Individualised learning has turned into a buzzword in higher education didactics’ publications. Especially in the context of new learning technologies respectively the use of new technologies individualisation is mentioned in connection with flexibility. In addition, flexibility is often thought to help coping with changes in higher education and its organisations.
But let’s ask what forms of flexibility are envisioned with this: Flexible learning within a time limit? Arranging one’s own curriculum? Choosing between different types of examination?
Looking deeper into this topic, it becomes obvious that the term flexibility is usually used ingenuously or downright naïvely. Comparing various publications, two common aspects can be exposed anyway: 1) enabling a choice out of a set of different learning activities and 2) self-regulation is a precondition of such a choice.
In one of our studies, we investigated what factors of flexible learning were important to students and how self-regulated and flexible learning are correlated.
We found, that students care for time- and content-flexibility in their learning process. Another crucial factor they care for is the contact to a teacher. Interestingly enough we also found, that students perceiving high flexibility around these three factors, also adopt more self-regulation strategies for their learning.
Based on this, we assume with good reasons that flexibility in time, content, and teacher contact is a precondition for enabling self-regulated learning.
More details about the investigation can be found online: