Editorial: Prizing Equity in Education and Research in the Field of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning


  • Niki Davis University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab
  • Alison Fields OPNZ
  • Maggie Hartnett Massey University




open learning, distance learning, open publishing, retention, student engagement, administration, leadership in distance education, vocational education and training, equity in e-learning


Valuing more open and equitable approaches to practice and research in the field of flexible, open, and distance learning enables the editors of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (JOFDL) to better describe the distinctive mission for the journal, which is uniquely situated in a bicultural nation where complementary approaches of indigenous cultures and western science are best braided. Three of the four research papers introduced for this issue provide answers to the DEANZ 2014 conference question of “Where is the ‘e’ in engagement?”, which referred to engagement of students from organisational and faculty perspectives. Bonk and Khoo’s (2014) recent text book on that conference topic is also celebrated in a book review. In contrast, the fourth paper identifies the possibilities for increased engagement between administrators and the staff that they lead in virtual charter schools. The editorial also describes the increasing visibility of JOFDL in collections worldwide.


Author Biographies

Niki Davis, University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab

Niki is Distinguished Professor of e-Learning and Director of the e-Learning Lab in the University of Canterbury College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to researching e-learning in teacher education and professional development, Niki teaches and researches about change with digital technologies in education and related areas of scholarship. Niki is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.


Alison Fields, OPNZ

Maggie Hartnett, Massey University

Maggie 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.