Research supports the fact that online learning can be effective for learners in a variety of ways. However, it does depend on how that online learning is designed, taught and supported. The VLN Primary use research-based practices, along with decades of experience, to provide effective learning for students.

Our research based documents:

(research that we have directly contributed to)

NZ research based documents:

(research about online learning in NZ, some written or contributed to by us - ordered chronologically)

Lindsay, L. & Whalley, R. (2020) Building Resilience in NZ schools through online learning in Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stories from the Field. Ferdig, R.E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R. & Mouza, C. (Eds). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 29, 2020 from

Whalley, R. , K. Barbour, M. (2020). Collaboration and Virtual Learning in New Zealand Rural Primary Schools: A Review of the Literature . Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 21 (2) , 102-125 . DOI: 10.17718/tojde.727983

Pratt, K. (2018). K-12 online and blended Learning in Aotearoa New Zealand. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 617-630). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press. Retrieved from 

Kwok-Wing Lai (2017) Pedagogical practices of NetNZ teachers for supporting online distance learners,Distance Education, 38:3, 321-335, DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2017.1371830

Williamson-Leadley, S., &Pratt, K. (2017). New Zealand teacher educators’ knowledge of and attitudes towards online and blended learning (pp. 724–726). Presented at the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from

Ali, A. (2017). The development of the learning exchange schools in New Zealand: An actor network theory and complexity theory analysis.Victoria University, Wellington: New Zealand. Retrieved from 

Ali, A., Yoong, P., & Sylvester, A. (2016). Barriers inhibiting the development of a self-sustaining virtual learning cluster of schools in New Zealand: The case of the C-Net cluster. In Proceedings of Australasian Conference on Information Systems. Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. Retrieved from

Ali, A., Yoong, P., & Sylvester, A. (2016). The development of a virtual learning cluster in Rural New Zealand secondary schools: A case study. In T.-P. Liang & S.-Y. Hung (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. Retrieved from

Barbour, M., Davis, N., & Wenmoth, D. (2016). Primary and secondary virtual learning in New Zealand: Examining the process of achieving maturity. International Journal on E-Learning, 15(1), 27-45.

Ali, A. (2013). The development of the Virtual Learning Network in New Zealand: An actor network theory analysis. In Proceedings of New Zealand Information Systems Doctoral Conference. Auckland: Professors and Heads of Information Systems, New Zealand. Retrieved from

Barbour, M., & Bennett, C. (2013). The FarNet journey: Effective teaching strategies for engaging Mãori students on the Virtual Learning Network. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 17(1), 12-23. Retrieved from

Barbour, Michael K. & Wenmoth, D. (2013) Virtual Learning as an Impetus for Educational Change: Charting a Way Forward for Learning in New Zealand. CORE Education Research Report. Christchurch, New Zealand: CORE Education, 2013. Retrieved from

Barbour, M. K., Davis, N., & Wenmoth, D. (2013). Networked Schools in New Zealand: Examples from the Virtual Learning Network. In Proceedings of SITE 2013--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 4102–4107). New Orleans, Louisiana, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from

Pratt, K., & Pullar, K. (2013). OtagoNet: One region’s model for virtual schooling. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 17(1), 1-11. Retrieved from 

Bennett, C., & Barbour, M. (2012). The FarNet journey: Perceptions of Maori students engaged in secondary online learning. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 16(1), 83-98. Retrieved from 

Barbour, M. K. (2011). Primary and secondary e-learning: Examining the process of achieving maturity. Christchurch, New Zealand: Distance Education Association of New Zealand. Retrieved from

Powell, A., & M. K. Barbour. Tracing international differences in online learning development: An examination of government policies in New Zealand's Secondary Schools. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, 15.1 (2011): 75–89. Retrieved from

Stevens, K. M. (2011). The distribution of instructional leadership in eLearning clusters: an ecological perspective. Retrieved from

Ministry of Education. (2011). Learning communities online: A support handbook for cluster schools. Wellington: New Zealand. Retrieved from

Roberts, R. (2010). Increasing access for learners – The Virtual Learning Network.In V. Ham & D. Wenmoth (Eds.), e-Learnings: Implementing a national strategy for ICT in education, 1998-2010 (pp. 144-152). Christchurch, New Zealand: CORE Education Ltd.

Roberts, R. (2010) Teaching Under the Microscope - Trends in Online Learning, in Proceedings of ULearn10 - Research Stream. 6 - 8 October, 2010, Christchurch Convention Centre, New Zealand. N. Dabner, S. Bailey, J. Johnson, N. Davis Eds. Available

Roberts, R. (2009). Video conferencing in distance learning: A New Zealand schools’ perspective. Journal of Distance Learning, 13(1), 91–107. 

Bolstad, R., & Lin, M. (2009).Students’ experiences of learning in virtual classrooms. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Walsh-Pasco, L. (2005) From teletubbies to teleteacher: Effective practices in video conference teaching. Ministry of Education 2004 eFellow report. Retrieved from

Stevens, K. (2010). The use of media in teacher education through open and distance learning. In P. A. Danaher & A. Umar (Eds.), Teacher Education through Open and Distance Learning (pp. 93-104). Vancouver, BC: Commonwealth of Learning. Retrieved from

Stevens, K. (1996), The Technological Challenge to the Notion of Rurality in New Zealand Education - Repositioning the Small School. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 5, 93 - 102. Retrieved from

 Wenmoth, D. (1996). Learning in the distributed classroom. SET Research Information for Teachers, 2(4). 1–4