What is Flexible Learning? My understanding of flexible means it is flexible, in terms of Time  part-time, full-time, the length of the course. Where from home using eLearning or online, or going to a place of instruction,or in workplace.  How a variety of teaching methods and approaches used, as well as variety of media used.

Adults need a reason to learn. As adults we have a lot of ways to spend our time and our money so flexibility is important. This helps to motivate learners to stay the course.  I feel that adult learning encompasses short courses where you can learn  Quilt Making through to a 3 year degree course. The are also many people in the workforce who are learning as a requirement for their employment who obviously have limited time.  Students fresh from school who go onto the teritary institutions.

 As a facilitator with the Community Learning Centre formerly known as Q4U we teach software applications to a variety of people. Young, old, experienced, novices. The basis for our instructions is our workbooks these are supplemented  by exercises, formative assessment as well as the summative assessment known as the Unit Strandard which has prescriptive standard that has to be met.  There is also the face to face component, me! and I use a variety of methods to assist the students learning. This mostly done by picking up cues which can only be observed in a face to face environment. We also have online learners, my observations are the more experienced they are to begin with, the more able they are to interpret the material and work online.

 I feel that for learning to be an enjoyable and productive experiences the social aspect plays a big part. Some of our students come with friends and family members, and they help each other, students also form friendships with others in the suite.

  I know this is a more traditional way of looking at learning but there is great scope in using a variety of methods, we have tried small workshops, 1 to 1 time, buddy up with students, encouraged interactions between some students.

This also brings in the learning styles of students. I have observed people do learn the same thing in different ways. I am a hands on learner and a visual learner and I like the peer group, discussions, listening to other’s opinions (just listening) I feel this is helpful to me to learn. I need to be able to practice the knowledge then apply it, this is why I have looked at the CLC and tried to see where the flexibility is.

Having said all this I feel that some learning is more suited to being taught flexibly than others and being flexible implies a flexibility in the delivery of the content. There are a variety of media, and teaching approaches, the possibilities are endless.

The Designing Flexible Learning course has aspects of social interactions, lots of eLearning, and discussions both on the phone and through email. I am struggling with these aspects simply because I have never learnt anything online however I am going to dig deep! and learn a lot of new skills and knowledge.

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