Wednesday, 30 June 2010

University of Greenwich asks "How Flexible Can HE Be (Are We?)?

On 10th June some of my colleagues from the University of Greenwich spent the day considering flexibility in education, focussing on flexible access, recruitment and admissions. 

The day is well documented elsewhere,, but I just want to take this opportunity to note Professor Simon Jarvis's - our DVC for Academic Development - vision of on how Greenwich is - and should - respond to flexible learning.

  • Flexibility needs to have boundaries;
  • Greenwich must raise aspirations, standards and quality and have the expectation of success;
  • Greenwich should look at how it deals with credit accumulation and transfer;
  • Greenwich could be more flexible in using facilities "out of hours";
  • Greenwich should embrace "collaborative learning" and  invest in technology to deliver a "real time feel" with podcasting and computer aided assessment and feedback;
  • Despite a tough economic climate, Greenwich needs to pursue work based learning opportunities in partnership delivered through Foundation degrees, sandwich placements, internship, apprenticeships and flexible study packages such as Applied Professional Studies;
  • "Graduate attributes" will be a major plank of teaching and learning strategies and this may place some constraints on flexibility;
  • Greenwich should build its CPD activity through short courses, block mode delivery and accumulation of credit over time towards a qualification;
  • Flexibility requires appropriate processes and systems to support it.

I believe that UG-Flex has a role in encouraging further debate on these issues,with a view to the development of a University-wide strategy on flexible learning in the near future.

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