Haven't been blogging of late, but have just caught up on several discussions going around. Particulary like what Liz and Fred have been posting. generally agree with what they are saying and would like to add another element to flexibility and that is time taken to complete. The more I start thinking about this "whole" flexible learning I am more inclined to lead towards "open education" (is this one end of the flexible learning continum?)
Unfornuatley there are some government and institution constarints that (at this stage) will not allow this to happen.
My vision would be to have resources available for all (unlimited access, free) this would allow self teaching. When the student is confident/ comfortable with what they have achieved they then would apply for an assessment to get formal recognition of their learning. (this is where we could recoup some of the costs of developing and maintaining "open materials".
There are obviously some constraints around this presently, I am more looking at the philosophy of this approach. The practicalities would need some working through. This option would not suit all learners (and perhaps all subject matter?) however it could fill a gap in the market.
Access and equal opportunity would be one practicality that would need to be addressed. One of the issues facing flexible teaching is the use of technology. We are faced with a myriad of software and hardware systems. How many of these can "talk to each other"? If we are serious about equal opportunity and access this is an area that needs to be addressed. For example how many different formats can a recording be saved as? Can they all be played through, laptop, DVD player, etc??
With my limited knowledge I understand that there is some work around this and the one example I know of is Unitube. it is my understanding that there has been some code written that will allow you to post "video" in any format and it is then converted to be read and shown through the unitube medium. If this is correct this to me is a great example of helping some access issues.