Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Buddys pondering

1. Whilst sitting on my deck pondering one of the world’s great questions "what does the term flexible learning mean to me" my dog and I came up with the following...

Flexible learning is about using the tool that works rather than the tool that is expected. It is about opening your mind to other possibilities and thinking outside the square to nudge both students and teachers towards the desired outcome. 
Karen Corcoran, OP Flexible learning 2013

2. I am finding that is necessary to use a more flexible approach to my work the longer I do the role. My students are an incredibly diverse bunch, I've had everyone from a 68yr old builder through to an 18yr old ski patroller, because of this there is a huge difference in both learning style and learning mentality, (the first is definitely easier to address then the second). Flexible learning will push the students comfort zones, it will allow each individual to feel and experience the topic in a way that may help them to understand it just that little bit better and as all of my students are self paced, distance learners it will also allow us to interact more, both as class mates and through student-teacher interaction.

3. What do I need to explore to help this happen?
I need to gain an understanding of -
  •   What flexible learning tools are available
  •  What context they are best used in
  •  How to use each tool
  • What application the tools are best used in (within the context of my subject)
  • Exploration
  • Which tools best suit....
o  My course
o  The way my course is delivered (self paced distance learning)
o  My students learning styles
o  My teaching style
o  Time and other constraints

4. GOALS!!!

  1. Help with the development of new flexible learning tools for the current online material.
  2. Encourage students to use different methods (such as a blog)for submitting material.
  3. Introduce video and photos as part of evidence gathering (instead of just attestations).

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


My name is Karen Corcoran and I am an instructor and guide in the outdoor industry, I am currently working for the Mountain Safety Council as a program manager and also part time as a contractor for Otago Polytechnic teaching various avalanche courses, both hands on and via distance learning. It is a subject that I have a huge amount of passion for and is where the adult education side of things really gets going for me.
I have a wonderful husband named Ben and a two and a half year old hunterway/collie dog called Buddy, he is super active and constantly motivates me to keep fit (usually by digging holes in the lawn if I even consider missing a run - Buddy not Ben)

I love ski touring, climbing and trail running - in fact pretty much anything that gets me outdoors and breathing hard. I also love reading, drawing and making things out of recycled materials, my latest creation is a butchers block made from recycled rimu floor boards and old plumbers copper pipes.
I'm really looking forward to using this blog and discovering what I am able to do with it as this is a new medium for me and one that I can see has great potential for using as a teaching tool.