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Enhancing Flexible Learning at Birkbeck

A series of 5 School-led sessions with cream teas

Monday 18 February, 3.00-5.00pm

Enhancing flexible learning: exploring the possibilities of self-determined learning

School of Arts

In this session colleagues from across the School of Arts will explore various ways in which technology can be used to encourage students to engage with learning outside the classroom. We will explore questions such as: What is the role of technology in helping students prepare for study? How can technology support work done is the classroom? How can we help students to become more independent learners? Can technology help students to determine their own learning process? Join us for presentations, discussion and a cream tea.

Tuesday 19 February, 3.00-5.00pm

Enhancing flexible learning: towards a more dynamic and responsive model of learning

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Birkbeck's mission has always encompassed flexible learning.  Flexible learning is about providing learners with choices regarding where, when and how learning occurs.  Developments in technology are allowing others to compete in our space.  This session investigates innovations in education technology for enhancing flexible learning and, in particular, our response to the rapid development of MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) that seek to widen access to and meet the global demand for higher education. Over the last few months, we have been piloting our response in collaboration with an external partner.  This session will showcase one model of what can be done to develop our courses for online delivery. Join us for this demonstration (and a cream tea) and to share ideas as to how we at can best extend access to our high quality education experience across the world and provide high quality coherent blended learning for our home students.

Wednesday 20 February, 3.00-5.00pm

Enhancing flexible learning: cross-disciplinary provision

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

Birkbeck aims to promote research-led teaching. While research is often structured in disciplines which correspond to traditional departmental boundaries, new research can thrive on cross-disciplinary fertilisation. In this session, geographers, historians, political scientists and social theorists talk about their research on questions about the environment and the implications of population growth and demographic change. Existing teaching in the field and new initiatives from departments will be presented with a view to identifying the potential advantages and hazards of cross-disciplinary research-based teaching.  Find out what is going on in this area, join in the discussion and enjoy a cream tea.

Thursday 21 February, 3.00-5.00pm

Enhancing flexible learning: terms of engagement

School of Science

It is hard to argue that Birkbeck’s provision is really flexible* but, for better or worse, it's a label we seem to have adopted. Not as catchy, but perhaps it is better to say that in our provision we aim to recognise and respond to learners’ busy lives, as well as to their varied prior educational and life experiences. There are numerous ways in which we can attempt to do so: providing alternative programme entry routes, spreading the academic year fully across 3 terms, and blending the face-to-face and online provision are but three. In this session, presenters will lead discussion on these and other aspects of engaging students in Birkbeck learning experiences. Oh—and there will be sweet nibbles and caffeine!

*”Yes, that class meets on Tuesdays in the Spring Term, 1800-2100h; no, we don’t run that module on any other day or at any other time….It’ll be on again in two years…”

Friday 22 February, 3.00-5.00pm

Enhancing flexible learning: critical legal pedagogies

School of Law

This session will look into the Charter principles and methodology of the Popular University of Social Movements, an initiative of the Law School together with the World Social Forum to advance pro bono culture in legal education as an alternative to high fees and professionalisation. It will also showcase the extraordinary work of two junior scholars leading the way in alternative, creative forms of teaching and flexible learning.