FLANZ Executive Committee

The FLANZ executive role provides direction and governance for the organisation. In addition, executive members contribute to initiatives depending on their availability and skills. Executive members are asked to attend monthly meetings (evenings) as well as one full day planning meeting (normally October). Costs are paid for attendance at the planning meeting, but the time needs to be made available by the member.

The executive role is flexible, allows for engagement and activity that fits with each member’s situation, and offers opportunities to work with peers nationally and internationally. If you have a passion for flexible learning and would like to be at the forefront of activity and research in open, distance and flexible learning, please consider standing for a position on the committee.

2021-2022 FLANZ Committee

Simon Paul Atkinson (President) is the Manager of Learning Design at the Open Polytechnic. He has designed and taught online, blended and face-to-face courses in the tertiary sector since 1999 with Victoria University of Wellington, The Open University (UK), The University of Hull, Massey University, London School of Economics and BPP University. He has held senior roles as Head of Department, Director and Associate Dean. Simon’s PhD explored the way that heritage institutions responded to the needs of adult learners. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research publications have concentrated on educational technologies and faculty development. Simon’s website is sijen.com.
Duncan O’Hara (Vice-President) is Senior Advisor at a government agency. He had also been the Director, Learning and Teaching at Massey University.  His interests include institutional strategy in technology enhanced/mediated learning, academic development and learning and curricula design
Ralph Springett (Secretary) is the Manager of the Assessment Centre at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. Ralph is also a Director at ReGear Learning Ltd, a company providing eLearning resources and strategy advice for vocational training organisations. Twitter In the past Ralph represented distance students while studying extramurally at Massey University.
Kwong Nui is a senior lecturer/learning and teaching consultant at altLAB (Learning Transformation LAB), Auckland University of Technology. Prior to this, I was a lecturer/academic developer at Victoria University of Wellington and studied/worked at University of Otago, Dunedin. Linkedin Twitter
Alison Field is an eLearning specialist and information scientist. Her Doctorate in Education looked at the provision of learner support inside online classrooms in New Zealand and built on three decades of experience as a librarian and senior lecturer in Information and Library Studies.

Alison’s other research interests include information-seeking behaviour and online options for continuing professional development. She is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, the flagship Journal of FLANZ.

Linda Laven is a veterinarian by training. Linda has worked in distance education since 2009 as Academic Coordinator of the Master of Veterinary Medicine programme, Massey University. Linda’s interests lie in supporting the development of engaged, lifelong learners with a passion for their workplace.
Andrew Higgins is retired but retains close links in the schooling sector. His research involved work on the provision of education to isolated students and later on in the use of technologies in education. He has been a member of various Ministerial advisory committees in New Zealand and Queensland and was formerly a university Director. He is a Life Member of FLANZ.
Simonne Wood is a Learning and Teaching Specialist at Otago Polytechnic. In addition to her main role supporting teaching staff at the Polytechnic to use educational technology, Simonne is seconded part-time to work for the OERu, a global network of institutions creating free online courses using open educational resources. Simonne is an Associate Fellow of the HEA.
Larian Nkomo is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Otago. He is also an IT Technical Support Specialist for the Otago online MBA. His interests are in Higher Education, Student Engagement, Learning Analytics and Educational Technology.
Gloria Gomez undertakes applied design research in novel educational practice with Bridging Design Prototypes. She is a co-founder at OceanBrowser Ltd. (New Zealand), an honorary senior lecturer at the Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney (Australia), and a scientific committee member in the postgraduate programmes in Diseño y Creación at La Universidad de Caldas (Colombia). Her GUI and interaction design projects include OB3 online study application (OceanBrowser Ltd.), CmapTools software (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, USA), and <“La Ciudad Fantástica”< interactive game (Proyecto Ludomática, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia). Her new concept product projects include the “Authoring Concept Mapping Kit” (PhD project, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), “My Otago First Year” (University of Otago, New Zealand) and the coordination of the EU consortium “FULCRUM: Smart Learning Environments for the Transition to Early Algebra” (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark). Learn more at http://www.gloriagomez.com.
Rob Nelson is currently completing his Doctorate in Professional Practice (Leadership) with Otago Polytechnic/Capable NZ. His practice and research interests are primarily in collaborative projects/collaborative assessment of project work, leadership, and curriculum design. Rob has been involved in tertiary teaching/training since 1999 following a first career in manufacturing.
Rob McCrone leads a small team of talented folk who provide flexible learning solutions to those in infrastructure engineering.  He can be contacted via LinkedIn
Kristina Hoeppner is the project lead for the open source ePortfolio platform Mahara, working for Catalyst IT in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She traded hemispheres and careers in 2010 and enjoys supporting and working with the New Zealand and worldwide community of educators, learning designers, and education innovators in both formal and informal learning settings to create positive and supportive learning environments. Twitter / LinkedIn
Bettina Schwenger is Curriculum Development Manager and Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts,  University of Auckland and a Senior Fellow (HEA). Her research investigates some of the points at which a range of contemporary learning and teaching issues are connecting: curriculum design, scaffolding of graduate attributes, digital literacies and independent learning across a qualification, embedding of whanaungatanga and ako, and integrating online with face-to-face learning and teaching. LinkedIn
Kalina is a Project Manager at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. She is a lifelong learner with interests in economics, employment law and, most recently, in tertiary education. Follow her on: LinkedIn