Open Polytechnic’s iQualify and AQA team up to provide training programmes virtually

Posted on 30 April 2020

The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA) and iQualify, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Ltd’s online learning platform, are working together to extend the reach of AQA’s workshops and training programmes.

iQualify is a next generation online learning platform which has been created with the learner in mind. Mobile responsive, it can be used on any device, offering anytime, anywhere learning opportunities.

AQA delivers workshops to assist universities in their preparation for undertaking a self-review - which is a key component of external quality assurance for universities - and training for academic auditors. Both self-review and auditor training workshops have previously been delivered in person. However, the new partnership means workshops and training programmes can be delivered both in person and online.

Emeritus Professor Sheelagh Matear, AQA Executive Director, says the online learning component will further the reach of workshops and training, including to those based internationally, and will be a valuable training tool for auditors and universities. 

“We sought out an online platform that offered active and engaging learning tools to reinforce the university workshops we deliver, while also providing an online form of auditor training that could reach all parts of New Zealand and offshore. The iQualify platform meets those needs and will add value to the work we do,” Prof Matear says.

As part of AQA’s academic audit process, a panel of external peer reviewers is appointed to review a university’s portfolio, and visits the University to meet with staff, students and other stakeholders. AQA will also be offering auditor training via the iQualify platform for individuals interested in becoming independent academic auditors. 

iQualify General Manager Shanan Holm says iQualify is increasingly being used by a wide variety of education providers, employers and organisations that want to teach and engage with people in online environments.

“While iQualify was developed to help apply Open Polytechnic's philosophy to supporting a range of online and blended learning situations, we're seeing a lot of adoption outside of the education sector. Organisations are looking for online learning solutions to train and engage staff on both an achievement and a social level,” he says.

AQA and iQualify’s partnership will see any courses created by AQA available for free.

It is expected AQA’s iQualify training programmes will be ready for launch by mid 2020.