Flexible Pedagogy, Flexible Practice
360 pages, 6 x 9
2 tables, 3 figures
Release Date:01 Dec 2011

Flexible Pedagogy, Flexible Practice

Notes from the Trenches of Distance Education

Athabasca University Press

Flexibility has become a watchword in modern education, but itsimplementation is by no means a straightforward matter. FlexiblePedagogy, Flexible Practice sheds light on the oftentaken-for-granted assumptions that inform daily practice and examinesthe institutional dynamics that help and hinder efforts towardsflexibility. The collection is international in scope, drawing on theexperience of specialists in distance education from North America, theUnited Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, andJapan. Contributors to the volume were asked to reflect candidly andcritically on questions that include:

  • What precisely is flexible learning?
  • Who or what is driving the flexibility agenda, and for whosebenefit? And who or what is resisting it?
  • What challenges must be overcome in order to achieve flexibility,and what are some of the compromises it can entail?

In addressing these and other issues, the authors offer a wealth oftheoretical insights and a frank assessment of their practicalexperience. Their report from the trenches will be invaluable to anyoneseeking to broaden the reach of higher education.

Elizabeth J. (Liz) Burge is professor of adulteducation at the University of New Brunswick. She is a past presidentof the Canadian Association for Distance Education/Associationcanadienne de l'éducation à distance.
Chère Campbell Gibson is professor emerita of adulteducation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She established theCertificate of Professional Development in Distance Education hasserved on numerous editorial boards. Terry L. Gibsonis professor emeritus of adult education at the University ofWisconsin-Madison. His research has focused on instructional settingsin the home, in the workplace, and at educational institutions.

Foreword / Frits Pannekoek

Introduction: Why Look at Flexibility?  - ElizabethBurge

ONE › Clarifying the Concept


1 › Flexibility in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenge ofWeb 2.0 - Denise Kirkpatrick

2 › Students’ Perceptions: Flexing Pedagogy and Practice- Julie Willems

3 › Structured Flexible Learning: Making Informed DesignChoices - Der-Thanq Chen, Rose Liang, and Yu-mei Wang

TWO › Identifying Driving and RestrainingForces


4 › Flexible Distance Education for Social Transformation -Milly Daweti and Jean Mitchell

5 › Politics, Pedagogy, and Productivity as Drivers ofFlexible Learning - Cathy Gunn

6 › Cultural Perceptions of Flexibility in Asian HigherEducation - Colin Latchem and Insung Jung

7 › Openness and Flexibility in New Zealand: Victories andChallenges - Mary Simpson and Bill Anderson

THREE › Surviving the Swamps of EverydayPractice


8 › Before the Fall: Breaking Rules and Changing Minds -Darcy W. Hardy

9 › Implementing an Online System: Voices of Experience -Andrew Higgins and Mark Northover

10 › Adding Flexibility to Higher Education Using OERs:Lessons from the Open University - Andy Lane

11 › From “Here” to “There”: The RockyRoad to Flexibility - Kay MacKeogh and Seamus Fox

12 › Where Has the Effort Gone?: The Quest to Sustain Momentum- Darien Rossiter

13 › An Elephant’s Lifetime, the Patience of Job -Yoni Ryan

14 › The Garden of Learning Delights: The Librarian’sTale - Non Scantlebury and Gill Needham

15 › Reflecting on Swamp Life - Arthur L. Wilson

16 › Mapping the Driving and Restraining Forces on Flexibilityin Higher Education - Chère Campbell Gibson and TerryGibson

FOUR › Admitting Compromises


17 › The Fog of Flexibility: The Riskiness of FlexiblePost-secondary Education in Australia - Terry Evans and PeterSmith

18 › Flexing Costs and Reflecting on Methods - GrevilleRumble

19 › “Which Is to Be Master”?: Reflections onEthical Decision Making - Melody M. Thompson and LornaKearns

FIVE › Voicing Contrarian Opinions


20 › The Paradoxes of Flexible Learning - DavidHarris

21 › Transformational Technologies: Exploring Myths andRealities - Adrian Kirkwood

22 › “Plenty of Saps” - Alan Woodley

23 › What Happens in the Stretch to Flexibility? -Katherine Nicoll

Conclusion: The Challenge of Weaving Principles with Practice -Elizabeth Burge, Chere Campbell Gibson, and Terry Gibson


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