Open Polytechnic wins Plain English Award for its learning materials

Posted on 28 November 2014


The Open Polytechnic is celebrating winning the Best Plain English Document award for the public sector for its Get Ahead Skills learning materials at last night’s (27th November) Plain English Awards.

The Open Polytechnic is New Zealand’s largest distance learning provider at tertiary level, and with a high percentage of mainly adult learners, is a major educator of the current workforce.

The Open Polytechnic’s entry in the Plain English awards- Get Ahead Skills: My Planning My Preparation Workbook 1 – is part of a foundation level self-development and employment skills suite of courseware.  It is designed to better prepare learners for the workforce, and increase their self-esteem and communication skills. 

The Get Ahead Skills courseware also has a specific aim of improving literacy and numeracy skills for adult learners. 

“The Open Polytechnic are experts at creating distance learning materials that suit the needs of our students, who are often studying in their own time and place, and so need clear information to help them achieve their study goals”, says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig.

“We are proud of the work we do, and are delighted to receive acknowledgment of our high standards by winning the Best Plain English Document award for the public sector.”

The language used in the Get Ahead Skills workbooks is empowering, engaging, and has been designed to meet the standards of Plain English. 

Since its introduction in 2011, over 3,500 learners have participated in Get Ahead Skills across New Zealand, with overall course completion rates of 75-85%. 

“That is an outstanding result for learners who have low literacy and numeracy skills, and who have not previously succeeded in higher education”, says Dr Seelig. 

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