Flexible learning has become increasingly popular in an age where time constraints such as family routines, work schedules and outside commitments affect a person’s ability to take on new leaning opportunities. Educational institutions have been offering flexible learning courses and conditions for several years in keeping with growing demand. Offering flexibility allows people to fit educational courses into their lives without major disruption.
What is flexible learning?
Flexible learning is centred on individualisation of learning conditions, systems and environment. By giving increased choices for the time, location, style and means by which learners access and undertake learning they are personalising the process to fit with their needs and lifestyle. The idea of flexible learning is to empower learners to undertake learning in a way which suits them. Traditional teacher-centred approaches in formal classroom environments at set times for pre-determined periods do not work for everyone, nor should they. Learning should be as individual as the person approaching it. Without personalising learning, essential information and skills can be lost.
What are the benefits?
- Offers flexibility for individual learning styles; such as online, face-to-face, or in-field etc
- Gives tangible control to individual learners for when, where and how
- Allows for work-life-learning balance
- Increases participation
- Enhances business-led learning initiatives for employees
- Builds engagement in course content by providing multiple ways to access information
- Creates adaptable teachers and tutors who can respond to learners as individuals
- Improves retention and engagement
- Optimises financial investment
How can Tutoring support flexible learning?
The biggest focus for flexible learning is to take the traditional teacher-led dynamic out of the learning equation. Instead learners are given access to information in a variety of styles and formats to align with their individual learning needs. However, just because a learner has been given increased autonomy and power over their learning conditions does not mean they don’t require guidance. Tutoring is still a key component of flexible learning as tutoring is needed to help a student:
- Reflect on what they have learnt
- Guide them to new or diversified conclusions
- Support them with their difficulties
- Provide valuable feedback on progress
- Offer solutions to problems
- Suggest alternative information sources
- Be a sounding board for ideas and conclusions
- Grade, edit and appraise written assessment material
A tutor who understands a learner’s individual needs can help them create a personalised learning framework too. Through experienced assessment a tutor can advise a student on:
- The best times to learn
- Creating useful study timetables
- Adopt successful study habits
- Model information taking and dissemination
- Suggest learning practices to suit learning strengths and minimise weaknesses
Flexible learning is a personal choice. If you are considering undertaking new learning opportunities inquire about the options available and be honest with yourself about how it will fit with your lifestyle, needs and abilities.
Find Out More
If you interested in finding out more about tutoring, flexible learning and how it could help you, please contact us.