Tuesday, April 14, 2009

X marks the spot

One of the things we are asked to do as part of the flexible learning course is to think about the reasons that a person might have for NOT doing a flexible learning course. It is an interesting way to approach this ... and here is my short story.

X is a busy person. There is always something to do and there are so many 'jobs lists' around the house that she is thinking of making a list of the lists. Where does all the time go these days? I am sure that it wasn't this busy last year. X is interested in a course, but there is no way that she can fit in the time to attend the classes, she can't take time off work, she can't afford any fees. Makes you wonder if she is really committed to the course in the first place?

If there was a course that was flexible - it just might work. It would need to be something where she can pick out the bits that she really wants to learn, and do just as much or as little as she can. It would be different to the 'normal' courses, where someone else decides what needs to be studied - in this course, X can decide which bits are interesting and relevant and which bits she already knows or is not interested in. This course is about actually learning something new, rather than just going through the motions of what you have to do for assessment. It might mean no study for a whole week, then a flurry of activity at once when the opportunity can be grabbed. Technology is important too - she can't access the internet at work, because her organisation has it blocked, although she does get broadband internet at home. It needs to be simple to use, not take forever to load up on the screen and it needs to be fun.



Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Helen, thanks for posting this. Its well worth going around the other's in the course and seeing what they have written. Networking with the others is important in the course. One of the best posts on this topic of why a person may not be able to study a particular course is Jenny's. Have a read, introduce yourself via comments, see hwat you think of others in the course.

Sarah Stewart said...

I suppose as educator you have to look carefully at what X wants to achieve, both in terms of the course of education and bigger picture stuff. Yes, we have to work with the students to be as 'flexible' as possible but there also is a point when the student has to take responsibility for her learning.

Helen said...

Hi Leigh
Thanks for the comments and suggestion about Jenny's blog - I agree - it is excellent.

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your comments - I think Jenny's blog has articulated this well - where students enrol in courses that they are not really sure about, and are not sure if they will learn anything, but it is a requirement of their job to have a formal qualification or accreditation.