FLEXIBILITY - A KEY ELEMENT IN MODERN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Learning environments have a important role in learning. They should be flexible so that learning could be adjusted for learner’s individual needs and pace. Modern learning environments allow distance learning which can solve issues that relate to attending a certain location at a certain time. For example , adult learners can better manage challenges with mixing studying, working and having family with children. As a result, this type of flexibility can be a key factor for many learners. When studying is flexible so that also that evenings and weekends could be used for studying, this could significantly increase the amount of adult learners at the university. Another potential group of students that benefits from flexible learning arrangements are people with disabilities, which could prevent attending traditional classroom-based teaching. In this article we study how the digital learning environment impacts learning. Here the focus in on understanding the role of social media applications as part of the learning environment.
Flexibility can be increased by using information technology. It provides learning opportunities to new groups of students, opportunities that are otherwise not possible. The potential of technology is not limited to having access to digital learning material, it could also mean using applications that allow group work and interaction among students and university staff. It can also significant role in integrating students into life at campus and empower studying. Here we look at the role of social media as part of a modern learning environment. The notions are based on empirical evidence from a case university, where the digital learning platform is based on Moodle. In addition, students use different social media -based applications in keeping in contact and working together solving group assignments. The findings indicate that social media brings added flexibility to learning, allowing students to keep in contact with fellow learners directly with their smartphones.