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SCD Blended Learning Professional Development Book

Currently being authored by

  • Niki Davis, University of Canterbury Professor of e-Learning


  • Trevor Storr, AorakiNet e-Principal
  • Darren Darren Sudlow, eLearning Leader, Cantatech
  • Vicki Smith, WestNet e-Principal

with later contributions from teachers undertaking professional development in our project


The South Central Divide (SCD) started a professional development project to develop collaborative blended learning across three e-learning clusters in New Zealand.


This WikiEducator book is currently being written as a text book to support our work in the first year, including professional development activities and outputs from s special offering of the University of Canterbury course EDEM628 Best practices in online teaching and learning

Assignment Guidance EDEM628 2010-2011

Guidance for investigating your school and its partners

Note: This is UC EDEM628-X10 Assignment 1 - 10% of UC grade


This small assignment requires you to complete a brief audit relating to blended and online teaching and learning at your school and related organisations.
This important information can then be used to inform your future developments in designing an online teaching space and online materials and facilitating a unit of learning over a 2 week period and/or improving blended personalised learning. In addition to being a major activity to support our SCD project that course activity is Assignment 3 in this UC course.
Consider the students you are preparing to personalise your teaching and learning for: current students who are able but may wish not to show it, struggling students, ill students, students taking a course outside their school, gifted and talented etc.
We will also have a discussion in a Forum online in our Educo UC course to support this investigation and your findings.

Background Reading

1. This guidance document will also give you some guidelines. Also read:
2. Ko, S., & Rossen, S. (2001). Scouting the territory: exploring your institution’s resources. In (authors) Teaching online: a practical guide. (pp 19-35) Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Part A: The situation at my institution: Staff

Use the following headings and questions to find out how people at your institution perceive online teaching and learning. Note that the questions are guidelines. In your report back, make sure you tell us how many people you talked to for data on each heading. Also, note that there are no right or wrong answers. Just tell us what you found out.
Where there is more than one student in our course from your organization you are encouraged to share this assignment and your report. Niki and your e-principal will provide further guidance on request – please email your ePrincipal when your question or support related to activities within e-learning clusters.

1 Administrative/Management advice in school and cluster

The list of people to consider talking with includes: Principal or deputy principal, head of department, ICT coordinator, supervisor for e-learning cluster courses, supervisor for Te Kura/The Correspondence School, student counsellor. Your ePrincipal is likely to be particularly helpful in relation to partnerships. Ask for any policy or guidance documents for teachers who are planning online and blended learning and/or look for them in the place you normally find such briefing documents.
Here are some useful questions that you may wish to use of adapt to your context:
1. Who are the people at your institution who will make decisions regarding teaching classes online? Obtain permission as necessary.
2. When you spoke with these people about teaching courses or parts of courses online, what was the advice they gave and the issues they raised?
3. Do they see online and blended learning and teaching as part of finding your institution's place in the 21st century and our global world?
4. Are there any partner organizations and, if so, who are they and what do they offer? Are there established procedures for working together?
5. What partnerships are there and how do they relate to your teaching and leadership? Relevant partners include schools in the e-learning clusters, the VLN, Te Kura/The Correspondence School, Southern Region Health School, international projects and Virtual Schools.

2 Staff attitude and collaboration

Speak to as relevant staff at your school and find out how they perceive online teaching and learning. Be careful to ensure that you report on attitudes in a professional way that does not criticise your colleagues or school. Colleagues may see value in combining face-to-face with online teaching. Mention if you have any ‘icebreakers’ or ‘champions’ in your school or in a partner organisation These are staff (maybe you) that understands and believes that schools need to embrace this new educational pedagogy (see Ko & Rosson, 2001, for explanation of these terms).
Identify the support and challenges in for these people in your school, e-learning cluster, etc.
If you wish you may undertake a survey, but you are likely to get better information and future support from informal conversations and meetings.

3 The driving force and opportunities

We know that there is a driving force at present because of our SCD project. Can you express it from the perspective of your school, maybe it is a small force now that may grow in future?
What do you think should be (or is) in place at your institution for staff to ensure that online teaching and learning is a positive experience for teachers and students? Describe any professional development and leadership opportunities locally as well as though this project. Identify when and where if you can.

Part B: The Situation at my Institution: Resources

What is already in place at your institution that is relevant for online learning and teaching? These questions should be helpful but feel free to adapt them:

  • 1. What is the relevant hardware and operating systems in use at your institution?
  • 2. What kind of network has your institution set up?
  • 3. Technical and/or design support for teachers? Include enrolling students into Educo and MyPortfolio etc. as necessary.
  • 4. Student access, support and guidance for learning online? Include access in school (booking computers in lab or on cart) and at home or elsewhere. Don’t forget to find out about Internet access and control, including safety and responsibility.
  • 5. Can you identify the scenario of resource level fits your school best (Ko & Rosson 2001)?
  • 6. Does anybody at your organization provide or have any knowledge about any of the Learning Management Systems (LMS) available (e.g. Educo’s Moodle). Add that to information provided by your ePrincipal and course community.
  • 7. Other tools including Video Conference, MyPorfolio, etc.
  • 8. What is available through your school, e-learning cluster and its partnerships?
  • 9. What is available through the Ministry of Education VLN, your professional association(s)?
  • 10. Other resources and services?

Presenting Your Review

The SCD project would like everyone to share their review of the context and support for your blended and online teaching is in our WikiEducator Book of case studies that Niki Davis is co-authoring and editing with all the SCD project participants. You can see the partly written book online including a one section by Matt Maude of his review and blended teaching at this link:

We have also had a group discussion forum that relates to the investigation and all our findings.
Many teachers found taht it was not possible to share their review publicly in WikiEducator and those were only shared with the SCD participants through VLNPortfolio or in our Moodle course.

Assessment by the University of Canterbury
: To assist the University of Canterbury assessment process you are also encouraged to download the Rubric for Assignment 1 Review from the Course Information section and complete a self assessment. Highlight phrases that you assess as having been covered in your review. You may wish to note that zero credit points is equivalent to a pass, a C grade, and the additional credit points go towards earning higher grades. Submission of the rubric will signal to your course leader that you wish to have your assignment graded.

Please consult our UC Course Wiki with Assignment Due Dates for the cut of date for this assignment, see:

Nicki Dabner & Niki Davis
Restricted copyright: Creative Commons Share Alike
21 May 2010; updated 18 Sept 2011