Time, Pace, Place: Using Flexible Design and Delivery to Support Learners

Reseachers: Frazer Donahue, Cheryl Dunits, Jean Fauchon, Shalen Fox, Carlo Hansen and Ramona Stiller 
Additional Teacher Participants: Janet Benoit, Anne Crozier, Shelly Fransoo, Tracie Harty, Nate Jurgens, Roxanne Stynsky
December 2017

In August 2015, teachers at John Paul II Collegiate were directed by senior administration to develop and make available one course in the Moodle Learning Management System before the end of June 2016. Moodle is a learning management system that enables educators to create online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content. 

In conversation, teachers, administrators, and school division personnel agreed that the opportunity to make instruction, content, and learning materials available through the Moodle system had potential to meet a wide range of goals related to attainment of high school credits, remediation, enrichment, differentiation, intervention strategies, credit recovery, and graduation rates. The school, along with other program supports already in place, can now provide greater flexibility to students in terms of time, pace, and place for learning. School programs potentially benefitting a wide range of learners needing to work or care for family members during the school day, experiencing anxiety in the regular classroom environment, or struggling to complete courses, inevitably causes need for change on the part of teachers. Christensen et.al. (2008) reminds us that schools, as a result of improvement initiatives and societal concerns, have been required to do the equivalent of rebuilding an airplane in mid-flight. Furthermore, they have done so successfully by adjusting and improving constantly, regardless of the fact that new measures are continually added to the public education agenda. This pressure to perform leaves educators feeling overwhelmed by seemingly competing priorities. 

The primary purpose of this action research project was to explore the experience of teachers as they were required to adjust the time, pace, or place of learning in order to support students at a central Saskatchewan high school. This action research project was undertaken to understand both the individual and collective experiences of teachers and to determine how to support them now and in the future.