Issue 15
Monday, 11 September 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Success Professor Martin Carroll presents the new Yolngu Matha learning portal
CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Success Professor Martin Carroll presents the new Yolngu Matha learning portal

Yolngu language goes global in virtual classroom

In an Australia-first, Charles Darwin University staff have translated a global online learning portal into Yolngu Matha, to improve access for Indigenous students.

Global platform provider Blackboard Inc, in partnership with CDU, launched the innovative Djambarrpuyngu learning experience “Blackboard Collaborate” at a conference in Darwin.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Success Professor Martin Carroll said the tailored language version would help make education more accessible to people in a number of remote Indigenous communities.

“Imagine trying to use a new technology when the instructions aren’t written in your first language,” Professor Carroll said. “That barrier has now been removed for Djambarrpuyngu speaking learners.

“The potential exists to reach new students in other remote areas through the addition of further languages over time.”

He said Blackboard Collaborate was developed in partnership with CDU researchers and a team of Djambarrpuyngu speakers and translators, who helped to create the most appropriate model for these Indigenous students.

Djambarrpuyngu is one of several Yolngu languages spoken by the people of East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.