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Flexible Learning Symposium 2023: Co-creating a flexible learning model

The Studio, Leeds
County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Excellence in practice
Fellowship Category
All Fellowship Categories
Event Type
Face to Face Symposia
Teaching and Learning
Start Date
End Date
1 day
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From


Flexible learning leverages the benefits of pedagogy and technology to provide an engaging, personalised learning experience that supports all students to achieve their potential. However, an effective flexible learning model requires consideration of the differing needs of academic and professional staff and students. This symposium aims to explore the issue holistically from all perspectives to inform whole-university approaches to overcoming challenges and enhancing the student experience.  

To stimulate creative, responsive solutions and insightful dialogue, we welcome exploratory workshops and sharing of planned initiatives and work in progress as well as case studies of established and evaluated good practice. We are also interested in examples of where there were significant barriers and challenges to flexible learning and how they were overcome.  

Who should attend?

Teaching practitioners including: heads of departments, academic programme leaders and developers, all lecturing staff, professional services staff supporting learning and teaching activities, and learning technologists.

Call for contributions

The Symposium is interested in a range of perspectives and the following themes should be seen as a guide rather than prescriptive. 

Flexible learning and the academic:  A shift to flexible learning is often one that requires significant changes in pedagogical practice from academic colleagues. What are the lessons that we can take from narratives of change? What is the impact of change on specific programme teams and wider departments?  

Co-creating flexible learning with students: Flexible learning creates the potential for transformational education experience but can create tensions in student communities because the mode of flexible might not match the needs of all students. How can we co-create flexible learning? How can we ensure student views are represented? What examples of successful co-creation have you experienced? Can co-creation ensure we design for under supported and marginalized groups?  

Co-creating models and systems for flexible learning: The introduction of flexible learning often requires a range of significant changes outside of the classroom. We welcome contributions from academic and professional colleagues who have worked together to manage the complexity of flexible learning.  

When things go wrong: The reality of innovating in teaching and learning is that often the first iteration of a change does not work as expected. How do we use these scenarios to learn and build on? Where are the opportunities to turn problems in successes?  

Session types

Oral Presentations should be 15 minutes in length and will be followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with delegates. Your session should include a PPT presentation or visual stimulus to accompany your talk.

Lightning Talks should be 5 minutes in length, followed by a 5 minute Q&A. The use of PPT slides for this session is optional.

Interactive workshops should be 40 minutes in length, with at least 20 minutes of the session involving active participation from delegates. Workshops should clearly provide solutions to challenges that can then be replicated in delegates’ home institutions.

Posters will need to be professionally printed and brought with you to the symposium on the day. Posters should be visibly stimulating and include a mix of information about projects and initiatives.

Download abstracts here


Download the Flexible Learning Symposium programme below for a full breakdown of the day.

Download programme here

Who is delivering the symposium?

Charles Knight

Assistant Director, Knowledge & Innovation
Advance HE
Charles Knight
Charles is an academic leader with a proven track record of delivery in the areas of learning and teaching and enterprise. Prior to joining Advance HE, he was Associate Dean (Student Experience) at Salford Business School where he worked with colleagues to introduce a series of innovative practices including short technical qualifications, block teaching and an increased emphasis on the use of simulations and experimental learning. He was also involved in setting up a North-West Attainment Gap group bring together business schools.

John Sumpter

Senior Consultant in Education
Advance HE
John Sumpter
As a senior consultant, he has an impressive track record of driving positive change at the international, national, and government levels. With an extensive work experience that includes tenure at three universities and two national sector organizations, Jisc and Advance HE.