Time Agenda
Making a Strategic Switch to Digital Learning and Teaching

Digitalizing education, no doubt, will bring about drastic change in institutions’ strategies. This strategic switch requires substantial preparation in terms of budget, infrastructure, and human capital.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition for institutions, the first day of the conference aims to give educators a clear picture of how the digital transformation can be carried out. Through insight sharing from our line-up of experts, you will learn to redesign your teaching facilities and learning management system to support the new requirements of blended learning. The section will address the pressing issue of professional training, winning support from your stakeholders, and utilizing collective support from other institutions to improve teaching quality.

09:00 – 09:05 Welcoming Speech, Opening Remarks & Thank You Sponsor Speech by Conference Producer
09:05 – 09:15 Conference Introduction

Highlights on Conference Day 1 Key Sessions

09:15 – 10:00 Implementing a University Wide Blended Learning Approach
  • Utilizes a grant model for academics to apply for funding
  • Funding broken down in to four categories:
    • Staff development
    • Educational Design
    • Content Development
    • Academic Staff time release
  • Great buy in by senior staff, academics and teaching quality staff
  • Blended learning viewed as a strategic priority
  • Faculty staff keen to try new models of teaching
  • University wide implementation
Damian-112x128 Speaker: 

Damian Lodge, Director Learning and Teaching, Lincoln University New Zealand

Damian is the Director of Learning and Teaching and University Librarian at Lincoln University in New Zealand. He is the Chair of Learning and Teaching Sub Committee of Academic Board and is responsible for Teaching Quality, Academic and Career Skills, Library and Information Services, Digital Access and Research Services. Damian is an experienced academic and speaker on blended learning, teaching quality and the student experience.

Damian has spent over 23 years in academic institutions (University of Tasmania, RMIT University, Charles Sturt University and Lincoln University) in both professional and academic roles.

Lincoln University logo
10:00 – 10:45 Collaboration Not Coblabberation: A National Online Programme in Māori and Indigenous Business
  • Technologies offer us opportunities for new forms of collaboration
  • This paper describes how 6 universities have worked together to develop an online masters program in Māori and Indigenous Business
  • The paper will expose the challenges we encountered and ways of working that have evolved
  • Understand the potential of the approach in enabling multiple institutions to deliver cutting edge programs
Susan-112x128 Speaker:

Susan Geertshuis, Director of Learning and Teaching Professor of Lifelong Learning, The University of Auckland Business School 

Susan Geertshuis is Professor of Lifelong Learning and Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of Auckland Business School. She is a Principal Fellow if the Higher Education Academy. With a background in cognitive psychology, she has a career devoted to empowering others through higher education. Her previous positions include: Director of continuing education. Academic Director of Electronic Engagement, Professor of Organisational Studies.  Director of the Centre for Learning and Innovation in Organisations and Director of the Centre for Learning Research.

UoA Logo
10:45 – 11:00 Morning Refreshments
11:00 – 11:45 Panel Discussion: Designing World Class Infrastructure for Blended Learning
  • Discuss the challenges in aligning academic strategies with infrastructure needs
  • What can lead to under-utilization of available education technologies and facilities and how to avoid it?
  • How to design appropriate learning space to optimize blended pedagogies?
Damian-112x128Bridgette-112x128 Panelists:

Damian Lodge, Director Learning and Teaching, Lincoln University New Zealand

Bridgette Sullivan-TaylorDirector of the Masters in International Business Internship and Consultancy Programme, University of Auckland

Lincoln University logo UoA Logo
11:45 – 12:30 Case Study: Building an Effective Learning Experience
  • Key components of an integrated learning environment
  • Forecasting needs and developing IT infrastructures to support current and future teaching and learning requirements
  • Building a LMS that can evolve with your institution needs


Speakers: Caroline Seelig, Chief Executive, Open Polytechnic

Dr Caroline Seelig has over 25 years’ experience as a senior manager in New Zealand’s tertiary education sector.  Since taking up her role as Chief Executive in 2009, Open Polytechnic has gone from strength to strength.  Under Dr Seelig’s leadership, Open Polytechnic’s course and qualification results now match those of face-to-face polytechnic providers in New Zealand.  Passionate about the benefits that distance learning can deliver to lifelong learners, Caroline has been instrumental in Open Polytechnic’s digital transformation.

