There is increasing acceptance of the value of delivering flexible learning in the context of a global pandemic. In addressing the crisis, the Sector has clearly made a momentous shift concerning how learning will be operationalised for the foreseeable future. Yet, whether we know as a sector what ‘optimum’ flexibility looks like can be contested. Using key principles underpinning the recently-published Flexible Learning Guide (as part of the Essential frameworks for enhancing student success) this webinar argues that certain elements can be designed into a flexible learning approach which enables maximal student engagement, regardless of shifting context.
The webinar highlights some innovative exemplars of structured flexibility from practice and considers whether there is further evidence of emerging ‘success stories’ just waiting to be shared (for example, those that go beyond the optimising of ‘choice’ as the sole arbiter of flexibility). To address these aspects with webinar participants, four key questions will be posed, concerning:
- What does a successful structured flexibility approach need to contain?
- What are the implications for practitioners?
- How can structured flexibility be sustained successfully in a volatile higher education context?
- How are claims of successful flexibility being evidenced and evaluated?
Participants will be encouraged to interact throughout the webinar process, and it is anticipated that ideas shared might subsequently form the basis of a curated collection of evidence-informed learning objects as a longer-term sustainable output for application within the Sector.
Stella Jones-Devitt is Director of Learning and Teaching and Professor of Critical Pedagogy at Staffordshire University. She is a National Teaching Fellow, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has acted as a national Ambassador for Teaching Excellence in HE. Academic interests include exploring and applying innovative evaluation methodologies, flexible pedagogies and applied critical thinking.