Incarcerated students, tertiary preparation, distance learning, digital inclusion
While incarcerated students have always faced many obstacles to full and effective participation in university study, the global shift toward paperless e-learning environments has created new challenges for prisoners without direct internet access. Based on prison focus groups with Australian incarcerated students and direct participant observation while tutoring tertiary students within four Queensland correctional centres, this paper explores the obstacles and constraints faced by incarcerated students in light of the increasing digitisation of materials and methods in higher education. This paper also reviews the outcomes, limitations and challenges of recent Australian projects trialling new internet-independent technologies developed to improve access for incarcerated tertiary students. This paper argues that technology-centred approaches alone will not adequately address the challenges of access for incarcerated students unless such interventions are also informed by an understanding of the sociocultural nature of learning and teaching within correctional centres.
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