Shanan Holm, Chief Technology Officer, Open Polytechnic

Shanan Holm joined Open Polytechnic in 2010 and led the product development and direction of iQualify, a digital learning platform created by and at Open Polytechnic that serves the learning needs of a range of businesses, professional organisations, secondary schools and tertiary education providers. Shanan has worked to promote iQualify’s approach to providing digital education experiences at forums as diverse as UNESCO’s 2015 ICT in Education Conference in Qingdao, China, Brisbane’s EduTech, CORE’s uLearn as well as direct discussions with hundreds of stakeholders on the future of digital and learner-centred experiences and assessment. 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch and Networking
13:45 – 14:30 Preparing Educators for Blended Pedagogies 
  • Keeping up with evolving education delivery
  • Deconstructing E-anxiety
  • Engaging learners through multiple modalities
Julia-Hennessy-LI=112x128 Speaker: 

Julia Hennessy, President, Auckland Institute of Studies

Julia Hennessy is President of Auckland Institute of Studies holding responsibilities for academic and management leadership.  She also holds the portfolio for research and international linkages.

Julia has worked in a number of senior roles in New Zealand in both education and health.  She has provided consultancy to national and international agencies.

Julia’s PhD explored the unregulated mental health workforce and she has a number of publications in this field.

Her interest in digital learning has come about through viewing learning as 24/7 –  and how to achieve this.

14:30 – 15:15 Western Sydney University The Vertical Campus – Educating for the Twenty-first Century
  • Case study will describe the learning spaces, the campus environment and facilities
  • The pedagogic approach WSU have implemented
  • The change processes associated with its development and use
Denise-Kirkpatrick-112x128 Speaker:

Denise Kirkpatrick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), Western Sydney University

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic) at Western Sydney University and is responsible for providing senior level leadership of the University’s academic portfolio, International, oversight of the Western Sydney University College and newly established Western Sydney University International College.

Denise has worked as a senior executive in universities in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has led distance education and strategy at leading distance education universities and has extensive experience leading innovation in learning and teaching, eLearning and quality assurance in distance and face to face contexts.

Denise has a PhD in learning and teaching and has worked as a consultant in Australia, Europe, South-East Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She has been an international auditor for a number of Quality Assurance bodies. She researches and publishes in the fields of open, distance and e-learning, and quality in Higher Education.

15:15 – 16:00 Adapting Blended and Flipped Classroom Styles on PG Programmes to Different International Contexts
  • Discussing the blended and learning approach and applications and for different cultural contexts 
  • Brainstorm what the differences might be /differences audience have experienced before
  • Exploration of flipped classrooms designed to embrace cultural differences by including interactive team based learning sessions eg; using Lego serious play 
  • Identification of innovative learning methods and how to create business ready students via interaction with industry projects, mentors, webinars, wikis and menti-blended learning sessions
  • Understanding the context of cross-cultural and cross-collaboration across faculties and the change management program required to implement consistent new practices
Bridgette-112x128 Speaker:

Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of ManagementUniversity of Auckland

Bridgette has been based in the UK for the last 18 years. She completed her under-graduate degree at Otago University in business studies, studied her masters here at the University of Auckland and her PhD at Warwick Business School in the UK. Whilst in the UK Bridgette has also been a director of executive, masters and MBA programs at Warwick, Aston, Coventry, Cambridge and Oxford Universities as well as in the Middle East at the Emirates University and Emirates Aviation College. She has also received several teaching awards. She is the member of Australia New Zealand Academy of International Business (ANZIBA). Bridgette is also an Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick Institute for Advanced Studies and for Aston and Warwick Business School.

UoA Logo
16:00 – 17:00 Champagne Networking Session
Enjoy a glass of champagne whilst networking with other like-minded individuals on topics that are of most interest to you and fellow delegates.
17:00 – 17:05 Closing Remarks by Conference Chairman
Time Agenda
Redesigning Tertiary Learning Experience

Although blended learning is well-established as being able to improve learning outcomes, the field is still lacking empirical evidence on how different blended teaching models should be employed to effectively address students’ learning needs.

To help improve your institution’s academic performance, the second day of the conference will focus on developing effective pedagogies and discovering appropriate use of education technologies. You will explore the applications of learning analytics to improve instructional design. You will also have the chance to find out how new teaching methodologies such as flipped classroom, and technologies such as smart devices can bring substantial change to the learning experience.

