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Choice. Flexibility. Personalisation. Accessibility. Collaboration. Consistency. System Efficiency.
These words define eCampus NZ's focus areas and achievements in 2021.
In 2021, we worked closely with our network of Te Pūkenga subsidiaries and their employer and industry connections to shape future-focused learning opportunities that meet the needs of Aotearoa New Zealand's workforce.
We worked with our Te Pūkenga partners to enhance their provision of NZQA programmes, micro-credentials, and flexible delivery and support options.
We were agile and innovative in our work with industry and employers, developing digital learning solutions that enabled them to close skill gaps, respond to rapidly developing technologies, and flex with market demands.
Learners want flexible, personalised, accessible learning opportunities that help them to move forward - no matter how they learn, where they learn, and what their goals are.
Industry and employers need consistent, high-quality, flexible, scalable training that meets the specific and changing needs of their workforce and region.
At eCampus NZ, we make it happen.
December 1, 2021 eCampus NZ became a business division of The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Limited.
In 2021, eCampus NZ worked closely with our partner institutes and their employer and industry connections to champion change through rapid prototyping of digital solutions to meet the needs of New Zealand’s learners, employers, industry, and communities. Our mahi in 2021 demonstrated our commitment to enabling flexible and personalised learning pathways.
Award-winning micro-credentials with GoHort and NZAPI.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented significant challenges for Aotearoa, New Zealand’s horticulture sector. Border closures implemented to keep New Zealanders safe left seasonal workers unable to enter the country. Labour and skills shortages became the largest obstacles for most growers.
In 2021 eCampus NZ launched 10 micro-credentials with GoHort and New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc. (NZAPI) to showcase New Zealand’s apples and pears industry and attract workers into seasonal and permanent roles. The micro-credentials were promoted through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Opportunity Grows Here campaign.
Each micro-credential includes multiple learning packages with carefully scaffolded, interactive learning experiences. The learning packages can easily be reused and repurposed - with other industry sectors already expressing interest in doing so.
EIT is utilising the badges in their primary industries qualifications.
“EIT sees the badges as an innovative component of our Primary Industries qualifications. The online delivery of the badges helps meet the literacy requirements of our programmes and the content helps meet the graduate profile outcomes across a variety of qualifications, particularly the health and safety badge. We are embedding the badges into as many of our programmes as possible," - Paul Keats from EIT’s School of Primary Industries.
I see these courses as being the future of how we engage with New Zealanders starting their pathway into our industry, – Emma Boase, People and Capability Manager, Horticulture New Zealand.
Workers displaced from jobs as a result of COVID-19 can use these taster courses to find a home in the horticulture industry and understand how their current skillset will support them in our industry. This is a great example of collaborative work between industry and New Zealand’s education sector to offer agile, timely, adaptable learning opportunities in response to specific industry challenges such as labour shortages, - Erin Simpson, NZAPI Capability Manager.
I think there’s a huge potential for micro-credentials in the changed landscape after COVID-19. It gives potential for those who have lost jobs to quickly upskill in new areas of employment and makes it easy for managers to train staff in specific areas, - Hayden Taylor, an orchard manager who completed the courses and is using them in his training.
NZAPI brings their accreditation process online.
To meet the Ministry for Primary Industries’ regulations for fruit exports, employers need to regularly accredit seasonal and permanent workers in areas such as biosecurity, international and national phytosanitary systems for plants and plant products, pest identification, and pest monitoring and control.
Thanks to a collaboration between NZAPI and eCampus NZ, workers across the country can now complete their annual accreditation assessments online, streamlining the process and giving employers the ability to easily track compliance.
Hayden Taylor, manager of CAJ NZ Apples Roseburn Orchard in Central Otago, is already seeing the benefits.
“It was great to be able to train my foreman up in his required Codling Moth Trap Surveyor certifications online,” he said.
NZAPI Capability Development Manager, Erin Simpson, described the work as “ground-breaking for primary industry sector groups”.
Everyone who has quality control responsibilities within our post-harvest facilities around the country is required to undertake this training. This represents a huge number of people in our packhouses - NZAPI Capability Development Manager, Erin Simpson
Creating pathways between work-based and digital learning with BCITO
In 2021, eCampus NZ supported BCITO by developing learning resources for the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) (Level 4).
The digital resources will be utilised in a variety of settings including face-to-face, fully online (self-paced or instructor-led) or a mix of both.
The learning packages have a consistent design approach, enabling 'pick and mix' delivery via online, face-to-face or blended learning. The resources can be embedded into any learner management system or website that allows iframes, or as standalone resources accessible via a link.
Each learning resource contains an engaging learning experience using multimedia and contextualised activities.
