Making a "net" for the net


  • Nola Campbell University of Waikato
  • Russell Yates University of Waikato
  • Clive McGee University of Waikato


online learning, distance education, e-learning, distance learning, technology-enhanced learning, flexible learning, flexible delivery, open learning, open education, student support


The rapid development of open learning has seen a major change in the traditional tertiary student profile. Many new students have come to tertiary education with varying backgrounds that are often limited to less than three years of secondary schooling There has been a major change in the age and background profile of the New Zealand tertiary student population. Open learning has been an influential part of this change by offering the chance for tertiary study to students who not always have gained access in the past. Students whose secondary schooling was limited need strong support if they are to bridge into university study. A programme of teacher education called the Mixed Media Programme (MMP) at the University of Waikato has been delivered successfully for three years. The need to provide strong student support has been an integral part of a programme. It has contributed to a high success rate. This paper discusses the way in which support structures have been devised and implemented. It refers to the support provided by the University as an institution, support from tutors and the way in which students have been encouraged to support themselves.

Author Biographies

Nola Campbell, University of Waikato

Senior Lecturer in Information and Communication Technology at the School of Education

Russell Yates, University of Waikato

Senior Lecturer in Professional Studies and Coordinator of the Primary. Mixed Media Teacher Education Programme

Clive McGee, University of Waikato

Professor of Education and Director of the Waikato Institute for Research in Learning and Curriculum