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Blended learning needs blended systems

The senior Leadership Team at CoSector – University of London: Mark Newton, MD, Derek Ward, Board Advisor and Dave Kenworthy, Director of Digital Services, discuss how we can implement truly blended learning that helps to deliver a high-quality student experience beyond COVID-19.

students, graduates
Investing in technology such as high-quality studios to record lectures delivers a far better experience than delivering a lecture on Zoom, Teams etc

Blended learning isn’t a new term. Universities around the world have been offering both virtual and face-to-face lessons for a number of years.

Students have been offered a mix of face to face and online learning for a while, perhaps without really being aware of it because the term wasn’t being widely used. Of course, it’s been nothing like the scale in which we’ve seen throughout 2020, as we watched COVID-19 spread across campuses.

Delivering blended learning at scale

But although we are familiar with the blended set-up, higher education hasn’t quite cracked how to deliver it effectively on a larger scale. We have to think from the student perspective.

Student experience and value for money was already being widely discussed before the pandemic hit, and the Covid-driven move to blended learning hasn’t done anything to lessen that commentary on the quality of teaching and return on investment. In the mass move to online, the personalised student experience has been somewhat lost in the conversation.

Investing in technology for the future of learning

Universities who are investing in their blended learning delivery have been doing well. Investing in technology such as high-quality studios to record lectures delivers a far better experience than delivering a lecture on Zoom, Teams etc.

Additionally, investment in resources to help academics deliver online learning with ‘how to webinars’ also appear to be faring better reputationally.

At present, most universities are still purchasing individual siloed yet critical systems, and using them in a variety of ways.

If we’re going to fully adopt and utilise blended learning to encompass a range of edtech tools, the role of the integrator is going to be key in joining-up these systems and services to make the process seamless.

An effective blended learning offering requires a blended systems approach. 

Connecting systems to improve student experience

A student doesn’t want to be logging in and out to access different pathways on a platform. They don’t want to collect course material through one log in, and assessment results from another, they want it all to be in the same place, at the same time.

There are a number of other sectors already using joined-up systems, such as the financial sector and adoption of online banking. Users are able to complete different types of transactions online on a centralized system without having to log in and out again.

CoSector can further discuss the role of digital solutions and how to improve the learning experience for staff and students, get in touch today to learn more.

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