What does 'flexible learning' mean?
Flexible learning is demonstrated in courses or programs that offer students options in one or more aspects of learning, such as timing, pace, place, content, assessment requirements or methods of study.
Removing barriers to students' learning - whether those barriers are related to time, location, content focus or assessment - is a goal sought by many higher education providers, including ANU.
A flexible learning approach is one that provides choices for students in terms of how, where, when, or what they study. This kind of flexibility, especially but not only in delivery (e.g. teaching outside business hours, through intensives, or online), provides more opportunities for students to enrol in courses that suit their work needs, career plans and personal lifestyles.
Why are educational technologies valuable in flexible learning?
Taking advantage of online teaching and learning opportunities can be an important way of incorporating flexibility into teaching. Technologies such as online Learning Management Systems (e.g. Wattle and Alliance at ANU) provide a consistent online environment for students which they can access at times and places that suit them.
In addition, both teaching and learning opportunities are increased by the new opportunities to use multimedia digital and online resources, which have the potential to help students learn specific concepts or skills more readily, examine multiple perspectives more easily, or engage in discussion with peers in many locations.
What help is available for implementing flexible learning?
At ANU, information and help with introducing and implementing flexible learning, with or without the use of educational technologies, can be found through both central and College-based services.
In addition, CHELT can provide some advice and guidance on incorporating flexible learning through a holistic approach to educational design. Furhter advice on flexible learning can be sought from our colleagues in ANU Online.
CASS Education Development Studio
CAP Digital Learning Project
CBE Education Innovation Office
CECS Educational Development Group
CoL Education Innovation and Support Team
CoS Teaching and Learning Centre