09:00 – 09:05 Conference Introduction

Highlights on Conference Day 2 Key Sessions

09:05 – 09:50 The Significant Steps for Successful Blended Learning
  • Timeline of implementing a blended approach in a dental undergraduate program
  • Challenges and successes along the way
  • Other success stories from across the higher education sector
Catherine-Snelling-LI-112x128 Speaker:

Catherine Snelling, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide

Associate Professor Catherine Snelling is an internationally recognised leader in blended learning, as evidenced by her numerous papers and presentations at Australian and international education conferences. Since 2007, she has been using a blended learning approach in her university teaching and with colleague, Associate Professor Sophie Karanicolas, has mentored colleagues from around the world to build their capabilities to adopt similar approaches. Catherine has received a number of teaching awards, most significantly, a 2013 Australian Award for University Teaching. In 2017, the Flipped Learning Global Initiative listed her in the top 40 worldwide educators using flipped learning approaches.

09:50 – 10:35 Driving Learning Outcomes through Data Analytics
  • Higher education institutions  should be concerned about student engagement and achievement
  • Learning analytics data collected from students’ online activity provides insight into students’ engagement/disengagement
  • Given the positive relationship between engagement and study success, educators increasingly use learning analytics to inform learning design and interventions for active learning
Steve-Leichtweis-LI-112x128 Speaker:

Steve Leichtweis, Head of eLearning Group, Centre for Learning & Research , University of Auckland

Steve Leichtweis is a lapsed physiologist and biomedical researcher with a strong interest and background in IT. His research interests include the use of digital technology to enhance teaching and learning, learning analytics & learning environments.

UoA Logo
10:35 – 10:50 Morning Refreshments
10:50 – 11:35 Designing Blended Teaching Methodology in Health Care Context
  • Designing innovative teaching methods
  • Increasing student engagement
  • Preparing educators for blended pedagogies
ruth_profile-112x128 Speaker:

Ruth Crawford, Principal Lecturer, Whitireia New Zealand

Ruth has been developing and facilitating blended online and fully online courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels since 2007. Ruth has also mentored and guided peers and staff with their online development.

Whitireia Logo
11:35 – 12:20 Challenges in Data Mining and the Need to Have a Holistic Approach to Data Analysis
  • Opportunities in collecting and analyzing data to enhance student achievement
  • Challenges in collecting data – what may be missing?
  • The great challenge in the second decade of 21st century: student engagement and student wellbeing – what data do we need?
Jacques-112x128 Speaker:

Jacques van der Meer, Associate Dean (Academic & Research), University of Otago

Jacques van der Meer (PhD) is the Associate Dean (Academic & Research) at the University of Otago College of Education (New Zealand). He has also worked in Student Learning Development (part of the Higher Education Development Centre).

Jacques’ research areas are related to student transition and induction into higher education, student engagement, peer-learning and student leadership. He also has an interest in student retention and achievement, especially of under-represented minorities.

12:20 – 13:30 Lunch and Networking
13:30 – 14:15 Embedding Flexible and Blended Learning at Unitec…..Is Like Learning How to Fly a Yacht
  • A case study focused on enabling learners to prepare for less certain future of work
  • An overview of the progress and the lessons learned to date on the journey of Unitec
  • Lessons from the journey and how Unitec forges new workforce development partnerships
Rick-112x128 Speaker:

Rick Ede, Chief Executive, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Rick Ede has been the Chief Executive of Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand since April 2008.  He holds a Masters degree and a Doctorate in chemistry from the University of Waikato, and is an alumnus of London Business School.

Dr Ede is passionate about the transformative power of education. He has been instrumental in helping turn Unitec into an institution that delivers world-class professional and applied education and training built on a foundation of work-integrated learning. He is committed to fostering better outcomes for public and private enterprise by building innovative partnerships and joint ventures, and on extending Unitec’s already strong international reach.

He has a worked in academia, industrially-focused R&D, has provided consultancy services to industry and educational organisations in Asia and North America, and has a strong track record in business development, innovation, and commercialization. He is a Director of Mindlab by Unitec, a Director of Tech Futures Lab,  and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Unitec Logo
14:15 – 15:00 Case Study: Flipped Teaching and Flexible Learning in Tertiary Context
  • Demystify the process of flipping a class and how successfully flipped class effectively support learning
  • Grounded case study on undergraduate engineering course with high student enrolment and strong lab-based component
  • Illustrate the impact of flipping the courses on teaching, learning and assessment
  • Suggest implications for policy and practice for tertiary educators 




Elaine Khoo, Senior Research Fellow; Faculty of Education, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Education Research (WMIER); University of Waikato

Dr Elaine Khoo is a senior research fellow at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER) at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Elaine’s research interests include information and communication technology (ICT) and digital pedagogies, online learning communities, participatory learning cultures and collaborative research contexts. She has published works on the flipped classroom, online learning, mobile learning, and ICT use across early childhood, compulsory schooling sector and tertiary levels. Elaine together with Curt Bonk co-authored the free online book Adding Some TEC-VARIETY to enhance online learner engagement and motivation which has been downloaded over 90,000 times in English and Chinese worldwide. Another book Software Literacy will be released by Springer in December 2017.

