I have just finished reading some of Leighs writings on flexible learning and the ideas of decentralisation of education. The idea sounds good in theory but would take a lot of motivation on the part of the teacher. I sometimes try to take work home as I can get sidetracked at work by colleagues and other committments. However at home there are other distracting factors such as family committments and trying to get on the computer when I am fighting other members of the family for it. Working for the institution keeps me on task and ensures the work is done.
I am also having the same difficulty with this course. Is it too flexible for me amongst my busyness! There is nobody on my back each week! Now this can be good and bad...It meant I could go on holiday and try and catch up later...self pacing...however this is much more difficult than I thought...I guess if I get flexibility in the handing in of assessments it may help.
So do we need more flexible learning, or is all this choice a bad idea?
I can certainly see the advantages in it mainly for those who can't afford to relocate to an institution or afford to stop work and lose money while they get a qualification. Student debt is becoming horrendous and is off putting for some people. An example in my profession of nursing is Enrolled Nurses (EN's) who cannot afford to stop work and do a three year degree. They are given very little recognition of their learning (RPL) when they upgrade their qualification. Surely with the desperate shortage of nurses an important priority should be upgrading their qualification. Flexible learning is a must for this occupational group but not easily available. I would agree that RPL is a very important aspect of edcuaiton today. I enjoyed hearing Willie Campbell talking about his journey of learning about assessing prior learning. http://elluminate.tekotago.ac.nz/play_recording.html?recordingId=1207623376805_1208317305150
Our institution is asking us to consider more flexible options so we can compete in the market place and attract people who may not otherwise have enrolled. However I have concerns that more flexibility could result in less completion of courses and costing poeple more in the long run. I also am concerned about the demand its places on teachers. Do they want to be more flexible i.e work from home, evenings or weekends. This may not suit everyone. Work/Life balance is something we all strive for however flexible learning could possibly blur these boundaries for both teachers and learners...