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December 02, 2008

How can institutional processes better support flexible learning?

This was the topic of a session I ran at the JISC CETIS conference; focussing on the agendas of work-based learning and other policy initiatives, the question for institutions is what would need to change, and what areas are actually ready. We had groups develop ideas and pitch them to video.

I had participants consider the drivers and influences on the process, the potential impact, the readiness for change, and the types of interventions that would be useful.

Briefly, the ideas presented were:

Validation processes that are agile and proportionate, enabling smaller courses and courses on demand. The recommendation is that pilots are developed with the regulatory agencies involved so that institutions can try out more flexible approaches to designing, validating and offering courses.

Enabling the use of net resources in education, supporting teachers and students in making effective use of resources and exercising appropriate discrimination. Recommendation is for materials supporting teacher education and student skills.

Marking processes that supports personalised coursework, where the submissions are less media-specific, enabling students to submit work in media they are confident in (e.g. video, text, audio) without causing problems for markers and institutions. The recommendation is to support a toolkit for "social marking" that involves students as well as staff in holistic rather than atomic assessment of student work.

Recognising prior experience in formal education, developing support for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning, and associated information, advice and guidance, particularly to support workforce development and linking education with employment. The recommendation is to support process modelling to better understand how APEL and similar processes fit today, and can be enhanced in the future.

Making the VLE flexible to handle new ways of learning, decoupling the processes of planning, engagement, and assessment in the VLE and reconnecting them more flexibly through a coordination mechanism, supporting, for example, engaging in academic planning and assessment in one organisation, but engagement in another - such as in a work-based system.

In their own words, here they are:

More information on the wiki

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