Critical success factors for effective use of e-learning with Māori learners

Publication Details

This report was undertaken by ITPNZ with funding from the TEC. It outlines the major outcomes of a hui. This hui was a key component of an e-Learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF) ITPNZ project ‘Critical Success Factors for Effective Use of e-Learning with Māori Learners’.

Author(s): Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand

Date Published: May 2005

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Summary

Context and Purpose of this Report

This report outlines the interactions between participants at a hui held 13 and 14 December, 2004, as part of a larger project described below. The report tries to capture the journey that the participants travelled together as they sought to understand and communicate their different views. We therefore seek to present the interactions without analysing or commenting on them. We have presented a set of accumulated notes taken during the hui by several different people. The report is not based on minutes or a transcript from a recording. We have attempted to capture the essence of the hui.

Together with the literature reviews (Appendices A and B) and the statistical report (Appendix C) that informed the hui, this report will inform the last two phases of the project in which the hui sits. The next phase is facilitating several focus groups to understand what Māori learners believe is important for effective e-learning. The final phase is the development of an online toolbox to build staff capability in effective use of e-learning to support Māori learners. This toolbox will include online resources and a guide for facilitators to use the online resources in a blended learning environment, with recommended face-to face and online activities. This toolbox will provide a learning experience similar to the hui, and a supportive community in which tutors can apply this learning. This toolbox will be available online for use by all members of the New Zealand tertiary sector. 

Background to the Hui 

The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) gained funding in December 2003 from the e-Learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF) to research critical success factors for Māori e-learners and disseminate the findings of the research as training for tutors within the tertiary sector of New Zealand. This hui was a core activity within this eCDF ITPNZ project 'Critical Success Factors for Effective Use of e-Learning with Māori Learners'. 

Project History 

The project proposal was developed by ITPNZ e-learning managers. The main writers work in ITPs that have a significant number of Māori learners and are committed to effectively meeting their needs. The project rationale recognises that many Māori learners choose to study in mainstream environments. Therefore, mainstream institutions need to support and develop their teaching staff to better meet the needs of their Māori learners to address the present lower levels of access, participation and achievement we observe for Māori learners. This group believes that e-learning is an important tool in achieving this vision and therefore wanted to understand how to use e-learning within Māori education kaupapa. Colleagues from the three wänanga also assisted at some stages in developing the proposal. 

Project Leadership 

The Project Manager works closely with three groups to ensure the success of the project: 

  • The Māori Reference Group (MRG) established specifically for this project, with representation from across the sector by: 
    • Monte Ohia (Te Wänanga o Aotearoa) oTaku Pärai (Whitireia Community Polytechnic) 
    • Joanna Kidman (Victoria University of Wellington) 
    • Tui Marsh (New Zealand Qualifications Authority). 
    • Andrea Barr (Tairawhiti Polytechnic, ITPNZ Project Steering Group representative). 

The members of the MRG guide, advise and provide oversight for the project, provide specialist knowledge of kaupapa Māori education and research, advise on appropriate protocols to assist the success of the project and ensure cultural safety, provide communications and relationship links with relevant networks, and promote the value and strategic importance of the project objectives. 

The ITPNZ Project Steering Group works in partnership with the MRG to guide, advise and provide oversight for the project, provide communications and relationship links with participating organisations, promote the value and strategic importance of the project's objectives, and generally promote and support the pedagogy for e-learning. This group reports to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and to the ITPNZ Executive Committee on this project and another ITPNZ eCDF project. · The ITPNZ e-Learning Forum, made up of those responsible for e-learning within each of the 19 ITPs. This group reviews processes, methodology and project deliverables, provides expert advice on e-learning pedagogy and best practice and strong communications and relationship links with relevant networks, and promotes the value and strategic importance of the project's objectives. 

Project Description

The project has three objectives:

  1. To describe the current use and nature of online learning for Māori.
  2. To identify the critical success factors and pedagogy for effective use of e-learning to increase access, participation and achievement for Māori learners.
  3. To train educators throughout the tertiary education system in New Zealand on the effective use of e-learning for Māori. 

The project has four phases:

  1. Research:  three reports attached as appendices to this report: o'A Literature Review on Kaupapa Māori and Māori Education Pedagogy' o'Critical Success Factors and Effective Pedagogy for e-Learning in Tertiary Education' o'Statistical Profile of Māori in Tertiary Education and Engagement in e-Learning'.
  2. Hui:  to understand how to use e-learning effectively with Māori learners.
  3. Student focus groups:  to validate and build on hui findings.
  4. Tutor training:  based on learning from the project, to enable tutors to use e-learning effectively with Māori learners.

Hui Purpose

The hui aimed to understand, conceptually and practically, how e-learning can be used by tutors to increase access, participation and achievement for Māori adult learners across the whole tertiary sector. 

The learning from the hui will feed into: · 

  • Focus groups with students to build on and validate the findings from the workshop.
  • Training for tutors across New Zealand, using a blended approach that models the findings from the hui in its learning design and use of technology.
  • Certain features of the Open Source Virtual Learning Environment (another eCDF project). 
  • Best practice information being developed and made available in a usable form on the web (another eCDF project). 

Hui Approach 

The MRG and the eLF recommended Māori learning experts, and the eLF recommended elearning experts, to invite to the hui. Twenty-eight individuals were able to attend. We asked the Māori learning experts to read the literature review on critical success factors for elearning, and the e-learning experts to read the literature review on critical success factors for Māori learning, before they came to the hui. Dr Kathie Irwin and Derek Wenmoth cofacilitated the hui, bringing together their combined expertise in facilitation, and knowledge of Māori and e-learning. They developed two days of activities based on kaupapa and tikanga to create a safe environment for full participation and genuine dialogue to explore and understand the intersection between these two baskets of knowledge.

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