Designing for Flexibility

Forms of engagement

[CC licensed imagein flickr by Kris Olin]

Reading and research

Links to specific readings, recordings, podcasts etc are provided throughout the topics.
You are encouraged to read widely and to share new trends and ideas you come across.

Sharing good sites you locate

The world of flexible and e-learning is constantly changing. New readings and resources are available on a daily basis.
Therefore you are also encouraged to create a Diigo (social bookmarking) account and to join the Workforce Development Unit GROUP.(see below for details)

Diigo is a social bookmarking tool used by the Workforce Development Unit at Sydney Institute.
It allows us to 'favourite' good online resources and readings for everyone to access and share. Instead of bookmarking good sites in our personal browser we do so online. As a result we can not only access our favourite sites from any computer but we can share them with others.

You can access the Workforce Development group in Diigo without the need for an account. Sites saved here are categorised and searched by assigning 'tags' or keywords. We are using the unique tag sidff for the course.

click here for more information on social bookmarking and a 'Getting started in Diigo' guide

Here is a list of resources within the Workforce Development Diigo group tagged with sidff.

Here is a tagroll showing the last 10 resources shared to the group with the tag sidff

If you would like to create a Diigo account and collaborate by adding resources you find associated with the topics you will need to

a) create an account and

b) join the WFD group

Thought leaders series

In 2011 we began interviewing leading thinkers from Australia and internationally about flexibility in learning and teaching. Where relevant we will link to specific recordings from topics but you can also access the full list of recordings on this wiki
or via podcast on the My Learning blog

Reflective practice

A key element of Designing for Flexibility is reflective practice.
Throughout the Workbook you will be encouraged to reflect upon what the readings mean for you.

Reflective practice is ‘about watching ourselves work. It's about acting, then reflecting on our actions and their results, modifying what we do and how we do it and then beginning the cycle again.’ [Martin 2012 ]
Michelle adds, ‘reflective practice includes a strong foundation of questioning. We ask ourselves key questions and observe in ourselves the questions that keep coming up for us. We also engage in activities that allow us to explore and test our questions. We construct experiments and then observe and record the results of those experiments.’

Where relevant you will be directed to comment on blog posts. This will allow you to share your thoughts with the DFF group.

Blog (or YouTube/podcast)

DFF Group blog -
The 'Designing for Flexibility' topics are designed to encourage and harness critical analysis and reflections around key issues, changes and opportunities associated with the changing role of VET practitioners.
Each topic includes readings and trigger questions. We encourage you to undertake the readings and activities in advance of our conversation meetings.
Read Michelle Martin's post - Becoming a More Reflective Individual Practitioner and the MIT paper - What is reflective practice?

While it is not essential, we encourage you to take this opportunity to initiate a means of capturing your reflections in writing, voice or video. You could use:
  • a blog - we utilise and support Wordpress here at Sydney Institute
  • an audio recording or podcast - this could be an audio file that is uploaded to your e-portfolio for example, or a podcast using Wordpress or another podcasting platform
  • a video - uploaded to YouTube, BlipTV, Vimeo etc
The benefit of capturing your thoughts in this way is that a) your facilitator and peers can engage with you, and b) you can use your reflections as evidence towards Diploma in TAA Units (or other)

The following diagram 'Blogs in education' (McGee 2008 in Educause) illustrates some of the benefits of journalling tools generally.


Connection and collaboration

Adobe Connect

Throughout the 20 week program you are encouraged to participate in a range of fortnightly Adobe Connect sessions.
While all sessions will be recorded the primary benefit will be gained through active engagement.
We'll be using Adobe Connect for:
  • fortnightly conversations
  • connections with people outside our group
  • recordings
For details of session times please refer to the Topic schedule
The DFF Adobe Connect room is located at
Adobe Setup instructions (resource on Equella, log in with your portal ID)
Run a scan on your computer which ensures compatability with Adobe Connect.

Face to face workshops

Three face to face workshops are planned during the DFF program.
These are designed to maximise the benefits of interaction with the group or hands on tech development, around key tasks and topics.

Facebook group

We'll be using a Facebook Group for:
  • ongoing informal conversation
  • clarification
  • news and events

The use of Facebook in education is new to most staff so this is an opportunity to try it out and discuss the issues.
Participants can join the DFF group . This is a private group for program participants so identity beyond the group will remain as private as you choose.

If you are setting up a Facebook account for the first time here are some instructions.
If you wish to maintain maximum privacy in your account usage follow these instructions.