The Report of the E-Learning Advisory Group 2/14

Steve Maharey Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)

The Report of the E-Learning Advisory Group 2/14


Hon Steve Maharey
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)

Dear Minister

The E-Learning Advisory Group has been convened to explore issues related to
the development of e-learning in the tertiary education sector. E-learning is
set to play an increasingly-important role in expanding learning opportunities
and helping New Zealand's transformation into a Knowledge Society. Technology is
opening up new learning pathways and making it possible for people to undertake
tertiary education in new ways from home, work, as well as traditional
campus-based study.

There are a number of challenges for tertiary institutions in realising the
potential of this new learning medium. It is imperative that we act now to avoid
falling behind international developments and do so in a coordinated way that
maximises our resources and avoids duplication of effort.

The Advisory Group has found New Zealand has plenty to build on in this area
with nearly all institutions already involved with e-learning in some way. A
strong theme throughout this report is the need to coordinate these efforts to
deliver the best possible learning experience for a diverse and growing range of
New Zealanders.

Much will rest on our ability to forge strong and enduring partnerships
between providers, the private sector, industry and the community. We must
develop resources and digital material that reflects our needs, culture and
values so that a distinctive New Zealand e-learning environment evolves.

The E-Learning Advisory Group combine many years of expertise and commitment
to e-learning, e-teaching and Maori Education. Within a heavily-restricted
timeframe, the members have provided invaluable insight into the many ways in
which New Zealand can meet the e-learning challenge.

On behalf of the Advisory Group, I am pleased to present this report to the
Government and the Ministry of Education. It contains a number of
recommendations which we hope will provide clear direction and momentum in the
short and medium term in this important area.

In addressing the Terms of Reference, we have been guided by the following

  • e-learning must be learner-centred
  • e-learning must be quality-based and informed by excellent pedagogy
  • e-learning offers a key tool for increasing Maori participation and success
    in educational programmes
  • e-teaching must be supported by capability development in institutions
  • e-learning development must reflect New Zealand's unique identity, with the
    Treaty of Waitangi underpinning this development
  • New Zealand tertiary providers must achieve a new level of partnership and
  • e-learning can positively contribute to New Zealand's global competitive
    advantage and build on current export education initiatives.

I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues on the E-Learning
Advisory Group for all their hard work, ideas and inspiration. I am aware that
our work is only the beginning of an ongoing journey, but I am confident that it
is an important foundation for providing quality, accessible learning
opportunities for all.

Shona Butterfield
E-Learning Advisory Group

Members of the Working Party

  • Shona Butterfield (Chair)
  • Tom Prebble (Deputy Chair)
  • Terry Barnett
  • Trish Brimblecombe
  • Nola Campbell
  • Martin Eadie
  • Andrew Higgins
  • John Hinchcliff
  • Ruakere Hond
  • Te Taka Keegan


Nigel Beckford and Michael Fitzsimons provided the editing expertise
for this report. Their writing skills were invaluable to the E-Learning Advisory
Group. The E-Learning Advisory Group also greatly appreciates the considered
thoughts of the many people who contributed to the drafting of this report.
Their experience and views of e-learning where it sits now and practical
dreams for the future were important contributions.

The E-Learning Advisory Group is grateful for the assistance of Ministry of
Education staff, particularly Paula Kimble, Natasha Rickett and Murray Leach.
The E-Learning Advisory Group also thanks all those tertiary education providers
who responded to the questionnaire on e-learning capability.