Recap: ‘Bicultural principles of teaching and learning online’

The June FLANZ webinar took place on 20 June 2023, and I had the honour of facilitating the conversation between Arapera Herewini-Card and Dr Rosina Merry from Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. They, along with Dr Janis Carroll-Lind, are the editors of ‘Bicultural principles of teaching and learning online | Ngā mātāpono kākano rua o te mahi ako tuihono’, which was published by NZCER in 2022.

The book is the culmination of many years of teaching online and conducting research in the space at Te Rito Maioha who are a bicultural organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Eleven authors share their perspective on the topic, looking at different aspects of teaching online. They focus on principles and purposefully do not provide strategies, which Arapera and Rosina explain during our conversation because every organisation will have a unique cultural environment that should be taken into account for defining strategies to implement the principles.

While these principles were originally developed for and with kaiako at Te Rito Maioha, they are applicable in other tertiary contexts not only in Aotearoa but also other countries.

You can watch the recording (with subtitles), read the transcript, and purchase the book to learn more about the principles. Why not get together with colleagues and discuss if and how you are already embracing them, how you can ensure that your teaching and learning environments are equitable and invite all learners to participate? Along the way, you will learn how Te Rito Maioha embraced the principles and how they are already exploring future mahi in that area.

Costa Rica and UNED: Hosting the 29th ICDE World Conference

Cost Rica: A Gateway to Peace, Conservation, and Sustainable Education

In a landmark decision, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) has chosen the beautiful nation of Costa Rica and its renowned distance education institution, Costa Rican Distance State University (UNED), as the hosts of the highly anticipated 29th ICDE World Conference. First time in Central America, and only the third time in Latin America, this prestigious event serves as acknowledgement to Costa Rica’s magnetism as a conference venue and its commitment to peace, conservation, and sustainable practices. As delegates from around the globe gather in this tropical paradise, they are presented with a unique opportunity to explore a country known for its natural wonders and immerse themselves in UNED’s innovating initiatives in distance education.

Costa Rica: A Paradise for Conferences:

Costa Rica, often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America,” is a captivating destination for international conferences. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the country boasts a remarkable array of natural landscapes, from pristine beaches and dense rainforests to imposing volcanoes and breath-taking waterfalls. This incredible biodiversity provides conference attendees with a chance to unwind amidst nature’s wonders, offering a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and inspiration. Costa Rica also serves as a cultural bridge connecting the magnificent heritage of ancient civilizations and diverse and vibrant social groups and peoples from North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean.

Conservation and Sustainability: A Global Leader:

Costa Rica has earned worldwide recognition for its firm commitment to conservation and sustainability. Home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity, the country has embraced progressive environmental policies, such as reforestation, protected area establishment, and renewable energy initiatives. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to witness first-hand the country’s ground-breaking efforts in ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy practices, setting an example for the world in harmonious coexistence with nature.

UNED: Leading the Way in Distance Education:

As the host institution for the 29th ICDE World Conference, UNED (Universidad Estatal a Distancia) is a pioneering force in the field of distance education, not only in Costa Rica but also across Latin America. With over 45 years of experience, UNED has continually evolved to deliver high-quality, accessible, and flexible education to a diverse student body. Its innovative use of technology and commitment to lifelong learning have positioned it as a leading organization in the realm of online education, as well.

UNED’s Impact and Initiatives:

UNED’s impact extends beyond its academic offerings. The institution has been instrumental in promoting social inclusion, gender equality, and educational opportunities for marginalized communities. By leveraging technology and embracing open educational resources, UNED has been able to reach individuals in remote areas, covering 98% of the national territory, by bridging the educational divide and empowering learners from all walks of life.

Registrations are open for the 29th ICDE World Conference.

Our conference organisers are ready to provide an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica. go to to find out more and register for your conference of a lifetime.