Creating pathways between on-campus and digital teaching, learning and assessment with EIT
We know that the future of vocational education and training in Aotearoa, New Zealand will deliver increasingly flexible learning opportunities. That’s why eCampus NZ is working closely with our partner institutes to pilot new initiatives that blend on-campus and online learning and support to improve learner choice, flexibility, access, experience, and outcomes.
In an exciting development in this space, in 2021, EIT used the digital teaching and learning resources on the eCampus NZ platform to deliver two business programmes on campus.
This pilot lays the groundwork for seamless transitions between on-campus and online learning.
Students had access to consistently high standard learning resources, and staff could focus on adding value to teaching and learning through clarification and extension of knowledge and understanding. When a new EIT staff member started, the course infrastructure allowed them to get up and running quickly. The eCampus NZ staff orientation provided them with a good understanding of the eCampus NZ portal and associated teaching and assessment resources.
During COVID Level 3 and 4 restrictions, this pilot made the shift to online teaching and learning easy, given resources were designed for that purpose. EIT staff were easily able to continue to augment this with online supported sessions, much like is done in a classroom. - John West, Head of the Schools of Business and Computing, EIT
Creating pathways between on-campus and digital teaching, learning and assessment with NMIT
In 2021, eCampus NZ supported NMIT’s initiative to bring a Level 4 Aquaculture course online.
Aquaculture – or marine farming and processing – contributes significantly to Marlborough’s economic output, GDP, and employment, and is the world’s fastest-growing primary industry. NMIT offers a range of Aquaculture programmes.
Shifting the course into a digital environment gives learners on mussel farms and hatcheries across the country the ability to learn practical skills - such as how to perform dissections and health checks on aquaculture species – without visiting a lab.
Our team supported this important mahi by using techniques such as 360 video to develop resources that bring the course to life and give learners an engaging and immersive learning experience.
Creating pathways between on-campus and digital teaching, learning and assessment with Otago Polytechnic
In 2021, eCampus NZ supported Otago Polytechnic's Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEngTech) Work Integrated Learning Pilot.
We helped their team shift a key course onto Learning Engine to streamline the enrolment process for employers of apprentices, removing barriers by allowing them to self-enrol.
In addition, we developed two sets of standalone interactive learning resources that can be delivered in both digital and on-campus environments, capitalising on our team’s experience in the development of engaging resources that support increasingly flexible and personalised learning.
To achieve this, our team of learning designers worked closely with teaching staff to identify concepts that could be effectively covered in blended learning resources. We developed resources that lecturers can use in a flipped learning scenario, allowing them to focus on discussions and questioning in face-to-face teaching. The digital learning resources make learning more accessible by allowing learners to practise key concepts and reach a level of mastery.
Digital micro-credentials with Energy Academy
Energy Academy is dedicated to bridging the gap between supply and demand for capability in the energy sector through creativity and innovation.
This year, Energy Academy teamed up with eCampus NZ to start shaping what the future of learning and development looks like for the energy sector.
Our first development allows anyone working in the energy sector to compete their Restricted Area Entry Certificate (RAE) through a mixture of online training on Learning Engine and a site visit, with learners receiving a digital badge upon successful completion.
An RAE is required for workers accessing the facilities of an electrical network. Our learning pathway enables a high level of personalisation, consisting of basic electricity and electrical health and safety modules that are relevant industry-wide, enhanced with modules that are specific to each network.
As they move across distribution networks, learners will be able to complete additional modules customised to meet the needs of each network, 'stacking’ credentials without repeating training in knowledge and skills required across the industry.
Work will continue to extend this work in 2022, with two further pathways in development.
Food-costing micro-credentials with EIT and industry.
Photo credit: EIT
In 2021, eCampus NZ worked with the Eastern Institute of Technology to launch a 20-week online NZQA-accredited micro-credential to help learners upskill in food costing in a commercial kitchen.
Learners are awarded a digital badge on completion of the course, which is hosted on Learning Engine and addresses a need for chefs to upskill in food costing to improve gross profit margins.
It is about learning portion control, reducing waste and maximising profit without raising menu prices.
This is especially true at the moment where there's a lot of competition out there and some businesses are struggling a little bit. This food costing course should help them gain a bit of an edge in terms of the overall profit that they make on their menus. - Mark Caves, Senior Lecturer and Chef Tutor in EIT’s School of Tourism and Hospitality
In 2021, eCampus worked with NorthTec and EIT to reward learners with digital badges upon completion of their programme as a contemporary addition to their formal certificates.
These badges can be shared on resumes, social media, and professional networking sites, allowing prospective employers to verify skills and achievements in real-time online.
Delivering health and safety training for the construction industry with Otago Polytechnic
In 2021, Otago Polytechnic contracted eCampus NZ to develop four Health and Safety in Construction micro-learning courses. These are delivered on Learning Engine and promoted through Otago Polytechnic’s Thumbs up for Guards Down campaign.
eCampus NZ's instructional designers worked with subject-matter experts and used resources provided by Otago Polytechnic to design and develop engaging, interactive micro-learning courses and assessments that equip learners with the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves and others safe on site.
