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Section 6b. Using technology to support flexible models of delivery

Technology can provide great support

Providers have successfully offered models of flexible delivery using ‘traditional’ paper-based resources. However, technology can provide great support in developing flexible models. Providers are using a whole range of tools including email, internet, instant messaging, pod casts, message boards, and mobile phones, as well as developing Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs).

Page 49 of Making It Work gives useful and practical suggestions from providers for successful development of a VLE including:

  • have a technical support person on hand;
  • have separate sections for staff and learners;
  • monitor learner use;
  • provide links to other resources;
  • create a community for learners who can contribute via a forum or blog;
  • upload a wide range of resources, but make sure paper-based resources have been modified for online use.

Case studies from Wirral Metropolitan College and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College offer ideas for developing a VLE-based course.

Many providers are also developing moodles to support flexible delivery

Top tips from Longden Training on developing a Moodle:

  • make the activities short (maximum 10 minutes long);
  • make activities easy to follow;
  • make sure there is immediate feedback of results;
  • use a variety of activities so that the learner experiences different quizzes, tasks, fact sheets to appeal to all learning styles;
  • enable the learner to access activities more than once – they are useful for revision and practising test questions;
  • provide links to reputable websites, such as BBC Skillswise, Move On.

The Full report from Longden Training’s Action Research and Development project, from the Skills for Life Support Programme, gives more detail about its journey in developing flexible learning approaches.

See Making the most of provider developed resources for flexible learning for more examples of resources developed during the Skills for Life Support Programme.