Learning Management System Adoption by Academics

A Perspective Following the Forced Lockdown of NZ Universities due to COVID-19 in 2020


  • Stephen Brown Auckland University of Technology
  • Lyn Murphy Auckland University of Technology
  • Kay Hammond Auckland University of Technology




online learning, e-learning, flexible delivery


An academic’s adoption of online learning during the 2020 lockdown required new levels of engagement with the learning management system (LMS). In this position piece, we suggest that academics are pivotal to online course development, and they should determine alternative means of instruction and assessment during any transition to online learning. We present two models of an academic’s interactions with the LMS and propose that the academic’s engagement with the LMS, and their willingness to be in partnership with experts in e-learning, should remain central to their university’s strategic development. The 2020 lockdown presented both challenges and opportunities to academics regarding their engagement with the LMS and online teaching—we suggest that the role of the academic is critical for successful implementation of the post-pandemic online ambitions of New Zealand universities.

Author Biographies

Stephen Brown, Auckland University of Technology

Stephen James Brown graduated in 1993 with a BSc (Hons, class 1), and completed a PhD in 1997 from the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He has held lectureships at The University of London, DeMontfort University (UK), Massey University (NZ), and Federation University (AUS).  Dr Brown’s research interests are in student engagement and attitude to the STEM subjects, and the study of chemistry at undergraduate level. Dr Brown collaborates internationally with colleagues in Australasia, particularly at Central Queensland University, Australia, and The University of The South Pacific, Fiji.

Lyn Murphy, Auckland University of Technology

Lyn Murphy is a senior lecturer in health management at Auckland University of Technology. She has a diverse academic background in education, health, psychology, management, and accounting, and has more than 30 years’ teaching experience from business and health faculties. Lyn has served on several New Zealand boards, including local bodies, and has held government directorships. Her primary area of research is in obtaining value in health.

Kay Hammond, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Kay Hammond completed a PhD in Psychology from the University of Auckland, and an MSc in TESOL from Aston University. She has taught at universities in New Zealand and Japan. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, with a particular interest in student and staff wellbeing. She recently won an excellence award for online team teaching from Auckland University of Technology.