The Flexible Learning Toolkit provides a solution to programme / module design issues that were observed during the global Covid 19 pandemic, such as:

  • lack of flexible staff contact
  • poorly structured digital modules
  • challenges around student engagement and independent learning activities
  • content overload

The first stage of the project consisted of a context analysis to understand how flexible learning could support all students (campus-based, online and apprenticeship). The results of this study are housed in a digital exhibition of flexible learning journeys that visualises examples of good practice. Staff and students, across disciplines, modes and levels of study were engaged in a series of in-module reflections on digital flexible learning during the second semester (February to May 2021). These reflections, supported by learning analytics, were summarised in personal video diaries (vlogs). The exhibition depicted students’ flexible contact with staff, private study (including remote access to the institution’s support facilities) and work-based application


The project team also explored strategic alignment between sector requirements and guidance, institutional teaching and learning strategies and their quality assurance in practice. The second resource is a 5 hours MOOC informed by the results of the first study. The guide answers curriculum design questions posed by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) regarding enhancing quality in a digital environment. The guide contains self-paced learning content and design-enhancing activities alongside recommendations and an initial evidence-based guide of further reading


In the intervention stage the project team used design thinking to create two flexible curriculum design templates. Module Activity Plan with Indicative Timelines or MAPIT will help curriculum development teams to plan and compare the amount of contact, guided study, self-directed study and work-based application alongside your module’s quality and student success indicators. One template provides a high-level plan on a page, useful for initial development discussions, the second template provides a more detailed view of module design, useful for exploring the student journey. Both templates include a pie chart to indicate the balance of activity within a module.

Through student facilitated workshops a range of blueprints and case studies were produced to provide examples of the use of MAPIT in practice. Evaluating these designs during academic year 2022/2023 will enable us to explore their impact.

Finally, a research evidence page collates the latest sector and research evidence about flexible learning. This can be used to enable curriculum development teams to make informed decisions about ‘What Works?’ in flexible learning.




Join the flexible learning toolkit group below to keep up-to-date with ongoing developments.

Flexible learning toolkit – group

Keep up-to-date with the flexible learning toolkit. Use this group to ask questions and find resources.