Updated: May 10
Feedback from the FLANZ 2021Conference has been overwhelmingly positive, thank you. That said, there is still a lot we can do to improve.
Delegates have endorsed the blended approach to conferencing trialled at the FLANZ 2021 Conference.
Feedback from the conference survey has, overall, been very positive. That is not to say we got it right first time. There is much we can do to improve our communications and enhance the scope of the presentations.
The most encouraging feedback has been the overwhelming endorsement of the blended conference mode. The approach, which brought together five venues across three online meeting spaces, was a hit with delegates.
Feedback also indicates the MC, Greg Ward, was the special factor that brought the concept home. A key learning from this experience has been the importance of dedicated coordination and facilitation for each blended space.
A busy programme
With three concurrent streams of presentations there was enough space in the programme. There are opportunities to better arrange the presentations to align themes to streams and provide a relevant range of topics. The messaging to prospective presenters in the lead up to the conference should be precise about expected alignment with streams.
The best bits
The networking opportunities, the flexibility of access, the overall value, the keynote addresses and the facilitation in the Plenary stream have been identified as highlights of the conference.
The principal venue, Victoria University of Wellington, enabled great face to face networking and fantastic spaces to both engage with presentations and to present from. Satellite venues provided a vibrant space at key moments; for keynotes and presentations delivered from the satellite. Feedback on the satellite experience was very positive: it will remain a feature of future FLANZ conferences.
Using the conference website to provide updates to the programme and proceedings works well if the supporting communications (predominantly by email) are timely and received. Work is required to ensure all-delegate email does not get blocked by filters and is available when needed.
There is more to come
Part of the shift to a blended conference is the capture of the presentations. Work is underway to edit the stream recordings and provide a web-based environment for delegates and, over time, others, to find and engage with the FLANZ 2021 Conference presentations. We will be in touch with delegates when that space is live.
Congratulations to our Award winners
FLANZ Award 1 - Ms Kim Baxter, Science Librarian, Massey University, Dr Linda Laven & Dr Kate Hill, Master of Veterinary Medicine, Massey University
The Awards committee said this "Flexible Pathways for digital information literacy - supporting digital information literacy progression in an online Masters programme”. The reviewers thought that an outstanding feature of this project was the close collaboration between teachers and librarians to achieve a highly learner-centred outcome. The project is well-documented through the practice paper that Linda Laven and Kim Baxter will be presenting at the FLANZ conference, and it has the potential to advance good practice beyond the project itself, as the methods used are clearly described and are transferable to many other subject areas and levels."
FLANZ Award 2 - Dr Kwong Nui Sim, Auckland University of Technology & Dr Sarah Stein, Director, Distance Learning, University of Otago
“Enhancing the Roles of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in Doctoral Research Processes”. The reviewers found that the project had a solid grounding in the relevant literature and in qualitative research, and provides valuable evidence-based recommendations for practical steps which supervisors and learners can take to improve the doctoral study experience. You have been active in disseminating the project results clearly and widely through conference presentations, publications and a website, thus advancing the understanding of good practice in e-learning."
Postgraduate award - Roxanne Hawi, Postgraduate student, Massey University
‘From Gimmick to Game Changer": A Study on the Use of Smartphones to Expand Access to Higher Education in Developing Countries’.
Eva Heinrich, in support of the application said, "The conference presents Roxanne with rich opportunities to receive feedback on her work and to get insides for the next steps. The changes we all have experienced over the last year have been also felt acutely in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan countries. This makes Roxanne’s work even more relevant and any support we can provide her in furthering her research will contribute strongly to advancing education and opportunities in her home country and related regions."
A big shout out to our Sponsors
Without sponsors we would not be able to provide this event. Thank you Massey University for being the Principal Sponsor. A big thank you to our other sponsors:
Victoria University of Wellington