• Personalised, Contextualised Professional Learning Development: Putting it into Practice

      Ministy of Education NZ; Owen, Hazel (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      Research, such as that collated as part of the New Zealand Ministry of Education‘s (MoE) Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis (BES), indicates that regular Professional Learning and Development (PLD) for educators can have a positive effect on the quality of teaching and, in turn, on outcomes for diverse students. PLD, though, needs to offer flexibility of choice, time and approach, and to value personal theories and experiences. Learning should be accessible (both physically and design-wise), cumulative and relevant, and couched within an active community of practice (CoP).A pilot to develop a Virtual Professional Learning and Development (VPLD) model that offered personalised, contextualised PLD was initiated by the New Zealand MoE. The project focused on primary and secondary school teachers, although one tertiary teacher participated. This paper provides an overview of the VPLD pilot (2009–2010) while also synthesising main findings from the in-depth evaluation conducted during the pilot and summarising some of the lessons learned.In brief, results suggest that there are affordances built into the VPLD model that encourage and enable education practitioners to develop at their own pace, in a supported, supportive environment, with access to all that they need to scaffold their learning journey. Thus, if it is accepted that student outcomes can mirror practitioner performance (although this is a somewhat simplistic relationship), it would follow that, if practitioners can be mentored and guided in their own continual development and thinking around learning and teaching, there is potential for the overall learning experience for students to be enhanced.
    • An Examination of Government Policies for E-Learning in New Zealand’s Secondary Schools

      Powell, Allison; Barbour, Michael (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      In 2006 the North American Council for Online Learning surveyed the activity and policy relating to primary and secondary e-learning, which they defined as online learning, in a selection of countries. They found most were embracing e-learning delivery of education as a central strategy for enabling reform, modernising schools, and increasing access to high-quality education. While North American countries appeared to be using the internet as a medium to provide distance education at the secondary level longer than most countries, the lack of a guiding vision has created uneven opportunities for students depending on which state or province they live in. In New Zealand, the government has sought to provide a vision or guiding framework for the development of e-learning. In this article we trace that vision by describing three policy documents released by the New Zealand government over the past decade, and how that vision for e-learning has allowed increased development of primary and secondary online learning.
    • Introduction

      Nichols, Mark (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
    • Mobile Learning Communities: Creating New educational Futures

      Stevens, Ken (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
    • Ethical practices and implications in distance learning

      Simpson, Mary (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
    • Being together - factors that unintentionally undermine motivation

      New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission; Hartnett, Maggie; St. George, Alison; Dron, Jon (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      This paper reports on one aspect of a larger case study that explores the nature of motivation to learn in an online distance environment. The study adopts self-determination theory (SDT) as a theoretical framework and focuses particularly on the underlying concepts of autonomy and competence. These are used to investigate ways in which certain situational factors, that fail to accommodate the specific autonomy and competence needs of co-located learners, can undermine perceptions of personal agency and efficacy. This, in turn, has a detrimental effect on self-determined types of motivation including intrinsic motivation. Results from one collaborative group of learners, situated in a co-located blended learning context, are presented here. They suggest that the differing circumstances of students need to be accommodated to foster autonomous types of motivation among learners.
    • Digital Community, Digital Citizen

      Carle, Julie Rosina (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
    • Your books are in the mail: Fifty years of distance library service at Massey University

      Clarke, Philip Stephen (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
    • Obtaining high retention and completion rates in a New Zealand ODL environment: A case study of strategies employed by Information and Library Studies Faculty at the Open Polytechnic

      Maathuis-Smith, Sandra Elizabeth; Wellington, Shannon; Cossham, Amanda; Fields, Alison; Irvine, Jan; Welland, Sarah; Innes, Mary (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      Open and distance learning (ODL) provides unique challenges for student retention and course completion. In an increasingly competitive educational environment, measures such as retention and completion form the basis for the evaluation of institutional and student performance. Information and Library Studies (ILS) faculty at the Open Polytechnic achieve and maintain consistently high retention and completion rates across their faculty-taught ODL courses. This research documents the development and application of strategies that contribute to these high success rates.Information and Library Studies faculty, through a framework of action research, undertook an analysis of implementation strategies designed to support student retention and completion. This framework provided a methodological foundation for focus-group discussion. The faculty evaluated and disseminated the strategies derived from these focus-group discussions across other ILS courses in an iterative process of application and analysis.Strategies for retention and completion in this research are discussed in the context of course selection, orientation, layered support, communication between students and faculty, support between student and faculty, social interaction, and community building in an ODL environment.
    • A Framework for Developing and Implementing An Online Learning Community

