CONFIRMATION OF CANDIDATURE - Open Educational Practices in Remote Indigenous Workforce Development; Open for whom, and for what purpose?

Add to calendar

Presenter:  Johanna Funk, Research Associate & PhD Candidate, Northern institute, CDU

Date: Aug 23, 2016

Time: 8:30am to 9:30am

T: 08 8946 7468

Location:  Northern Institute, Yellow 1.2.48 @ CDU (Casuarina Campus)


Workforce development and training programs in remote Northern Territory (NT) communities have been largely inconsistent and unsuccessful. Critical evaluative engagement at the intersection of Open education, workforce development and Indigenous knowledge systems can illustrate dynamics in ‘program delivery;’ the neglected inclusive positioning of the ‘end users’ and the potential for improvements.  Conceptualising Open Educational Practices (OEP) and applying this to workforce development and training contexts can offer an opportunity to increase ownership by the communities for which programs are intended. This could ‘open up’ more community-led development of learning in workforce programs that maintain sustainable engagement for participants. Furthermore, this can question the extent to which OEP are ‘open’ to learners’ realities. This study is focussed on an OEP ‘project bundle’ that has been situated in the discourses of remote Indigenous training and workforce development learning via a range of ‘open’ digital practices and aims to refine what is open about these practices in these contexts.


As a professional in inner city schools in London, Johanna began to research how best to support the development of marginalised learners within institutional systems. Supporting learners’ skills in a range of contexts led to her interest in how learning systems can function with acknowledgement of diversity. A range of international work throughout her life has informed her interest in how the acknowledgement of learners’ identity can increase rich participation within educational, economic and social contexts. She has worked with the Department of Education on the PreVET Project, helped develop initial foundations of CDU’s engagement in Open Educational Resources (OER), supported the building of Evaluation Research capacity at CDU campuses in Darwin and Alice Springs, Supported Elder-On-Country Kathy Guthadjaka’s Djurrwirr Science project,  holds a CDU Graduate Certificate in Yolŋu Studies and is enrolled in PhD Studies at Northern Institute evaluating Open Educational Practices in a range of projects.