Thursday, December 4, 2008

Flexi learning in educational organisations

Otago Polytechnic has developed an extremely thorough charter/strategic plan: outlining in detail philosophies specific to the needs of staff and students/stakeholders alike. In particular there is a focus on excellence and development of teaching and learning. Flexible teaching and learning is an obvious focus too - the second paragraph of the Introduction of the charter (pg1) makes a statement about engagement with diverse stakeholders regardless of location. This is a theme throughout the charter and is included in the Vision "The flexibility of our delivery and our willingness to accommodate the specific learning aspirations of students through individualised and cross disciplinary programmes of learning." (pg2)
Such statements as " accessibility for all learners"; "valuing diversity" ; ''personalised programme delivery" and among the Strategic Goals (pgs 4-5)" Learning: to provide relevant, flexible and accessible learning opportunities which build capability, are stimulating and challenging and foster lifelong learning" build on this theme. Issues of equal opportunity, ethnicity, age, abilities and disability are addressed under the heading of Equity. Under 'Meeting Learner Needs' (pg 7) there is a focus on personalised learning, quality assurance, support and access. Ongoing consultation with local Iwi diverse communites and stakeholders is addressed. (pg 15)
Overall the Otago Polytechnic charter is an inclusive document highlighting the needs of a diverse group of students, staff and stakeholders. Flexible teaching and learning is in fact a focus and addressed throughout the document.
The focus for my flexi learning development plan is on the development of a teaching and learning resource related to the fashion design process/supply chain and issues of sustainablity and will need to address all the issues discussed within the Polytechnic Charter to be relevant to a diverse group of learners. This resource will need to be accessible online as well as in an easy to use hard copy format and as a CD. I would like this resource to be made available to students and industry alike and to be in a format that could be adapted for other disciplines. There is the need for funding for this development so I will be looking into AKO Aotearoa and Otago Polytechnics Teaching Innovation fund as possible sources for funding.

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