The Higher Education Academy has recently published their flexible pedagogies: part-time learners and learning in higher education report. As part of this there is a link to the Audit Tool. It is the audit tool which is of particular interest as tool we might use / encourage course teams to use at UCS.
I’d suggest the audit tool offers considerable potential for course teams (with others) to self audit their existing courses and emerging ideas to feed into how they might develop more flexible approaches to learning and teaching. In particular, the pace of learning, the place of learning and the mode of learning.
As the audit tool states, it also enables you to consider the reasons why you are seeking to develop greater flexibility in relation to a particular learning activity… flexibility per se should not be the goal in itself when seeking to develop more flexible approaches to teaching and learning. Rather a key consideration will be why you may want to introduce a particular pedagogical approach, and how such an approach might potentially impact on student learning and the quality of the overall student experience.
The tool is based around a typical student learning pathway;
- Promotion of course
- Student entry
- Induction arrangements
- Engagement in learning
- Assessment and feedback
- Evaluating the student experience
- Exit and/or progression
With each stage having a set of prompts and questions to be completed. It is the answers to these questions which will help the course and wider teams articulate the current situation and the potential for flexible approaches. For instance, “could opportunities be provided for increasing flexibility in relation to the induction arrangements for part-time learners? Is so, list what these could be” or “List examples of opportunities currently provided for flexibility in relation to the pace of learning for part-time students”
This audit tool also offers potential to be included within the validation process (framework to deploy an online course). For instance, for online modules / courses it would be recommended to have the first few modules completed online. The inclusion of some of these questions would act as good prompts for when the course team is developing the learning activities.