Partnering with a community to develop a technology-rich open access online unit: Melawhat?

Yoni Luxford, Rosalind James and Alan Wylie
University of New England
Armidale, Australia

Maura Luxford

Community service and engagement are integral to the charter of Australian universities. In this paper, we present a case example of dynamic partnership between community and university. The project set out to develop a technology-rich and open-access online module addressing the health promotion issue of raising awareness of melanoma among young people. Designed as a resource for students, teachers, parents and health professionals, Melawhat? eduONE (Education Our New England) is an ambitious project. It is the opening module of learning offered within the suite of new open- access modules at the University of New England that is intended to partner with a community. The processes of negotiation between a small rural community organization with a very big vision and a regional university requires sensitive attention to details such as content management, presentation and intellectual property rights. This ensures that the product is ultimately fit for purpose and is participatory at all levels throughout the process. This case study documents the journey from idea to product from three perspectives: the community organization, the academic sponsoring the module, and the team of online education developers who came together with a unique charter to achieve the final product. Highlights of the process and project are shared with you during the presentation.