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Member projects 2022-23: Beyond Flexible Learning

Meeting the challenge of providing a high quality and engaging learning experiences whilst leveraging the benefits of online learning.

The focus of the flexible learning framework developed by the Higher Education Academy in 2016 was on empowering students by providing choice in terms of how what when and where they learned. The framework also recognised the need for pragmatic flexibility- the extent to which we can provide choice in the pace, place and mode of learning whilst sustaining a learning community.

The four dimensions underpinning the framework: technology-enhanced learning, pedagogic approaches, institutional systems and structures and employability are still valid although the context and application has shifted as illustrated in this quote from Jones –Devitt et al. which emphasises the need to ensure that the infrastructure, policies and practices focus on widening access and driving engagement.

Flexible learning concerns institutions constructing and continually evaluating infrastructure, policies and practices that offer the widest possible opportunity for successful student engagement and belonging of all stakeholders in higher education

The Beyond Flexible Learning project will provide a range of resources to help our members develop institutional and personal responses as they develop and communicate their flexible learning offer.

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Want to know when the podcast, guides and events are happening? Have regular project updates emailed to you by registering for updates using the form below.

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Project output: Screencast

How can we provide high quality and engaging learning experiences whilst leveraging the benefits of online learning?

In this introductory video,  Dr Kay Hack introduces the theme and discusses how HE providers can provide high quality education experiences while leveraging the benefits of online learning for students.

Watch the video
Kay Hack - Beyond Flexible Learning
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Project output: Podcast

Quality Assurance: safety net or tether on creativity

Greater choice in pace place, mode and provider of learning increases access to higher education with potential to make progress on SDG4, quality education for all. But, how do we ensure quality as well as flexibility in this new landscape? Is quality assurance a critical safety net that ensures the quality of provision in a diversifying higher education sector or a tether on creativity that disempowers those with expertise in learning and teaching  and those who want to increase access to higher education?

In this podcast, Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser, (Learning and Teaching) with Advance HE is joined in discussion by 2 speakers who have been considering the role of quality assurance in the changing higher education sector, Dr Nick Mount Academic Director of University Of Nottingham online and Professor David Webster Director of SOAS Foundation College. In the discussion the role of quality assurance processes in validating completely new short, credit bearing, professional development programmes, designed to meet demands for upskilling and reskilling the workforce, as well as traditional undergraduate programmes that are now moving to hybrid delivery is examined.

Listen to the podcast
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Project output: Guides

Practitioner guides

The rapid changes in online practices over the last decade, accelerated over the last two years, means the language has also evolved very quickly, Lots of different terminology is being used to describe the different ways students interact with their lecturers, their subject and each other. It is critical that we are using the same terms to describe the same learning modes, to communicate expectations for staff and students. Advance HE will publish a series of six practice guides covering in-person, hybrid, hyflex, multi-modal, online asynchronous and online synchronous teaching and learning, that support teams design programmes that provide an intentional blend of in-person and remote teaching to develop engaged and effective student learning.

Project output: Event

The future student experience – Sandpit event

This sandpit event to be held later this year will be about future student experience infographics and how they are designed to stimulate thinking about the desired student future as well as exploring environmental, economic, social and technological drivers.

Related event

Flexible Learning Symposium

This symposium will provide staff with a safe forum via which to exchange ideas and disseminate new approaches to flexible learning. It will offer reflections, insights and solutions to current issues pertaining to new modes of learning as well as exploring how colleagues across the sector are approaching curriculum delivery in this post-pandemic era.

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An Advance HE member benefit

Member Projects are part of Advance HE's member benefits for the 2022-23 membership year. Click below to see the full range of benefits available

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