Providers and partners

Summary of consultation responses

Many respondents provided feedback on the updated definition and the impact the definition may have on learning and teaching, programme approval, and compliance. 

Approximately 72 per cent of respondents comprising 40 tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and five individuals, supported the updated definition. One respondent said that it was ‘very clear and simple, particularly the emphasis on planned.’ Another observed that they supported the definition ‘as it “future proofs” the meaning of learning hours to encompass new technology and new opportunities…’

Self-directed learning

A few respondents said that clarifying the definition would be helpful. For example, what is “planned learning”? Who plans? To what extent? What would be the impact on self-directed learning? Is this still a part of a TEO's programme delivery and student learning?

One respondent said that the notion that all learning is planned implies that learning is defined ahead of time and that the only learning that occurs is learning that is predicted and planned by the TEO. Another respondent cautioned against over prescribing the content of learning ‘as it goes against the learning process…’

This was a concern particularly for programmes at the higher levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, where students are expected to take greater ownership of their learning.

However, the flexibility enabled by the updated definition was also noted, e.g. through further provision of blended learning. One respondent said they would be better able to include workplace learning, while another noted they could further include and illustrate practical learning experiences in an operational environment.    

Compliance requirements

The updated definition will require TEOs to detail the activities that comprise self-directed learning and to keep evidence of it.

A few TEOs asked if this would lead to additional compliance requirements, while others said they already provided what was needed and did not anticipate that any further information would be required.

One respondent expressed concern that ‘expectations around the level of detail and direction provided could increase over time. We believe that details of the expected learning and hours should be kept at a high level.’

Other respondents also queried if additional compliance requirements would follow from the updated definition. One TEO observed that NZQA guidance is needed ‘for the implementation of this change and the evidence that is required to be kept. This needs to be consistent with the guidance to TEC auditors and NZQA evaluators…’

Programme approval and programme delivery

More than half of respondents said that the list of learning activities required for programme approval should not be too detailed because this would affect TEOs' ability to flexibly meet the needs of their learners.

One respondent said, ‘the activities outlined in the programme should be viewed as indicative… overall hours, though, should be close to the overall hours submitted.’

A few respondents said that no further information for programme approval should or would be required from the updated definition, as they already provide what is needed to meet requirements.

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