New publication: Developing online teaching in higher education: Global perspectives on continuing professional learning and development

Dianne Forbes (University of Waikato) and Richard Walker (University of York) are pleased to provide a new publication of interest to FLANZ members, Developing online teaching in higher education: Global perspectives on continuing professional learning and development, a collection of approaches designed to support continuing professional learning and development (CPLD) of online teachers.

As editors of the above volume, we are pleased to bring to the attention of FLANZ members a collection of approaches designed to support continuing professional learning and development (CPLD) of online teachers.

In the spirit of learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, the book is dedicated to the students and teachers who made the rapid transition to online learning during the pandemic, and to those who lead in this space. For FLANZ members, long accustomed to teaching and learning online, the pandemic was not necessarily a sudden pivot, but rather an opportunity to share and extend longstanding knowledge and experience of online education. Those with an interest in developing teachers’ capabilities as online instructors will likely find much interest within the 16 chapters.

The book is focused on online teaching in the higher education sector. However, readers can determine the extent to which developing teachers’ pedagogical and technical capabilities may be a similar challenge across all sectors of education. Continuing professional learning and development (CPLD) has never been more important, not only for teachers who are new to online teaching but also for experienced teachers seeking to refresh and extend our online teaching practices. There is no universally accepted approach to CPLD for online teaching and diverse methods are needed to address wide-ranging development requirements. In our book, we present a CPLD model to capture diverse sources of support and learning development, across institutional boundaries, within institutions, at programme team levels, and for individual teachers. We explore how CPLD provision can address multiple needs and how different sources of support can be effectively combined to provide a coherent experience.


CPLD ecological support model for online teaching

Our book presents a collection of perspectives from around the world on how educators have been supported to teach effectively online. Authors from nine countries across Asia, North America, South Asia, the Pacific and Western Europe, have contributed chapters to share their approaches to online teaching development. Each chapter addresses the central question of the book: What continuing professional learning and development (CPLD) opportunities do teachers require to help them to develop their online teaching practice?

We hope FLANZ members will consider the collective evidence from this volume to be a useful contribution to the conversation around effective and sustainable learning for online teachers. Of interest to readers will be:

  • institutional frameworks and toolkits for CPLD
  • peer support networks, communities of practice, and cross-cultural mentoring
  • implementation of professional accreditation pathways
  • open education initiatives, MOOCs and resources
  • learning from theory and experiences of staff from different institutions and disciplines worldwide.

Forbes, D. & Walker, R. (Eds.) (2022). Developing online teaching in higher education: Global perspectives on continuing professional learning and development. Springer


FLANZ webinar recording: Open Educational Resources (OER)

Join Wayne Mackintosh, the founding director of the OER Foundation, Otago Polytechnic, in this rich discussion about how OERs could widen access to more affordable education.

Webinar recording

The first FLANZ Conversation for 2021 saw Wayne Mackintosh in conversation with Simon Atkinson. Wayne is the UNESCO Chair in OER, and leads the work of the work of the OER Foundation in widening access to more affordable education in support of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

The conversation revolved around the fact that tax payers have already paid for the vast majority of the academic output generated by educators. 

The OER movement believe that asking people to purchase those resources again is wasteful and morally questionable. 

Simon and Wayne discussed the quality issues that often undermine the reuse and repurposing arguments, agreeing that having open systems of peer review, quality badging and professional development all play a part. They both shared anecdotes of working with different subjects and contexts, on the lessons learnt and the challenges that remain.

Wayne finished the conversation by inviting educators from higher education institutions in Aotearoa to join a national collaborative pilot to roll out the ‘Extend’ professional learning suite as an academic development initiative using OER. Details are below.

Capacity building for professional learning

During the session, Wayne, on behalf of the OER Foundation and in partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice (COEP) and Otago Polytechnic, shared an open call to action inviting volunteers from the sector to join in preparing a national pilot of the New Zealand ‘Extend’ capacity-building model for professional learning. 

Volunteers are required to assist with developing quizzes for participation badges and to support New Zealand educators on their digital learning experience during the pilot. This initiative provides a unique opportunity to take part in an innovative collaborative project, while developing participants own knowledge of open educational resources and practices.

If you would like to join our first open planning session to explore opportunities and discuss next steps, please register your interest by completing this online form:


New Zealand Extend

The idea for New Zealand Extend was sparked at the 2019 inaugural OER Symposium of the New Zealand Centre for Open Education Practice, when Keynote speaker Dr David Porter, then CEO of eCampusOntario, talked about the ‘Ontario Extend’ professional development suite. This was developed to build capacity in digital fluency for educators and the ability to make informed choices about the use of technology-enabled learning tools. The EXTEND model is grounded in the belief that learning to teach effectively with technology requires an experiential learning approach.

