Bridging the gap between strategy and delivery, this practical programme presents best practice in blended learning – building the skills that enable the successful integration of face-to-face and online teaching. The programme aims to empower lecturers to translate principles and aims into effective teaching and learning practices, which, in turn, will lead to corresponding improvements in student performance, engagement, satisfaction, and retention. The programme explores all aspects of the blended learning approach, from teaching strategies and course design to assessment and evaluation – clarifying the opportunities available, whilst also analysing the benefits and challenges of this format, and how to build a culture that sustains and embeds blended learning throughout an institution.
This programme is for:
Lecturers and faculty considering a blended learning approach in their teaching and those looking to improve their skills and understanding of combining face-to-face with online teaching and assessment.
The team at the University of Hull are firm supporters of the Association of Learning Developers (ALDinHE) and as a Steering Group Member it is great to give a shout out for their new work…
The Skills Team at the University of Hull has produced a new guide on ‘remote learning’. The Remote learning SkillsGuide is designed to help support students adapting to the new reality of studying wherever they maybe because of the global pandemic.
As this guide has been contextualised to Hull and our available technology, we have licenced this specific SkillsGuide with the CC-BY-NC-SA licence to allow other institutions to take what we have developed and adapt it to their context. The terms of the licence can be found here on the Creative Commons website. We hope this helps.
We struggled with the name for this guide but resisted reference to learning at home, off-campus or learning online. As many students are geographically ‘stuck’, we did not want a reference to ‘home’, especially as we are supporting students who are still on-campus. While the primary way we are communicating is online, we also did not want to suggest the whole paradigm of learning has shifted online also. Old techniques work fine for study too.
Informed by the conclusion of Ball et al (2012 p8) that assessment practice in most universities has not kept pace with other far-reaching changes in HE and that “a radical rethink of assessment practices and regulations” and a “holistic and proactive approach” is required, the Centre for Excellence in Learning at BU (now FLIE) implemented an evidence-based vision involving radical change to institution-wide assessment policy. By using a collaborative and partnership approach the development of key resources in the form of an Assessment & Feedback Toolkit was made possible. The principles-based and evidence-based strategy focused on a rebalancing of summative and formative assessment tasks; a broader menu of assessment types; and the promotion of technology-enhanced learning strategies facilitated by a new VLE. The CEL team drew on leadership strategies set out in Quinney et al (2017) and invited large-scale engagement through Faculty Fiestas and external events (Quinney et al 2018) to critically inform the process.
Building on the success of the TEL Toolkit (Biggins et al 2017) an online Assessment & Feedback Toolkit was developed to support the changes. We will share critical reflections on our approach to enable others to undertake a similar institution-wide approach to bring about clear benefits for staff and students. The Toolkit includes resources for formative assessment activities; assessment literacy strategies and has help, guidance and suggestions for planning assessments.
The development team: Professor Debbie Holley, (former head of CEL) Anne Quinney (assessment and Feedback Theme leader (pictured); Learning Technologist Vince Clark, sincere thanks to BU Visiting Professor Dai Hounsell for his advice and guidance.
work on the digital student experience shows that students remain unconvinced
that we are delivering the digital skills that employers are demanding. 74% of
teaching staff never teach in a live online environment; and most (33%) learn
from their colleagues, not in a structured and systematic way. Having to
rapidly move to synchronous and asynchronous modes of online learning almost
overnight is putting pressure on teams of academics and Learning Technologists
alike; students are stressed and anxious, and mental health is finally being
foregrounded – against a backdrop of 18% of teaching staff agreeing that they
are informed about their responsibilities to help students behave safely online.
I have been reflecting on the WONKHE piece, ‘the
clock is ticking on a decision about September entry’ by Alex Usher,
challenging us educators to think about the ‘what-ifs’. Moving quickly to
online as a response to crisis has seen teams across the sector move to online
learning, and, getting content ‘out there’ has been the priority. Professional
Bodies are having to rethink their
regulations, Universities are matching the flexibility and making every effort to
ensure that our third year students graduate – and for health workers,
graduating quickly is essential as the needs of the NHS escalate.
The ‘clock is ticking’ article notes:
“everyone is doing their level best to make
the current situation work, but it’s all basically DIY right now, and it’s so
far from good enough that there is now an entire sub-genre of humour devoted to
Is there any good news out there we may well ask!
The awesome Educause New
Media Horizons report was launched just as we ran into our strike period, rapidly
followed by Corona Virus. And yes is the answer…
Open Educational Resources a variety of materials designed for teaching and learning that are both openly available for use by teachers and students and that are devoid of purchasing, licensing, and/ or royalty fees. The global community are actively developing and curating resources, pressuring Governments and institutions to share their resources. The University of Minnesota has developed and curated the Open Textbook Library, which includes nearly 700 peer-reviewed titles. To stay informed and up-to-date, sign up to the Association for Learning Technology OER Special interest Group. Embedding curated, quality assured resources in your reading lists, your curricula or even the powerpoints we share with our students makes a huge difference, and offers alternative, inclusive ways of accessing content.