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Decolonizing Cyberspace: Online Support for the Nunavut MEd

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Author(s): Alexander McAuley | Fiona Walton

Journal: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
ISSN 1492-3831

Volume: 12;
Issue: 4;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Inuit | Aboriginal | distance graduate program | decolonization | pedagogy | K-12 | school administrator | Indigenous education | Nunavut | decolonizing | educational leadership | distance education | distance learning | blended learning | knowledge building

ABSTRACT
Offered between 2006 and 2009 and graduating 21 Inuit candidates, the Nunavut Master of Education program was a collaborative effort made to address the erosion of Inuit leadership in the K-12 school system after the creation of Nunavut, Canada’s newest territory, in 1999. Delivered to a large extent in short, intensive, face-to-face courses, the program also made extensive use of online supports. This paper outlines the design challenges – geographical, technological, pedagogical, and cultural – that faced the development and delivery of the online portion of the program. It highlights the intersection of the design decisions with the decolonizing principles that framed the program as a whole, the various and varying roles played by the online environment over the course of the program, and the program’s contribution to student success.
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