Green Apple Issue 4 - Page 29

Candice shares her approach for developing an interactive, engaging and collaborative learning experience for students.

Did you encounter any challenges with Flexible Learning design?

Personally, it wasn’t difficult to develop my unit into the new Flexible Learning template. Over the past year we transitioned a lot of activities online, so it was easy to add an asynchronous mode by applying self-regulated learning, including more information and fun aspects to help with user experience. Something I gave a lot of thought to was equivalency. I’ve had to think outside the box to create collaborative spaces and break-out room activities, and Q&A opportunities within the weekly live sessions.

The Community of Practice forums were highly valuable for gathering ideas. Making a conscious effort to invite asynchronous students to join weekly tasks is vital for creating a sense of belonging, and for the sharing of information between teacher and student, and student to student.

What are the main benefits of Flexible Learning?

Our goal is to ensure students have flexibility and are competent at the end of a trimester, so we need all content to be aligned with learning outcomes, and that students will have a great experience in whichever mode they choose. As a teacher, I’ve enjoyed the design process, applying things learnt through FLDP and putting my personality into it!

What will your next steps be with Flexible Learning design?

My learning in educational technology is still in progress, and I hope to undertake further PD and continue to tweak and improve my unit throughout Trimester 1. The FLDP encouraged me to discuss ideas with colleagues, helping us all to learn from each other! I’ve also introduced my work to Deakin University Unit Chairs, and it’s been great to see mutual respect and relationship building. It has required time and effort, but it’s been a gratifying experience. I didn’t know I’d enjoy it so much!

Over 200 UPA teachers have undertaken the Flexible Learning Design (FLD) program thus far. Teachers have found the comprehensive FLD program content and interactive opportunities, such as the Communities of Practice forums and Educational Technology live sessions, particularly helpful as they redeveloped their units for 2021.

Karen McRae

Manager, Academic Education

Learning & Teaching Services UPA