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SITE 2012 - Virtual Learning in New Zealand: Achieving Maturity


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Barbour, M. K., Wenmoth, D., & Davis, N. (2012, March). Virtual learning in New Zealand: Achieving maturity. A paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Austin, TX.
This proposal describes a study into the development of virtual learning in New Zealand, specifically the obstacles that e-learning clusters face or have faced in their journey to sustainability and maturity through the lens of the Learning Communities Online Handbook. Using a variety of data collection methods, the researchers identified three common barriers, including a lack of a coherent vision, difficulty in securing the necessary funding and resources, and a lack of collaboration and cooperation within and between clusters. Based on these findings, it is recommended that individual e-learning clusters develop specific strategies to encourage greater collaboration between clusters and work towards greater consistency between their activities, including professional and organizational development and also of the approaches to virtual learning.

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SITE 2012 - Virtual Learning in New Zealand: Achieving Maturity

  1. 1. Virtual Learning in New Zealand: Achieving Maturity Michael Barbour, Wayne State University Derek Wenmoth, CORE Education NikiDavis, University of Canterbury
  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 Visits
  7. 7. Research Visits• 9 current or emerging clusters• 3 VLN-related projects• 13 schools• 1 health school• Te Kura• 9 tertiary institutions
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. Learning Communities Online Handbook, 2011
  10. 10. Common Obstacles• Funding and resources• Lack of vision• Lack of consistency between clusters• Lack of co-operation – inter-cluster – intra-cluster
  11. 11. Pockets of Innovation• Changing teacher practice• Opening classrooms• Mentor teacher• Considering student learning space
  12. 12. Davis (2007)
  13. 13. Wenmoth (2010)
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. YourQuestions AndComments