Friday, July 24, 2009

Flexible teaching for flexible learning

Image: Addo Elephant Park, South Africa by exfordy
This is my perspective about the type of teacher I am and the things which are important to me as a teacher, and where my experience of flexible teaching and learning is situated. The elephant is me through the looking glass - I will explain this later on.

You might like to watch this short video clip about the type of teacher I believe I am. Slightly traditional and willing to try new things, and preferring regular interaction in class and with students.



I have also prepared a video about two examples - an inflexible teacher and a very flexible teacher. The inflexible teacher - a traditional, lecturer with lots of knowledge who never changed his style of teaching over 30 years - and a very flexible teacher - one who used constructivist learning principles, negotiated learning contracts and assessments.



Here is a link to a conversation I had about 3.5 years ago about flexible learning (FL). I am now going to tackle the other parts of the orientation exercise.

I believe that FL helps me to be a better teacher in many ways. I am constantly challenged to explore new approaches to teaching and learning, use new methods to get information and concepts across to students, and this often means trying out new technologies, and teaching approaches. For example, I have been using a wiki (http://wikieducator.org/Flexible_learning) for the course schedule and resources for three years now. It is a great way for students to interact online and give each other feedback, and for me to keep information up to date in a sustainable way. Most of my students study part-time and have heavy workloads so the structure helps them with their time management. I will post later on about the rest of the questions in the orientation exercise.