The goal of flexible learning is to leverage the benefits of pedagogy and technology to provide an engaging, personalised learning experience that supports all students to achieve their potential. An effective flexible learning model requires institutions to construct and evaluate infrastructure, policies and practices to ensure they offer inclusive and accessible learning opportunities that promote successful student engagement and belonging.
We all want to empower students, to provide choice in how, what, when and where they learn. We want to provide personalised learning environments that meet the individual needs and preferences of students. But we also want to maintain a sense of community. Connecting students and teachers through regular interaction, collaboration and assessments, not only deepens learning, but it also creates a stronger sense of belonging. Flexible learning can be a powerful tool to promote access and success, but it must be implemented in a way that supports a vibrant learning community."
Dr Catherine Hack
Senior Adviser (Learning and Teaching)
Want to know more about flexible learning?
The information pack for flexible learning contains links to all the resources and content available on this page plus more.
Framework for flexible learning in higher education
A shared point of reference for the sector
The Flexible Learning framework, provides a tool for reviewing your institution’s flexible learning provision. Building on the underpinning elements of flexible learning, the framework provides a structure from which a bespoke, learning and teaching offer that meets institutional visions and values can be developed.
Would you like consultancy and enhancement support for flexible learning at your institution?
Advance HE can help you to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement and deliver solutions-based change with a review of the success of any initiatives against KPIs and global frameworks
Flexible Learning reports, publications and resources
Advance HE has curated resources to support the understanding and practical application flexible learning. These include teaching resources, research into student attitudes and evaluation guides.
Flexible learning: a literature review 2016 - 2021
This literature review is part of the Connect Benefit Series 2021-22 longitudinal project on Student Success, which focuses on flexible learning, as well as the themes of access, retention, attainment and progression, and employability.
Beyond Flexible Learning - introductory video
Part of our Beyond Flexible Learning Member Benefit theme for 2022/23, in this introductory video, Dr Kay Hack introduces the theme and discusses how HE providers can provide high quality education experiences while leveraging the benefits of online learning for students.
Hybrid Higher: Hybrid working and leadership in higher education
The Hybrid Higher initiative brought together senior colleagues from across the sector with responsibility for planning future work and operational models. Through facilitated discussion in two webinar workshops colleagues worked to develop a picture of the challenges and opportunities involved in hybrid working, to share insights and to consider how to achieve a purposeful hybrid balance between virtual engagement and in-person collaboration.
Flexible by design podcast
In this podcast, Kay Hack, Senior Advisor, Advance HE is joined by Emma Seagreaves, Director of Design and Assessments, University of Law, Steve Pettifer, Professor of Computer Science, University of Manchester and Sarah Knight, Head of teaching and learning and transformation, JISC to explore a topic that institutions, academics, students and governments have all been deliberating for the past two years; how higher education institutions can provide high quality, accessible and engaging learning experiences whilst leveraging the benefits of online learning.
Inclusive Curriculum (re)Design for Blended and Online Learning: Evaluation and Toolkit/video resource production
The University of Strathclyde have developed an inclusive approach to blended and online module design. The aim of this project was to produce resources to facilitate the dissemination of this approach and to encourage future development and collaboration.
More resources, reports and publications
You will find links to more resources, reports and publications in our information pack on student retention and success in higher education.