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The new blended learning?
Dr George Roberts
Solstice conference
Edge Hill University
5 June 2014
Acknowledgements
• Richard Francis
– Francis, R & Roberts, G. 2014. “Where Is the New
Blended Learning? Whispering Corners...
Outline
• Introduction: the future is now
• What blended learning was
• The changing context
• The beginning of the new er...
Enhancement?
THE FUTURE IS NOW
More, Faster, Cheaper?
Quantitative measures
cluster around the idea
of “efficiency”
• Marks, numbers
enrolled and
complet...
“... an industrialised process, on
a truly massive scale, made
possible by new technology.”
I for one think they are pretty darn impressive
and deserve to be appreciated (Ives)
or
If Santa paid his elves the minimu...
the role and place of
universities in the vast
virtualised spaces that we
have created
where is the new blended
learning?
WHAT BLENDED LEARNING WAS
flexible, active, collaborative and
professionally authentic
pedagogies
1. the provision of supplementary resources for
courses that are conducted predominantly
along traditional lines ...
2. tr...
distinctions become blurred
• between face-to-face and online
working,
• between ‘conventional’ and e-
learning
Social learning is aided by regular
intakes of drinks and snacks and
mobile phone conversations
It is difficult to argue that the
physical and virtual dimensions of
the learning experience are still
distinct, or in any...
THE CHANGING CONTEXT
Collaboration
• Estates Management
• Computer Services
• Library
• Student Support Services
• Staff developers
• Learning ...
Context
• Change of government
• Fundamental restructuring of the higher
education funding regime
• The place of private (...
the
landscape of
the virtual
world has
altered
beyond
recognition
A fundamental concept in
computing, that hardware,
operating systems, applications
and data should be rigorously
demarcate...
the University encourages
employees to make reasonable and
appropriate use of social media as
part of their work
In practice, the pedagogical models
have hardly changed at all
Where change has been most evident
• Blending the once largely distinct domains of
“learning” and “socialising”
• Foregrou...
Have we failed?
Pedagogically
THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA
A space between
• the ideal and the real
• now and then in both directions
• physical and digital
• paper and screen
• per...
The physical and virtual spaces of
today mark the end of one era and
the beginning of another.
Underpinning
Heterotopia
–(Foucault 1984)
Third Space
–(Bhabha 2004)
We are in the epoch of
simultaneity: we are in the epoch
of juxtaposition, the epoch of the
near and far, of the side-by-s...
The third space
the uniqueness of each person, actor or
context is a blend, or hybrid,
resisting normalisation or cultural...
It is the ‘inter’ … the inbetween space
– that carries the burden of the
meaning of culture...
And by exploring this Third...
• As soon as a space becomes formalised
as a plan, a VLE or a building, a third
space will be opened by, to and for the
pe...
Viceroy’s Palace
Tavern of
revolution
the space of both
community and
identity
TRANSFORMING TEACHING
a place
between the
virtual and the
real, whose
genius loci is
the teacher
In this sense of liminality,
discomfort and uncertainty,
blended learning might be seen as
a threshold concept
Transformation
• Social model of identity development and
activity-based learning
• People experience a disorienting dilem...
The blended learning debate has
been locked in an antagonism
How is authentic experience to
permeate the controlled
institutional environments?
Where once the Internet seemed a
vast third space, a vast “whispering
corner”, it now appears
hegemonised by corporate
int...
CONCLUSION: INTO UNFAMILIAR
TERRITORY
the main functions of
teaching is to inspire
learners to venture into
unfamiliar territory
a contingent
hegemony of
global corporate
interests, where
international
competition is
normalised and
consumer debt a
vir...
Digital literacy as an
attribute of individual
competence - is giving way
to digital responsibility
Learners create their own
learning environment outside,
inside and in-despite of the
intentions of the institution
Moves to more
open forms of
education have
opened the
sluice gates
Physical spaces as a central
element of learning appear...
Reclaiming space for teaching
through blended learning includes
reclaiming technologies as
intermediate tools
DISCUSSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR
TEACHING
Summarise
• Blended learning, itself, is a threshold concept: liminal,
uncomfortable, uncertain and transforming
• Each pe...
Therefore
• If all learning IS blended learning
• AND neither the physical NOR the digital has
primacy
• AND each person a...
What are the implications for the new
blended learning
• Adding value to large group teaching using
technology
• Creative ...
