An investigation into network leadership within established Australasian tertiary education associations

The focus of this research was building understanding in the areas of network leadership, appropriate communication and technology, member engagement and value for partners involved in the Network of Australasian Tertiary Associations (NATA), an OLT funded networks project ( The research procedures drew upon the perspectives of executive members (past and present) and association leaders (Presidents, Vice-Presidents or equivalent).

These include, Australasian Council on Open and Distance Education (ACODE); Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite); Council of Australian Directors of Academic Development (CADAD), Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) and Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA), Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARnet), Netspot and Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT).


Research Aims:

To develop expand understandings in order to:
  • Improve the effectiveness of communication and engagement with NATA members at large
  • Enable and support network leaders of collaborative partners to encourage collaboration and increase membership engagement
  • Review the utilisation of technologies to support best practice in network engagement
  • Foster, encourage and support further network-based collaborative initiatives

Research Questions:

  1. What network leadership strategies support good practice in leading networks to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Education Associations?   
  2. What communication strategies, technologies, and approaches support good practice to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Education Associations?  
  3. What common ground exists between organisations that could provide a basis for collaboration into the future?
  • 10 Principles for Good Practice in Network Leadership (Access here)
  • Improved understanding of network leadership and network leadership strategies
  • Improved understandings of the types and efficacy of existing communication strategies that are currently in use within HE networks
 Note: It is intended that in 2014 several articles will be published that further detail the findings of the research.

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