Nominations are open for 2023-2024 FLANZ executive roles

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) will be holding its annual general meeting via videoconference on 20 July, 2023 at 12:15 – 1:00pm. The AGM agenda will be made available prior to the meeting.  

We would like to invite all FLANZ members and people with an interest in distance and flexible learning to attend this meeting.

Call for nominations

FLANZ is seeking nominations to be part of the Executive Committee. We strongly encourage anyone working in this area to consider joining our Executive Committee. As part of this, FLANZ is calling for nominations for the following elected committee positions.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

The FLANZ Executive Committee page has detail about the executive function. Further detail will be provided as part of the nomination process. Please contact our current FLANZ secretary, Ralph Springett to make your nominations. Ralph will guide you through the nomination process. Note that:

  • Nominations must be with the Secretary by 06 July (14 days before the AGM).
  • Nominations may be taken from the floor during the meeting if there are insufficient nominees for the vacancies. 

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Ngā mihi

Ralph Springett

Secretary, FLANZ

Webinar: AI is here to stay – Part 2

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come to the forefront of the conversation with the release of ChatGPT at the end of November 2022. Since then, we’ve seen more and more AI tools being talked about, including those that create images, help write text, and make our lives easier.

This panel conversation is part two of the webinar we held on 18 May 2023. It is an opportunity for you to engage with our panellists and ask your questions. Like in the first session, we will look at the impact of AI on online, flexible, and distance learning from the perspective of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation.

Register for part 2 on 4 July 2023 at 13:00 NZST. This session is offered in partnership by EdTechNZ and FLANZ.

Our panellists

Evo Leota-Tupou

Evo serves on the EdTechNZ Executive Council and is Director of Pacific Kids Learning (PKL). She is mum to five who are the reason why PKL started. Evo is a social entrepreneur, content producer, and founder of Pacific Kids’ Learning (PKL), an EdTech and Edutainment organisation dedicated to empowering children through digital stories and merging cultural practises, song and dance with technology.

Dr Rebecca Marrone

Rebecca is a Lecturer: Learning Sciences and Development for the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at the University of South Australia Education Futures. Her research is primarily in the fields of creativity, educational psychology and human and artificial cognition across varying educational contexts. Rebecca serves on the organising committee for the Empowering learners for the Age of AI conference and the 1st International Conference on Change and Complexity in Learning.

Dr Mark McConnell

Mark is a Professional Teaching Fellow in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Auckland Business School, where he also serves as the Department’s Director of Teaching and Learning. Mark has been involved in research projects relating to learning analytics to inform learning design, and vicarious learning through the use of videoed tutorials. Recently Mark has been leading his Department’s response to student use of AI tools such as ChatGPT.

Stuart Wakefield

Stuart is the Chief Digital Officer for the NZ Ministry of Education and was previously the Director of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer. In the education sector, Stuart leads a comprehensive Programme of work that is helping drive transformation of education through the use of technology, with a focus on the key pillars of digital enablement, digital wellness, and digital equity. Stuart also undertakes a variety of governance roles, including external board roles at other public sector agencies, and is the current chair of NZ Tech Leaders.

Dr Truman Pham

Truman is the Postgraduate Director at academyEX (previously The Mind Lab). He also teaches and supervises the blended/hybrid Master of Contemporary Education. His current research areas are applications of Artificial Intelligence in education and teachers’ self-identification of leadership. His PhD research was about industrial intelligence control which has now been applied in electric vehicles, wind turbines, and robotics. Truman was chair of EdTechNZ and is currently a member of its Executive Council.


Feature image by Lanju Fotografie on Unsplash

Research Study: Developing a technology enabled mentoring (TEM) framework and short course for the Australasian higher education community.

We need your help towards the above project that is being funded by the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT). The project is being led by Dr Pranit Anand from UNSW. For more information about the project and team members please visit the CAULLT project site. (UNSW Ethics Reference: HC230120).

