In March, 2006, a community-university research alliance was established with core funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, through the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) Program. Its mission is to foster innovative research, training, and generation of new knowledge in the area of e-learning in the field of education, particularly as it relates to opportunities in rural, isolated area. The focus is K-12, with recognition of the importance of transition years (from secondary to post-secondary education). The research supported by the Killick Project is broad in scope, and reflective of the priorities established through consultation in the alliance. Priorities will change as new needs emerge through the life of this project. The Alliance has three main goals:
Goal 1: Capacity Building: Capacity for high-quality research in e-learning will be built through the creation of a community-university alliance in which partners work together as equal members in a research consortium. The co-operation required has the power to leverage true systemic change and build capacity of all the partners.
Goal 2: Increasing the Amount of High Quality Research in E-Learning: There is tremendous support from all educational stakeholders for this project, placing us in an excellent position to conduct ground-breaking research. MUN is committed to the training of new researchers, and in 2004, the Faculty of Education introduced a PhD program. CURA funding will provide means to attract students and develop strong leadership, leading to the sharing of resources and expertise throughout the community, and increased opportunities for researchers and graduate students.
Goal 3: More Effective Knowledge Exchange in E-Learning:
Systemic relationships will be created among the producers of new knowledge and the users of it, by developing an equal relationship providing all stakeholders the opportunity to review and contribute to all aspects of the research, making the research relevant for community partners. Stakeholders will “own” the research and be in control of their own learning.