Frequently asked questions

faq.jpgWe'll be filling this page with some common questions you might ask...

Why have you designed the site in this way?
The development of this site is strongly influenced by the work of Lave and Wenger (1991) on situated learning, as well as that of Jane Hart, Jay Cross, Harold Jarche and Clark Quinn on informal learning in the workplace. We wanted to create a resource that people could use and interact with in their own space and time, when they needed it - a support for their own formal and informal learning. We wanted something that was dynamic, sustainable in that it is easy to maintain to keep pace with new developments and resources, and able to easily incorporate contributions from others in the CSU community. We wanted something that people could 'dip into' depending on their interests, contexts, experience and needs, not something that had to be worked through in a linear fashion from woe to go. In short, we were looking for an efficient, effective path that made it easy for people to get what they need when they need it. We hope we've gone some way towards achieving that, but time will tell. :)

Why are you using a wiki for this site?
We've used a wiki as we'd like this site to be a collaborative venture. While FLI has certainly started the site, blended and flexible learning is a broad area where there are many stakeholders. Learning and Teaching Services also have a strong and complementary role in inspiring and supporting course teams in BFL, and their own professional development program. We also have many outstanding leaders, teachers, researchers and innovators in BFL across the CSU community, including Teaching Fellows from both FLI and EFPI. We'd love to see those people contribute - and have their contributions acknowledged - in key sites such as this, so that as a university community we can learn from them and continue to grow.

Why is collaboration so important? We believe that excellence in BFL at CSU will continue to develop by building on our strengths - and when it comes to BFL, those strengths lie right across our community, not just in one small Institute. We also value openness, interdisciplinary work and sustainable practice. By providing a site where innovators can 'contribute' by simply requesting membership, we hope to provide an avenue for many of our 'quiet achievers' to become more recognised.

Why isn't it an open wiki, so that anyone can add to it?
Well, eventually it might be. At the moment though, we'd like to have a specifically CSU focus. Anyone is able to view the site, and external partners can add to the site if they request membership.

Why the emphasis on social media, over institutionally-based tools?
Yes, we are using Wikispaces for this wiki, Blogger for our blogs, Delicious for our resources and so on...when perhaps we could use the CS website, Interact and PebblePad. Why? Well, firstly we wanted to be able to make quick updates and allows others to as well. So we decided against adding this as a static website. Secondly, we wanted the enhanced functionality that is available in these tools, that any one system struggles to find. Finally, we also value openness, and so wanted to keep our options open and make these resources available even to those who don't have access to these internal systems.

Why are you focusing on the perspectives, instead of just the good practice principles?
When it comes to BFL, we found that principles only took us so far. In the end, we had a list of words, and good words, but also we wanted to offer a strategy for examining ones course and planning for transformational change that went beyond these words. And that's where this site began.

Are these principles and perspectives a rigid framework requiring unquestioning compliance?
Of course not. The simplest of searches will find a multitude of other sets of 'principles for blended learning' which are equally valid. What they offer is, we hope, a sensible, practical, thoughtful way forward to looking at your course through a blended and flexible learning lens. It offers you questions to consider as a course team that we hope will lead you towards decisions regarding BFL that are right for your course, for your context. And it offers you resources to support you in the decision-making process. We hope you will use this site as a starting point for rich discussion within your course team, and return to the questions and resources often. Course design is an iterative process requiring continual refinement and commitment, and something we rarely 'get right' the first time.

I'm doing great things that aren't mentioned here...can I add them?
Absolutely. There are a few ways you can add things. The first way is to post something on the discussion board, located in the tabs at the top of the page. If you'd like to work on a particular section of the site, please contact FLI to request membership.

Why aren't there many case studies yet?
Case studies take time to gather and to develop. In April 2011 FLI filmed over 10 hours with some of our recent FLI fellows, and we hope to visit the remaining fellows later this year. Some of that footage has been brought together into the Exploring blended and flexible learning at CSU video. We're currently working on bringing the rest of the footage together into a series of cases studies, supported by the Fellows reports. But of course, we're not just interested in current fellows. If you have a great case study to share, let us know and we'll help you prepare it for this site.