Summary of issues from the meeting
One of the big things that came out of this meeting for me and which seems to me to be interrelated with the three issues discussed (i.e., culture, access and equity and sustainability) is the concept of autonomy.
How do you think you might treat these wider issues when you start developing your flexible learning idea?
The power of autonomy has been shown in research looking at Self-Determination Theory
I think that the issue of autonomy could be of great influence in my courses.
Firstly, cultural factors may link with autonomy. Students who feel like they “have a say” and can provide input into their course may not feel that they are faced with the same cultural prejudices as those who do not “have a say”; they may have a sense of control over their study situation.
Secondly, by having more choice about what they do, when they do it, and how they do it, students may be able to overcome personal barriers that may have otherwise limited their participation in a particular course.
Thirdly, in terms of sustainability, students who have a sense of autonomy over their learning may be more likely to remain involved over the long term. Students who have a feeling of ownership in regards to their studies may be more motivated to get as much out of the learning experience as they can.
So, the potentially far reaching influence of having a sense of autonomy in an educational context cannot be overlooked. It would be up to me to come up with ways to help students feel like they have a significant role in the development, teaching, and evaluation of courses. This would need to be negotiated at the beginning of each course.