Using digital technologies to implement distance education for incarcerated students: a case study from an Australian regional university

Helen Sara Farley, Joanne Doyle


As universities become increasingly reliant on the online delivery of courses for distance education, those students without access to the Internet are increasingly marginalised. Among those most marginalised are incarcerated students who are often from low socio-economic status backgrounds and have limited access to resources. This article reports on four projects that incrementally build on each other, three of which are completed, at the University of Southern Queensland that seek to provide access to higher education for incarcerated students. These projects developed a modified version of Moodle, called Stand Alone Moodle (SAM), which doesn’t require Internet access, but provides the same level of access and interactivity as regular Moodle. EBook readers were also used in two of the projects. A description of the projects, a summary of the results and issues is provided. The projects will be extended to deploy Stand Alone Moodle and tablet computers to correctional centres across Australia with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.


access to education, digital divide, distance education, higher education, incarcerated students

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