Our flexible learning and teaching policy appears to be quite ‘open’ and broad. However, it does appear to provide serious attention to flexibility in teaching and learning and states that “It is our intention to have 25% of all courses being delivered” in such ways; although, I am yet to identify when this target is to be achieved. Further, the document in several areas appears to have an on-line focus in terms of flexibility.
Our policy identifies a wide variety of flexible approaches that are and can be utilised by staff and students including: blended delivery, e mail, online resources, animations, simulations, video clips, audio material, (pod casting) case scenarios, discussions as well maintaining face to face contact. Pretty impressive!
Several staff members both internal to the OISA and external have been identified to lead the continued development of our flexible delivery approach. Significant training has been undertaken by staff already to ‘upskill’ in the use of on-line tools including BlackBoard, and will continue to take place as and when required. Otago Polytechnic Information Technology support is also available for the upskilling of our staff.
Returning to my previous comment about the flexible delivery appearing to have a slant towards on-line content in our document, in relation to student support the document suggests that “the majority of OISA students are under the age of 25 and are generally computer literate with the mature students often requiring additional support”.
The document indicates that in addition to face to face support, students will “be supported by an orientation to Otago Polytechnic Learning Management System at the beginning of each programme. Texting, emailing and announcements on Blackboard are the main support tools used. Team work and peer support is an integral part of OISA programme delivery and pastoral care is provided in the first instance by lecturing staff and if need be referral is made to appropriate support services. Students at a distance are supported by telephone and e mail with referral options (e.g. to another Tertiary Institution) being made available".
Despite having a slant towards the on-line aspect of flexible delivery, and there being no mention of flexible assessment the OISA appears to be making significant efforts to provide students with flexible delivery options.