Examples of Flexible Learning

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Today, many organisations are working out new ways to offer flexibility in their learning programmes. For example, a combination of distance and face-to-face contact(blended), flexible start and end dates, the full assessment of an individual's skills and understanding prior to starting a course, smaller courses to pick and mix, individualised or negotiated assessment, open access for wider participation. In this topic we will look at a few examples and consider the methods used to achieve flexibility.

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Activity Three – Investigate and describe an example of Flexible Learning in your organisation:
  • Make a time to talk to two colleagues about how they incorporate flexibility in their teaching.
  • Who are their students?
  • How are the five dimensions of flexibility designed - time, delivery and logistics, entry requirements, content and instructional approaches and resources (Casey & Wilson, 2005)? Hint: Use the flexibility grid - Table 2.2, p. 7 & 8, and also Appendix 3, p. 41-44 in A practical guide to providing flexible learning in further and higher education by Casey, J. & Wilson, P. (2005). A practical guide to providing flexible learning in further and higher education.
  • You may wish to interview the teachers, and/or prepare a description to post to your blog. (Remember to ask permission to use any audio or other information on your blog.)
  • Use the Three-Step Reflective Framework and template as a guide when writing posts for your blog. Look for the template. (This is based on Bronwyn Hegarty's Doctorate research.)

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  • Listen to or read the article: Akyol, Z., Garrison, D.R. & Ozden, M. (2009). Online and blended communities of inquiry: Exploring the developmental and perceptional differences. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(6).