I'm delighted at the beginning of 2016 to give the first flexible learning blogpost to Dr Peter Chatterton, to present his work with the QAA in Scotland on designing a flexible learning toolkit.
In 2014, I was given the opportunity to work with the QAA in Scotland to help them develop a practical toolkit that would enable institutions to implement flexible curricula. I had previously worked with them on implementing work-based learning and found that there is very positive collaboration between Scottish HEIs and the QAA on enhancement initiatives – indeed Scotland has an enhancement themes programme, where one of the themes was flexible curricula. I was teamed with Heather Gibson (QAA Scotland) and Martha Caddell (Open University) to come up with a practical toolkit that would help programme teams to reflect on changing drivers and needs for flexible curricula and then to enhance practice.
Heather, Martha and I all thought it would be a great idea to take the Viewpoints approach and adapt it for flexible curricula to produce something really useful for programme teams and we were fortunate enough to have Alan Masson join us as a Critical Friend on the project.
More information about this toolkit and the project in general can be found here.
Dr Peter Chatterton is a consultant and academic who works with a wide range of universities and educational agencies, supporting them in programmes of innovation, change and agile working for educational transformation. He also works with businesses, large and small, and helps develop university-employer partnerships with a particular focus on developing graduate employability skills, work-based learning, flexible learning and enhancing university collaboration with employers. He has helped set up the Change Agents’ Network to support students as innovation and change leaders in universities and industry and was a prime mover in setting up the Automotive College (an HE/FE/industry partnership) to support improvement programmes in the automotive supply chain. He has also been involved in “Changing the Learning Landscape”, a project to transform strategic approaches to technology across HE/FE and is a consultant to the QAA Scotland on their Enhancement Theme programme with a focus on supporting universities in designing and delivering flexible curricula.
Dr Alison Le Cornu is a freelance Consultant in Academic Practice working in higher education. She specialises in flexible learning which she understands as empowering learners by giving them the ability to choose how, what, where and when they study. This is very dependent on institutional systems and structures having the capacity to facilitate this. She works with institutions at all levels to help them bring about the institutional/student partnership that this requires.