Within this topic, we explore some of the drivers behind flexible, online and blended learning. The 21st century has seen a change in student demographic. The student body is increasingly diverse, for example, many students are older learners who may have work and family schedules as well as study commitments, attending traditional face-to-face classes in a college or university may not always be possible. Ubiquitous networked computer technology, the growth of the Internet and the wide use of personalised technologies as well as social media provide multiple platforms for cooperation and co-learning. This offers increased opportunities for both students and educators, in a time of increasing uncertainty, to creatively alter the pedagogic and educational landscape. Participants will be encouraged to explore some of the ideas and principles associated with adaptability and pedagogic experimentation; they will also be challenged to explore a variety of learning and teaching approaches that support aspects of flexible pedagogies.
Scenario (as an animation, text and audio)
“I have signed up for this online course to do an undergraduate course that is not available near to where I live. I am also busy professional and have a family. I don’t really have time to waste. I have to say, the course is really challenging. I have no idea who my ‘classmates’ are, I seem to be working in isolation and my tutor seems to be a ghost. I have to wait days to hear from him to get any answer and it makes it extremely challenging to plan my time. I have only time on the weekends to do the assignments. Is this how it should be? There is some written guidance online but none of it is relevant to my situation… and some of it seems out of date too. Is anybody actually checking what I am doing? Not sure at all how I am doing and if I should continue to course. Very close to give up but I really need the qualification for my work!”
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of this topic, you will have had the opportunity to
- explore drivers for flexible pedagogies
- discuss benefits and challenges of flexible pedagogies in your professional context
- identify opportunity to make your courses more flexible based on an informed rationale.
Pick ‘n’ mix activities
Pick ‘n’ mix activities Definitely do one of the following activities! If you are learning within a group/with a learning partner consider carrying out one of the below as a collaborative task. Remember to share on Twitter and in the other community spaces.
Access this padlet, for some introductory materials on Carl Rogers, and non-directive learning:
You can access a copy of the Powerpoint on Carl Rogers and non-directive teaching here
We will then hold a synchronous online discussion session via https://yoteachapp.com/ (you will need the CODE: 84380436 to access this session), between 2.00 & 3.00 on Tuesday the 9th of June, where we will explore and start to respond to some of the questions (posed in the presentation and the PowerPoint).
The YoTeach discussion threads will stay live for 48 hours, to enable colleagues (and facilitators) to read, engage with, and contribute to them
1. Motives for lifelong learners to choose web-based courses by Ron Mahieu and Simon Wolming, available here
2. Flexible pedagogies: new pedagogical ideas by Alex Ryan and Daniella Tilbury, available here
3. Flexible learning comes of age, a Flexible learning framework by Stella Jones-Devitt, available here
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