A better understanding of how the Māori tertiary sector is adapting to e-learning is the focus of a joint research project being undertaken by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Strategy and Performance Lead Lindsay Baxter and funded by the Innovation Partnership.
Lindsay, who is studying towards her Master of Education at Massey University, is the inaugural recipient of the Innovation Partnership Fellow, Digital Education.
She will investigate approaches in the three wānanga on the role and uptake of digital resources in teaching and learning. Her research will focus on how wānanga are strategically adapting and changing at an organisational level to embrace e-learning.
She wants to find out what has been successful in e-learning in Māori immersion contexts, as well as the level of planning and development involved. She says digital innovation in learning has probably been more ad hoc than strategic in terms of responding to rapid technological changes, while learner expectations and needs are shifting towards a life-long learning model.
Dr Maggie Hartnett, a specialist in digital education at Massey’s Institute of Education and Lindsay’s research supervisor, says the scholarship aims to increase capacity and capability in New Zealand by addressing gaps in research in this area.
Lindsay’s study will examine cultural aspects of digital education and how this might flourish in the digital era, she says.
“Digital tools and new trends come and go. In education it’s about creating learning environments that meet the needs of learners.”
Lindsay’s research question is: “What are the characteristics of being a wānanga that influence how e-learning strategies are developed and implemented?”
The study will be shared through Innovation Partnership’s networks as part of its mission to grow and enhance digital education. The Innovation Partnership is a network of organisations that support digital innovation in New Zealand across education, business and government, and is sponsored by Google, Chorus and InternetNZ.