundation, a developed moral compass and an intellectual spirit.
By marrying indigenous and non-indigenous ideologies from their civilizations, alumni will graduate with a sense of history, nationalism, patriotism and humanity
Gai hon nya ni: AKJR
Credenda Cost Comparison
Based on Percentage of Credenda students are taking one or two classes to finish their schooling and graduate:
AANDC nominal role costs are $9000 per Student
If students can not take a Credenda class due to policy (i.e. class already offered by school) they will attend the following year, taking three classes
to ensure they are on the FN AANDC nominal role.
Credenda class costs are based on the average for the new mgt regime - $1,500 per class

Credenda Cost Comparison
Costs related to eligible First Nation
on-reserve students are reimbursed to the e-Learning institution based on the average per class cost in the nearest
provincial school division
Wapaskwa Course Calendar
Core courses including:
Grade 9: Math, Science, ELA, Social Studies
Grade 10: Intro to Applied & Precal Math, Science, ELA, Geography
Grade 11: Precalculus Math, ELA, History
Grade 12: Precalculus
Optional courses including:
Grade 10: Career Development
Grade 11: Biology, Physics, Web Design, Interactive Web Pages
Grade 12: Biology, Physics, Global Issues
Courses In Development
Grade 7: Math
Grade 8: Math
Grade 9: ICT 1, ICT 2, Cree Language, Ojibwe Language
Grade 10: Digital Pictures, Career Development
Grade 11: Chemistry
Grade 12: Chemistry, Current Topics in First Nation, Metis
& Inuit Studies
In Summary:
Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate
Full transcript