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A blended approach usually combines three core elements: classroom-based activities with the teacher present; online learning materials used in a range of ways and independent study using materials provided by the teacher, either online or in hard copy, to build learning and reinforce concepts.
At LBU, blended learning is described as:
“Where the course has been designed and developed to include contact hours that take place online and face to-face in order to fulfil the needs of the delivery".
In blended approaches, there is integration of online teaching using digital techniques with face-to-face teaching so that learning outcomes and contact hours are achieved both online and in the physical classroom.
Digital techniques include:
- Synchronous and asynchronous online communication.
- Delivery of learning materials and resources through web pages;
- Seminars through conferencing or meeting software such as Blackboard Collaborate or MS Teams
- It makes the very best use of precious face-to-face time
- Some tasks can be done better online
- It can make learning more inclusive and accessible, by expanding the type and location of learning opportunities - through online sessions, online text chat rather than verbal and discussion boards.
- It can support more personalised, flexible and independent learning
When designing a blended learning course, you should apply the same principles you would for any other course. CLT has written a guidance document Articulating Pedagogical Requirements of things you should think about when modifying your course delivery method. Below is a summary of the key points to consider
Curriculum: What students will be required to learn and how we will resource and assess this learning
Learning activities: What students will be required to do and how we will ensure they can do, and are doing, it.
Learning environment: What requirements students have and how we will enable and empower all students to succeed.
The Course Development Principles for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students were updated in May 2020 to reflect the impact of Covid-19 on future course delivery. These principles apply to all methods of delivery.
When designing a course you should factor in the accessibility and inclusivity of the course for all students. The inclusive practice page and the Inclusive Course Design Tool can be used to embed inclusivity early in the design phase.
10 points to consider when creating and delivering content in a blended delivery mode. These points are mapped to the updated Course Development Principles.
You are likely to be delivering some form of blended learning already, through the utilisation of MyBeckett, online quizzes and discussion boards. Just providing slides from a face to face session alone blended learning.
CLT and their Associates have produced a small number of short videos focused on approaches which support blended and solely online delivery. These videos are aimed at introducing some simple ideas about delivering content both asynchronously and synchronously. If you are interested in using any of the tools mentioned please visit the MyBeckett Guides or ITS knowledgebase. for more detail.
The videos are:
- Getting started with asynchronous delivery
- Introducing a module to students on MyBeckett
- How to use discussion boards with students on MyBeckett
- Engaging content using gamification: Escape rooms and Cluedo
- Using a journal to support reflective practice
- Ideas for structuring a module and embedding a wide range of digital tools and skills
There are lots of tools available to support learning and teaching for blended delivery.
The document linked below provides a summary of the functionality of each. Each tool has different strengths and features so it is important to look at what you want to do first and then choose the tool that best supports this chosen approach, rather than choosing a tool and then adapting your delivery to it.
These tools can be used to deliver sessions, undertake assessments, and provide a rich learning environment.
If you are delivering your teaching online, then you may find the following information useful as it covers the common types of teaching sessions and the tools that are most suited to those sessions.
Learning and Teaching Scenarios
- LiveLecturing with students
- Pre-recorded lectures for students
- Small group meetings with students
- One to one meetings with students
For guides on how to use the tools to support teaching, learning and assessment in blended learning, Digital Learning Service and IT Services provide a number of guides.
For all training and development linked to learning and teaching visit the Training and Development page.