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Humanities Center Brown Bag - Examining the Development of Primary and Secondary Online Learning Clusters in New Zealand


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Barbour, M. K. (2012, May). Examining the development of primary and secondary online learning clusters in New Zealand. A brown bag presentation to the Humanities Center at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

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Humanities Center Brown Bag - Examining the Development of Primary and Secondary Online Learning Clusters in New Zealand

  1. 1. Examining the Development of Primary and Secondary OnlineLearning Clusters in New Zealand Michael Barbour, Instructional Technology College of Education
  2. 2. New Zealand
  3. 3. New Zealand• two main islands separated by the Cook Strait.• closest neighbor is Australia (over 1200 miles away)• 4.4 million people in 2006 (1% increase from 2001) o 67.6% European o 14.6% Maori o 9.2% Asian o 6.9% Pacific Peoples• three official languages: English, Maori & American Sign Language
  4. 4. Virtual Learning Network VLN Primary Te Kura Several tertiarys
  5. 5. Research PurposeTo capture, in a range of ways, information thatwill contribute to the knowledge base about thedevelopment of virtual schooling in NewZealand, in particular, how the LearningCommunities Online Handbook is being used toassist and inform this development.
  6. 6. Research Questions1.(a) What common barriers do e-learning clusters face in their development towards maturity and sustainability? (b) How have mature and sustainable clusters overcome those barriers?1. What are some examples of how networked schools are emerging in the New Zealand context?
  7. 7. Data Collected• Interviews – 10 current & former ePrincipals – 8 Principals & Deputy Principals – 12 eTeachers, eDeans& Facilitators – 18 Students• Observations – 12 video conferencing session – 10 asynchronous work locations• Document Analysis – reports, courses, data, school newsletter, cluster info, etc.
  8. 8. Research Visits
  9. 9. Research Visits• 9 current or emerging clusters• 3 VLN-related projects• 13 schools• 1 health school• Te Kura• 9 tertiary institutions
  10. 10. Learning Communities Online Handbook, 2011
  11. 11. Common Obstacles• Funding and resources• Lack of vision• Lack of consistency between clusters• Lack of co-operation – inter-cluster – intra-cluster
  12. 12. Common Obstacles• Lack of vision• Funding, resources and the role of the ePrincipal• Lack of inter-cluster and intra-cluster co- operation
  13. 13. Lack of Vision• process of creating a vision for an e-learning initiative is critical and was clearly evident in this data• clusters with greatest support were those able to articulate a vision that went beyond the provision of distance education courses & opportunities that the tools could provide• sustainable vs. mature
  14. 14. Funding, Resources & Role of the ePrincipal• Resources• leadership• teachers (both to teach the courses and to support students at the local level)• professional development• asynchronous (e.g., LMS) & synchronous (e.g., videoconferencing, bridge & etc.) tools
  15. 15. Funding, Resources & Role of the ePrincipal• Funding• participating schools – put in a teacher, get access to enrolments – contribute money or % of a teacher for cluster leadership• no formal mechanism for heavy users• challenges with funding when original national programme ends
  16. 16. Funding, Resources & Role of the ePrincipal• Role of the ePrincipal• little consistency in job description• principal of an online school• need/case for Ministry support – largest clusters have 300-400 enrolments (80-100 FTEs) – some clusters have 5-10 FTEs
  17. 17. Lack of Inter- & Intra-Cluster Co- operation Art History 5 Clusters + Te KuraLevel 3 Calculus 5 ClustersLevel 2 Physics 4 ClustersLevel 3 Physics 4 ClustersLevel 3 Spanish 4 Clusters 30 courses 2+ Clusters
  18. 18. Lack of Inter- & Intra-Cluster Co- operation• Do the eTeachers of these same courses communicate with each other?• Have each of the eTeachers designed their own asynchronous course content that is housed in the learning management system?• Do each of the eTeachers of common courses have access to each other’s course materials?
  19. 19. Lack of Inter- & Intra-Cluster Co- operation for a student to register • Is it possible• Do the five level three calculus eTeachers interact with the level for level one mathematics with SILC three mathematics eTeacher or the this year and become comfortable with four level three statistics and the way in which their teacher uses modeling eTeachers? their video conferencing classes and with the resources and material• Do these ten level three maths provided in their LMS only to have to eTeachers interact with the two become familiar with a completely eTeachers responsible for level two different method of synchronous mathematics and/or the one eTeacher instruction and asynchronous material responsible for level one and resources that appear completely mathematics? foreign to them next year when that student enrolls in level two• Outside of the senior secondary level, mathematics offered by OtagoNet? have the two Year 7-8 Te Reo Maori eTeachers ever interacted with the two level one Te Reo Maori eTeachers or the single level three Te Reo eTeacher?
  20. 20. Pockets of Innovation• Changing teacher practice• Opening classrooms• Mentor teacher• Considering student learning space
  21. 21. Wenmoth (2010)
  22. 22. Davis (2007)
  23. 23. Moving Forward• E-Learning Clusters – coordinate activities between clusters – examine the role of VLN leadership & whether there is geographic or like-minded rationalisation that can occur• Ministry of Education • continue services • create content repository • fund regional leadership
  24. 24. Future Research• a national survey of distance education activity & processes – # of students – # of teachers – # of courses – which courses – resource model – technologies/software• include VLN clusters, Te Kura, health schools, tertiary groups
  25. 25. YourQuestions AndComments
  26. 26.