Changing expectations: Preparing students for flexible learning
Abstract:The report of the Dearing Committee (NCIHE, 1997) identifies a rapid and ongoing increase in use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support teaching and learning in higher education. This rapid expansion involves practices that are changing the traditional roles of both staff and students. The need to orient staff to the unfamiliar roles associated with student-centred learning and ICT-augmented teaching is well recognized. This paper argues that students also need to be prepared for their new roles.
The paper provides a rationale for student development to prepare students for the transition to learning environments that include extensive use of ICTs as learning technologies. The argument is that both staff and student development are necessary and that these are complementary foci. The discussion then provides a detailed overview of successful student-development strategies that have been developed to support students starting studies at a purpose-built flexible learning campus.