Provides information, analysis and practical tips for organisations seeking to use digital technologies to enhance general and professional legal education for people living in remote, rural and regional (RRR) Victoria.
These guidelines provide information, analysis and practical tips for organisations seeking to use digital technologies to enhance general and professional legal education for people living in remote, rural and regional (RRR) Victoria. Given the difficulties people living in RRR areas still face in having to take time away from work and home and travel long distances to attend many legal educational events, it makes sense to explore these options. However, it can be particularly difficult for organisations seeking to engage with RRR people to choose between educational technologies and techniques, given the considerable hype and movement in the field at present. Options are plentiful and complex, with multiple practical and organisational considerations attached to each, and the situation changes frequently as technologies improve. The increasing reach of high-speed internet and mobile networks is creating opportunities for different and more engaging educational methods to be used in most regional and rural areas, but fast internet is not the be-all and end-all. There is much that can be achieved with intelligent use of a range of lower-tech options including low-speed internet, phone, DVD and regional site-based educational technologies.
These guidelines aim to identify a range of practical, digitally based options that are available for different educational purposes, and provide sets of protocols for implementing these options so that RRR people can gain maximum educational benefit and organisations can access guidance on best practice. In many cases, standard good practice in the use of these technologies is all that is needed to include people living in RRR areas effectively in community and professional education. Many metropolitan participants can also benefit from the availability of low-bandwidth options, recordings, provision for individual online access to videoconferenced events and so on.
This document begins with an overview of the landscape for digitally based legal community and professional education in RRR Victoria. The requirements of RRR people for legal information and assistance have been described well in recent publications. There is no doubt that digital technologies can help address some of these needs, but technical and non-technical barriers exist, and section 3, ‘Needs, capabilities and barriers in the legal digital education landscape’, sets out briefly what the relevant capabilities and barriers are for RRR people in Victoria.
The major part of this document contains guidelines for choosing and implementing a wide range of digitally based education options. The guidelines highlight a range of factors reflecting important practical and pedagogical concerns, including access, cost, need for specialist IT support, cohort size, and ability to support particular learning designs and types of communication. A planning framework focusing on educational approaches is provided as a starting point in section 4, ‘Planning for learning using digital technologies’.