Project to revolutionise education delivery
Nagle Catholic College is taking the lead in an online project that experts say could revolutionise delivery of Catholic education in WA.
Regional students who do not always have access to Year 11 and 12 ATAR courses and often have to move locations to complete studies will be able to finish their courses online as early as next year.
The project sparked from a common problem for Nagle Catholic College’s Carnarvon campus, with students not having access to Year 11 and 12 ATAR courses and having to commute to Geraldton or Perth.
The project has now become much bigger than Nagle intended.
The project is called Virtual School Network and is led by Nagle Catholic College deputy of teaching and learning Meredith Roe and a group of experts that is now tackling common issues that secondary schools have across the State. Ms Roe said Year 11 and 12 ATAR courses were usually taught by specialist teachers.
“And when you’ve only got four kids doing ATAR courses out of 22 kids, you can’t have staff,” she said.
“We’ve come up with a model that relies on a collaborative approach where a number of Catholic schools in WA contribute online ATAR courses, so they put forward a teacher who will create and deliver that course online to students.”
The model has never been attempted before but with a team of experts including Dr Cathy Cavanaugh, an internationally renowned expert in online learning, it is set to revolutionise Catholic education. Ms Roe said it had become far bigger than just Nagle and the original problem that started the project.
“It is about providing equity and access to education, so it doesn’t matter whether you are remote, rural or metro,” she said. “This levels the playing field. “We’re taking the lead because we are the Catholic school in WA who has done the most research into this and that, for Geraldton, I think, is an amazing thing.”
There are eight schools involved in Virtual School Network across WA which have put together 10 courses ready to be delivered in 2018.
Ms Roe said schools had got on board with ViSN for students who could not access traditional models of schooling because of mental health issues or students with elite sporting commitments.
These students could now access their schooling without being locked into attending.
It is about providing equity and access to education. Meredith Roe