      Khoo, Elaine; Cowie, Bronwyn (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      Developing online learning communities is a promising pedagogical approach in online learning contexts for adult tertiary learners, but it is no easy task. Understanding how learning communities are formed and evaluating their efficacy in supporting learning involves a complex set of issues that have a bearing on the design and facilitation of successful online learning experiences. This paper describes the development of a framework for understanding and developing an online learning community for adult tertiary learners in a New Zealand tertiary institution. In accord with sociocultural views of learning and practices, the framework depicts learning as a mediated, situated, distributed, goal-directed, and participatory activity within a socially and culturally determined learning community. Evidence for the value of the framework is grounded in the findings of a case study of a semester-long fully online asynchronous graduate course. The framework informs our understanding of appropriate conditions for the development and conduct of online learning communities. Implications are presented for the design and facilitation of learning in such contexts.
    • Supporting adults to address their literacy needs using e-learning

      Ministry of Education; Fletcher, Jo; Nicholas, Karen; Davis, Niki (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-06-21)
      Many adults need help with literacy learning. This is extremely challenging for the tertiary education sector and workplace-situated learning organisations. E-learning may be an effective and efficient way to improve the delivery of teaching basic skills learners. Our research study included five embedded case studies within one tertiary institution, and a series of stakeholder interviews with representatives across New Zealand. The study found that e-learning opens up greater interaction between adults’ study, work, home, and community environments, simply because the learning environment can be extended into those places.
    • Integrating E-portfolios: Guiding Questions and Experiences

      Milne, John; Heinrich, Eva; Lys, Isabelle (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-07-29)
      This paper presents a case study of the use of an e-portfolio in a human biology distance course that aimed to foster student refl ection on assignment feedback. An academic developer used a guided question approach to help the lecturer consider pedagogy, administration, and student support of the e-portfolio activity. The authors present student feedback of their e-portfolio experience and the summative assessment for the e-portfolio activity. Theyalso consider the challenges of introducing e-portfolios in a single course.
    • Book Reviews

      Higgins, Andrew; Pratt, Kerryn (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-07-29)
    • Social Presence and Online Communication: A response to Mersham

      Kehrwald, Benjamin (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-07-29)
      This article draws upon contemporary social presence theory and research into presence, social presence, and computer-mediated communication to highlight the role of social presence in mitigating the perceived deficiencies in online communication highlighted by Gary Mersham in the preceding issue of this publication. The case discusses issues of mediated experience, the development of interpersonal relations between online communicators, and the function of social presence. It concludes with advice for practitioners in promoting effective online communication in technology-enhanced learning.
    • Distributed Learning in British Columbia: A Journey from Correspondence to Online Delivery

      Winkelmans, Tim; Anderson, Barry; Barbour, Michael (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-07-29)
      Kindergarten to Year 12 distance education began in Canada in British Columbia, around 1919. This fi rst distance education was by correspondence. Canada’s fi rst online learning also began in British Columbia, about 15 years ago. Distance education and online learning have continued to grow in British Columbia as a result of geographic and demographic factors. This article describes the development and regulation of K–12 distance education in British Columbia, and the lessons drawn from this history that could be used in other jurisdictions.
    • Introduction

      Nichols, Mark (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-07-29)
    • Book Reviews

      Simpson, Mary; Anderson, Bill; Stevens, Ken (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-08-01)
    • Introduction

      Nichols, Mark (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-08-01)
    • Video Conferencing in Distance Learning: A New Zealand Schools’ Perspective

      Roberts, Rachel (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-08-01)
      This article sets outs to trace the development of video conferencing in distance learning in the New Zealand secondary school sector. It begins with an overview of the definition and development of distance learning; then traces the technology of video conferencing from its inception to the present day. It goes on to look at the growth of video conferencing and the role andcontribution it has made to distance learning in New Zealand schools, and concludes with a brief discussion of possible future directions.
    • Formative assessment: Evaluating the effectiveness of online quizzes in a core business finance course

      Anderson, Hamish (Public Knowledge Project, 2011-08-01)
      This article examines the change from conventional pen and paper to computer-based formative assessment for a large second-year Business Finance course. A brief history of the course’s formative assessment, its weaknesses, and the challenges for effective administration of the courseare presented. These weaknesses and challenges led to a change of practice to online mastery quizzes that enable students to gauge whether they have attained the level of base knowledge and comprehension they need to successfully negotiate the course’s higher-level learning outcomes. Introducing the mastery quiz formative assessment system required a large upfront investment in both time and money. However, very large savings in variable costs and (in particular) time have resulted since the change was implemented. Analysis of the 2008 distance cohort shows that completion and mastery of the online quizzes is a strong predictor of student performance in summative assessment. The analysis also shows that formative assessment is beneficial to borderline and academically weak students and that it is better for students to use the formative assessment too late, than not at all.