Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech

Bedfordshire academic working to prevent learner 'fragility'

Educators must prepare for the shift into the technological age to counteract learner 'fragility'

Posted by Hannah Oakman | July 01, 2015 | Higher education

This is according to a new book by a University of Bedfordshire academic.

David Mathew, Educational Developer at the University, says in Fragile Learning: The Influence of Anxiety that adult learners (18+) face ‘burnout’ in their education unless courses are modernised.

“Fragile Learning is a way of looking at the barriers and boundaries that adult learners have in front of them and what causes them to stop learning,” explains David.

“The book is about what breaks their learning. Some adult learners will use any excuse to stop learning so what I do in the book is look at a variety of ways that adults can maintain their learning path.”

The key premise of the book considers educational anxiety amongst learners, as well as educators, especially in the face of the increasing prevalence of online learning.

Courses must adapt to this growing medium, says David.

“Each one of the chapters has anxiety at its core.

“Not only do I talk about fragile learning for students but also ones that are doing the teaching because they also become learners in this new environment [online].”

David’s book also takes into account the geographical, societal and psychological barriers to learning, and he emphasises the importance of supporting learners and providing an environment that allows them to flourish, two key elements of the student experience.

David has already set to work implementing his ideas into study and support services at the University, with, for example, the Return to Professional Practice course – nominated for the Student Nursing Times Awards – taking on a more multi-media focus.

“A lot of what I talk about in the book could be avoided if academics and educators were prepared fully to deliver their courses in an online environment. It’s not just a case of sticking up a few PowerPoints; it’s a rethinking of how students learn. We have the tools, now it is a matter of sharpening them.”

Fragile Learning: The Influence of Anxiety is available to pre-order now on Amazon and Karnac Books.



Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech

Related stories

Re-thinking the student of today

MOOCs' massive potential

Developing nations to receive free digital upgrades

School's out: reimagining education

FutureLearn partners with New York Institute of Finance

University to develop computer game for autism

FutureLearn and Monash University team up for online courses

AI-based online learning programme launched by VFS & Oxademy

Coventry University and FutureLearn team up

How online tech can encourage global engagement in UK HE

Market place - view all


Compass Computer Consultants Ltd. has been designing and implement...


Exterity is a market-leading provider of IP video and digital signage ...


BenQ Corporation is a Taiwanese multi-national company that sells a...


Welcome to the New School of Wireless.
Digital textbooks. Onl...

European electronique

UK leading supplier of ICT solutions for the public sector, educat...

Listen technologies

Listen Technologies brings power and clarity to the sounds that enr...