Leveraging the open nature of Ontario Extend, Otago Polytechnic successfully completed a small internal pilot and feedback from the first New Zealand Extend badge awardee, Graham Philps, speaks for itself:

The content is simple, but leads to complex thought; the themes are familiar but the scope for self-enquiry huge; the activities are fun but serve the serious purpose of reminding why we do what we do. What’s not to love!

Through this national collaboration, we hope to expand options for earning badges for participation, and promote wider reuse and adoption of this open professional development opportunity, hence the call for volunteers.   

School-led learning at home: Voices of parents of Māori and Pasifika students.

How can we learn from school-led learning at home to improve home-led learning at school?

We have all seen the memes in social media about how teachers and parents are experiencing a different kind of learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. What these humorous clips reveal, however, is that attempts to overlay “normal” school routines and expectations onto New Zealand homes is not working.

Distance learning? Remote learning? Online learning? These terms all miss the point. What is happening now is ‘school-led learning at home’. And this situation has focused a spotlight on the concept of home-school partnerships.

My friend and colleague, Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch, wondered what the experience was really like for parents of Māori and Pasifika students. These are voices that are not often heard. Melanie developed a survey asking parents about the benefits and challenges they had experienced, and any suggestions for improving school-led learning at home. They were also asked how satisfied they were overall with the programmes that had been offered and the extent to which the programmes provided affirmed their identity, language and culture. The survey garnered over 100 responses in 24 hours, and Melanie knew that these responses had to be shared in a way that let them speak for themselves.

The result was the paper: School-led learning at home: Voices of parents of Māori and Pasifika students. The paper themed the responses and found three main tensions:

  1. Between the freedom and flexibility of learning at home and anxiety that students might fall behind
  2. Between expectations and what is realistic in the home environment
  3. Between the chance to strengthen whānau relationships and missing out on relationships with peers and teachers.

The paper invites us to consider how we can make use of these views to improve our contribution to a just and equitable education system in Aotearoa in mana enhancing ways for parents and whānau.

How can we learn from school-led learning at home to improve home-led learning at school?

Author: Jane Nicholls, Publications Lead, Evaluation Associates.

Jane’s work is underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning. She designs effective, engaging, user-friendly, culturally responsive and inclusive content.

It’s all about ICT-People Relationships …

Mapping the relationships doctoral students have with their study, and other factors, which impact on how doctoral students perceive ICT, their research and their study.

Dr Kwong Nui Sim, recent recipient of ASCILITE’s Emerging Scholar Award, has developed a model that maps the relationships doctoral students have with their study, and other human and contextual factors, which have an influencing and determining impact on the perceptions that doctoral students hold about ICT (Information Communication and Technologies) and their research and study.

The model is able to be adopted into any context, where it highlights that individuals hold assumptions about, and have expectations of, ICT use; and those expectations and assumptions influence and determine their judgements about ICT and their use of ICT.

Further, more complex levels of perceiving and working with ICT within a context gives some focus to inter-connections, where people and ICT partner or collaborate. This includes ICT affordances that are seen as worthwhile when they support and enhance the work of the individual in ways that make sense to that individual, and when an individual alters and changes thinking or practices because of the influence and affordances that ICT can have.

No evidence was found to support an additional claim that as well as ICT affordances causing individuals to alter and modify thinking and behaviours, ICT, in turn, is able to alter how it responds to the people who use those systems. This is not out of the realms of possibility of course, with ICT increasingly being designed and built to be able to respond to users’ needs.

For more information about the relevant collaborative outputs (with Dr Sarah Stein, University of Otago) that emerged from this research study, please visit the Project Page. In addition, Kwong Nui and Sarah will run a workshop session to introduce this model in detail at the next FLANZ conference.

About Dr Kwong Nui Sim

Dr Kwong Nui Sim, Lecturer in e-learning/Academic Developer in the Centre for Academic Development, Victoria University of Wellington was awarded the 2019 Emerging Scholar Award by the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) at their annual conference held in Singapore late last year (

Kwong Nui’s recent research into the use of technologies in teaching and learning, co-funded by Ako Aotearoa, contributed to her success in gaining this international recognition. The Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) would like to congratulate Knong Nui on her work. Kwong Nui is a current Executive Member of FLANZ.