It was a great morning with 16 participants including the facilitators attending. After a relaxed start over coffee, we got down to the business of looking at the course schedule and talking about the structure of the course and the assessments. Everyone was given a print out of the course on WikiEducator and asked to keep an eye on the online version as this would be the most up-to-date information. The use of the course wiki and blog was explained and requirements for week one. Some of the session was recorded and these will be put up separately.

two people came to talk to us. David McQuillan, a DFLP veteran from 2007 talked briefly about his experience in the course and what he had learned and showed us how he has set up the Diploma of Massage therapy online. He has used Page Flakes as a portal to some online modules which he has developed using WikiEducator. He is using a Course blog for each course in the Diploma of Massage Therapy. Click here to watch and hear his presentation.

Jacinda Boivin, who is the manager of the Bill Robertson library came to tell us about the services and support the library can offer. For example, assistance with using the online databases and accessing information from the Internet. Jacinda is familiar with Creative Commons licencing (some rights reserved) and the philosophy of open content.

Introductions: Following the presentations by our visitors we had a round of introductions with the group - each person filled out their name and area of work on a yellow slip of paper, and added what they were already doing in the way of flexible learning. All the slips of paper were put on a plate and each participant selected one and introduced someone. The exercise generated quite a bit of interest and discussion around flexible learning. It seems like everyone is doing something and every approach quite is different. We also talked about workloads and managing the study and work, also about access to computers and Internet off-site.

For example, some people are working with distance students online and running block courses, others are using Blackboard to supplement face-to-face classes for on-campus students and others are looking for new ideas and ways to keep up with their students. Once everyone gets their blogs up and running, people will be able to see the range of experience and activity already happening.

Support in the course: we talked about where to get help with using technologies - such as setting up a blog for Assignment one. There are people available in the Community Learning Centres - Forth St campus, Mosgiel and Alexandra who have completed DFLP. Participants in the course can go there to get help and also to the Student Learning Centre for peer support. The facilitators are there to help with your assignments and theory about flexible learning. We will be facilitating the communication of the class via the wiki discussion and blogs.

In the last part of the session Bronwyn ran through the use of the Three-step reflective framework template for helping people write reflectively on their blogs and we spent some time on a practice exercise.

A question which came up during the session is something people can think about in the following weeks, and this will be covered further on in the course. How do we provide access to learning for people who do not want to go online or use open materials?

People went away with a reading for Week Two: Collis, Betty & Moonen, Jef. (2001). Flexible learning : it's not just about distance. In Flexible learning in a digital world. Open & Distance learning Series. London: Kogan Page Ltd.

We now have 23 participants in the course. Several of you already have blogs up and running and introductions on the Discussion. This is impressive! The pre-course survey is now available an is also on the wiki. An email has been sent out with a link as well.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Hi Bronwyn,

    Have made several attempts and still having problems accessing the pre-course survey.

  2. Bronwyn hegarty said...

    the pre-course survey external link is now fixed. software problems at ISS apparently. sorry about that.

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