Mira Peter, Senior Research Fellow, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Education Research (WMIER); University of Waikato

Dr Mira Peter is a senior research fellow at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER) at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Mira has over 30 years experience as a researcher focusing on learning, literacy and reading process, scientific experimental design, and statistical data analysis. For a number of years Mira has been exploring the learning and teaching of threshold concepts (TCs) across academic disciplines and the affordances of flipped class at tertiary level. She regularly oversees research projects as a researcher and statistical adviser and provides regular data literacy workshops in the Faculty of Education.

15:00 – 15:15 Afternoon Refreshment & Networking
15:15 – 16:00 Utilizing Mobile Applications in Teaching and Research
  • Integrating mobile device usage in education to enhance and extend learning
  • The effectiveness of smart devices in providing new forms of learning
  • Mobile/smart devices – distraction or classroom aid?
David-112x128 Speaker:

David Parsons, National Postgraduate Director, The Mind Lab by Unitec

David Parsons is a leading international researcher in learning with mobile technologies. He is the founding editor in chief of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning and has edited five books in this area of research. He is a member of the International Association for Mobile Learning and a committee member of of Australia New Zealand Mobile Learning (a special interest group of ASCILITE). In his current role he is responsible for an extensive national postgraduate programme to upskill teachers in the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning.

The Mind Lab
16:00 – 17:00 Panel Discussion: How to Improve Student Agency through Blended Learning in Multicultural context
  • What are the impacts of cultural diversity on students’ experience with digital learning?
  • What are the differences in the attitude of New Zealand European, Maori, and Pacific Islander students toward digital learning?
  • How to improve students’ interaction in blended learning space?
  • How can blended learning improve learning outcomes of students of different cultures?
Catherine-Snelling-LI-112x128ruth_profile-112x128Jacques-112x128 Panelists:

Catherine Snelling, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide

Ruth Crawford, Principal Lecturer, Whitireia New Zealand

Jacques van der Meer, Associate Dean (Academic & Research), University of Otago

AdelaideWhitireia LogoUOT_Logo WP
17:00 Closing Remarks by Conference Chairman


Time Agenda
09:00 – 13:00 Workshop: Improving Student Learning with Effective Analytics

Learning interactions have shifted from traditional face-to-face to blended learning in the online space, making it easier for educators to collect and gain insights from student learning and performance data. By making use of the available data, teachers can monitor student presence, participation and knowledge development. In this workshop, participants can gain insights into:

  • The current and projected future role of learning analytics in the higher education context
  • Practical strategies and goals for learning analytics in teaching
  • Ways to use analytics data to promote effective learning outcomes
  • How to build data collection milestones into courses
  • Assessing and analyzing teaching and learning activities to identify organizational issues and solutions
  • Pitfalls to avoid when using learning analytics data
cathy-112x128 Speaker:

Cathy Gunn, Associate Professor, CLeaR, University of Auckland

Cathy Gunn is an Associate Professor of Learning Technology at CLeaR (Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education) at the University of Auckland. CLeaR provides leadership and promotes innovation in teaching and learning across eight faculties in New Zealand’s largest research university. Cathy’s leadership roles at the Centre include Head of eLearning, Deputy Director, Acting Director and Principal Researcher. She is an active researcher and has produced more than 130 scholarly publications over 25 years in the higher education sector. Cathy is an active contributor to international professional societies and networks, a former President and life member of Ascilite, Australasia’s learning technology professional network.

UoA Logo
14:30 – 16:30 The Mind Lab by Unitec

The Mind Lab by Unitec is an unique education collaboration between a public education provider and a specialist education lab dedicated to the enhancement of digital literacy capability and the implementation of contemporary practice in the teaching profession. Together, The Mind Lab and Unitec are redefining professional development for teachers through the offering of an applied, progressive and blended postgraduate qualification specializing in digital and collaborative learning.  This partnership is the first of its kind in New Zealand, blending highly practical postgraduate knowledge taught in The Mind Lab’s purpose built creative learning environment together with classroom-based applied practice and online learning.

  1. Tour of the lab – 15 minutes
  2. Intro to the Mind Lab (Video/talk) – 15 minutes
  3. Collaborative team activities: build a hovercraft / create a digital musical instrument with Makey Makey – one hour
  4. Kahoot! wrap up quiz – 30 minutes