Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flexible Learning - Asking the right questions...

What are the needs of learners in the new state-wide post-year 10 Tasmanian Polytechnic? Before jumping to possible answers - and just as quickly to tools and strategies - it might pay to take some time to ask more questions...

As Jamie McKenzie says: "The question IS the answer."

Who are the learners?

Students as learners - full-time, part-time, on campus, remote, Gen Y, Gen X, whole-person - with current competence and new goals

Staff as learners - teachers, support staff, mentors and leaders/managers - with expertise and new challenges

Organisation as learner - the Tasmania Polytechnic is a new institution - with much to learn and many relationships to build.

What kind of learning?

Adult Learning - in the Tasmanian Polytechnic students and staff are young-adult and adult learners - they require choice, personalised learning, self-directed learning and support for transformative learning.

Quality Education - applied learning, connected learning, supported learning and flexible learning - for students, staff and the organisation as a whole.

Futures Focus - new jobs, global challenges, creativity and innovation for the 21st century.

How will relationships be formed?

Building Identity - social and professional for students/staff/organisation - face-to-face and online.

Communities of Practice - work, inquiry, special interest - physical, augmented and virtual spaces.

Folios and Workspaces - individual, group, learning commons - for working and showcasing.

Finding Voice - active citizenship, advocacy and leadership for students/staff/organisation at local, national and global levels - through face-to-face, traditional and online media.

Where will learning happen?

Blended Learning - Informal, classroom, workplace, home, simulated, virtual, play, distance...
Learning, Teaching and Assessment - values, principles, journeys, desired outcomes...

Communication - information, consultation, collaboration, co-construction.

Evaluation - benchmarks, research (quantitative, action research, research partnerships...), publication/presentation/celebration.

What other questions should we be asking before we look at ways in which we might facilitate flexible learning in this new institution?


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