Blackboard Inc. announced the availability of the Djambarrpuyŋu version of Blackboard Collaborate, its virtual collaborative learning solution.
Developed in partnership with Charles Darwin University and a team of Djambarrpuyŋu speakers and translators, this new language version aims at improving student engagement and retention by providing a more rewarding and inclusive virtual classroom experience.
The announcement was made at the Teaching and Learning Conference 2017, Blackboard’s annual event that brings together the education communities from Australia and New Zealand, taking place from 6 to 8 September 2017 in Darwin.
Djambarrpuyŋu is one of several languages that make up the Yolŋu Matha group of languages spoken by the people of East Arnhem Land, in northern Australia.
According to the 2016 Australian Census, Djambarrpuyŋu is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the Northern Territory after English, with more than 4,200 speakers.
Charles Darwin University offers several study programs with a focus on Indigenous languages and has several key partnerships currently in place with the Yolŋu community.
“The tailored Blackboard Collaborate experience will help make education more accessible to people in a number of remote Indigenous communities,” said Martin Carroll, Charles Darwin University Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education and Student Success Professor.
“Imagine trying to use a new technology when the instructions aren’t written in your first language,” he added. “That barrier has now been removed for Djambarrpuyŋu speaking learners.”
“We are excited to enable stronger learner engagement and better student outcomes. The potential exists to reach new students in other remote areas through the addition of further languages over time.”
“We are honoured to support Indigenous students of Australia and enable them to be more successful in their academic journey,” said Lee Blakemore, President of Blackboard International.
“With this Djambarrpuyŋu version of Blackboard Collaborate we are also opening new possibilities for government organisations or businesses to reach out to Indigenous communities and provide collaborative learning or training programs also to non-students.”
Source: Blackboard Inc.