DEANZ update…

On Monday 9 March the DEANZ executive got together for its annual planning day. It’s going to prove a significant year for DEANZ. Here’s why.

Firstly, we have come to realise something. We are not about open, flexible and distance learning; we’re actually about making ako accessible for all. As an Exec, we have decided to promote our philosophical objective over specific educational practices. DEANZ as an acronym used to stand for something I won’t repeat (we’re trying to break the habit)… now, DEANZ the brand means a commitment to accessibility. DEANZ: Making ako accessible for all. We’re excited by this, and we figure that you will be, too.

Second, we will soon embark on a major promotion. We know that making ako accessible to all is an objective shared across educators right across New Zealand, and that DEANZ has a role to play in connecting professionals who share that objective. The more members we have, the more valuable the connections. Expect more value from DEANZ membership in the months ahead.

Third, planning is now well underway for DEANZ 2016. The event will be held in Hamilton, with the University of Waikato as our host. There is a conference theme of, well, epic proportions awaiting you in what will truly be a landmark conference.

Fourth, we have a new member of the DEANZ executive. Dr Maggie Hartnett of Massey University, who co-edits the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, has joined the team. Maggie brings great deal of expertise to the executive as a practitioner and theorist in online education.

Our recent planning day has refreshed our activity toward serving you, our members, in support of your professional roles. I’m certain 2015 will be a year of increased membership, renewed activity, and honed focus toward our shared objective of making ako accessible for all.

With best regards and on behalf of your DEANZ Exec,

Dr Mark Nichols
President, DEANZ.

DEANZ back from Sabbatical

The DEANZ blog has been taking a sabbatical for awhile but is now back with a refreshed look and a line up of members ready to contribute. Because there are so many things that you just can’t say in a tweet!

Make sure you add us to your news feed reader, subscribe, follow us on twitter AND contact us to make your guest contribution.

To those who are new to DEANZ here is an overview to update you:

DEANZ  Is committed  to fostering growth, development, research and good practice in open, flexible, and distance learning. DEANZ provides opportunities for it’s members to:


  • DEANZ events, including our upcoming ‘Hot Topic’ online seminars & Virtual Conference.
  • Bi-annual conferences (next in 2016) –  discounted rates for members.
  • DEANZ Award – promoting and rewarding excellence in e-learning, open, flexible, and distance learning
  • Access our members’ list of like-minded professionals.



  • Advocates on matters relevant to open, flexible, and distance learning in New Zealand, such as participation in TERG, contribution to the eLearning Guidelines.
  • Establishes and maintains links with the international distance education community.
  • Develops professional resources such as 2016 Scenario Guide & Orientation to Online, Flexible and Distance Learning;
  • Promotes discussion, dissemination of research;  and identifies key areas needed for research and development in open, flexible, and distance learning.


Online development for school BoT members

MEDIA RELEASE – Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ)

27 May 2009

Online training for Boards of Trustees members a good move says DEANZ

Online training for school Board of Trustees members, supported by the Ministry of Education, recognises the tremendous contribution that distance education methods can make to training environments, says Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) President Dr Bill Anderson

“Distance education is a proven way of delivering cost-effective high-quality training to large numbers of widely dispersed people. The training of the approximately 10,000 Boards of Trustees members provides considerable opportunity to leverage the cost benefits that distance education can create,” says Dr Anderson.

Dr Anderson says that while this initiative has its origin in an Auditor-General’s report that considered the cost effectiveness of Trustee training; cost alone should not drive the initiative. “Online training is as effective as any other means of training.”

“As with all forms of education and training its effectiveness is a result of the combination of good planning, good design of learning materials and resources, appropriate choice of technologies and effective online teaching.

The Ministry’s move toward online training for School Trustees must take account of all these requirements”, says Dr Anderson.

School Trustees are typically leading busy lives, often working and inevitably involved with their communities in a range of ways.

Distance education provides flexibility for such people and enables them to undertake the necessary training for their valuable role at places and times convenient to them.

It provides the benefit that they can easily make contact with a much wider, potentially national range of fellow Trustees to share ideas and develop new perspectives on their role and tasks, and still allows them to come together in groups when that is valuable.

The flexibility of online training also means targeted just-in-time training is possible.

“Many schools that Trustees are involved with will be using online resources and capabilities to enrich the learning of their students.

There are many examples of the use of distance education techniques in primary and secondary schools that illustrate just how effective distance education can be. Training for Trustees could take advantage of some of the lessons learnt through the experiences of schools” says Dr Anderson.

DEANZ sees the Ministry of Education’s initiative as a valuable example of the ways in which distance education can support education and training across all sectors of the New Zealand economy.

Vacancy: Administrator/Communications Officer

Administrator/Communications Officer

The Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) is looking for an Administrator/Communications Officer to promote the work of DEANZ and support the activities of the organization. DEANZ is the New Zealand Association for Professionals working in Flexible, Open and Networked Education. We are committed to fostering growth, development, research and good practice in these areas.

This is a part-time position of 200 hours per year which can be worked flexibly depending on work flow.

Key responsibilities include promoting DEANZ to members and external groups, keeping the website up-to-date, providing support for the DEANZ Treasurer and ensuring the smooth running of DEANZ.

Applications close Friday 8th May at 4PM.

For further information please consult the job description.

