Balancing competing demands within a "flexible delivery" environment

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The aim of this study was to investigate the beliefs and practices of three university teachers operating within a newly established, specifically designed, "flexible delivery" environment. During the course of one semester the three university teachers, each from a different faculty, reported the various demands on their time and expertise as they planned and implemented their new subjects. Data gathered through interviews with the three teachers and their students, classroom observations, the collection of artefacts, such as teacher diaries of activities and planning materials, and discussions with the teachers about their beliefs and practices, and their responses to working within a "flexible delivery" environment revealed that meeting the learning needs of their students was one of the most important factors for these teachers. In attempting to meet their students' learning needs, these teachers had to balance the demands of, for example, creating authentic learning experiences for their students; finding an appropriate "place" for technological innovations within the planning and implementation of their subjects; and defining for themselves the meanings of "flexible delivery" and "flexible learning". This study provides insights into teacher beliefs and practices within "flexible delivery" environments in university contexts and implications for the support of their professional development in the area of teaching and learning.