1: Target group - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

Knowledge of the target group and the students’ prerequisites are important for developing the programme and facilitating its content in the best possible way, for example in relation to choosing work methods and learning activities. Knowledge of their age, professional background, skills and expertise, life situation and expectations can help in planning and ensuring the appropriate organisation of the programme and tuition. This also applies to the participants’ digital literacy and experience of various digital tools. 

Some target groups may be characterised by great variety, while others are more homogeneous. It may also be useful to know whether the students have signed up for the programme or course on their own initiative, or whether they are enrolled by others, for example their employer. 

If the students are mainly adults, it will be important to use their work and life experience as resources in the programmes. Some keywords when facilitating learning processes among adults may include:

  • Active participation and problem-solving through case work, assignments and activities
  • Reflection on own learning and dialogue in process-oriented activities
  • Commitments to knowledge building, progress, seeking common understanding, expanding their own and others’ frameworks of understanding
  • Clear goals and subgoals, sense of progress and relevance
  • Using their experience across learning arenas, exploiting their potential, developing in different roles across their workplace, family and leisure (4)

More and more educational institutions have gradually begun offering more flexible study programmes, and the demand for digitally enabled teaching has increased. This naturally means more young participants in flexible education and training.

How much is known about the target group at the planning stage will vary. To acquire more knowledge about this, more information can be obtained from the students themselves at the start of the programme, and they can tell each other about themselves and do exercises on the learning platform to get to know each other and develop a community of trust.(5) A short survey may be conducted at the start of the programme (or already during the application process) to learn more about the applicants’ prerequisites, motivation and expectations of the programme. Commissioned studies often provide an opportunity to learn a lot about the target group’s needs and why the employer wishes to raise the employee’s competence.


  1. 4

    Bjørgen, A.M., Hartberg, E.W., Kristiansen, L. og Meland, V.V. (2012) Designing for online dialogue and reflection among adult students in collaborative online learning environments – what is the success formula? Paulsen, M.F. og Szucs, A. (eds.), Book of Abstracts, EDEN Annual conference, 6.-9. June 2012, Porto, Portugal. https://proceedings.eden-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Annual_2012_Porto_BOA.pdf

  2. 5

    Bingen, H. M. (2013). Trygt læringsmiljø på nett for å lære gjennom skriftlige dialoger i diskusjonsfora. Fossland, E. Gjerdrum & K.R. Ramberg (red.), Ulike forståelser av kvalitet i norsk, fleksibel høyere utdanning – eksempler fra teknologi og læring på og utenfor campus (s. 235–249). Norgesuniversitetets skriftserie, 1.

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