Creating a conceptual framework aligning current professional development activities with future flexible learning initiatives

McMillan, Adam and Clayton, John (2009) Creating a conceptual framework aligning current professional development activities with future flexible learning initiatives. In: BERA 2009: British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 2-5 September, 2009, Manchester, England.

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The ready availability of low-cost computers, the development of sophisticated web browsers, increased connectivity to high-bandwidth telecommunications and the increased access to a range of digital databases are transforming the flow of information and educational materials, the personal communications between learners and educators and the formal contact between educational institutions and students (Statistics New Zealand, 2007: HEFCE, 2005). The conventional models of education dependent upon physical attendance at scheduled face-to-face sessions, practical-workshops, and block courses are being challenged. It is clear “flexibility” is a concept educational institutions must consider in meeting their obligations of providing high quality learning experiences to their learners unable to access current models of delivery (Clayton & Elliott, 2007). Embedding flexible learning in the culture of the organisation requires educators to be convinced the learning environment created will add value to the learning experiences of participants. They also need to feel pedagogically and technically confident of operating successfully within these environments. Both these requirements can be addressed by the provision of ongoing and relevant professional development (Mitchell, Clayton, Gower, Barr & Bright, 2005). The Capability Development team at the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) has created a pictorial conceptual framework to illustrate to staff the benefits of undertaking ongoing professional development in flexible learning. It is envisaged this framework will also be used to guide the development and delivery of flexible learning initiatives offered by Capability Development team members. This poster presentation will graphically illustrate how this conceptual framework has been constructed. The framework firstly, aligns with what Wintec considers to be the three foundation pillars of flexible learning (Clayton, Elliott, Twohey, 2009); context (how physical and virtual learning environments are created and maintained), content (how information is designed, authored, and accessed), and capability (the ability of participants to actively engage in the environments created). Secondly, it progresses to an indicator layer conceptualized by the team as the 3Es, enablement (the learning technologies used are robust and easily accessible by tutors/lecturers), engagement (the professional development offered actively engages the participants) and empowerment (at the completion of the learning event tutors/lecturers are competent and confident in the flexible learning environments created).

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Keywords that describe the item:Conceptual framework, flexible learning, professional development
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Corporate > Assett Centre
ID Code:664
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Deposited On:03 Mar 2010 03:46
Last Modified:09 Apr 2010 02:36

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