Academic research

Research at Open Polytechnic

Research is an integral part of the teaching and learning provided by Open Polytechnic.

In general, our research is applied and/or focussed on real-world problems and underpins our degree programmes, but we also investigate open and distance learning (ODL) paradigms to support our delivery and the ODL discipline. We have collaborative research relationships with other polytechnics as well as industry, stakeholders, universities and professional organisations.

Most of our research is conducted by academic staff within the five schools. The Open Polytechnic supports research by academic staff through provision of contestable internal funding opportunities, and a dedicated Research Office. Staff also regularly apply for external funding support, and have been awarded a number of grants (e.g., Ako Aotearoa).

In 2011, the Open Polytechnic published the ODL eBook: Open Learning for an Open World: Reflections on Open and Distance Learning and Teaching at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. This book includes a broad range of discussions and analyses of ODL issues written by Open Polytechnic staff. The eBook is made freely available to other researchers under a creative commons licence.

Research Office

The Research Office oversees all research matters at the Open Polytechnic, and is headed by a Research Manager. Amongst other things, the Research Office coordinates:

• Funding applications (external and internal);
• Research contracts, budgeting and MOUs;
• Relationships with external research organisations;
• PBRF (2006, 2012);
• Research development and training for academic staff;
• Research reporting.

For more information contact the Research Office.

Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee reports directly to the Academic Board and is charged with ensuring that research conducted by Open Polytechnic staff meets agreed ethical guidelines where human or animal subjects are used and where the over-riding ethic is to do no harm. The committee also ensures that research involving Māori gives due consideration to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Finally, the Ethics Committee is responsible for approving any research that includes use of staff or students of the Open Polytechnic and/or use of unpublished Open Polytechnic student data for research. For more information about the Ethics Committee and/or to apply for use of staff or students of the Open Polytechnic and/or use of unpublished Open Polytechnic student data for research contact the Executive Secretary.

Research Committee

The Research Committee reports to the Academic Board and is responsible for fostering a culture of research within Open Polytechnic in support of teaching and learning. It is chaired by the Executive Director Faculty, oversees research strategy, gives final approval for research projects and allocates internal resources for research. For more information, contact the Executive Secretary.

Research Repository

Open Polytechnic's Research Repository is overseen by the Library and Learning Centre. The repository is an institutional-based digital repository for publications and other research outputs and covers a wide range of subjects and disciplines. Where permitted, it holds the full text of peer-reviewed published articles and conference papers, as well as book chapters, theses, and other forms of written research from Open Polytechnic academic staff.

Annual Research Reports

We publish our research and provide profiles of our leading researchers annually. To download our latest Research report click the link below.

2015 Research Report (PDF 616KB, opens in new window)

Current Research Projects

Title Enhancing the readiness to practise (enhanceR2P) of newly qualified social workers
Lead Neil Ballantyne (School of School of Health & Social Sciences)
Funder(s) Ako Aotearoa
Dates January 2016 – December 2018

EnhanceR2P is a collaborative, sector-wide project focused on developing a professional capabilities framework to clarify the capabilities of newly qualified social workers and social workers at experienced and advanced levels of practice. The project involves a collaborative research team lead by Neil Ballantyne and involving academics from Massey University, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, and University of Otago. The Social Workers Registration Board have endorsed this project and are represented on the project’s advisory group.

Title How house contents affect the life cycle energy of a house
Lead Iman Khajehzadeh (School of Science, Technology & Engineering)
Funder(s) Open Polytechnic Research Growth Fund
Dates February 2017-February 2018

Residential buildings, and the domestic items held within them, are one of the most significant contributors to global energy use. How long people keep their furniture, appliances and tools varies among countries and households (including household size). In collaboration with Prof. Brenda Vale of Victoria University of Wellington, this study builds on their previous research, to explore the real useful life of furniture and appliances within New Zealand houses. All Life Cycle Assessment studies rely on estimations of the useful life of domestic items, and our study will provide the first investigation of the life of furniture and appliances in New Zealand homes.

Open Polytechnic ODL eBook

This eBook includes a broad range of discussions and analyses of open and distance learning (ODL) issues written by Open Polytechnic staff.
Read more »