What kind of support is available?

The following mindmap provides some idea of just some of the support options available to course teams to continuously improve their approach to blended and flexible learning. Of course, there is a Most of what you see below in the inspiration, process and resources links is available through this site. However there is also other support - provided by the Flexible Learning Institute, Learning and Teaching Services as well as informal learning opportunities that we'll outline here.

Additional support from the Flexible Learning Institute

Exploring good practice in BFL at CSU: The practitioner's voice
This video is designed as an introduction for course teams starting to develop their course BFL strategy. It looks at BFL from the perspectives of FLI staff and Teaching Fellows, and introduces teams to the proposed principles for good practice in BFL and the perspectives approach.

The video is available online, and is currently being piloted with three course teams, through the BFL Course Symposium Team Grants. It will be revised following feedback and made available for all course teams as a DVD later in the year. For more information, or to request a copy of the DVD, please contact Carole Hunter.

Course Team Symposiums Grants
symposium.jpgThe Blended and Flexible Learning Course Symposiums are designed to support course teams in thinking about how they are currently using blended and flexible learning strategies in their course, and how these might be enhanced, to optimise the learning and teaching experience.
Grant recipients are awarded $2000 per course to develop a BFL course strategy which indicates how blended and flexible learning will be embedded into the student experience across the course. This strategy can be used by the team in its Course Review as per the CSU Degree Initiative (blended and flexible learning), and should be developed in consideration of the BFL Good Practice Guide and the BFL Standards. The course team will also identify examples of BFL strategies developed during and following the symposium for sharing with the CSU community.

The Flexible Learning Institute assists with funding, planning, resource and strategic support both before and during the symposium as well as professional support in using the Aspirational Framework to articulate individual achievements in BFL (for promotional purposes).
Aspirational Framework
The Aspirational Framework has been designed as a Strategy to inform BFL Standard 4. The focus of the Aspirational Framework is to provide CSU academic staff with a strategy for identifying the characteristics of design that characterize BFL environments.

FLI Fellowships

external image download.aspx?action=view&useroid=0&oid=359336&x=327The FLI Teaching Fellows Scheme is funded through the Office of the DVC (Academic). Through this scheme staff are released from regular duties to engage in strategic learning and teaching development projects involving the scholarship of teaching and leadership of change.

The teaching fellowship scheme is designed principally to:

1. Promote and instigate the scholarship and practice of flexible learning and teaching at CSU.
2. Promote the scholarship of learning and teaching through the provision of:models of best practice; andinnovation exemplars.
3. Support development, evaluation and dissemination of good practice in flexible learning and teaching.
4. Model uses for emerging flexible learning and teaching technologies.
5. Review conceptualisations of educational processes, policies and practices concerning flexible learning and teaching for the professions.

(FLI Strategic Plan 2009-2011)

It's about giving gifted educators the space to innovate...to try new ideas in BFL, to extend their practice...and then to share that with as many people as possible to enhance BFL across our CSU community. You can view a video about the Fellowship Scheme here, and you might also like to read a paper, Transforming distance education curricula through distributive leadership, which looks at the fellowship program from in terms of this distributive leadership strategy. transformative leadership

For further information about the Teaching Fellows Development Program, contact Carole Hunter.

Additional support from Learning and Teaching Services

external image image-1.jpgLearning and Teaching Services offer a range of services to support course redesign in blended and flexible learning, including educational design, media services, scholarship in teaching, teaching evaluations and feedback, an extensive professional development program and an evaluation unit.

Educational Designers are located in each School, and provide intensive educational design and professional development support for individuals and course teams.

Informal learning opportunities

Blended and flexible learning has been a thriving topic in the literature and on blogs and forums for some time. There's a wealth of information, ideas and support out there allowing teams to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' and learn from others' experiences. The following are just some that we've found to be useful, and available either online or through the CSU Library.
In the literature
Like anything, a good balance between blogs, books and peer-reviewed articles is important. Here is a very short list of books and articles that we've found particularly useful. If you have others that have helped you a lot, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page for others.

  • Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (2007). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age. New York: Routledge.
  • Garrison, D.R. & Vaughn, N. (2008). Blended learning in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Littlejohn, A. & Pelger, C. (2007). Preparing for blended e-learning. Oxford: Routledge.
  • MacDonald, J. (2008). Blended learning and online tutoring (2nd edn.). Hampshire: Gower Pubishing.
More relevant books and articles are listed on our references page.

Learning online - people and resources to check out
An important concept behind blended learning is the idea of community and that knowledge exists in networks. Part of learning about blended learning, then, involves extending your own personal learning network. The following are key commentators in this area who write regulary through their blogs about learning and teaching in higher education contexts. You might like to follow them, and others, to engage in some of the critical discsusions that are happening at the moment in relation to learning.

We've collected some of the best blogs we've found in blended and flexible learning here, and also don't forget to check out FLI's two blogs - Flexible Learning Institute and Blended and Flexible Learning

In addition, FLI is collating a range of useful sites through the FLI delicious site. They are organised according the the perspectives approach outlined in this site. Hopefully you'll find the tagging system and the descriptions we've provided useful in quickly locating the kinds of resources you need to suit your purpose.