Flexible Learning, Human Resource, and Organisational Development: Putting Theory to Work

Flexible Learning, Human Resource, and Organisational Development: Putting Theory to Work

Flexible Learning, Human Resource, and Organisational Development: Putting Theory to Work

Flexible Learning, Human Resource, and Organisational Development: Putting Theory to Work

Synopsis

Based on the observation that the impact of globalization and the emergence of new technologies requires a radical reconceptualization of the teaching-learning nexus in higher education and professional training, educators from Britain, the US, and Australia explore contemporary contexts of flexible learning and its practices and suggest some directions education and training providers may be required to go. They discuss social and economic dimensions, knowledge and power, institutional strategies, media and new technologies, and other aspects.

Excerpt

When I began the first of my four years as Vice-Chancellor of Australia's Deakin University, in 1992, it had acquired over two decades an internationally acknowledged reputation for 'distance education', based primarily upon off-campus teaching, using high-quality print-based learning materials backed up by exceptional access to an appropriate library. Within a year, I had made an executive decision to change the university's mode of representing its distinctiveness, from 'distance education' (or 'open learning' which was emerging as an alternative term) to 'flexible delivery' and 'flexible learning'. For some members of the wider community, the change was thought to be no more than a semantic quibble or a marketing ploy. Within the university, it was seen as the adoption of a discourse more appropriate to dealing with the fundamental changes already discernible within certain sectors of higher education as well as in human resource development and in the world of work. A subsequent decision later in 1992, to establish a private arm of the university, Deakin Australia, dedicated to the development and delivery of flexible learning materials and programmes to large corporations and professional associations, guaranteed a close and complex link between higher education and human resource development and immersed my Deakin colleagues and me in a continuing discussion of which the basic discourse itself was evolving and changing with often breathtaking speed.

What Viktor Jakupec (then a colleague at Deakin) and John Garrick and their twelve colleagues from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada address in the following fifteen chapters is one of the more complex and significant consequences of globalisation: the nature and role(s) of the relationship between flexible learning and the world of work not only insofar as economic outcomes are concerned, but also relating to the social, ethical,

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