Each, choose one (or more?) off
that list and make a quick note on
paper, or Twitter, or …
What are the implications for y...
For me, these follow
• Acknowledge the tension in all teaching
• Avoid totalising syntheses of either content or
process –...
Blended learning design
• Activity-based
– we do or make things
• Experiential
– self-evaluative, practitioner-centred, pr...
Thank you
Dr George Roberts
OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University
June 2014
groberts@brookes.ac.uk
Copyright and Takedown Notice
If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found
material on our website or ...
The new blended learning
The new blended learning
The new blended learning
The new blended learning
The new blended learning
The new blended learning
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The new blended learning

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Blended learning, itself, is a threshold concept: liminal, uncomfortable, uncertain and transforming
Each person and context is a hybrid: utterly unique
No cultural origin is privileged
Learning occurs in the gaps: the spaces between
Learning growth is non linear
People only partly inhabit any space and do so on their own terms
All learning spaces are co-created
Social, learning, and transactional space are blending physically and digitally
The spirit of the third space is “the teacher”
Any enclosure of space requires force, power or violence

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The new blended learning

  1. 1. The new blended learning? Dr George Roberts Solstice conference Edge Hill University 5 June 2014
  2. 2. Acknowledgements • Richard Francis – Francis, R & Roberts, G. 2014. “Where Is the New Blended Learning? Whispering Corners of the Forum.” Brookes Electronic Journal of Learning and Teaching (BeJLT) 6 (1) – http://bejlt.brookes.ac.uk/paper/where-is-the- new-blended-learning-whispering-corners-of-the- forum/ • Mary Dean • Greg Benfield
  3. 3. Outline • Introduction: the future is now • What blended learning was • The changing context • The beginning of the new era • Transforming teaching • Conclusion: into unfamiliar territory • Discussion: implications for teaching
  4. 4. Enhancement?
  5. 5. THE FUTURE IS NOW
  6. 6. More, Faster, Cheaper? Quantitative measures cluster around the idea of “efficiency” • Marks, numbers enrolled and completed, league table position, fee income, cost of provision
  7. 7. “... an industrialised process, on a truly massive scale, made possible by new technology.”
  8. 8. I for one think they are pretty darn impressive and deserve to be appreciated (Ives) or If Santa paid his elves the minimum wage while pushing them to the limits, and sacking them if they take three sick breaks in any three-month period… and avoiding tax everywhere. (Cadwalladr)
  9. 9. the role and place of universities in the vast virtualised spaces that we have created
  10. 10. where is the new blended learning?
  11. 11. WHAT BLENDED LEARNING WAS
  12. 12. flexible, active, collaborative and professionally authentic pedagogies
  13. 13. 1. the provision of supplementary resources for courses that are conducted predominantly along traditional lines ... 2. transformative course level practices underpinned by radical course designs 3. students taking a holistic view of the interaction of technology and their learning, including the use of their own technologies, (Sharpe et al 2006, 2-3).
  14. 14. distinctions become blurred • between face-to-face and online working, • between ‘conventional’ and e- learning
  15. 15. Social learning is aided by regular intakes of drinks and snacks and mobile phone conversations
  16. 16. It is difficult to argue that the physical and virtual dimensions of the learning experience are still distinct, or in any way opposed.
  17. 17. THE CHANGING CONTEXT
  18. 18. Collaboration • Estates Management • Computer Services • Library • Student Support Services • Staff developers • Learning technologists • Academics • Students
  19. 19. Context • Change of government • Fundamental restructuring of the higher education funding regime • The place of private (principally corporate) enterprise in the provision of higher education. • The role of employment
  20. 20. the landscape of the virtual world has altered beyond recognition
  21. 21. A fundamental concept in computing, that hardware, operating systems, applications and data should be rigorously demarcated has collapsed under the iOS operating system, Google’s Android and the virtualisation of computing infrastructures
  22. 22. the University encourages employees to make reasonable and appropriate use of social media as part of their work
  23. 23. In practice, the pedagogical models have hardly changed at all
  24. 24. Where change has been most evident • Blending the once largely distinct domains of “learning” and “socialising” • Foregrounding the transactional component of the social learning space as a “one stop shop” for student services
  25. 25. Have we failed? Pedagogically
  26. 26. THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA
  27. 27. A space between • the ideal and the real • now and then in both directions • physical and digital • paper and screen • personal and social • the curriculum and life-wide learning • our selves and all others • institution and teacher • identity and communities
  28. 28. The physical and virtual spaces of today mark the end of one era and the beginning of another.
