Draft national curriculum communication fail

Julia Gillard has launched a draft national curriculum today.

Whatever the content of the curriculum, the website where you can actually get to see it is a communication FAIL. Unsurprisingly, it’s been very hard to access it today, but you would think that some additional grunt would have been hired, temporarily, to cope with first day demand. If you are so lucky as to be able to get to the site, you are greeted with a video, and a request that you watch the video before accessing the rest of the site. That video is nearly 15 minutes long. Life is too short… There’s a very revealing line in the transcript: “Once you’re on the site…”

Once you read the transcript, it becomes clear that the video is mostly faffy fluff, with very little information that couldn’t have been conveyed quickly and easily through clear navigation panels, and a bit of text. My time is quite important to me, and I’m not interested in spending it watching some talking heads telling me how to find my way around a website.

Some of the site is accessible at a click, but to get to the guts of the curriculum, rather than the aspirational goals and overviews and big picture ideas, you have to register. That’s not register to comment, but register to just take a look. That’s quite a barrier to understanding what is going on, and a barrier to participation.

Registration to comment? I’m fine with that, especially when this is a serious effort by the federal government to get serious feedback on a serious matter. But I’ve no doubt that many people won’t even want to take a look if they have to register. Or is the government deliberately trying to reduce the number of people who get involved?

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3 responses to “Draft national curriculum communication fail

  1. Not that I’ve looked at the website, but I am constantly amused at the Victorian Governments propensity to produce discussion documents chocker block with huge colour pictures etc. The size of the files are enormous and I think it would be unreasonable to expect normal people to download them on their home computers. And I’ve found that there are graphic designers employed specifically to create such things… is it really necessary?

  2. I can’t understand why video is assumed to be the preference for people who want to get information. If it’s going to take more than about two minutes, most people still prefer to read things for themselves rather than have them overpresented in a video.

  3. Hey Deborah, I’m really interested in your views after/if you read more. I’m in NSW and the official view is less than favourable, however several of my colleagues are quietly impressed. I understand, but don’t have detailed knowledge. that the new history curriculum is quite good and much more likely to engage and sustain the interest of a broad set of kids.

    Regarding the Comms fail; I can’t help but think this federal Labor government’s losing it’s mojo a bit. I don’t want them too, my politics are centre-left, and I genuinely admire the DPM… still, I get the sense they’re not bringing the intensity necessary to prosecute significant changes.