Online animal welfare curriculum
RSPCA Queensland Inc
The RSPCA World of Animal Welfare (WOAW) is a Queensland based interactive website and virtual classroom, designed to provide cost effective and easily accessible humane
educational material and online learning for schools, teachers and regional and remote communities across Australia.
The RSPCA Queensland developed a substantial online curriculum for primary and secondary school students. In particular, the curriculum targeted those students in regional, rural and remote locations that the RSPCA was unable to see face-to-face on a regular basis.
In 2011, the WOAW website underwent a major overhaul and upgrade. There were many goals met, such as faster loading times, a flexible content management system, better usability and lots of new features. The positive response to these changes was immediately reflected in user statistics, with a dramatic increase in the number of people using the WOAW site and becoming members.
- WOAW has over 20,000 visitors each month.
- WOAW now has over 1000 members in the education sector (you must be a member to download learning resources).
- WOAW's newsletter goes out quarterly to almost 1000 people of all ages.
- WOAWs Facebook page has over 2000 fans and is an active discussion area.
In 2012 and the first part of 2013, the focus was on web accessibility with the goal to have WOAW accessible for people with disabilities to the guidelines of WCAG 2.0. WOAW continues to grow as a national resource for all states of Australia and its message of humane education is reaching a growing audience worldwide.
What worked well and why?
The project succeeded thanks to the hard work of many participants from throughout RSPCA Queensland, particularly the efforts of RSPCA Education staff. The project also succeeded thanks to the support of RSPCA National.
What obstacles did you encounter?
There were technical issues in relation to using their website for Professional Development that should be accessible across platforms. This took considerable time for their web designer to resolve. Ultimately, though, the issues were resolved. As it was a new medium for interpreters - many of whom are not particularly techno-savvy - the initial uptake was slow. However, this has improved over time and they are currently working on the development of further modules.