Image: Learning to Fly at Airkix by gavinandrewstewart

Great progress everyone with getting your blogs up and running and completing the other requirements for the first two weeks of the course. A list of 2009 participant blogs is now available on the "Participate" page with a sample of the latest work included on the right. It is set up so a short snippet shows up each time someone updates their blog. If people prefer they can just look at the list if they do not want to subscribe to an RSS reader such as Bloglines or Google reader. What have we got in store for you next? The estimated time for you to spend on this topic is three weeks - 30 March to 19 April 2009 (includes Easter break).

Over the next three weeks, you will be exploring the concept of flexible learning and working to broaden your understanding about this important area. If you already know something, which I am sure you all do, now is your chance to discover new ideas in areas you may have avoided until now. For example, online learning, recognition of prior learning, negotiated learning, project work etc.

In a nutshell, flexible learning can be regarded as anytime, anyplace, anyhow options for teaching and learning. It just depends on the form it takes to make it happen and this is where the debate begins. Think about whether flexible learning is just about access to learning opportunities, or is it also about the ways in which people learn best?

To do
1. Read more about flexible learning from the perspective of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Flexways site and the extra resources below.

2. On your blog, write a short story about a day in the life of someone who is considering doing your course. This person, called X, has a range of flexible learning needs. Your story should highlight issues that X may have for NOT doing your course, as it is set up at the present time.

The person called X may have some of the following issues: has a full time job and can't afford to leave it for study; is unable to move towns to attend classes; has difficulties learning in classrooms and at the pace of others; is unable to pay fees; believes your course does not fit exactly the range of things X wants to learn, may not feel comfortable using computers, has a disability, has family responsibilities...

The purpose of you writing this story is to consider as many reasons as you can where people might NOT be able to access your course (or an aspect of your course). HINT: If you are able, it is best to base your story on a real situation which you have encountered or heard about.

3. Leave a comment and/or suggestion on another participant's blog.

4. Attend workshops
An experiential session on how to write effectively for a blog in this course - 2 April 1-3pm in H311. This will also be offered in an online session - now Wednesday evening 22 April 7 - 8 pm NZST. Before the session you might like to download a three-step template for use in the session. Here is the Elluminate recording of the online session - How to write effectively for a blog.

Some sites to look at before the session:
Five tips for writing better blog posts by Sue Waters;
10 tips on writing a blog post by Lyndon from Flockblog;
My PLE is like my cooky baking (PLE = personal learning environment) - a good example of a post by Sarah Stewart.
Also check out this example. What is Flexible Learning? by Nutrition matters.

Library session - effective use of online databases and Google Scholar - Thursday 9 April - 1.30-2.30 in BG1 (back room ground floor) at the Bill Robertson library - 135 Union Street East, Dunedin. Jacinda Boivin will show you in a hands on session how to become more effective at finding online information using the online databases and Google Scholar.

An online version of this is being organised so watch this space.


  1. Online Learning said...

    In your post, are you considering online learning to be the same thing as flexible learning? Or does flexible learning encompass mail in courses, dvd courses, reading books and doing workbooks on your own sans teacher, etc? One major roadblock to online learning, though it may seem obvious and may also be becoming less frequent, is lack of access to internet and/or computer of one's own.

    Thanks for posting. It sure helps provide food for thought on this issue!

  2. Leigh Blackall said...

    Hello Online Learning. This is an important question that should be easy to answer. Flexible Learning is not online learning. Online learning, along with the range of media you cite that might be grouped into a term called e-Learning, are methods useful to enabling flexibility in curriculum. But there are other, less technology focused methods - such as recognition of prior learning, block training, part time study options, self directed learning support, and many others. In a nut shell, almost anything can be used to enable people some flexibility in how they go about learning in a formal education sense (curriculum). Perhaps my postings on flexible learning will assist more thoughts on the matter?

    In saying that, it is hard to ignore what online learning can offer in terms of flexibility, to those who have access - as you rightly point out. In NZ, 2/3rds of its people do not have access to the kind of Internet that would be useful for learning these days.

  3. tracey nash said...

    Hi Bronwyn
    for phoning. my blog is below.
    happy easter
    tracey n

  4. tracey nash said...

    Hi Bronwyn
    for phoning. my blog is below.
    happy easter
    tracey n

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