Flexible learning has long been associated with distance learning. It is also becoming increasingly associated with on-campus learning (Palaskas & Muldoon, 2003). This paper explores the practical implications of flexible learning and examines the appropriateness of a blended approach to learning and teaching. The context of this study was Charles Sturt University, one of the largest distance education providers in Australia; it also has a significant on-campus cohort. The Bachelor of Social Science (Emergency Management) course is situated within the School of Public Health. The introductory subject for this course was developed on CD-ROM to make use of multimedia and online materials pertaining to emergency management, increase interaction with the subject by distance learners, and provide industry relevance via the use of a professional portfolio that promotes reflective practice. The subject development also needed to incorporate scaffolding for first year on-campus students. The authors sought to develop a model for this and future subjects that was able to meet the needs of a variety of learners with differing levels of experience in study and professional practice. Past and present students were asked to evaluate the subject using a number of instruments. The data gained from these evaluations formed the basis for focus group discussions lead by independent facilitators who gathered qualitative data. This paper seeks to extend the existing body of knowledge concerning the implications of blended learning approaches for meeting the needs of divergent groups of learners.
|Title of host publication||Breaking Down Barriers. ODLAA, 17th Biennial conference|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Event||The Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) conference - Adelaide, Australia|
Duration: 09 Nov 2005 → 11 Nov 2005
|Conference||The Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) conference|
|Period||09/11/05 → 11/11/05|