Petedouglas’s Weblog

April 20, 2008

Examples of Flexible Learning – Part time, Block, Blended

Filed under: Uncategorized — by petedouglas @ 3:40 am

AHHH It was here a minute ago now I’ve lost it


Why We Need Flexible Learning

Filed under: Responses to schedule,weblog — by petedouglas @ 2:47 am

 Leigh Blackall’s articles on flexible learning

Differing views on flexible learning come to mind when I read article.  flexibility is a fantastic tool as it allows students to access information and study at their own pace I think there also needs to be some form of self discipline with the Fire Service, some pre course material is sent out in hard copy as well as information available online and self pacing is available to complete the pre course prior to attending the course itself, which usually compiles a practical component (needed for job skills in the job as a fire fighter) .  the instructor/trainer can hopefully have the relaxed thought  that the main points are covered in the pre course material and the students have a chance to discuss these prior to attending the course itself, thereby ensuring that when it comes to exams the main points have been covered and are understood, and less time is consumed on the subjects as is hopefully needed.
Cultural diversity, i.e. age, race or gender and can be a barrier to flexible learning, mainly because of the methods of education that people experienced in their learning lives. Concepts have changed from speak when spoken to, to, ask and open the mind to get clarification. This can be an issue where culture is not to question authority…

Do  we need more flexible learning options? Some would argue that there may not be enough discipline for some to get through the workload (I have days of lacking discipline myself sometimes, my time management is part of the reason, so am I badly self disciplined?) some argue it offers opportunities for students to study, work and play (maintaining a family lifestyle as well as work and study), can we have the opportunity for either/or? I think  as long as it creates a relaxed and happy enironment for the students, students will learn, in a  formal stuctured environment, whether at home, work or in the classroom, possibly reducing time to gain a qualification.

I personally believe that  recognition of previous learning that people have already undertaken is noted, and  qualifications issued with further instruction if needed on experience and RPL instead of having to re-do course complete content when it has already been achieved, alieviating the impact of “what a waste of time being here when I have already done this, why should I do this again and take so long to get this qualification?” attitude. RPL  will enables gaining the qualifications they want much faster and avoids negativity such as “This is old news. I already know this”.
The agument and debates will always be there especially as technology advances as to why we need flexible learning and how do we change to best suit the student and personally, with improving my self discipline, its a fantastic learning tool for our toolboxes, but variety must be blended to maintain a safe learning environments for all learning styles.




Flexible Learning

Filed under: Responses to schedule — by petedouglas @ 1:21 am

As I am in a tight time frame for doing things in working hours, I have now got the oportunity to do some “Flexible Learning” away from the hustle and bustle, so Flexible Learning does have its advantages 🙂 So having time, I asked myself again and reflected on previous posts, what is flexible learning and what does it mean to me personnaly?? After some more consideration,Flexible Learning is offering students the flexibilitiy to study, and learn, in their own time, hence here I am.  All students have different learning techniques and styles, so being able to study at their convenience, on their personal or work timetable, and at their own pace, puts the responsibility back on that student to learn, (A course that needs to be looked at is time management for myself). Some students struggle to learn in a sterile/stagnant environment of a class room,  therefore making it hard for the student to understand why they are failing at the course.  Some students learn better in a non-threatning environment, where they are not getting rushed through a subject by a course facilitator, teacher or trainer, whatever the learning environment may be. (who may be under pressure to get their units taught in a particular time frame.) 

On reflection of my career, i am a flexible learner tutor, for the NZ Fire Service, so I feel very privileged to work with students from all walks of life, and different kinds of learning styles, and watching them grow with confidence, on the subjects we teach, to get them into the role of a fire fighter straight of recruit course or into the role of a fire warden for those public courses I teach.

From my charasmatic in my days at school, I  like many others, have some unhappy stories (some happy ones too), I could tell about the way I was taught and the teacher by whom I was taught in a style that did not suit myself , and unfortunately this still carries on, generation after generation and I like to think I am a teacher who  is to build the students confidence up again and get them to believe in themselves, and for them to realise that we all have different learning styles and learning methods.

Some of our students are visual learners, some of them aural,some just like to look at the books and get right into it, but in the end, the outcome seems to be the same.

I occassionally get to have one on ones with our students, and believe that giving them the direction of where the course in heading, and what is required of the student, giving them the time frame of the course and then being there to facilitate for them if needed is a great way to learn, which has positive spinoffs from the students.

I do agree that when a course is on-line that you do need a considerable amount of direction from the tutor, before you begin, and have  availablability of  face to face learning and approachability as well, should the going gets tough. I think the lines of communication need to be open all the time, and have a good help system available as well.

For recruit training, we are available more or less 24/7, so should there be an issue, we are available to try and get through the issues they have, and nine times out of ten, it is just a misunderstanding or clarification required.

I feel there is always a need for a  face to face (teacher/classroom) learning, but feel its good for the teacher to go to the students some time and really get to know the students situation/life and learning styles, especially as personal knowledge can help us prime them to there best potential to be a fire fighter.


as I am always learning, I have established a delicious account for my flexible learning course.






April 13, 2008

My comments on Blended Learning

Filed under: Responses to schedule — by petedouglas @ 9:27 pm

Soory about the delay in keeping upi with the weekly postings.

After reading the paper on blended learning, I can relate this through the Fire Service training regime, that blended learning is alive and well that after the initial recruit training of classroom lectures and practical training which entitles the student to take ownership of proggression in their learning process with available help as required.

E learning is becoming more of a option for staff in the Fire Service, which reduces the time constraints of instructors.

In blended learning, I believe the Fire Service with my experience sits in the catagoey B arena, which encourages also personal achievement towards the career as well as the learning concept.

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