What is Flexible learning and why it's important?

What is Flexible learning and why it's important?

03 Aug 2022

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Improvements in technology and the need for a flexible working environment has meant that people increasingly want and expect to have greater choice in the way that they learn. This article will provide a brief overview of what flexible learning is and why flexibility is important for students, while also touching on the advantages of a flexible learning environment.

What is Flexible learning?

Flexible learning, as the name suggests, can be defined as the ability for students to customize how, what, when and where they learn. Generally speaking, flexible learning can be delivered across a variety of settings, including classroom, at home, blended approach or even a work based study program.

It is often used interchangeably with other terms such as open learning, distance learning, as well as e-learning which are all forms of flexible learning.

Why flexibility is important for students

In the fast-paced world that we live in, the need for flexibility has come from the advancement in technology as these developments has created new and exciting opportunities for both personal and professional development.

With flexible forms of learning, students are able to learn and take classes wherever and whenever they want to. This added freedom is important, providing the ideal opportunity to learn at a time or place that suits without the constraints of physical location. This also enables students to fit their learning around family life or work commitments and schedules.

Flexible learning can provide access to a high-quality education and learning experience to students who might not otherwise have had the chance to do so. With this kind of learning approach, students are able to refer to materials and resources as needed, are able to advance through content at their own pace, and choose a course suitable to their existing knowledge and capabilities.

Greater choice in how they learn enables individuals to take personal responsibility for their own study, and a more flexible environment ensures students don’t feel overwhelmed and pressured when it comes to learning. This ensures an integrated learning environment where the needs of all kinds of different people and abilities can be catered for.

How effective is Flexible learning?

When it comes to the effectiveness of learning, a higher level of flexibility allows individuals to adapt their learning pathway to suit their interests and abilities, in order to create a better experience and engage more with what is being taught.

Students are able to take breaks in between learning to recharge, which can often contribute to higher retention of knowledge, producing better results. Learning platforms are now more robust and fit for purpose than in the past, providing better access to course content, while having choice over schedules, learning styles and physical location improves productivity and concentration.

Lack of interaction with instructors, however, is one of the biggest drawbacks of a flexible learning approach, and it still needs to be seen whether it is as effective long term as traditional forms of education.

Are Flexible learning courses effective?

What are the advantages of a Flexible learning environment?

Perhaps for obvious reasons, flexibility itself is often the most appealing factor to this approach to learning. This has led to many choosing to opt for this route over more conventional forms of learning.

Within a flexible learning environment, individuals are able to gain important life skills that they can later implement within the workplace. Furthermore, being able to demonstrate acquired skills through flexible learning courses and other structured forms of professional learning can often play a later role in career development within an organisation.

There are also several clear advantages to a more flexible and adaptable style of learning. Advantages of a flexible learning environment may include:

  • Ability to retain greater knowledge and produce better results
  • Able to suit the preferred learning styles and pace of different people
  • More choice in types of learning: online, face-to-face, blended
  • Lower cost than full-time classroom based learning
  • More learner interaction and greater ability to concentrate
  • Variety of learning programs and courses available

Where to find Flexible learning CPD courses

The CPD Courses Catalogue offers a wide range of CPD certified courses to help professionals gain the necessary skills needed in their industry and many of these are appropriate for flexible and distance learning. All the courses shown on our website and catalogue have been recognised as meeting the required high quality standards, and are suitable for any Continuing Professional Development requirements.

How to become a CPD accredited training provider

We hope this article was helpful. The CPD Certification Service is the largest and leading CPD accreditation service worldwide, with over 25 years’ experience supporting certified CPD providers across all industry sectors. If you are considering becoming a CPD training provider, please contact our team to discuss in more detail. Alternatively if you are looking to record your CPD, please go to the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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