LearnWell: new streamlined resources for today's learner

LearnWell: new streamlined resources for today's learner

Sally Mangai

Part of our vision at LearnWell is to have the right resource in the right hands at the right time.  It's a lofty aim but one we are working very hard towards!

What this looks like is a suite of new resources that we believe will meet the needs of Kiwi learners everywhere.  Though we currently offer more than 300 excellent digital and print resources, new resources in development will take on a new direction.

In conjunction with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2022, we are launching our very first brand new print and digital learning guide: 90843 Internal Operations of a Large Business. We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved with this resource, and the way Mātauranga Māori is woven into its fabric.  Read on to find out more about why.

Erin Dolden is the Learning Design Lead/Kaihoahoa Ako Matua here at LearnWell.  Alongside others in the team, she played an integral role in seeing this new resource come to be published.  We've asked her a few questions about the resource.
Erin, can you tell us what role you played in the development of  90843 Internal Operations of a Large Business?

As the Learning Design Lead at LearnWell, my focus is on the learning journey through and experience of our products. I had the opportunity to lead a team of specialists in the design of 90843 Internal Operations of a Large Business. For me, a great learning resource does not just serve up information. The real value and the challenge of good learning design is combining knowledge with a careful progression of activities to take the student from where they are when they begin the journey to mastering the skills to confidently do something new.

Why has LearnWell decided to take the development of resources in a new direction?

Before we launched as LearnWell, we had a suite of great print and digital products but how these were developed differed. This meant that, even if they were dealing with the same subject or standard, their content and design were quite distinct from each other. We began to wonder what it might look like and what value we could give our customers if the print and digital products matched and could be used interchangeably. Over time, we worked with a range of teachers and students who had previous experience with our products. We gathered their feedback and turned much of their wish list into the foundations of our learning guide product design.

What were you focussing on in developing this first new learning guide?

There were several technical and learning design challenges to work through as we developed the very first digital and print-aligned learning guide. The two modes of delivery (print and digital) are very different and we wanted to capitalise on the strengths of both. The book is not just a printout of what’s online and the digital course is not just an e-book, it’s an interactive experience. Our focus, no matter whether the learner jumped online or picked up the book, was to make the learning experience a good one. Both products needed to stand alone and function independently of each other but also be able to be used interchangeably if that’s what the user wanted to do. Also, we wanted to invite the best of the digital world into print so that students could reach beyond the book and access videos and the websites of real businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand.  As a result, we have incorporated QR codes into the resource.

What was the major highlight for you in working on this project?

The highlight of this project was weaving together the combined expertise of the team – in teaching and subject knowledge, te reo and tikanga Māori, learning and graphic design and editing.

How does this resource differ from the ESA Publications workbooks (like AMEs) that many Kiwis are familiar with?

The most obvious difference is the ability to choose to study the same content but with a print or digital learning experience.

In what ways can the resource be used? Why would a teacher or parent want to choose this resource over others on the market? 

Our resource gives teachers and students flexibility. Learning does not have to happen with everyone in the same space or at the same time. Teachers can blend the use of print, digital and face to face learning to suit the needs of their students. With our learning guides, students can explore the content, practise their skills and spend that valuable face time with their teacher digging deeper into ideas and following their own areas of interest. We strived to make the resource stand on its own so that, if the student didn’t have immediate access to a teacher, they’d still have a good learning experience.

What role does Mātauranga Māori play in the resource?

This particular achievement standard includes Māori business concepts as a key part of its assessment and the concepts regularly feature in exam questions. We aimed to integrate Māori business concepts and examples of Māori businesses throughout the resource to set students up for success both in assessment and in the contemporary business landscape of this country that they will one day lead.

Can you describe what LearnWell intends to do with similar resources in the future?

Early feedback on the resource has been overwhelmingly positive so we’re gearing up to develop more aligned digital and print learning guides. We’ve got some great junior secondary resources we’ll be working on and we can’t wait to get rolling with the new NCEA Level 1 standard resources.

You’ve mentioned working with brilliant subject matter expert, Jodie Kennedy.  What was Jodie’s role in the process? 

As a business studies teacher and subject expert, Jodie was our connection for how the subject is currently being delivered in secondary schools. She was a key collaborator when it came to curating the content and was the arbiter of the content and messaging that made it into our resource.

Read more from Jodie here.


Purchase 90843 Internal Operations of a Large Business in print here.

Teachers, purchase the resource in digital format here.

Students, purchase the resource in digital format here.

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