Dr Steve Leichtweis

George Mason University, BSc (1990), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, MSc (1993) & PhD (2002)


I have been the Head of the eLearning Group at the Centre for Learning And Research in Higher Education (CLeaR) since the beginning of 2016. Prior to this I was the Manager of the Centre for the Creative Application of Technology in Education (CreATE) at the Faculty of Education & Social Work. My background includes almost 15 years working in University IT and a decade before that as an academic researcher in cardiovascular disease. My interests involve the use of digital technology to enhance learning and teaching, learning analytics & learning environments.

Research | Current


Student Engagement & Achievement in Large Lecture Settings (SEALLS) project. This action research programme is a collaboration between a multi-disciplinary group at the Faculty of Education & Social Work to explore the opportunities and synergies of coordinating blended learning design, technology integration, learning analytics and a First Year Experience studetn mentoring programme within a compulsory first year course in the Bachelor of Education programme at the University of Auckland, NZ. The intention is to deepen student engagement, more fully support students from traditionally underserved groups, improve student retention while exploring the institutional processes and infrastructure required to achieve these goals.

Student Relationship Engagement System (SRES). This project is a multi-institution effort to develop an open-source learning analytics tool that support a bottom-up approach to learning analytics. The intention is for the tool to be imminently useful, applicable, and usable by teachers on the ground working with students. The project's philosophy is that learning analytics should be about empowering teachers and students with data, and that good analytics needs to focus on humans, hence the name 'Student Relationship Engagement System.' Contributors to this project include the Universities of Sydney, Otago & Auckland and software development is supported in part by an Ako Aotearoa Nationally Funded Project (https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/using-learning-analytics).

Learners and mobile devices (#NPF14LMD):
 A framework for enhanced learning and institutional change (2104-2016). This was a collaborative network of practice, supported by a Ako Aotearoa National Project Funda, cross six tertiary insitutions where some 37 practitioners developed case studies of local practice that informed the engagement with the project questions and the development of the key deliverable. Please visit this URL for more information -  https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/learner-mobile-devices



I lead a team of 6 permanent, highly qualified & creative Learning Designers focused on building digital technology and eLearning capacity within the Faculty. In addition, we contract additional staff to support special projects as needed.

Areas of expertise

Industry Certifications:

Change Management, ProSci (United States), Nov 2015

PRINCE2 Foundation, APMG International, Nov 2014

ITIL v3 Foundation, APM Group, Nov 2010

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Blumenstein, M., McDonald, J., Moskal, A., Liu, D., & Leichtweis, S. (2016). Driving student engagement: SRES, two versions one purpose. Paper presented at Australasian Learning Analytics Summer Institute (ALASI), Adelaide, Australia. 27 November - 27 November 2016. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marion Blumenstein
  • McDonald, J., Liu, D., Moskal, A., Zeng, R., Blumenstein, M., Gunn, C., ... Pardo, A. (2016). Cross-institutional collaboration to support student engagement: SRES version 2. Conference Proceedings 33rd International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational, Technologies in Tertiary Education, 397-405. Adelaide, Australia. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marion Blumenstein, Cathy Gunn
  • Bigwood, K., Bruce, T., Heap, R., Leichtweis, S., Moyle, A., & Neveldsen, P. (2015). From Fantasy to Reality: Six Critical Success Factors for Integrating Mobile Devices in Higher Education. Paper presented at TERNZ 2015, AUT, Auckland, NZ. 25 November - 27 November 2015. From Fantasy to Reality: Six Critical Success Factors for Integrating Mobile Devices in Higher Education. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rena Heap, Toni Bruce, Paul Neveldsen
  • Leichtweis, S. B., Ellis, D., Locke, K., Rata, N., Willimott, M., Rawlinson, C., & Stephens, J. (2015). Integrating learning analytics and peer mentoring in first year undergraduate courses. Paper presented at International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Melbourne, Australia. 27 October - 30 October 2015. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27400
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Damon Ellis, Kirsten Locke, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder, Michael Willimott, Catherine Rawlinson
  • Stephens, J., Locke, K., Ellis, D., Leichtweis, S. B., Rata, N., Rawlinson, C., & Willimot, M. (2015). Promoting academic engagement and achievement among first year students in large lecture settings. Paper presented at International Study Association of Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), Auckland, NZ. 13 July - 17 July 2015. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27398
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kirsten Locke, Damon Ellis, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder, Catherine Rawlinson, Michael Willimott
  • Stephens, J. M., Leichtweis, Ellis, Locke, Rata, Rawlinson, & Willimott (2014). Promoting student engagement and achievement in large lecture settings through blended delivery, learning analytics and peer mentoring. Paper presented at TERNZ 2014 Conference, Auckland, New Zealand. 26 November - 28 November 2014. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Damon Ellis, Kirsten Locke, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder, Catherine Rawlinson, Michael Willimott
  • Frielick, S., O'Carroll A, Cochrane, T., Narayan, V., Mac Callum, K., Moyle, A., ... Mann, S. (2014). Learners and Mobile Devices: Sharing practice from a national project. Paper presented at Ascilite 2014, Dunedin, New Zealand. 23 November - 26 November 2014. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rena Heap
  • Frielick, S., Leichtweis, S., MacCallum, K., & Moyle, A. (2014). #NPF14LMD: Learners and mobile devices. Paper presented at 4th Mobile Creativity & Mobile Innovation Symposium (MINA), Auckland, NZ. 20 November - 21 November 2014. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary location

Level 4, Room 404
New Zealand

Social links

Web links