The research study is looking recruit people who have participated in a mentoring program regardless if that was done online or face-to-face. Participants will be asked to complete the following research activities if they agree to participate:

  • Anonymous online survey that should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • Volunteer to participate in an online focus group interview that will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes
  • The link to the anonymous online survey is here

4.Letter of invitation to participate – Revision 6.4.23, including any risks, harms or discomforts that participants may experience while participating in this research is included in the attached 5.Participation information sheet and consent Form – Revision 6.4.23 and 6. Participation information sheet and consent form – focus group – Revision 6.4.23 We encourage you to read the Participant Information Statement and complete the online survey.

If you have questions about the research and would like to contact the Chief Investigator please contact the following person:

Chief Investigator

Name Dr Pranit Anand
Position Senior Lecturer
Telephone +61 2 9348 1398

 Dr Pranit Anand PhD, MACS, SFHEA, FHERDSA

Senior Lecturer

School of Information Systems and Technology Management, UNSW Business School

Room 2076, Level 2, Quadrangle Building


QR code for more information about the CAULLT exploring technologies mentoring research
QR code for more information about the CAULLT exploring technologies mentoring research

Recap: AI is here to stay: It’s impact on online, flexible, and distance learning

In collaboration with EdTechNZ, FLANZ hosted a panel conversation about artificial intelligence (AI) in online, flexible, and distance learning on 18 May 2023. This online event was part of TechWeek. As our panellists for this event, we welcomed Dr Rebecca Marrone (Lecturer Learning Sciences and Development, University of South Australia), Shanon O’Connor (Director, Tōnui Collab), Dr Mark McConnell (Professional Teaching Fellow, Director Teaching and Learning Commercial Law, University of Auckland), and Dr Truman Pham (Postgraduate Director, academyEX).

We asked, ‘What impact does AI have in primary, secondary, or tertiary education and learning in the workplace?’ Our panellists came from different areas of the education sector and provided their insights from the perspective of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation of education.

In a well-supported event with 183 participants, Shanon, Mark, Rebecca, and Truman stated their understanding of the challenges and opportunities of AI in their educational work. As first panellist, Shanon acknowledged the potential of making learning more exciting but also outlined her concerns about Māori data sovereignty, digital inequality, and the bias resulting from the development of artificial intelligence. She made us aware of the research of Karaitiana Taiuru on Mātauranga Sovereignty. The balance between teaching students how to use AI in their workplace and how to build their digital literacy was a key concern for Mark who shared his department’s guidelines for students’ use of AI. Rebecca outlined how AI was used for personalised feedback and assessment, with the aim of creating a flexible, differentiating curriculum. Truman explained how AI, amongst offering other opportunities, can help with digital equality through its use in teacher training. We then entered into a short but lively session of Q&A in which Catherine Frost from the Ministry of Education shared insight into her and her team’s work around AI and the Curriculum.

The recording with corrected captions is available on YouTube. Additionally, the full transcript can be viewed as well as Mark’s slides and the Department of Commercial Law at University of Auckland’s guidelines for students’ use of AI.

Future FLANZ webinars will be announced here on our website where you can subscribe. If you’d like to receive an email notification when we publish announcements about new webinars, you can follow us on Humanitix.

Our next webinar will be on ‘Bicultural principles for teaching and learning online‘ with Arapera Herewini-Card and Dr Rosina Merry from Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand and examine the principles that were developed at Te Rito Maioha. This webinar will take place on 20 June 2023.

Webinar recap: Impact of COVID on students in Aotearoa

Michael Cameron from the University of Waikato provided insight into the impact of COVID-19 on students in Aotearoa New Zealand on 18 April 2023. Together with Barbara Fogarty-Perry (Otago Polytechnic) and Gemma Piercy (University of Waikato), he was part of a research team that administered an international survey to students during the lockdown in 2020. They published their results in JOFDL last year in the article “The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Higher Education Students in New Zealand”.

