Date: February 21, 2007
Subject: Memorial University researchers launch virtual learning project
Newfoundland and Labrador has been described as an ideal e-learning laboratory. Having a geographically dispersed, highly educated population provides unique opportunities for researchers to study and understand the complexities of e-learning and the usage of new and emerging technologies, especially in rural and isolated areas. Memorial University researchers in the Faculty of Education have launched the Killick Project for E-learning Research, a unique community-university research alliance involving the university, the provincial Department of Education, school districts and the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association among others. The Project aims to foster innovative research, training and new knowledge in the area of e-learning in the field of education.
The Killick Project will serve as a model for all communities in Canada and elsewhere by fostering innovative research, collaboration, training and the creation of new knowledge related to overcoming the educational challenges faced by isolated communities,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial University.
Advancements in distance learning have revolutionized educational access for all students. Learning is no longer limited by geography, which is great news for students in rural areas of our province,” said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. “Newfoundland and Labrador is recognized as a leader in distance education. I am confident that the research undertaken at the Killick Centre will further cement this reputation, and will continue to strengthen our distance learning program.”
Dr. Jean Brown, Faculty of Education is the principal investigator on the project that brings together senior researchers at Memorial, College of the North Atlantic, the province’s Department of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teacher’s Association, and School Boards from across the province.
Dr. Brown and her team were awarded a Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to develop the Project and will receive $1 million over five years to create a community-university alliance to foster innovative research, training and the creation of new knowledge in the area of e-learning with additional financial and in-kind commitments from partners in the amount of about $7,500,000, bringing a total project value of $8,500,000.
New technologies are changing how educators and students interact through teaching and learning across Canada and the world,” said Dr. Alice Collins, dean, Faculty of Education. “This is especially true in rural and remote areas where access to specialists and specialized programs are difficult to obtain. This new Project will answer vital questions about the effectiveness of e-learning, best practices, and how to best utilize infrastructure and monies.”
A backgrounder on the Killick Project for E-learning Research projects is attached. For more information on the Killick Project visit their Web site at: www.killickcentre.ca