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Flexible Learning

The importance of flexibility in our daily lives has significantly grown since Covid19; the concept of flexibility here refers to the ability to adapt and accommodate the wide variety of student learning needs, preferences, and circumstances.

Better Tomorrow: Flexible 1

Students expect to learn in an educational environment that is up to date, fosters flexibility, and provides inclusive and convenient study resources.

Barriers: Participants’ criticised the lack of understanding and accommodation of their needs , leaving them with disparate and difficult access to what they believe to be fundamental study resources (e.g., lecture recordings) in the modern learning context.

Opportunities: Some opportunities in this area could focus on accommodating staffs' and students' privacy concerns, clearly communicating to students when and how different technologies will be made available or, conversely, why they are not available, listen to and take into account students' feedback and lifestyles, provide student guidance on how to best make use of educational technologies, and provide support for staff on how to effectively use them.

Better Tomorrow: Flexible 2

The integration of AI in education has elicited mixed responses from students. To pave the way for a more sustainable future that embraces AI and other new tools, students need appropriate guidance and structured support.

Barriers: Some students are afraid to use AI tools, like chat GPT, due to fears of plagiarism, whereas others are fundamentally against it.

Opportunities: There is an opportunity to address various concerns and misconceptions, but also provide case studies that do not hinder human creativity or identity, but help students and staff alike devise new ways of learning and creating

Better Tomorrow: Flexible 3

Students hope to have more flexible study spaces that cater to their diverse study needs.

Barriers: Some students have expressed concerns about the limited availability of informal, '3rd spaces' on campus where they can collaborate in groups without the expectation of being quiet. This situation is problematic for both students who prefer quiet, independent study in libraries and those who want to learn by discussing with others,

Opportunities: Explore the possibility of establishing and/or advertising dedicated centrally provided study lounges (e.g., Spacefinder) equipped with suitable infrastructure for group work.

Better Tomorrow: Flexible 4

Students expect increased flexibility when it comes to their examinations, particularly 3rd year exams.

Barriers: Students feel that the absence of resits and the heavy emphasis on 3rd year summative exams create a high-pressure environment with a 'one shot, win or lose' mentality. This approach is seen to discourage a deeper understanding of the course material and prioritises strategies for achieving good grades, rather than fostering healthy in-depth learning and a genuine enjoyment of their course.

Opportunities: Explore and encourage continuous assessment, introduce resit opportunities, diversify assessment methods, and foster a supportive learning environment