Teaching Matters

PS9 R3a Riawunna’s engagement outcomes during COVID-19 through the Murina Program: Strengthening digital connections of people and place

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 2 December 20202 Dec 2020


Riawunna’s engagement outcomes during COVID-19 through the Murina Program


Jodi Haines, Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education, Academic Division


Connected to place

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Room 3




Riawunna’s Murina Program offers a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait students to follow their educational and vocational goals. Throughout COVID-19, the Riawunna team responded quickly to support students to overcome Information Technology online challenges. This presentation will share these strategies, and showcase curriculum examples and student outcomes throughout this period.

Connection to People and Place is at the heart of Murina’s Learning experiences which normally take place On Country or in the classroom. Our curriculum translated well to online delivery as we shared Aboriginal knowledges through our [1]kani; Aboriginal guest sharers and curriculum.

Riawunna strengthened Digital Connections by providing on loan Laptops and dongles to students (through the Riawunna Hardship Scheme) to access Zoom and Blackboard Collaborative for the first time. Riawunna worked closely with other UTAS Programs and supports to strengthen student engagement, and continues to use this coordinated and wholistic approach.

Based upon internal enrolment figures post census, the program retained 57% of our students from Semester 1 (35 students) into Semester 2 (20 students). The following percentages present this breakdown of withdrawals against total enrolments:

  • 8% due to direct IT challenges
  • 14% transitioned to further studies
  • 20% due to personal reasons that existed pre-COVID.

Riawunna’s strategies minimised the Information Technology barriers in the Murina Program throughout COVID-19, and continues to provide wholistic support whilst providing a curriculum that celebrates People and Place (Aboriginal Knowledges) through strengthened Digital Connections.

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