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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Blended Learning Examples

Integrating face-to-face and distance learning

Integrating face-to-face and distance learning

See it in action:

A core course unit on the MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education degree: The Development of Educational Technology, is an example of a course taken by both on-campus and distance learning students.

The course director wanted to be able to deliver a course where students were able to gain a historical understanding of the development of educational technology, types of educational technology, and issues raised by its use - both in the classroom and in managing education - while at the same time exemplifying how face-to-face and online learning could be blended within a course cohort comprised of these two different types of students.

To do so, course content was re-styled with basic HTML skills; multimedia files were added and used both in class and online; the group manager tool was used to cluster students, and where separate course materials were directed to each of the two different groups the selective release tool was used; tutorials were run online with the use of Discussion Boards.

Blackboard discussion boards made possible to manage weekly tutorial groups for the mixed cohort in an effective manner.


This updated presentation, given to the Humanities Teaching & Learning showcase, Jan 2013, informs us that this course unit won a Blackboard Catalyst Award in 2012 for 'Communications Strategies', because of its innovative approach to 'bringing distance learners into the on-campus learning community'.

The second presentation ('Extending the notion of blended learning') again explores how this was done on the unit, and also address wider questions, such as the pros and cons of offering on-campus students more chances to participate in online environments, online contact hours, and so on.

This is the ultimate extension of the notion of 'blended learning', but is it a direction the university should explore further, whether for PGT alone, or all students?

Benefits:

  • Developing asynchronous collaborative groupwork between online and distance learning students - being able to run tutorials with the participation of on-campus and online students
  • Managing mixed groups effectively
  • Easy monitoring of student participation in tutorials
  • Requires low level of technical expertise/technical confidence
  • Time saver