Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis ...

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This paper is about helping academic and professional university staff to engage with flexible …

This paper is about helping academic and professional university staff to engage with flexible
learning. We will argue that flexible learning is, in Ursula LeGuin’s phrase, “always coming home”
because transformations to flexible learning can never be complete. This notion suggests that
flexible learning actually requires a constant personal and institutional commitment to change
management and staff development. The paper features a tutorial on applying Force Field
Analysis (Lewin, 1951) to drive staff development workshops to engage academic and
professional staff in the personal and institutional changes heralded by flexible learning. It also
includes reflections (Schön, 1983) on the use of Force Field Analysis from a facilitator and a
participant observer. This is an example of practice-based research (Bourner and O’Hara, 2000),
which enables professionals to make informed decisions about if, where, and when to use a
particular method. As The UCFV Research Review is not a specialized educational journal, we will
introduce flexible learning, its critiques and some of the burning issues which herald widespread
change to individual practice and institutional structure in higher education.

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  • 1. 1 Always Coming Home: Applying Force Field Analysis as a Structured Approach to Eliciting Ongoing Organizational Contexts and Requirements for Flexible Learning Dr Simon Shurville AALIA(cs), FBCS, FHEA* and Mrs Aurélie Owens** School of Computer and Information Science, University of South Australia, City West Campus, 27-29 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia * Tel: +61 8 8302 0519 Flexible Learning Support Centre, Cranfield University, Shrivenham, United Kingdom, SN6 8LA** Tel: +44 (0) 1793 785563 E-mail: simon.shurville@unisa.edu.au*, a.owens@cranfield.ac.uk**