WITT and Open Polytechnic working better, together

Posted on 5 February 2021

WITT and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand are getting off on the right foot in 2021, with a number of collaborative projects underway set to benefit learners, staff and the economic development of the region. 

The institutes are working together to develop digital materials that will extend WITT’s offering in the blended learning and online space. WITT Chief Executive John Snook said working together with Open Polytechnic is a good example of sharing best practice and expertise in the sector to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners.

“Working with Open Polytechnic will help us to ensure our learners have barrier-free access to education no matter where they are – whether that’s in Patea or Bangalore,” he said.

“We are collaborating in a number of areas that align with the future of work, the future of education, and Taranaki's Roadmap 2050. We know people need flexible, bite-sized training, particularly if they’re in the workforce or raising a family. Growing our blended and online learning capability will help to meet those needs.”

One of the projects already underway involves sharing digital course materials to support blended delivery across a number of WITT programmes including Management, Exercise, Construction and Horticulture.

Through their award-winning, digital learning platform iQualify, Open Polytechnic have assisted WITT to develop a cultural competency programme that all WITT staff will complete in 2021. The project involved using Open Polytechnic’s existing course framework and contextualising with the voices, input and stories of the Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki team.

The institutes are also developing resources so that offshore learners are able to study online while the New Zealand borders remain closed, offering more opportunities to international students.

“Even with the borders closed there’s significant demand from offshore students, so we are developing robust online learning options in response. Through this collaboration we’ll be able to continue delivering the quality New Zealand education that we’re so well known for,” John said.

Open Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig said the partnership with WITT is a great opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.

“As a specialist provider of open and distance learning, Open Polytechnic have the expertise and experience when it comes to delivering learning resources online through our iQualify learning management platform, so we are excited to collaborate with WITT in assisting them with designing digital course materials that can be used for both blended and fully online delivery models,” she said.

“Open Polytechnic value our long-standing relationship with WITT and it is fantastic to see both our organisations working side by side, sharing our resources and knowledge to benefit learners.”