The survey brought to light logistical aspects, students’ feeling towards their emergency online studies, and their feelings while being in lockdown. Being mainly a quantitative survey as part of a larger international research project that collected responses from students in 62 countries, we can often only speculate about the ‘why’ behind their answers. Nevertheless, it was important to capture the data and be able to compare it with students in other countries.

The recent article “Enhanced or diminished attitudes: University students’ agency” by Maggie Hartnett, Cheryl Brown, Dianne Forbes, Dilani Gedera, and Ashwini Datt was shared during the webinar and provides additional insight into students’ experiences during the pandemic.

You can access the recording, the full transcript, and Michael’s slides.

Our free 2023 webinar series continues in May and June with the following two webinars:

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


Event: Bicultural principles for teaching and learning online

Arapera Herewini-Card and Dr Rosina Merry are two of the editors of ‘Bicultural principles of teaching and learning online | Ngā mātāpono kākano rua o te mahi ako tuihono’, a resource that sets out eleven principles for teaching and learning online in a bicultural delivery environment.

In conversation in our webinar, Arapera and Rosina will share insight into the principles that provide kaiako with an understanding of online teaching expectations that embrace tikanga principles and practices throughout their online teaching and how these can be applied.

These bicultural principles were originally developed, trialed, and refined by kaiako at Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand, and are applicable to other tertiary contexts. Come along to this conversation to learn from and with Rosina and Arapera.

Register for free for this webinar on 20 June 2023 at 1pm NZST.


Profile photo of Arapera Herewini-Card Arapera Herewini-Card, Masters of Indigenous Studies. BTch (ECE).
Pouhere Kaupapa Māori | Senior Advisor Māori
Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand

Arapera is of Māori descent and is responsible for ensuring that Te Rito Maioha (ECNZ) maintains its bicultural integrity by providing cultural leadership through integrating tikanga Māori (protocols), and kawa Māori (customs and practices) across the organisations programmes. Growing knowledge and learning of the language, culture and identity of the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, New Zealand is Arapera’s commitment to her ancestoral line.

Profile photo of Dr Rosina MerryDr Rosina Merry
Director Teaching, Learning and Research – Kaitohu Akoranga me Rangahau
Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand

Rosina is the Director of Teaching, Learning and Research for Te Rito Maioha (ECNZ) and is an Adjunct Professor UNITAR International University. She has the overall responsibility for the oversight and management of academic and research strategy for undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate programmes. This role also includes managing the quality, compliance, and national consistency of teaching, learning, and research delivery of Te Rito Maioha ECNZ)’s qualifications.

Through her doctoral study, Rosina developed a conceptual model, which supports initial teacher education providers to understand how student teachers integrate digital technology into their teaching practice. She has a passion for e-learning with a particular focus on student engagement and lecturer presence. Rosina’s research interests include the use of technology in the delivery of teacher education, language culture, and identity in online learning spaces and integrated curriculum.

Feature image by Sophie Turner on Unsplash of snowcapped Mt Taranaki.

Webinar recap: Female pioneers of online learning

For International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, ODLAA and FLANZ hosted a webinar which showcases women’s role in online learning, including open, distance, and flexible learning. For this event we welcomed Dr Susan Bainbridge and Dr Norine Wark, authors of The Encyclopedia of Female Pioneers of Online Learning as our panellists. This landmark book is the first volume to explore the lives and scholarship of women who have prominently advanced online learning.

A lively event with 43 participants, we heard how Susan and Norine approached the work with the exciting stories of women pioneers. Susan and Norine outlined their research study and explained how the book evolved as they approached more women who agreed to participate in interviews. It is fascinating to listen to this webinar, finding out first about the search for the women pioneers in the research project, but also their reflections, the wins, and the challenges they faced over the years, including gender issues. Social justice was the prime motivator for all the pioneers interviewed.

You can watch the recording of the webinar and also view the full transcript.