The ecelearn story
ecelearn was originally developed as a custom in-house online learning solution for New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC), a private training institution that provides postgraduate and undergraduate qualifications in early childhood education.
In 2005, NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox, and long-time collaborator Dr Chip Donohue an international expert in the field of distance learning and online education began researching online learning options for students. Instead of using an off-the-shelf online learning product, they opted to develop a more user-friendly solution that could meet the needs of their predominantly ‘high touch, low tech’ learners, many of whom had limited experience using computers and the internet.
With initial support from the New Zealand government’s Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), NZTC brought together an in-house IT team and began development. The resulting system was named ‘ecelearn’ – to reflect its roots in the early childhood education (ECE) sector.
To ensure ecelearn was developed in accordance with national and international eLearning best practice, NZTC considered the New Zealand eLearning guidelines (www.elg.ac.nz). The eLearning guidelines have continued to be applied at each step of development, review and update processes and remain at the centre of all development decisions.
In 2007 and 2008, NZTC carried out two 6-month ‘Web Enhanced Distance Learning (WEDL)’ pilot studies to test the ecelearn online environment with current lecturers and students. Research outputs and recommendations from these studies further informed the ongoing development of ecelearn.
In May 2009, NZTC formally launched ecelearn in New Zealand with the name ‘NZTC Online’. NZTC Online was an instant success at NZTC, with well over half of its 1500 students choosing online course delivery within just over a year of the launch.
Following the success of the pilot studies and launch of NZTC Online, NZTC identified the potential for ecelearn to be applied in other business environments. ecelearn is now a division within NZTC with a dedicated development and commercialisation team.
Commercial development of ecelearn has been guided by the ‘Learning Management Systems 2009: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles’ report by Bersin & Associates. This report provided comprehensive information about the current market requirements of learning management systems (such as customisation and scalable hosting), and has enabled further development of ecelearn to meet these requirements.
Meet the team - experienced, reliable leadership
Selena currently leads New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC), NZTC India and NZTC Global offering qualifications for early childhood educators. She is Chief Executive of New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) and Director of New Zealand Tertiary College India (NZTC India).
Selena has led NZTC through the development of ecelearn, and its customisation for use at NZTC and NZTC India as ‘NZTC Online’ and more recently the establishment of NZTC Global. She has brought her considerable distance learning and online learning experience to ecelearn.
Selena has represented New Zealand private training establishments, and the NZ early childhood sector, on the Tertiary eLearning Reference Group (TeLRG) convened by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. She has also been involved in numerous research projects on online education, has published widely, and has presented internationally in the areas of teacher education, educational leadership, and online teaching and learning.
Selena is Vice President of the World Forum Foundation Board, and she supports a global team of early childhood national representatives as the International Relations Coordinator for the World Forum on Early Care and Education.
Chip brings considerable experience in online teaching, learning and instructional design to ecelearn. Chip holds a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education and Instructional Technology. He is the Director of Distance Learning at Erikson Institute in Chicago and in this role he is developing an online Master's degree for experienced early childhood teachers, as well as online certificate and professional development programmes.
For over 20 years Chip has been a leader in the innovative use of technology and distance-learning methods to increase access, enhance learning, and improve teaching practices. He has developed an international reputation as a result of his numerous publications, keynotes, and feature presentations around the world, as well as faculty development workshops on effective practices for teaching and learning online. His 10+ years of teaching online, and in blended learning formats, have informed his contributions to the design and development of ecelearn.
James has more than 20 years experience in educational recruitment, marketing and international business development. He is actively involved in leading the commercial development of ecelearn and responsible for ensuring that the system meets international market requirements and best practice for learning management systems, as well as complying with all relevant international standards.
IT Operations Manager
Brent brings to ecelearn over 20 years of teaching experience, along with a strong technology background in both education and business. His passion for technology in education has meant that he has helped drive the use of ecelearn in the wider marketplace.
Along with the development/testing team, Brent manages the staff that provide support to ecelearn clients, from the initial contact right through to ongoing support once the LMS is deployed.