The courses cover a range of topics, from risk assessment to mental and emotional wellbeing.
Learning Engine provides the platform for learners to register, complete the self-paced courses, and submit assessments, which are marked by Otago Polytechnic’s assessors. Learners are awarded a digital badge when they successfully complete a course.
eCampus NZ enhances partners' provision options, delivering efficiency and a high-quality learner experience across the network through partnership and collaboration. Learners enrol with a Te Pūkenga subsidiary, learn on the eCampus NZ platform, and graduate from their enrolling institute.
Two weeks after completing her first tertiary qualification, Otago Polytechnic learner Alana Clarke transitioned into a new career with a charity that supports Māori Mental Health and Addiction.
“I left school early and completed NCEA Level 1 & 2 through Community College. This was a huge achievement for me, and I was so proud of myself when I finished,” she said.
Alana says she now wakes up happy to go to work.
“I love it. I never understood why people would say that they enjoyed going to work or loved their job before I started working here. I actually wake up early and am happy to go to work,” she said.
Whitireia and WelTec are the most recent Te Pūkenga subsidiaries to enhance their online vocational education provision options, powered by eCampus NZ.
Whitireia and WelTec will initially deliver two programmes of study:
EIT piloted the use of the digital learning resources available on the eCampus NZ platform in face-to-face teaching and learning.
The New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design (Level 4) is now available on the eCampus NZ platform, thanks to a collaboration between Ara Institute of Canterbury and eCampus NZ.
eCampus NZ worked closely with Ara’s Department of Creative Industries in 2021 to develop the online version of the programme.
In the first three courses of the new programme, learners spend time in a virtual design house, Aronga Whanokē Design, where they use design briefs to create a variety of works that incorporate photography, illustration, video, animation, and other elements. In the final course, learners explore their own identity and culture through digital design.
Situating learners in an immersive virtual workplace – in this case, a design house – is an innovative way to help learners develop practical, workplace skills which they can easily apply to the real world.
In 2021, we continued to add to our centralised digital repository, which enables the storage, discovery, delivery and management of high-quality learning and teaching materials across our network.
We created a new Assessment Collection and our work to add standardised, quality-assured, and up-to-date assessment packages that support NZQA programmes is underway.
In 2021, eCampus NZ launched Tō Tautoko, a dedicated open-access support site populated with tools, tips, information, and resources to support learners. The site includes a Getting Started Toolkit and resources to help learners plan and write assignments, manage their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing, develop study skills, and familiarise themselves with the online learning environment.
In 2021, eCampus NZ launched our new facilitator kete.
This 70-page site hosts an extensive range of resources on best practice and supporting learners in an online environment, with topics such as establishing a presence online, the role of motivation, celebrating learner success, systems and technology, and cultural capabilities.
In addition, the resources support the efficient and supportive onboarding and training of new online facilitators.
UCOL Lecturer Dr Adeyinka, who teaches one online class each week, found that her online learning experience with eCampus NZ helped her to develop her own online teaching practice.
“[Completing this qualification online] has helped me understand how my students feel, especially when they have families or are working full-time,” she said.
“I started reaching out to my students more to let them know they can talk to me – especially during lockdown. That was something that [my course facilitator] did for me as well. If she didn’t hear from me, she’d be ‘knocking at my door’. She helped me to stay on track,” she continued.
“Something else I learned from her as an online lecturer was how she identified with my culture. She was interested in learning more about me. She taught me some te reo Māori, and I taught her some of my language, Yoruba. I also talked about the type of food we eat in Nigeria, and dance. That connected me to her,” she said.
Our team of facilitators and student advisors stepped up in 2021 to support individual learners impacted by COVID-19.
Support offered included increased personal communications, penalty-free transfers, extensions, and the early release of courses during the August nationwide lockdown.
In addition, our student advisors worked closely with partner institutes to support individual learners, providing personalised support to help them overcome barriers to their learning.
Between full-time work for a non-profit organisation supporting Pacific Peoples in Northland, looking after her four children, and studying with NorthTec on the eCampus NZ platform, Christina Fay Kupa-Wichman – Chrissy – didn’t have much time to spare during the August Level 4 lockdown.
“I’ve had really, really good support – especially from my student advisor and facilitator. I wouldn’t’ve been able to get through all of this without their support and their understanding,” she said.
On December 1, 2021, eCampus NZ became a business division of The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Limited.
We are excited to join Te Pūkenga as part of the Government’s Reform of Vocational Learning.
Te Pūkenga is creating a unified network of online, on-campus and on-job learning to give learners more flexibility in what, where and how they learn.
We are looking forward to the opportunities that our combined capabilities will bring as we work together to shape the future of online delivery for learners across the motu.