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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Activity Two; What is flexible learning?

Nick Moss and I got together at the beginning of the week to discuss these questions.  This is what we came up with;
  • What does the term flexible learning mean to you?
In our opinion it means having the choices and variety to suit the individuals needs and objectives, in terms of how the learning is done, where it is done and when it is done.  We agreed that it is important to set parameters around that learning, in terms of setting a time frame, bounderies within a framework and with clear goals. Setting their own pace is certainly part of this structure but can be difficult if the learner does not have the personal resources available to be able to do this. Otherwise it becomes disjointed, haphazard and the learners/programmes goals are not met.

  • Why is it necessary to use a more flexible approach in your work?
Many of our learners have busy lives with other committments e.g. time, distance, family.    Offering flexibility in terms of entry and exit points, mode of delivery and assessment, time and place provides access for the needs of a wider variety of learner.
We are aware that we all learn differently at varying paces and often while there are many other committments in our lives or barriers to preventing the process of learning from happening.  I think one of the most important aspects of having a more flexible approach is to get to 'know the learner', constantly adapting the facilitator role to incorporate the needs of the individual learner. This can also be done by offering a variety of modes of delivery especially with the constant updating and change in technology.

  • What do you need to explore to help this happen?
Firstly, I think it is important to do some background reading and explore the different flexible learning approaches, get some theoretical structure behind the practical approach.  I will explore my own teaching methods e.g. am I doing the same old lessons or am I trying new methods.  The process of reflection is a useful tool and I will consciously use it  to experiment with different approaches, reflect on the degree of success and try again.  Regular feedback from learners and peers can be useful in assessing if the needs of the learner have been met.

  • What goals do you have for using Flexible Learning in your work?
  1. Explore my current teaching methods and environment.  I will outline my modes of deliver.
  2. Reflect on the level of flexibility being utilized
  3. Look at ways of incorporating other approaches into my work
  4. Provide more opportunity for the learners to have authentic experiences
  5. Learn how to use facebook as an educational tool
Thanks for your ideas and input Nick.


  1. Thanks for the post, Helen. I think you've set yourself some very nicely issues to explore over the next few weeks.

    In terms of parameters to flexible learning, who or what do you think should set them? How should they be set?

  2. In order for there to be some structure to the learning these can be set out in the course structure so that deadlines are still met. However, the facilitator in conjunction with the learners can collaborate in setting clear ground rules, which can be reviewed on a regular basis.