Teaching Diverse Communities of Adult and Student Learners at a Distance

Sunchild E-learning’s challenge is to provide a high school education, at a distance, for both adults and students. In addition to meeting the challenge of their diverse populations, they are developing content for the devices (laptops, tablets, smart-phones) in which their students expect their learning to be delivered. In fact a recent study of their E-learning model and has determined several key elements that make the Sunchild model a gold standard for distance education.

Sunchild E-learning is a non-profit charitable organization and a fully accredited private high school that, for over 12 years,  has graduated more First Nations students than any other on reserve school in Alberta, Canada. Through their E-learning model, First Nations students can complete their high school diplomas without having to leave their home communities.   The program was developed to allow in culturally relevant content as well as to provide flexibility for students to access material online anytime and anywhere.

The Sunchild E-learning community program has seen course completion rates for aboriginal students of greater than 70% and graduation rates of greater than 80% in each of its 12 years of operations. This compared to graduation rates of less than 4% and course completion rates of less than 20% in nearby Alberta public school divisions.

Presenter: Mavis Sacher, Principal, Sunchild E-learning Community

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