Literacy learning in e-learning contexts: Mining the New Zealand action research evidence

Funding year: 
1 year
Core Education
Cross sector
Project start date: 
January 2011
Project end date: 
June 2012
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Vince Ham
Research team members: 
Ann Hatherly (CORE Education), Sue McDowall (NZCER), Ronnie Davey (University of Canterbury)
Research partners: 
Claire Amos (Epsom Girls’ Grammar); Chris Bradbeer (Stonefields Primary School); Dorothy Burt (Point England School); Ronnie Davey (University of Canterbury); Vince Ham (CORE Education); Ann Hatherly (CORE Education); Marion Lumley (Otaki College); Carol Marks (Selwyn Kindergarten); Sue McDowall (NZCER); Margie Meleisea and Lynne Paul (Nayland Kindergarten); Mere Ngapo (Te Rau Oriwa); Helen Rennie-Younger (Sunnybrae Primary School).

Project Description

Academic researchers and teachers from early childhood education (ECE) centres, primary schools, and secondary schools worked collaboratively to re-examine data from archived action research inquiries in order to highlight how literacy learning can take place in e-learning contexts.


The aims of the project were to:

  • collectively theorise some of the literacy e-learning connections and effective teaching processes that are operating in NZ schools and early childhood centres.
  • help fill the gaps in the current research literature on e-learning as contexts for literacy learning

For the purposes of the project, the teachers and researchers have used Luke and Freebody's Four Resources Model as a framework for literacy analysis. This model suggests that to be considered literate in an increasingly globalised and technological world, students need to learn how to:

  • decode and encode texts (audio, gestural, spacial, visual and multimodal, and printed texts)
  • make meaning from and compose texts
  • use texts for particular purposes, and in particular social and cultural contexts
  • critique, evaluate, and transform texts.

Find out more about the Four Resources Model for Literacy at:

The individual teacher researchers' projects and analysis can be viewed at



Project Contact

Dr Vince Ham  (former Director Research, CORE Education)




Sue McDowell, NZCER