What does it take for flexible learning to survive? A UK case study
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractPurpose: To identify potential reasons why an innovative Work based learning shell framework has succeeded in an adverse environment Design/methodology/approach: Case study Findings: Demand-led, flexible Work based learning programmes have to overcome a number of internal cultural and institutional barriers in order to succeed. Important requirements are likely to include effective leadership, financial viability, adherence to Quality Assurance, adaptability, entrepreneurialism and a cohesive community of practice incorporating these traits. Research limitations/implications: The conclusions are drawn from shared experience and are suggestive only as they are not readily susceptible to empirical verification. The authors accept that for some the conclusions appear speculative but they suggest that in order for innovative programmes to survive more is required than sound pedagogy. Practical implications: Although lessons may not be directly transferable, the paper draws attention to the importance of managerial, leadership and organisational factors necessary for innovative Work based learning programmes to survive and develop. Social implications: Originality/value: There is some literature on why some innovative higher education programmes and institutions have failed: there is little on why some programmes are successful.
CitationTalbot, J., Perrin, D. & Meakin, B. (2019). "What does it take for flexible learning to survive? A UK case study", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 10(1), 113-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-02-2019-0022
DescriptionAlthough there is evidence that Work Based Learning practices are expanding in universities worldwide, fully flexible programmes using a non-subject specific 'Shell programme' are often closed down. The paper is an attempt to identify non-pedagogic reasons why one such programme has been able to flourish over a twenty year time period. The implication is that those advocating such programmes should consider the broader organisational objectives of the host institution in order to achieve sustainability. this means ensuring programmes are financially sound, adapting to changing circumstances, cohesive team work and adherence to the maintenance of rigorous academic standards.
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