On-line Learning For Abused Women and Service Providers In Shelters: Issues Of Representation And Design
The challenge and potential of Internet technology to deliver learning services to increasing numbers of diverse learners who may not be included in formal continuing education settings are beginning to be addressed. VIOLET (http://www.VIOLETnet.org), a web site for abused women and their service providers, is designed to provide relevant legal information, an on-line community for support and sharing of experience and information, and on-going updates of legal information and community services. The project emerged out of a unique collaboration among women in many local and national communities and organizations and the Legal Studies Program at the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. Together they developed a safe space on the Internet for abused women, inclusive of gender, language, cultural, and learning style issues.
A technology that widens access to information may also present barriers to access. In this paper we explore some of these barriers and their implications for the design of information resources and learning environments for abused women. These issues are described using an account of the formative evaluation of the project's web site.