Meet the research team

Dr. Dianne Forbes (University of Waikato)
Dr. Dilani Gedera (Auckland University of Technology)

Dr. Maggie Hartnett (Massey University)
Ms. Ashwini Datt (University of Auckland)

Assoc. Prof. Cheryl Brown (University of Canterbury)

We are experienced online teachers and researchers, with longstanding interest in student experience, and in continual improvement of tertiary pedagogy online to better meet student needs. We share an interest in student engagement and innovative, student-centred pedagogies. Our research programmes are concerned with issues of digital literacy and access. Fundamentally, we regard student voice as an essential contribution. Several of us are parents of younger students at both school and university who have had to rapidly transition to online learning from home during lockdown. Therefore, we feel an affinity with young students as we have consulted with our own teenagers to shape programmes of study that work for them. As parents, we also identify with the daily struggles of mature students juggling family life with online study. One of us is a current doctoral candidate, juggling study with paid work in academia.

Our team also includes doctoral students who ably assist and inform our research project.

Zahra Mohamed (The University of Waikato)
Zahra has worked in the education sector for more than two decades. She has taught at primary, middle school, and secondary before working as a teacher educator in the Maldives. Her research interest includes the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning, pedagogical practices, and teacher education.

Ciara Blanca Alfonso (University of Canterbury)
Ciara is a registered teacher in New Zealand and has been teaching overseas for twelve years. Her research interests include the use of digital technology in teaching and learning, pedagogies and education for sustainability. As an educator, she is constantly discovering different ways to engage students in authentic learning with the use of digital technology.

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