DEANZ Online Seminar – June 17th

DEANZ Online Seminar

Tuesday June 17th 10:00-11:30 NZ Time

WikiEducator: DE reincarnated or new innovation?

Make sure you read the joining instruction at the bottom of the email

clip_image002Presenter: Wayne Mackintosh
Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT Policy
Commonwealth of Learning
Vancouver, CANADA

About the Session: Wikipedia is unquestionably the most significant social phenomenon of our time. In May 2006, the Commonwealth of Learning established Wikieducator — a Commonwealth sponsored project leveraging the power of  distributed production systems for developing Open Education Resources (OERs).  In this session Wayne will reflect on COL’s experiences to date and assess the success of the project in turning the digital divide into digital dividends. As ODL practitioners, a key question comes to mind:  Does the project suggest the reincarnation of distance education or a new innovation?

Presenter Biography: Dr. Wayne Mackintosh is a committed advocate and user of free software for education. He was the founding project leader of New Zealand’s eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) project ( and responsible for establishing the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) WikiEducator ( – a website that provides free eLearning content that anyone can edit and use.

Dr. Mackintosh joined COL as Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT Policy, on 1 May 2006. Formerly, he was Associate Professor and founding director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Wayne has extensive experience in the theory and practice of open and distance learning (ODL). Prior to moving to New Zealand he spent eleven years working at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a distance learning institution and one of the world’s mega-universities. At the University of Auckland, he was tasked with eLearning strategy and leading CFDL’s professional staff team. He has participated in a range of international consultancies and projects including work for COL, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the World Bank. Wayne also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Open Learning and publishes regularly in the field of flexible and distance learning. Wayne is a member of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation (

He has a keen interest in pedagogical innovation for sustainable development. “I look forward to my new role assisting countries of the Commonwealth realise their educational potential through ICTs for development. I firmly believe that the future of multi-modal learning in a digital world will be pioneered by the developing nations of our world. Together with COL’s vision for the future and a team of experienced professionals, we can make a real difference in the lives of people throughout the Commonwealth.”

How to join the session

The session is being run over Elluminate. Please investigate your connectivity to Elluminate EARLY, in the past some people have missed the session due to late preparations. If connecting from a work machine you will probably need the assistance of your IT team.  See to ensure you have the necessary bits on your machine to run Elluminate.

Connect to the session via: 

Please invite other colleagues.

Session Sponsored by Elluminate




Job Advert: DEANZ Communications Officer

DEANZ (The Distance Education Association of New Zealand) is a non-profit professional association for people working in the field of open, distance and networked education. We are seeking an energetic, proactive person to assist with communications.

Ideally you will have an education background, and excellent communication skills including experience in developing online communities.

This is a fixed term, part time position: 200 hours over 12 months

Your role is to promote DEANZ to its membership and to external groups and organisations.

Applications close 5pm Friday 28 March 2008.

Contact Sally Rawnsley, President, DEANZ, on for a job description.

Send your application which includes a brief CV and a letter of application to Sally Rawnsley.

DEANZ Award 2008

The biennial DEANZ Award recognises excellence in e-learning, distance, open and flexible learning. The DEANZ Award is open to individuals or groups in New Zealand, or New Zealand citizens living overseas, who have completed a project that meets the criteria of the Award.

Awards are given for projects that
• advance understanding of best practice in e-learning, distance, open and flexible learning in New Zealand;
• are original or innovative in concept or application;
• are relevant to and whose outcomes are useful to the e-learning, distance, open and flexible-learning community.

Conference logo 08In 2008, The DEANZ Award will be made at the DEANZ conference in Wellington from 18-20 August, 2008. All applicants should show how projects submitted relate to the conference theme. The deadline for submission of projects in 2008 is 30 June, 2008.

Applications for the DEANZ Award should be made using the official form which is available both from the DEANZ administrator office and the DEANZ website.

DEANZ Award 2006

The 2006 DEANZ Award is awarded to the “LearnNow” project, designed and managed by Mrs Jo Gibson from CORE Education Limited.

LearnNow is a cross curriculum, online extension and enrichment programmes for students in New Zealand and around the world.

The programme is designed to enable students to drive their own learning as they design, develop and run the projects they choose, within authentic project-based learning environments.

Students can collaborate online, forming online communities of learning, within inter-school communities or home school environments.

Students in the programme are involved in running small businesses and international volunteer service projects; linking internationally with peers worldwide and creating their own personal study environments.


DEANZ Election Results

The election for Vice-President was a very close run thing with 20 votes to Sally Rawnsley and 22 to Derek Wenmoth.  Derek was duly returned as VP but I am pleased to say Sally will continue on the Committee.  The other elected positions were returned unopposed – Carol Cooper (President); Mark Nichols (Treasurer) and Marica Ševelj (Secretary). 

Bill Anderson and Mary Simpson continue in their roles as editors of the journal. Existing committee members – Derek Chirnside, Andrew Higgins, Sally Rawnsley and Anna Weatherstone – are joined by two new faces – Charles Erlam and Kathryn MacCallum.  Their bios will be up on the web site shortly.  Phyl Taylor stays on as our Administrator. 

Outgoing committee members John Delany, Bronwyn Hegarty, Kinshuk, Nicki Page and Lyn Williams will all be sorely missed and we have valued their contributions over the past and previous years.