FDOL132 unit 3

Flexible learning in the digital age

Rationale: This unit explores some of the drivers behind flexible, distance and online learning. The 21st century has seen a change in student demographic. The student body is increasingly diverse, for example, many students are older learners who may have work and family schedules as well as study commitments, attending traditional face-to-face classes in a college or university may not always be possible. Ubiquitous networked computer technology, the growth of the Internet and the widely use of personalised technologies as well as social media provide multiple-platforms for cooperation and co-learning has given increased opportunity to both students and educators, in a time of increasing uncertainty in the educational landscape. Participants will be encouraged to explore some of the drivers behind these changes from a personal, institutional and international perspective and challenged to explore a variety of learning and teaching approaches that support aspects of FDOL.

by Chrissi Nerantzi


Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, you will have had the opportunity to

  1. critically explore drivers for flexible, distance and online learning
  2. critically discuss benefits and challenges of FDOL in your professional context
  3. critically review in PBL groups flexible, distance and online learning features of the chosen activity/resource

Activities/tasks for all learners

  1. Google + FDOL132 community
    Discuss aspects of flexible, distance and online learning in participants’ professional context with peers and comment on each other’s contributions. Please use the category “unit 3: flexible learning in the digital age” for these discussions.
  2. Twitter
    You are encouraged to continue to use your Twitter account. If you would like to it would be interesting if you tweet about your experience from the FDOL course. Please find peers on FDOL and follow them, and comment on tweets by others if you would like to.
    There are no requirements to tweet and/or comment, however you are encouraged and for those of you who are new on Twitter the idea of Twitter in the FDOL course is that your use will increase during the FDOL journey as you become more familiar with it.
    Remember to use the hashtag #fdol132 when tweeting.

Additional activities/tasks for learners within PBL groups

  1. Pick a scenario
    You will pick a scenario (the scenario archive can be found on subpage 4. PBL scenarios) you would like to inquire into/peer review during FDOL using the guidelines provided. If you selected a learning activity for your scenario in unit 2, it could be interesting to continue with the same scenario but focusing in on the theme for this unit.

  2. Investigate the chosen scenario
    We propose to use COOL FISh for this, and carry out an enquiry into specific features linked to the theme of unit 3: Flexible learning in the digital age.

  3. Share your findings
    At the end of Unit 3 share your main findings in the FDOL132 community using the Category Unit 3 section. Consider creating a Google doc, a video, a cartoon or any other more creative representation of your findings and invite the FDOL132 community to provide feedback on your work. Please note, overall findings from all PBL activities will be shared in Unit 7.

  4. Reflection
    At the end of the unit, reflect individually and in your PBL groups on your learning.

  5. Link to personal portfolios
    Remember to link your PBL activities to your personal portfolios.

The reflective post in unit 3

The theme for the reflective post is My digital teaching practice and opportunities for change. Continue reflecting on who you are as a teacher in the digital age today and which aspects of your practice you would like to develop further as a result of your engagement with this unit. This reflective post needs to be completed by the end of this unit (October 16th) the latest.

Capture your reflections in your portfolio/personal learning space. Use relevant literature. Open access papers and further resources are available. Feel free to use these and additional readings.

If you would like to share your reflection with others please do so in the FDOL132 community category “Reflective post number 2 My digital teaching practice and opportunities for change”, please share the link to your portfolio/personal learning space and invite others to comment. Remember to add the hashtag #FDOL132 and @openfdol to your title if you want to share through Twitter.

If you study towards credits/certificate, please check with your institution regarding requirements for the reflective posts.


suggested readings
1. History and heritage in distance education by Bill Anderson and Mary Simpson, available here
2. Motives for lifelong learners to choose web-based courses by Ron Mahieu and Simon Wolming, available here
3. Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning) by QAA, available here
4. Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control – according to the research, by Marion Coomey and John Stephenson, available hereadditional resourcesFDOL diigo group at http://groups.diigo.com/group/fdol-resources

Please check this learners’ generated collection and add further resources you find useful and link well with this unit. Remember to use tags and comment on resources shared by others.

Unit 3 webinar

10 October, Thursday 7-8pm UK time, find your local time
with Alastair Creelman
Twitter: @alacre
Please read Alastair’s most recent paper Completion Rates – A False Trail to Measuring Course Quality? Let’s Call in the HEROEs Instead

To access the webinar room click here https://connect.sunet.se/fdol.
To login: Enter as a guest and add your name.
When you have entered the webinar room, start the Audio setup wizard under Meeting at the top left to check your headset.

please access the webinar recording here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s