Digital distance learning: A question of flexibility in time and space?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNordic Journal of Digital Literacy. 2023, 18 (2), 128-139. 10.18261/njdl.18.2.5
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions to adapt to digital learning and teaching modes. Hence, the pandemic might be regarded as a large-scale experiment of digitalization, leading possibly to flexibilization of higher education and professional development. With unique data surveying in-service teachers undertaking professional development during the pandemic, this study critically investigates possible relations between digital distance learning and (increased) flexibility. Taking in-service teachers in professional development as an example, we ask if and under what circumstances the transition to digital distance education means increased flexibility for this group of adult students in particular. We use data from a survey conducted in Norway in the spring of 2020. We analyse data from open questions, applying qualitative techniques with a view to examine in what manner digital distance learning spells increased flexibility. On this basis, we argue that digital distance education does not equal flexible education, understood as putting the individual learner at the centre, for this group of adult students.