The level of flexibility needed will depend on the particular needs of your cohort.
Explore the following examples of units in which the designers have addressed the need for flexibility:
Are all your students enrolled on-campus full-time? Or are some off-campus or part-time? How can you adjust delivery times to maximise accessibility?
- Facilitating synchronous sessions outside of standard 9am–5pm work hours
- Scheduling online sessions at realistic times for students located in different time zones.
- Wherever possible, aim to record these synchronous sessions so that students who are unable to attend can catch up in their own time. Most online meeting tools have a recording feature.
Are students from remote locations, interstate or overseas? How can you make learning accessible to them?
- Combining online study with face-to-face intensives (e.g. blended learning)
- Allowing students to participate in face-to-face sessions remotely (where possible)
- Designing assessments so that students can participate in group work remotely
Learning material access and assessments
Postgraduates and adult learners appreciate respect for their autonomy, self-regulation and professional competency.
- Allowing for topic choice within authentic work-based projects (to allow students to link their learning to their professional contexts)
- Avoiding weekly back-to-back due dates for tasks, as these can make it harder for postgraduates to schedule with competing priorities. (Note also ACU assessment policy suggests units should be limited to a maximum of three assessment items.)
- Making all assessments and content accessible at the beginning of the semester; avoid having content hidden (unless there is a sound pedagogical reason to do so). This allows postgraduates to plan their semester around competing priorities and also meets their need for autonomy.