Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

Expression of Interest: Course Writer

Library and Information Studies programme
LIS604: Cultural Competencies in the Information Environment

Are you a highly skilled and experienced professional looking for a new challenge? Is it time for a change in direction or a change in environment to further develop existing skills? Are you an academic or a researcher with knowledge that would contribute to this new course? If so, do you want to use your extensive knowledge of intercultural communication and/or the library and information service sectors to help develop our new programmes and grow the next generation of professionals?

We have begun the development of our new programmes and we are seeking course writers to help us write curriculum and assessment material. We need skilled and experienced people who have employment, training or education experience in the library and information management sectors, and excellent writing skills. In particular, we are seeking library and information management professionals to help us with the following course development LIS604 Cultural Competencies in the Information Environment.

Who we are

At the Open Polytechnic we recognise that libraries, archives and records centres, and other information organisations make a profound contribution to their communities. We understand that their future depends upon the quality of their staff at all levels. New Zealand needs a strong core of professionally qualified librarians, information managers, records managers and archivists with the skills to lead us into a vibrant future. As the main provider of undergraduate LIS education in this country, we have a unique opportunity to provide new qualifications that enable libraries and other information organisations to thrive – serving New Zealanders in the information age.

About you

For this course development, we are looking for a curriculum and assessment writer – to write new and/or revise existing course materials. Applicants for this role must provide a writing sample with their application – see Appendix 2 for further guidance on the writing task.

You will need to

  • Demonstrate a high standard of written English and a track-record in writing and / or research. (This does not have to be in library and information management).
  • You will also need to exercise excellent communication and relationship building skills to work effectively as part of the development team, and a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Due to the cross-sector content of this course, cross-sector knowledge and / or experience is also ideally required.
  • Demonstrate solid understanding of intercultural theories and paradigms. For more information about the course you will be writing, see Appendix 1 which includes the course descriptor outlining the course outcomes.
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to keep to tight timeframes

To Apply

This position is an exciting opportunity for people passionate about building the capability of our workforce to provide people-centred support in the Library and Information services and information management sectors. If you want to help develop our programmes and deliver the best possible learner experience, contact us today.

Please send an email to using the subject line Bachelor of Library and Information Studies EOI including a covering letter and a CV which should include evidence of your writing expertise / reference to publications. The covering letter should indicate that you are interested in the role of curriculum and assessment writer for LIS604 Cultural Competencies in the Information Environment, and a 250 word account describing your relevant experienceand capabilities.

As you are applying for a curriculum and assessment writer role, please complete a writing sample using the  instructions at Appendix 2.

The EoI for course LIS604 Cultural Competencies in the Information Environment is due to close by eop 04 February 2019 however if you would like an extension or would like to discuss any of this information further please contact Lorenda Kilian, ph: +64 4 5600775

Appendix 1: Course Descriptor for LIS604 Cultural Competencies in the Information Environment

Purpose: An understanding of cultural diversity and the ability to negotiate social differences are essential for effectively communicating with, and providing appropriate information services to Māori, Pasifika and other diverse communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. This course will equip students with a critical understanding of their own cultural and social position in Aotearoa New Zealand as a starting point for understanding others. Students will begin by identifying personal gaps in knowledge and practice when engaging with diverse communities. The course will then introduce students to applied intercultural communication theory, and provide them with good practice principles for understanding and working with diverse communities in information service contexts.

Requirements: Access to internet.

Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Relate intercultural communication theory to good practice principles for understanding and working with diverse communities.
  2. Explain how personal understanding of identity and culture relate to cultural competence when working in information service contexts and building relationships with Māori, Pasifika and diverse groups.
  3. Compare culturally appropriate research and investigation approaches and methods to identify the needs of Māori, Pasifika and diverse groups and communities in relation to information literacy and information services provided by information organisations.
  4. Critically evaluate interactions and services in an Aotearoa New Zealand context to identify intercultural communication issues.
  5. Develop and implement culturally appropriate services


  • Applied intercultural communication theory for managing and negotiating difference and diversity within information services and interactions
  • Understanding cultural and social difference and diversity, including personal position in relation to others
  • Understand the relationship between culture and language.
  • Overview of different groups or communities and information service professionals might encounter (including Māori, Pasifika, new migrants, youth, older people, LGBT, disabled people, and diverse ethnic and religious groups). This section will provide a critical understanding of privilege in Aotearoa New Zealand society and library and information service institutions
  • Culturally appropriate research and investigation to identify the needs of Māori, Pasifika and diverse groups and communities in relation to information, reading and services provided by information organisations
  • Implementing culturally appropriate services and working in multicultural organisations and workplaces

Summative Assessment Plan:

Assessment Activity

Assessment Type Codes

Corresponding to Learning Outcomes


Assessment 1: Self-reflection task and essay


1, 2


Assessment 2: Research project




Assessment 3: Presentation and project evaluation (e-portfolio)


1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Please note that our courses cover information management practices in a range of organisations across different information sectors.

