DEANZ Award 2010

Distance educators were recognized for their contribution to the field of open, flexible and distance education at the biennial conference of the Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) held at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand, from 25-28 April, 2010.

The major prize was shared by Ben Kehrwald and Mary Simpson from Massey University and Nicki Dabner from the University of Canterbury.

The judges commended Ben and Mary for their large-scale Blended Learning project which they considered to be an excellent example of a well managed, team approach to instructional/course design, with a very good research base providing valuable insights to guide other institutions.

Niki’s StudentNet project has been running for six years, providing online support for graduates of the primary teacher education programme as they leave the university to take up positions as teachers in schools. This project provided an excellent example of a participant-led online community of practice that is highly valued by those who belong.

Commendation awards were also given to Ute Walker from Massey University, and to Terry Neal and a team of educators from several Polytechnics around the country.

Ute’s project provided distance students of German as a foreign language with a new and meaningful learning experience and opportunities for life-long learning using a variety of online tools and strategies.

Terry and her team used Second Life, an online ‘virtual environment’, to create a 3D virtual birthing unit to train midwives. The project also made extensive use of online communication tools to enable collaboration between the various parties involved in its development.