'Mode Neutral' pedagogy

Brian Smith [smithb@edgehill.ac.uk], Peter Reed [reedp@edgehill.ac.uk], Chris Jones [jonesch@edgehill.ac.uk],
Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire L39 4QP, UK

Abstract

In an attempt to create truly flexible Higher Education courses that can effectively recruit from the wider market, whilst still reducing the demands placed upon academic staff we have stumbled across Mode Neutral - a pedagogical method to consider for the development and unification of face-to-face, online, and blended courses. Mode Neutral is a method that allows students to progress across modes of delivery at any point throughout their study when their preferences, requirements, personal and professional commitments demand, without compromising their learning experience. In the development of sample modules we have adopted and considered researched educational theories such as social constructivism, active learning, and communities of practice. Although research is ongoing, we have highlighted three essential factors for Mode Neutral success; the Role of the Tutor, Curriculum Design, and the mechanisms in place for Communication for Learning. Early findings have shown development of student Information, Communication and Technology skills, their confidence, and interaction across modes of delivery. The success of Mode Neutral readdresses how all stakeholders perceive both traditional and online courses, offering opening access to higher education in a hitherto unimaginable way.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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