The Center for Flexible Learning (hereafter CFL) provides leadership and direction to stakeholders in all aspects of flexible approaches to learning and teaching at the University. Flexible learning is a state of being in which learning and teaching is increasingly freed from the constraints of the time, place and pace of these activities. For learners, flexibility in learning may include choices in relation to entry and exit points, selection of learning activities, assessment tasks and educational resources in return for different kinds of credit and costs. For the teachers it can involve choices in relation to the allocation of their time and the mode and methods of communication with learners as well as the educational organization. Flexible learning, as such, is a value principle, much like we see diversity, equity or equality in education and society more broadly. And in the contemporary world, both in the developed and developing contexts, technological tools and infrastructure are key components of it. The role of CFL is to support and help the University achieve its Strategic Plan KPIs in this area.
This work involves working with Faculties in the design and development of their academic programs for flexible learning and teaching, hosting and managing online learning technologies such as Moodle, including orientation and onboarding of students and staff in their use of Moodle, Lecture Capture, Mahara (eportfolio tool), TurnItIn, REACT and other learning technologies as they become available. It also includes the provision of a wide range of services to the University community in the production of educational multimedia, audio, video, graphics, photography, animation, and web design.
Developments in this space that will impact the core functions of CFL in 2018 and beyond include:
The role of CFL in providing leadership and direction to the University in these areas is going to be pivotal. In the coming years and beyond, this will involve:
The role of CFL in these activities, and in the support of the professional development of academic staff in relation to these activities will be crucial, as it will be in the professional development of its own staff. This will include continued participation of CFL staff in courses/programs, workshops, symposiums, conferences and in quality enhancement programs like Quality Matters etc. that are consistent with the achievement of the relevant KPIs in USP Strategic Plan 2013-2018.