Idle thoughts of an idle eLearning Specialist

About Richard

The full story

Self-employed eLearning Specialist

Developing online courses and workshops for HRDNZ (Moodle Partner), NZPPA, TANZ eCampus and Aspire2/Cornerstone.

Moodle plugin developer of Simple Lesson, SimpleQuestion and ATTO Question plugins, currently running two Moodle for Developers courses for HRDNZ.

Developed Moodle themes for Geneva Healthcare and IIP (NZ).

Storyline 2 development and training for Geneva Health, Auckland, TANZ eCampus and LearningWorks, Hamilton, NZ.

Part-time remote Moodle Admin for TANZ eCampus project and others.

eLearning development and innovations for RMIT and Academic Tribe (Australia).

July 2013 – present
Director of eLearning, The Southport School, Queensland, Australia
Jan 2010 – June 2013


Installing, customizing and developing Learning@TSS (Moodle-Mahara LMS/ePortfolio system) see  Carried out server migration and upgrade to Moodle 2.

Wrote the three-year strategic plan in 2010, member IT Directions Committee.

Staff training and development, worked with “eLearning Leaders” volunteer team in 2012. 

Managing Australian Government funded ePortfolio and Professional Learning Projects last 3 years.

Working closely with the Head of Learning & Teaching on iPad pilot (2011), Year 9 rollout (2012), BYOD rollout Years 8 -12 (2013) and on improving Higher Order thinking skills by developing a pedagogical framework for using technology in the classroom. 

Assisted in planning for Staff Development via Action Research.  Used Mahara ePortfolio with staff.

Developed QA system for Moodle/Mahara skills audit to identify staff development needs.

Self-employed eLearning Consultant

July 2008 – January 2010

Running and developing Moodle courses/workshops face to face, blended and fully online.

Lecturing Java programming at Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua (part-time).

Curriculum development, training and assessment for the International Baccalaureate Organization ( Researched, piloted, designed and developed online PD courses for Computer Science teachers (2006 – 2010), later taken in-house by the IBO.

Head of ICT, Dulwich College Beijing, Beijing, China

August 2006 – July 2008

Setting up and developing the Virtual Learning Centre (Moodle LMS), chair of the ICT strategic committee.

Working with teachers to develop Moodle courses.

Teaching ICT in Key Stages 3 and 4 and staff training.

e-Learning Manager, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Auckland, New Zealand

October 2004 – April 2006

Seconded to Te Tauihu o Nga Wananga as Project Manager, Resource Centre

Designed structure, content of Resource Centre (Moodle, DSpace)

Ran many training workshops for Tertiary educators

Designing workflow for digital repository (DSpace)

October 2004 to June 2005
Following secondment:

Integrating the Resource Centre into the Wananga Development Plan.

Responsibility for management of e-Learning application (Moodle LMS).

Developing Computing Level 4 (blended) and Online Education certificate programs.

e-Learning Manager, Auckland International College, 85 Airedale Street Auckland, New Zealand

July 2003 – June 2005

Responsible for developing the new IB Computer Science course. Teaching ICT to pre-IB students for which I designed and developed an innovative project-based curriculum praised by ERO.

Designed and developed support websites for students

Specifying college e-learning platforms, admin package; development of reporting and assessment resources (Crystal Reports).

Auditing and developing staff ICT training needs.

Part-time after January 2005.

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

July 2002 – July 2003

Lecturing first and second year courses in computer programming (C++), systems architecture and digital electronics.  Led in re-developing final assessment for programming 101.

Designed and developed support websites for above courses.

Responsible for further developing the 7th form scholarship program.

Teacher i/c Lower School Computing, United World College of South East Asia, Singapore

August 1998 – June 2002

Teaching IT in Grades 5 and 8, Electronics in Grades 6 and 7, IGCSE Computing in Grades 9 and 10, IB Computer Science in Grades 11 and 12.  Outstanding external examination results.

Responsible for curriculum development of IT in Lower School and led Staff IT training sessions.

Led student expeditions to Southern Riau, Indonesia & remote villages in Northern Thailand.

Director of Computing Services, St Julian’s School, Portugal

September 1989 –July 1998

Teaching keyboard skills in Years 3 – 6, IT in Years 7 – 9, GCSE Computing in Years 10 and 11, IB Computer Science and ITGS in Grades 12 and 13.  Invited to become IB Examiner on strength of examination results.

Responsible for all computer specification and purchasing in the school.

Responsible for staff training in IT, set up the financially successful Cambridge IT adult training program.

Designed and developed the school’s networked Administration Database.

Other employment

First real job out of college was with Geophysical Services International (now defunct) 1974-1976 during which time I worked offshore on seismic survey vessels in many different parts of the world.  Singapore, Canadadian Arctic, West Africa and the North Sea among others.

This was followed by two spells of consulting on marine seismic surveys for many oil majors, again involving extensive travel.

In 1982 I moved to Portugal to join (now defunct) Atlantic Resources LDA as a geophysicist working on interpretation of seismic surveys as well as supervising extensive surveys offshore Guinea-Bissau.

After a short period of unemployment (during which time I undertook writing advertising copy, teaching English and translating reports) I joined LNETI (National Laboratory of Industrial Engineering and Technology) where I worked as a researcher for three years (1986-1989).  Published joint papers on fluidized bed combustion, mathematical modelling of coal combustion in a fluidised bed, undertook programming the models in FORTRAN 77.



  • 1974: B Sc Geology, London
  • 1978: M Sc Marine Earth Science, London
  • 1996: MA Education (Educational Management), Bath, UK
  • 2002: Post-grad certificate Online Education, USQ, Australia
  • 2015 Certificate in Designing and Facilitating E-Learning (Level 5), Open Polytechnic, NZ

Digital presence

@richardnz on Twitter. 



Author: Managing the Moodle 2.5 School available in the iBook store.