Editorial: Engaging in open, flexible, and distance learning with a new editorial team


  • Niki Davis University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab
  • Alison Fields Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
  • Maggie Hartnett Massey University


scholarly publishing, open, flexible, and distance learning, distance education, MOOC, editorial


This editorial provides insights into the processes of scholarly publishing, at a time of handover to a new editorial team, to publicise evidence of quality processes and leadership. Publishing trends are also briefly identified. The issue also publishes the first set of papers that have been further developed from the research stream of the 2014 biennial conference of The New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ). We are happy to be able to include papers that represent the wide area of open, flexible, and distance learning supported by our Aotearoa New Zealand association. We start with a paper on using learning management systems to support personalised learning in primary schools, and this is followed by papers situated in the tertiary sector on software literacy in a university’s programmes, embedded librarians in the tertiary sector, and research into social work. The final paper provides a literature review on the highly topical subject of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The editorial puts the papers into current contexts globally and within the region to inform the field worldwide.

Author Biographies

Niki Davis, University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab

Niki Davis, University of Canterbury Professor of e-Learning, is recognized internationally as a leading expert in information and communication technologies in teacher education. Sought by UNESCO, European Commission, national agencies, companies, scholarly societies and institutions for her expertise; she has over 200 publications including books and scholarly papers. Leadership positions have included Director of Iowa State University Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching in the USA and University of Exeter Telematics Centre in the UK; President of the Society of Information Technology in Teacher Education, the UK association for Information Technology in Teacher Education and DEANZ the New Zealand association for open flexible and distance learning; Chair of educational research for the International Federation of Information Processing; and Editor of academic refereed journals including Information Technology for Teacher Education; the World Yearbook of Education for 2004; and currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

Alison Fields, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Alison Fields is a senior lecturer at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand where she teaches Information and Library Studies. She also sits on the Professional Registration Board of Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA). Her research areas encompass e-learning, library services, and continuing professional development. She is currently enrolled in EdD studies at the University of Otago under supervisors Wing Lai and Keryn Pratt. Alison is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

Maggie Hartnett, Massey University

Maggie Hartnett is a lecturer in the Institute of Education at Massey University, New Zealand, where she teaches in the areas of e-learning and digital technologies. Her research interests include motivation and engagement in digital environments, teaching and learning with digital technologies, electronic portfolios, support for digital learners, digital places, and spaces of learning. Maggie is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.