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. 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.
Research at Open Polytechnic
Most of our research is conducted by our learning delivery academic staff. We support research by academic staff through the 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.
The Research Office oversees all research matters at the Open Polytechnic, and is headed by a Research Manager. The Research Office coordinates:
- funding applications (external and internal)
- research contracts, budgeting and MOUs
- relationships with external research organisations
- PBRF (2006, 2012, 2018)
- research development and training for academic staff
- research reporting.
For more information contact the Research Office.
The Ethics Committee reports directly to the Academic Board. It helps to ensure 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.
It also ensures that research involving Māori gives due consideration to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Ethics Committee is responsible for approving any research that includes use of staff or learners of the Open Polytechnic and the use of unpublished Open Polytechnic learner data for research.
For more information about the Ethics Committee or to apply to use Open Polytechnic staff or learner and/or use of unpublished Open Polytechnic learner data for research contact the Executive Secretary via the Research Office.
The Research Committee reports to the Academic Board. It is responsible for fostering a culture of research within Open Polytechnic to support teaching and learning. It is chaired by the Executive Director Learning Delivery. It also:
- oversees research strategy
- gives final approval for research projects
- allocates internal resources for research.
For more information, contact the Executive Secretary via the Research Office.
Open Polytechnic's Research Repository is overseen by our 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, book chapters, theses, and other forms of written research from Open Polytechnic academic staff.
Open Polytechnic ODFL e-Book
This eBook, by Jonathan Barrett, includes a broad range of discussions and analyses of open and distance learning (ODL) issues written by Open Polytechnic staff. The eBook is made freely available to other researchers under a creative commons licence.
Current Research Projects
Title - Enhancing the readiness to practise (enhanceR2P) of newly qualified social workers
Lead - Neil Ballantyne (Senior Lecturer - Social Work)
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 (Staff Member - Construction)
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.