International Recruitment and Flexible Learning: reflections and prospects
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International Recruitment and Flexible Learning: reflections and prospects. Stewart Barr Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences. Outline. International context for flexible learning; Programme development within Geography at Exeter; The programmes

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International recruitment and flexible learning reflections and prospects

International Recruitment and Flexible Learning: reflections and prospects

Stewart Barr

Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences


Outline

Outline

  • International context for flexible learning;

  • Programme development within Geography at Exeter;

  • The programmes

  • Learning and teaching flexibly using the FDL approach;

  • Recruitment and marketing;

  • Reflections and experiences;

  • Prospects for international FDL in Geography programmes.


International context and development strategy

International Context and Development Strategy

  • Resonance of Geography outside of Anglo-American contexts is weak;

  • Stronger emphasis on environmental and developmental sub-themes;

  • Linking international resonance to disciplinary expertise: sustainable development;

  • Sustainable Development (SD) internationally recognized term, although differently conceptualized;

  • Growing market for professional development alongside academic learning for SD;

  • PGT likely candidate.


International context and development strategy1

International Context and Development Strategy

  • Market Development Report, 2004;

  • Issues to consider:

    • Programme name and degree type;

    • Likely potential markets;

    • Fit with market needs and academic interests / integrity;

    • Employer needs;

    • Marketing;

    • Learning styles.


The exeter mix

Accessible - flexible

Employability

Engagement

Risk-taking

Innovation

Holism

Practice-based

Inter-disciplinary

Theory Implementation

Reflective

The Exeter ‘Mix’


The programmes

The Programmes

  • Joint initiative between Geography and Education initially;

  • MSc Sustainable Development – from 2005;

  • MSc Sustainable Development (Distance Learning) – from 2006;

  • MSc Sustainable Development (Environmental Change) – from 2006;

  • MSc Sustainable Development (Communities) – from 2007;

  • MSc Sustainable Development (One Planet Leaders) - from 2007.


The programmes1

The Programmes

  • Common core themes;

  • Branded pathways for different markets:

    • Community development;

    • Environmental management;

    • Business and innovation.

  • Example modules:

    • Business and Sustainability;

    • Community Development in the Majority World;

    • Sustainable Land Use and Policy;

    • Environmental Governance;

    • Work-based learning;

    • Sustainable Development, the Media and Public Communication;

    • Virtual field trip.


Learning flexibly

Learning Flexibly

  • The role of FDL for international students;

  • Distance learning;

  • Blended learning;

  • Face-to-face;

  • The interface - The Hive:

    • Social media interface;

    • Access to online DL material for all;

    • Inter-active exercises, quizzes and media;

    • Live chat rooms provided Adobe Connect;

    • Supported by audio lecture material.


International recruitment and flexible learning reflections and prospects

Learning Styles and Content


Recruitment and marketing

Recruitment and Marketing

  • The political context: internal support from within disciplines and the University;

  • Brand identity and competitor analysis;

  • Web-based marketing tools;

  • Bursaries for a number of international applicants;

  • Direct marketing: outward mobility fellowship strategy.


Reflections on recruiting to and running a fdl programme

Reflections on Recruiting to and Running a FDL Programme

  • The importance of market development, segmentation and competitor analysis – the ‘business case’;

  • Being realistic about your market reach;

  • Meeting and knowing your market;

  • Regular innovation and creative thinking

  • Meeting your market’s needs: employability and flexibility.


Reflections on recruiting to and running a fdl programme1

Reflections on Recruiting to and Running a FDL Programme

  • Different blends of students and learning styles adds vibrancy and creativity to a programme;

  • Flexibility can release major recruitment opportunities;

  • Institutional ‘buy in’ to a strategy is critical;

  • Resource allocations and workload adjustments;

  • Running such a programme takes a lot of hard work and staff resources – it cannot be seen as an ‘add on’;

  • Different skills required to blend pedagogic innovation with technology;

  • International student needs: language proficiency, cultural expectations and academic expectations.


Prospects

Prospects

  • The potential for Geography and its sub-disciplines to ‘break in’ to international PGT markets;

  • Analysis of need and institutional and disciplinary expertise;

  • The role of marketing and direct recruitment;

  • The role and purpose of FDL as a pragmatic approach;

  • The role of collaborative provision.


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