Event Date & Time
Flexible Learning Initiatives in the Sauder School of Business
In this session we will discuss and explore the benefits, challenges and lessons learned from the implementation of the Sauder’s Flexible Learning Initiatives. In 2013, UBC launched the Flexible Learning Initiative, which aimed to provide an agile yet deliberate approach to transforming and enhancing student learning experience. The Flex Comm Minor project (7 courses for non-commerce students) was part of the larger UBC Flexible Learning Initiative. These 7 courses are entitled “Flexible Learning” courses, which emphasize flexibility in time and space. UBC Sauder Learning Services was leading the academic (in collaboration with the instructors and the UBC Sauder UGO), technology, and media development for the Flex Comm Minor project. This project expanded access to the Minor in Commerce courses to greater audiences by reducing scheduling conflicts with non-Sauder students. In addition, flexibility in time and space helped optimize classroom usage efficiency. It is reported by the Flex instructors that their experience with Flex positively impacted their teaching of other courses including face-to-face courses. The impact of the Flex project is also found in the example of full adoption in some BCOM courses (COMM 491 and COMM 203). Furthermore, the lessons we learned from this project influenced other course/program design and development (e.g., B+MM Dual Program, edX Intro-Marketing course). However, large enrollment growth was not achieved due to some factors such as lack of coordination for the Comm Minor Flex, lack of promotion, and class size restriction. Student learning experiences in Flex are varied depending on their motivation to take the Flex courses, the instructors and the subject matter, etc. More students are becoming aware of the Flex modality and its benefits, so strategic planning for large enrolment classes and enhanced student learning experiences is recommended. Success of the Flex modality is not only about the right students who are self-motivated and self-regulate their own learning process, but also about the instructors who understand Flex approaches.
Facilitators: Sunah Cho and Siobhan Cook