Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Week 12 - Flexible learning in educational organisations

To do

  1. Locate your educational organisations strategic plan (or equivalent). It is usually a public document with mission statements, aims and objectives, and performance indicators.
  2. Highlight statements that refer to or relate to flexible learning.
  3. Listen to Otago Polytechnic's Chief Executive, Phil Ker, present on a web conference and how the organisation is approaching flexible learning development. Audio files available here
  4. On your blog, reference and discuss the statements from the organisational document you are using and use them to begin relating your planning ideas (assignment 3) to the strategic direction of your organisation.

Otago Polytechnics Stratgic Goals are listed in the 2006-2010 Charter Document and for those of you who havent' accessed it it clearly states the intention of our organisation to:
In its Vision.... that we will be recognised for:
"the flexibility of our delivery and the willingness to accommodate the specific learning aspirations of students" (pg 4)
We aim to "provide flexible and accessible learning opportunities which build capability, are stimulating and foster life long learning. (pg 8)
Committement is also noted to: providing programmes which are flexible in nature so as to meet the communities needs (pg 11)

No surprise then that Phil Ker our CEO's session reinforced this direction. Phils opening comment of around flexible learning and emphasised that it is a key element of our teching and learning strategy.

I identified three key themes in his comments. Firslty was that of access ie: that we need to engage with more learners that what we are. secondly, the promotion of learner autonomy and the third was that of cost effectiveness. My musings on these positions were that the autonomy perspective relies heavily on learning intiative and may be difficult if staff /student ratios remain high. for example i am responsible for teaching 90-100 per year as a sole lecturer responsible for teaching /administration keep this group of students motivated to engaged in their learning is one of my challenges. Phils reinforcement that flexible learning is not just about on line learning but a range of options provided the reminder that block course. elluminate and web discussions are all part of the mix for my proposed framework. where or not it will provide the cost effectiveness Phil talks of remains difficult for me to see at this stage whilst i struggle with the new technologies i want to utilise- i'm sure with more digital literacy it might become easier. A consideration to how assessment maybe completed in a flexible way requires more exploration as this potentially could provide an opportunity for students to have more autonomy as to where /when they completed their work. for example the online option of Turnitin digital assignment drop box. rather than printing out and hand delivering to School office.

I intend to utlise the OP Charter comments to support my Final flexible learning plan. In respect of utilising some on line options such as course genie, moodle , discussion board and turnitin within my course.

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Its great that you recognise the need for time to develop digital literacies. In my experience, this is actually the most importnat. How can people teach online if they have no idea about learning online? I hope you will give yourself the chance to find out about popular every day Internet and free software, as well as (or instead of) the things we use that most people have never heard of, or have not have access to prior to coming here.