Towards flexible learning for adult learners in professional contexts: an activity-focused course design

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This article argues for a flexible model of learning for adults which allows them to make choices and contextualise their learning in a manner appropriate to their own professional practice whilst also developing as a member of a learning community. It presents a design based around online ‘learning activities’ which draws on ideas of constructivism, collaborative learning and reflective practice. The model was developed for adult learning in Higher Education, and has been adapted and extended to a number of different programmes. Implementation of the model for the Teaching Qualification (Further Education) has been the subject of an interpretative evaluation using a multiple methods approach. Learners' experiences of this programme together with issues associated with the application of the model to other programmes are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number4
Early online date15 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • flexible learning
  • online learning activities
  • course design
  • adult learning

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