  29. 29. Underpinning Heterotopia –(Foucault 1984) Third Space –(Bhabha 2004)
  30. 30. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. (Foucault 1984)
  31. 31. The third space the uniqueness of each person, actor or context is a blend, or hybrid, resisting normalisation or cultural inscription, generating a position against all identity politics by denying privilege to any originary culture
  32. 32. It is the ‘inter’ … the inbetween space – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture... And by exploring this Third Space, we may elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves. (Bhabha 2004)
  33. 33. • As soon as a space becomes formalised as a plan, a VLE or a building, a third space will be opened by, to and for the people who inhabit the space, the very people whom the space seeks to direct, to channel, to normalise. • People will only ever partially inhabit any space and they will always occupy it to some extent on their own terms.
  34. 34. Viceroy’s Palace Tavern of revolution
  35. 35. the space of both community and identity
  36. 36. TRANSFORMING TEACHING
  37. 37. a place between the virtual and the real, whose genius loci is the teacher
  38. 38. In this sense of liminality, discomfort and uncertainty, blended learning might be seen as a threshold concept
  39. 39. Transformation • Social model of identity development and activity-based learning • People experience a disorienting dilemma which leads to a deep structural shift in their world-view • A person’s susceptibility to transformation depends on where they are prepared to take themselves
  40. 40. The blended learning debate has been locked in an antagonism
  41. 41. How is authentic experience to permeate the controlled institutional environments?
  42. 42. Where once the Internet seemed a vast third space, a vast “whispering corner”, it now appears hegemonised by corporate interests.
  43. 43. CONCLUSION: INTO UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY
  44. 44. the main functions of teaching is to inspire learners to venture into unfamiliar territory
  45. 45. a contingent hegemony of global corporate interests, where international competition is normalised and consumer debt a virtue
  46. 46. Digital literacy as an attribute of individual competence - is giving way to digital responsibility
  47. 47. Learners create their own learning environment outside, inside and in-despite of the intentions of the institution
  48. 48. Moves to more open forms of education have opened the sluice gates Physical spaces as a central element of learning appear ever more fluid
  49. 49. Reclaiming space for teaching through blended learning includes reclaiming technologies as intermediate tools
  50. 50. DISCUSSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING
  51. 51. Summarise • Blended learning, itself, is a threshold concept: liminal, uncomfortable, uncertain and transforming • Each person and context is a hybrid: utterly unique • No cultural origin is privileged • Learning occurs in the gaps: the spaces between • Learning growth is non linear • People only partly inhabit any space and do so on their own terms • All learning spaces are co-created • Social, learning, and transactional space are blending physically and digitally • The spirit of the third space is “the teacher” • Any enclosure of space requires force, power or violence
  52. 52. Therefore • If all learning IS blended learning • AND neither the physical NOR the digital has primacy • AND each person and place is unique • How do we respond?
  53. 53. What are the implications for the new blended learning • Adding value to large group teaching using technology • Creative use of technologies in the classroom • The role and use of online classrooms • MOOCS and developments in online course structures • Approaches to enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment
  54. 54. Each, choose one (or more?) off that list and make a quick note on paper, or Twitter, or … What are the implications for your particular context?
  55. 55. For me, these follow • Acknowledge the tension in all teaching • Avoid totalising syntheses of either content or process – even this! • Practice “bounded openness”: provide multiple ways in and out • Respect the uniqueness of each and every person
  56. 56. Blended learning design • Activity-based – we do or make things • Experiential – self-evaluative, practitioner-centred, pragmatic • Dialogic • Reflective – Bringing experience into scholarly evidence • Participatory – The teacher is also a learner • Community-located • Outcomes-led
  57. 57. Thank you Dr George Roberts OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University June 2014 groberts@brookes.ac.uk
  58. 58. Copyright and Takedown Notice If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on our website or legitimately under our name elsewhere, for which you have not given permission, or is not covered by a limitation or exception in laws of the UK or other countries (as relevant), please contact us in writing stating the following: • Your contact details • The full bibliographic details of the materials • The exact and full URL or other location where you found the material • Proof that you are the rights holder and a statement that, under penalty of perjury, you are the rights holder or are an authorised representative Upon receipt of notification the Oxford Brookes University 'Notice and Take down' procedure [LINK] is then invoked. © 2014 Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK Tel: +44 (0)1865 74 1111

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