Date of Award
Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Lisa Yopp, EdD
Charles Schlosser, PhD
This applied dissertation is designed to provide an understanding of opinion leaders’ views of their role in the adoption and diffusion of distance education for literacy and skills training of Indigenous adult learners. A top priority for Indigenous leaders is to achieve self-governance with each Indigenous member having access to culturally appropriate education. However, there has been inequity in funding from the government, resulting in Indigenous communities on reserves in Canada being denied the same quality of education offered to individuals living off-reserves. This has resulted in Indigenous members having a lower level of educational attainment in secondary and post-secondary completion compared to other Canadians. Indigenous peoples have lower literacy and numeracy scores than non-Indigenous people in Canada and a lower percent of its working age population are employed when compared to other Canadians.
Distance education offers unique opportunities for Indigenous communities to bridge the gap that exists while receiving culturally appropriate education. Sioux-Hudson Literacy Council has been utilizing distance education through their Good Learning Anywhere program to bridge the attainment gap for Indigenous adult learners. This qualitative study explores opinion leaders’ perspectives of their role in the adoption and diffusion of distance education for adult literacy and skills training of Indigenous adult learners.
A grounded theory approach was used. Data were collected with an interview protocol, observation protocol, and review of documents. Participants were selected through a purposeful sampling approach by first asking administrators and staff who have experienced the phenomenon over 5 years to participate in the study. Interviews were the main source of data collection. However, to achieve triangulation of information, data were also collected by observation and the review of documents.
Opinion leaders viewed supporting the learner as their key role in the adoption and diffusion of distance education for adult literacy and skills training of Indigenous adult learners. Rogers (2003) noted a positive relationship between a leader’s ability to attain adoption and diffusion by clients and the level of the program’s compatibility with the needs of those clients. Themes emerged from the data collected to indicate eight steps utilized by opinion leaders to support the learner in the adoption and diffusion process: (1) know the learner, (2) assign an Online Mentor, (3) develop a learner plan, (4) build relationship and trust, (5) customize course content, (6) participate in online Sharing Circles, (7) build community partnerships, and (8) maintain contact with the learner after program exit.
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Sackeria Nerica Jackson-Hinds. 2019. Distance Education Adoption for Literacy and Skills Training of Indigenous Adult Learners. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. (379)