The University of Newcastle, Australia

Dubbo receives AVID program in a digital first

Monday, 27 February 2017

The University of Newcastle (UON) will conduct the first-ever distance video link tutorials with students in Dubbo tomorrow to deliver a program that encourages success in school and beyond.

AVID tutors using technology to connect with students in Dubbo

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) connects students with trained tutors who facilitate weekly sessions that focus on skill building, intensive support and student-centred learning.

Following a request from Dubbo College for the program, more than 120 students in Year 7 and 8 will connect with six AVID tutors via the Google Hangouts platform using laptops, tablets and webcams.

AVID Program Coordinator, Lauren Hines, said she was thrilled the UON team was able to support the digital delivery of the program.

“The technology is incredible and it shows all the participants faces, automatically detecting who is speaking and showing them on the main screen, as well as syncing and swapping as the speakers change,” explained Ms Hines.

“This digital connection to our tutors will help expose students to different education pathways and opportunities, helping to break down barriers and develop student capital. It has the potential to change how we work with other regional communities and deliver additional programs,” she added.

Dubbo College Deputy Principal, Glen Braithwaite, said the students were excited to be the first ones to try out the program virtually.

“We were looking for a strategy to engage students in some of the 21st Century learning skills like critical thinking and decided AVID was the best fit. Due to our regional location, it is difficult to gain access to programs like AVID and get them off the ground, but we’ve worked together really well to make it happen,” said Mr Braithwaite.

“Technology is a great way to ensure our students don’t miss out on programs and we’d like to continue working with UON to provide our students with other opportunities,” he added.

The Central Coast has the largest cluster of AVID schools in Australia, with 800 students receiving more than 900 hours of face-to-face tutorials throughout the year, supported by UON’s Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE).

This year, AVID has expanded to include Glendale Technology High School in Newcastle as well as the two Dubbo campuses.

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