The Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL) launched a new Fijian History mobile app, an innovative tool which makes learning History exciting and interactive, at the USP Laucala Campus on 19th October 2018.
As part of a CFL-funded project for Technology Use in Learning & Teaching, the Fijian History mobile app is the outcome of a research project to evaluate the use of a collaborative content curation tool to support online assessments.
Dr Nicholas Halter, Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences explained that the app could be accessed for free on a computer or downloaded on any Android device.
“The teaching of History in Fiji has been limited by a lack of freely accessible resources, and what little can be found online is often outdated or irrelevant to local students or teachers so this new app can basically make learning History more exciting,” he said.
Fifty-six (56) third-year history students worked in groups to conduct action research of local historical sites in Suva during Semester 2 of 2018.
Dr Halter stated that following extensive archival research, interviews, and a community consultation session, students presented this data as a chronological timeline, along with photographs and audio recordings.
“Students also went on a fieldtrip to the Navosa and Ba provinces to record additional sites in order to demonstrate the commercial applications of this app for Fiji’s heritage and tourism,” he said.
Dr Halter stated that students, teachers, schools, religious groups, community organisations and villages are all invited to contribute information to expand and deepen the historical information presented.
While launching the app, Mr Dhiraj Bhartu, Acting Deputy Director of CFL hailed the app as just one of the many collaborative initiatives that has come out of CFL’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) projects.
“This app was an experiment in collaborative content curation. Students worked in groups to consult varied sources (archival, oral, community etc) in order to piece together information about historical sites. The initial content focuses on a chronological timeline, but over time more local stories could be added as the public respond to the app,” he added.
He mentioned that the app allows for more users to interact with history which might encourage them to write about sites that they think are important, or correct the narrative that they may think has been misrepresented in the past.
“This app will help you to become fully immersed in the iconic sites of our Fijian History with meaningful information and images that tell the story,” he stated.
The research team comprised of Dr Halter from the School of Social Science (FALE), Mr Ralph Buadromo and Sanjeet Chand, both from CFL.
Donor groups or community organisations willing to partner to ensure the continuity of the app can contacted the development team via fijianhistoryapp(at)gmail.com