New Zealand’s eLearning guidelines revamp

New Zealand’s eLearning guidelines revamp

New Zealand’s eLearning guidelines (eLg) enter a new era this week with the launch of the updated and expanded guidelines to better support eLearning decision-making in the tertiary sector.  

The guidelines support individuals and organisations wanting to develop or enhance their online teaching and learning. The 2014 eLg also consider new technologies developed since the guidelines were first established in 2004. This is supported by the launch of a new eLg website, which provides an interactive platform for people interested in engaging with the comprehensive material, and those keen to contribute to its future development.

This initiative to update and expand the original eLg was led by New Zealand Tertiary College, and funded by Ako Aotearoa –National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. Extensive consultation with diverse groups has helped shape the eLg project from its inception, such as; the Tertiary eLearning Reference Group (TeLRG - the Ministry of Education-established panel of eLearning experts), the Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence, and advisors from varying types of institutions throughout New Zealand and internationally. 

The revamped guidelines now consider technology-supported teaching and learning from five different perspectives, with organisational leaders and quality assurance bodies joining the existing learner, teacher and manager perspectives.  

Selena Fox, Chief Executive, New Zealand Tertiary College comments “From their earliest version in 2004, the eLearning guidelines have offered critical, reflective prompts to the New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) in our technology-supported learning developments. Over many years they have served to guide and inform our online learning environment development, our teaching and learning, and have become embedded throughout our college decision making and practices.

“NZTC is honoured to have led the review and update of the eLg project to support all organisations engaged in technology-supported teaching and learning throughout New Zealand and beyond.” 

Dr Peter Coolbear, Ako Aotearoa’s director adds, “Ako Aotearoa is delighted to support New Zealand Tertiary College in this work that offers easy-to-access practical and comprehensive guidance for the development of engaging and effective on-line teaching and learning.”

“The eLg’s strength is that it offers perspectives for each of the key players involved, not least the learners themselves. It is not a series of prescriptions, but provides carefully constructed prompts to guide self-evaluation and reflective practice. The eLg is also designed to be a live resource that provides the basis for communities of practice that will continually review and refresh the resource. Congratulations to all involved.” he says.


The original eLearning guidelines were developed in 2004 in a project led by Massey University and AUT University - funded by Tertiary Education Commission. The guidelines have since been used by a wide range of tertiary institutions to inform their eLearning planning and development.  A 2011 review of these guidelines, carried out by AUT University’s Dr Andrew Higgins, indicated that while the guidelines had proved useful to initial users, they were no longer in step with the tertiary sector’s maturing use of eLearning and needed updating.

The redevelopment project has also been supported by the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary eLearning Reference Group (TeLRG) – an expert advisory group for e-learning at tertiary level in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The group contributes to key eLearning projects and advises the Ministry of Education and Ako Aotearoa on strategic related priorities. An advisory reference group, involving tertiary eLearning experts and associations have also contributed to the development of this project.




Download the complete list of eLearning guidelines and references for all perspectives.