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Examples of flexible learning


  • Self-paced online courses with open start dates.
  • Formative assessments at key checkpoints in courses.

Delivery and Logistics

  • Distance learning - geographically dispersed students. Open polytechnic, NZ; Open university, UK; Massey university, NZ.
  • Block courses, after hours classes, field work, field trips, practical placements.
  • CapableNZ - qualifications through Assessing Prior Learning (APL) and work-based learning (WBL).
APL - uses a facilitated process where participants develop a portfolio of evidence and case studies to demonstrate how they meet the graduate profile.
WBL - includes training on the job and projects specific to learners contexts.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning - using evidence of skills and knowledge to demonstrate learning outcomes for accredited courses.
  • Case study about individualised learning in open degree programmes. Included independent and group studies; narrative evaluations; mentors and co-developed learning agreements to enable learners to be active in designing their learning (set their goals and incorporate their interests).
Reference: Benke, M., Davis, A., & Travers, N. (2012). SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning. In Diana G. Oblinger (Ed.)Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies. (pp145-157.)

Entry requirements

  • Open entry - no pre-requisites or qualifications needed.
  • *Massive Open Online Courses - MOOCS. Online courses with open entry.
  • Open Education Resource university - free open learning online. Fee for accreditation services.

Instructional approaches and resources

  • Blended - face-to-face and online, flipped classroom, multimedia, virtual classrooms, synchronous and asynchronous, projects, simulations - Second Life, Open Sim, Simulators - Masked Ed, Nursing scenarios.


  • Learner-generated topics.
  • Student developed peer-assessment.
  • Mixed media for learning resources - DVD, online, CD, print, audio.