Toward New Models of Flexible Education to Enhance Quality in Australian Higher Education

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Palmer, Stuart, Holt, Dale and Farley, Alan (2010) Toward New Models of Flexible Education to Enhance Quality in Australian Higher Education. In: Accessible Elements: Teaching Science Online and at a Distance. Kennepohl, Dietmar and Shaw, Lawton, eds. Issues in Distance Education . AU Press, Athabasca University, Edmonton, pp. 61-80.


In this chapter we focus on models of flexible education as related to Australian higher education (with an argument that this is typical of developments worldwide). Moreover, Deakin University’s long-standing experience in flexible, online, and distance education, as a case study of changes in Australian higher education, will be highlighted, with a particular emphasis on developments in teaching engineering and technology flexibly. To begin, we provide coverage of contemporary developments in quality enhancements in teaching and learning in Australian higher education, arguing that flexible education is a key institutional response to external demands. The meanings of flexible education and blended learning are then considered and a contingency-based framework for designing flexible education outlined. The framework will consider models of flexible education design in the light of goals, the roles, needs, and circumstances of teaching staff and learners, the changing technological environment, and the requirements of various external stakeholders. The focus will then move to course and unit concerns relating to flexible educational models of course design and operation as illustrated through the case of engineering and technology at Deakin. The final section will give some consideration to future directions in flexible education.

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9781897425473 (print) 9781897425480 (online)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Accounting
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > SEO Classification > 9302 Teaching and Instruction
Keywords ResPubID20557, flexible education, Australian higher education, engineering education, distance education
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