Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Critique of Phil Kerrs discussion on flexible learning

The discussion started with Phil wanting to clear misunderstandings around the concepts of flexible learning. The main reasons or motives for flexible learning were the following:

1) Enable better access to learning therefore engage with more learners
2) Flexible delivery strategies will enhance learner autonomy and independence
3) Cost efficiencies in delivery of information to learners.

The discussion went on to the question " what is flexible learning" which was described as a continuum from teacher centred learning to learner centred learning. The focus that learner centred learning develops better flexibility and control for the learner. Discussions then looked at the variety of ways to implement flexible learning and the nature of blended delivery.

I found the information informative as it was honest in the nature of looking at not only the benefits for both staff and students but also the perpetual process of needing to assess how the blended delivery can work in a positive manner to ensure quality and consistency. It also brought home the need to put time and people aside consistently when developing a flexible programme to keep the flow of information and ideas coming. I have found that my department can work in isolation at times and I wonder whether this isolation is to the detriment of providing a good flexible delivery package. Without regular cohesion of communication I believe time could be wasted for those new to developing these packages. Time wasted on computer techniques or reinventing the wheel could be avoided. Phils own experiences discussed the way that they all got together and made time on a daily basis to go through the process of creating a good programme.


  1. Phil also introduced/discussed the idea of flexable; assesment/content /outcome: these areas could be a value tool to initiate and illuminate the students in developing learner autonomy and independence. Cost efficiences, access and engaging more learners would come into this as well, how ever i feel that the strength of students choice in these areas above would be a major component in helping develop learner autonomy.I agree that it couldnt be implimented in all instances of learning or discpilines. However within the school of fashion it has been paritially implimented into the Electives textile programme, i have written about this within my blogg. cheers cyndy

  2. Yes it would be interesting to develop on this within the OT dept. Marking work seems to be a very long winded process that with thought could be simplified without losing quality outcomes. By being more flexible with assessments then time could be used more efficiently for the learner and the lecturer.

  3. I totally agree that we should be more mindful of what is going on outside our own departments. How many times have we seen duplication. If we reduced time spent on doing work that has been already done, then we can spend the time working individually supporting our students develop their own learning plans.