17 December 2020

Blended learning in 2020

This week we welcomed the Jisc study into blended learning, which brings together contributions from across the HE sector, and highlights the ways in which institutions have capitalised on the opportunities presented by the pandemic to create a new digital vision for the future.

When the pandemic hit in March, universities swiftly implemented a number of emergency measures and adapted provision to meet the needs of students online.

The innovative ways in which institutions modified delivery, for example by holding virtual workshops and online interactive sessions, enabled students to complete their studies remotely. By the autumn however, institutions had shifted their focus from crisis delivery to sustainable delivery.

In the last few decades, society has been radically transformed by technological innovation, and with this, the needs of employers and skills required to advance in society.

The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the ongoing digital revolution within higher education.

While building digital capability has been on the agenda for some time, this has necessitated a conversation about how to transform approaches to teaching and learning to equip students with the tools to live, learn and work in a society that’s increasingly digital.

Higher education providers across Wales have begun to realise the benefits and opportunities that digital technologies bring to teaching, learning and employability, and have undertaken huge amounts of work to enhance work in this area during this academic year.

This study has been fundamental in our understanding of the position of digital learning at providers over the last nine months. This study has been particularly important so that they can find common areas to work on, and be inspired by practices from others.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to ensure that the staff are fully supported in providing blended courses, while ensuring that students continue to learn effectively and that the quality of provision is upheld.

While the pandemic has brought many challenges and difficulties, it is important that we harness these reimagined and innovative ways of learning now so that progress can continue to be made.

We welcome the way in which universities and colleges have risen to the occasion, and we will continue to support new ways of transforming learning and teaching.

Meg Hughes, Student Experience Officer