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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Better blended learning: Outlining development themes

Assumption: Use of an appropriate range of teaching and learning methods (combining face to face and online). That is use Blackboard to develop learning activities that take place online i.e. taking BB beyond a repository of downloadable documents



Evidence / KPI

Learning design

Development learning activities that take place online and which complement face to face teaching

Increase the use of electronic materials (eLectures)
Increase the use on online activities (individual or in group)
Increase of use of electronic activities that support teaching face to face e.g. pre-seminar activities, electronic post-class activities (comprehension self-test, learning journals, discussion boards, group activities online)

Innovation in assessment i.e. beyond exams and coursework

Innovative assessment that develops a wider range of academic and employability skills

Increase in use of forms of assessment other than traditional coursework or examination e.g. wiki, portfolios, reflection

Assessment for learning

Increase the presence of formative assessment opportunities
Develop electronic opportunities for reflection post assessment
Develop self-assessment opportunities and pilot self-assessment against standard assessment criteria (rubric)

Increase the use of online self-correcting tests quizzes e.g. importing existing test banks or developing re-usable quizzes
Increase the use of diagnostic testing and self-directed testing

Feedback quality

Developing School/discipline libraries of constructive feedback


Feedback means

Broadening range and opportunities of feedback
Increase feedback personalisation e.g. audio feedback

Increase in the use of formative audio feedback in Grademark
Introduce online contact hours (via Microsoft Lync)
Increase in peer-marking exercises

Learning from feedback

Develop electronic opportunities to implement the learning that has occurred from feedback
Develop opportunities for feedback dialogue

Increase in feed-forward initiatives
Provide online office hours for feedback review
Introduce action planning, lesson learning activities

Peer learning

Explore peer assessment, peer review feedback, and peer feedback as a form of articulation of knowledge and understanding of assessment criteria

Pilot peer review schemes


Increase use of multi-media e.g. audio and video
Cater for a range of learning styles

Increased use of lecture capture
Increase in the use of electronic materials (Box of Broadcasts, JORUM or media-based learning objects)

Personalisation in large course /through discipline

Enhance human face of academic staff
Using multimedia to develop personalisation

Add course director pictures and information about staff e.g. research interest in all BB sites.
Increase in use of audio for course-related activities e.g. introduction to the course, course outline presentation.


Increasing interaction opportunities between peers, and between student and staff

Evidence of socialisation strategies in discussion forums; use of social media; 

Promoting student learning autonomy and self-regulation, including ePortfolios

Blended action towards developing self-regulated learning skills
Develop assessment management via learning journals.
Support assessment by portfolio, reflective learning and personal development planning; evaluate suitability of tools.

Increase in self-diagnostic activities, reflection activities, portfolio-type assessment.


Develop student awareness of skills obtained through curriculum via skill audit, reflection on link between course objectives and activities and employability
Integrate employability in the provision of feedback i.e. provide employability perspectives in feedback

Student able to talk about their skills as … political scientists, lawyers

Collaborative learning

Expose students to group work
Developing group work skills
Develop strategies for assessing group work (cooperation, accountability, fairness, motivation)

Increase in formative or summative online collaborative activities

Staff development for blended learning, including Learning design

Use learning design as an opportunity to review course objectives and the integration of online learning with face to face activities
Develop framework for developing new courses/programmes and reviewing existing courses/programmes.

Increase in number of courses undergoing learning design reviews

Open Educational resources

Raise awareness of possibilities around using and developing OERs in online learning; support staff and students in OER activity.

Increase in use of OERs being used and developed by both staff and students.

Mobile Learning

Raise awareness of Bb9 Learn App and TurningPoint Responseware; support staff in optimising content and developing material for use with mobile devices.

Increase in use of content designed for mobile devices.

Flexible Learning

Review flexible and distance learning courses with a view to developing or applying a revised model of online learning.


Academic advisement

Promote meaningful developmental relationships with academic advisers
Electronic submission and feedback on PDPs

Using programme spaces to build programme-long reflective tools or learning portfolios

Student performance and Curriculum review

Develop statistics of most common student learning issues (referencing, insufficient use of primary sources, scholarship, etc), across years

Compile assessment profiles for annual and longitudinal assessment via Turnitin/Grademark reporting tools

Use it for learning: Top 100 tools for learning:  http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/