Appendix 2: Writing task: Bachelor of Library and Information Studies prospective course writers

The section includes some guidelines on the writing. The following tasks are designed to test your capability to produce written material to support a student’s online learning. The Bachelor of Library and Information Studies courses follow John Biggs principles of  ‘Constructive alignment’. Further details about this framework are provided at the end of the writing task.

Writing for online learning:

The online resources will replace lectures and seminars in a face-to-face programme. These should be written to offer simple explanations and include illustrations that introduce student to key topics and concepts, making it easier for them to complete the required readings and the assessment tasks. Use a conversational style and include individual and group learning activities to help students reflect on key ideas to complete the assessment tasks. Group learning activities are in the form of online discussion forums.

Do not attempt to cover everything in a course. It is more important to teach the fundamentals in depth, than to attempt to teach all there is to know about a topic. If students graduate with a deep understanding of the key skills, knowledge and values, they can go on to discover what they need to know about the unusual or non-essential. The course writer’s craft lies in knowing the difference between the fundamentals and the non-essential.

The writing task

To demonstrate your capability in writing course material we would like to you do the following:

  1. For the chosen course descriptor, explore the learning outcomes
  2. Chose one learning outcome from the course descriptor
  3. Write an authentic assessment task that will test this outcome where the student is asked to write approximately 1,500 words or equivalent.  The task need not be a written task but must be achievable by an online student. There are some helpful websites on selecting methods of assessment e.g.
  4. Use your independent research to identify one required reading which may be an article, report or chapter of a text that a student might use to complete the assessment task (in the real world the student would probably have several readings to draw on but for this exercise select only one.
  5. Create a two-level outline with topics and sub-topics of a learning module based around this learning outcome and the content focus in the course descriptor. You may add brief annotations if needed. Note: this learning outcome may have a number of modules, so you are focus your writing on one aspect only.
  6. Write 800 -1,000 words maximum for a learning guide that introduces the student to some concepts or ideas that are used in the reading you selected and/or will help the student achieve the assessment task you designed. This page should be:
  1. Brief – no more than 800-1,000 words
  2. Written in an approachable explanatory style appropriate to the level of the student and for online delivery
  3. Include reference to adult learners relevant ‘real world’ industry/professional practices
  4. Include a brief reflective learning activity that the student should undertake after reading the required reading and that is designed to deepen learning in relation to a key concept or concepts. This learning activity can be an individual, reflective learning activity or linked to an online forum discussion of the topic in question.
  5. Include at least one complete formative (i.e. not assessed) activity. ,e.g. a link to an online resource followed by multiple choice question(s) or invitation for online discussion
  6. A summary highlighting the key points in the discussion
  7. A list of five relevant online and print resources which can include industry documents, relevant videos, diagrams or websites that you can refer students to for further information.

When you have completed the task please email your learning outcome, assessment task, title of the required reading, learning guide extract to:

Further information about constructive alignment:

Following the principles of constructive alignment there are three sequential steps in course design:

Firstly, establish learning outcomes that state clearly what the student must know and be able to do on successful completion of the course. These learning outcomes use active verbs that signal the level of understanding expected of the student.

Important note – there is no need to establish learning outcomes for Library and Information Studies courses, as this work has already been done. You will find the learning outcomes outlined in the approved course descriptor. Changes to the course descriptor are out of scope.

Secondly, draft assessment tasks that are aligned with the learning outcomes, and set at the correct level (that is, they correspond with the active verb used in the learning outcomes e.g. define, apply, explain etc.). Wherever possible, authentic assessment should be used, that is assessment tasks should reflect the kinds of tasks that an information professional might be expected to undertake. These tasks will vary according to the role and the sector and you can draw on your own industry experience, talk to other professionals in the industry, and look online for more ideas on authentic tasks for information professionals. Further resources on authentic tasks use the following links:

Finally, design course learning activities, including selecting a set of required readings that will help the student to succeed at the assessment tasks and writing a learning guide. Writing the learning guide is the main activity of a course writer but should only take place once the writer is clear about the first two steps and the overall design of the course (this usually occurs following a meeting with OP academic staff and learning designers in a meeting to produce a content and assessment plan).


Closing date: 
Monday, February 4, 2019
The Open Polytechnic

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