FlexiLearn is a national repository for postgraduate education and continuous professional development in Ireland, supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enabling remote and block-delivery of courses. Existing graduate research programmes have pooled resources to provide a national catalogue of modules to postgraduate students and industry. The goal is to improve ease of access to relevant structured training for graduates in academia and to provide industry training and up-skilling across a range of topics in flexible learning formats that best suit their schedules. The FlexiLearn and VLE learning management system combination offers:
- Anytime and anywhere access to complete lecture videos via streaming or downloaded media.
- Full course materials including syllabi, hand-outs, homework, and exams.
- Secured online social networking with fellow students.
- Support for PCs, Macs and mobile computing devices.
With emphasis on flexibility from both students' and lecturers' perspectives, FlexiLearn provides multiple learning options which include one or a combination of the following methods:
- Web-based pre-recorded course work - students can access lectures online at any time. Regular communication including meetings or tutorials between the lecturers and students are facilitated.
- Real time video-streamed lectures in which the students can participate with a true classroom experience via video-conference enabled lecture theatre.
- Module delivery via dedicated online collaboration tool. This solution provides an opportunity for lecturers to offer live lectures from anywhere and for students to receive the lectures from their desk or a web-enabled tablet or smartphone.
- Intensive block-delivery courses typically involving 5 days onsite to complete the entire syllabus of a module. This option is best suitable for modules where laboratory work and access to equipment is mandatory.
FlexiLearn is a useful national catalogue for graduate students seeking advanced level courses to complement their doctoral training, offering information on when they are to be offered, the means of delivery, and appropriate contacts at the providing institution.