Flexibility has become a watchword in modern education, but its implementation is by no means a straightforward matter. Flexible Pedagogy, Flexible Practice sheds light on the often taken-for-granted assumptions that inform daily practice and examines the institutional dynamics that help and hinder efforts towards flexibility. The collection is international in scope, drawing on the experience of specialists in distance education from North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Japan. Contributors to the volume were asked to reflect candidly and critically on questions that include:
- What precisely is flexible learning?
- Who or what is driving the flexibility agenda, and for whose benefit? 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 of theoretical insights and a frank assessment of their practical experience. Their report from the trenches will be invaluable to anyone seeking to broaden the reach of higher education.
Chère Campbell Gibson is professor emerita of adult education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She established the Certificate of Professional Development in Distance Education has served on numerous editorial boards. Terry L. Gibson is professor emeritus of adult education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research has focused on instructional settings in the home, in the workplace, and at educational institutions.
Foreword / Frits Pannekoek
Introduction: Why Look at Flexibility? - Elizabeth Burge
ONE › Clarifying the Concept
1 › Flexibility in the Twenty-First Century: The Challenge of Web 2.0 - Denise Kirkpatrick
2 › Students’ Perceptions: Flexing Pedagogy and Practice - Julie Willems
3 › Structured Flexible Learning: Making Informed Design Choices - Der-Thanq Chen, Rose Liang, and Yu-mei Wang
TWO › Identifying Driving and Restraining Forces
4 › Flexible Distance Education for Social Transformation - Milly Daweti and Jean Mitchell
5 › Politics, Pedagogy, and Productivity as Drivers of Flexible Learning - Cathy Gunn
6 › Cultural Perceptions of Flexibility in Asian Higher Education - Colin Latchem and Insung Jung
7 › Openness and Flexibility in New Zealand: Victories and Challenges - Mary Simpson and Bill Anderson
THREE › Surviving the Swamps of Everyday Practice
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 Rocky Road 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’s Tale - Non Scantlebury and Gill Needham
15 › Reflecting on Swamp Life - Arthur L. Wilson
16 › Mapping the Driving and Restraining Forces on Flexibility in Higher Education - Chère Campbell Gibson and Terry Gibson
FOUR › Admitting Compromises
17 › The Fog of Flexibility: The Riskiness of Flexible Post-secondary Education in Australia - Terry Evans and Peter Smith
18 › Flexing Costs and Reflecting on Methods - Greville Rumble
19 › “Which Is to Be Master”?: Reflections on Ethical Decision Making - Melody M. Thompson and Lorna Kearns
FIVE › Voicing Contrarian Opinions
20 › The Paradoxes of Flexible Learning - David Harris
21 › Transformational Technologies: Exploring Myths and Realities - 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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