Blended learning - Europe/UK Shirley Reushle Australian Digital Futures Institute University of Southern Queensland Australia
Attempts at definitions… <ul><li>… learning which incorporates creativity and innovative pedagogical approaches and which is integrated with, and mediated by, ICTs (Northumbria University) </li></ul><ul><li>Blended learning is not about technology. Blended learning is about teaching, assessment, scholarship, reflection, student support, resource provision, collaboration, personalisation and … ultimately, blended learning is about learning. (University of Hertfordshire) </li></ul>
My observations… <ul><li>From the International Blended Learning conference, University of Hertfordshire, 16-17 June, 2010, little (if any) attempt to define blended learning…( seemed to be an assumption that everyone knew what everyone was talking about…) </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the activity in the UK/EU devoted to the topic of “blended learning” seems to relate to 2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Funding has been drastically cut with obvious flow on effects (e.g. the subsumption of the Hertfordshire BLU back into its Learning & Teaching Institute). </li></ul>
State of blended learning in Europe/UK…. <ul><li>At a “national” level </li></ul><ul><li>At an institutional level </li></ul>
National level…. <ul><li>Comble – Community of Integrated Blended Learning in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>EU funded project (01.01.2008 - 31.12.2009) aimed at creating products for enhancing the quality of Blended Learning by a holistic approach (German, Danish, Polish, Estonian partners) </li></ul>
<ul><li>European Blended Learning Network – no activity on the website since 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>EDEN (European Distance and Elearning Network) conference, June 2010 had several papers on blended learning approaches, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematical Intimacy within Blended and Face-to-Face Learning Environments (…the instructor combined traditional teaching methods and computer-mediated instruction strategies as part of classroom teaching ) </li></ul><ul><li>New Perspectives for ICALL in Blended Language Learning (no mention of “blended” except in the title) </li></ul><ul><li>Blended Learning Approach for Photography Course Focused on Public Space and Architecture (multiple mention of a “blended learning strategy”) </li></ul><ul><li>… but none offer a definition of blended learning… </li></ul>
<ul><li>European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL) - papers about blended learning (did see one paper refer to “b-learning”): </li></ul><ul><li>Blended learning constitutes a training modality that involves the use of different pedagogical methods and techniques, through a combination of classroom and online sessions, with the purpose of achieving the best learning outcomes (Marcal & Caetano, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>… could be described as a blended learning as in all four contexts face-to-face classroom interaction was blended with significant online activities (Miyazoe & Anderson, 2010) </li></ul>
Institutional level… <ul><li>University of Glamorgan (Wales) model of blended learning (also uses the term Technology Enhanced Learning -TEL) </li></ul>Fully online Discussion boards, online assessment, interactive learning material Access to online resources e.g. Powerpoint presentations
Institutional level… <ul><li>University of Hertfordshire… </li></ul><ul><li>The Blended Learning Unit (BLU) was established in 2005, as a 5 year project funded by HEFCE, and is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Recently, the BLU has been incorporated within the University's Learning and Teaching Institute (LTI) with the aim to sustain and extend the excellent reputation and good practices established by BLU beyond the life of the 5 year project. </li></ul><ul><li>We develop, promote and evaluate the combination of established ways of Learning and Teaching and the opportunities offered by technology in order to improve students’ learning and increase flexibility in how, when and where they study. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Oliver and Trigwell (2005) suggested that the phrase “blended learning” is essentially meaningless, arguing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended learning as a term has gained considerable currency in both business training and educational contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Its amorphous nature leads to ambiguity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended learning is often about instructions and teaching rather than LEARNING from a learner’s perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The phrase needs to be “redeemed” (changed? updated?) </li></ul></ul>
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