Blended Learning


I met Wendy McAdie this morning from Jewel and Esk Valley College.

We met to discuss how we can support adult and community learning access to our schools. Evening access can be sorted with a service level agreement between each school and the college, which is supported by a clear policy which we’ll take to the Education Committee for ratification.

Of even more interest was how we might promote adult learning opportunities in the school day and school curriculum. The current system is fairly ad hoc and is dependent upon the adult contacting the school and being proactive.

The challenge for schools is how they ensure that access for adults which:

  • doesn’t interfere with children’s learning;
  • doesn’t present any significant expenditure on their part; and
  • doesn’t compromise pupil safety.

We explored how we might develop a more professional approach in much the same way as colleges currently charge for adult access to Higher courses, schools might be able to set a fee.  Wendy’s going to explore this with the Executive and other authorities.

The last item on our agenda was how we might develop a combined e-learning approach towards access to courses. This chimed very neatly with the issue I touched upon yesterday in response to John Connell’s recent post.  JEVC are exploring using moodle – something which East Lothian Council is also developing. There might be a real opporunity here particularly if we were to link up with Queen Margaret University – who are definitely more advanced of both of us in terms of delivering e-learning.

I like the potential of some our students being able to access their curriculum in a blended learning approach, i.e. through face-to-face contact with teachers/lecturers; through e-learning; through group seminars; or through work experience.  The construction of the blended learning approach might vary from student to student.  Such an approach might enable students to follow very varied programmes of study – which would extend well beyond the existing curriculum.

I’d love to hear some parental views on this.

10 thoughts on “Blended Learning

  1. One of the big opportunities with Glow is to introduce more blended learning (we already do a lot of it in East Lothian perhaps without realising) using its VLE as the platform which permits different means of collaboration (other than F2F) and resource delivery (instead of a paper textbook).

    One of the big threats of Glow is that we don’t innovate with platforms such as Moodle, because the bare bones are in Glow. Moodle has more to offer in some areas but will never have the integration with student data and, ultimately, staff CPD tracking that Glow has/will have.

    The words ‘blended learning’ describe, to me, what many of our teachers and learners do already – using different media to teach and learn. I see its place as a ‘particular way’ of approaching learning as getting eaten away as the benchmark for variety in L&T methods, approaches and resources gets raised.

    I’d also like to see what the universities are doing with elearning. Many I’ve seen recently have not moved beyond posting of PowerPoints, podcasts of lectures, notes and discussion forums. Is that really what we want for our youngsters?

  2. The majority of kids’ learning will take place first in schools and on the web, then the intranet. The simple answer is, I don’t know how much learning will take place on Glow and how much organising of learning will take place on Glow (i.e. the learning takes place elsewhere on the web). Until we play with it it’ll be very difficult for those of us working in new technologies to see how it could be improved and made more relevant for the learner.

  3. Yes Ewan.

    Glow will complement ACfE. I don’t think there will be such a thing as a ‘Glow’ lesson

    I do intend to say more on this. My brain is still ticking (too slowly tonight).


  4. Ewan makes a key point here, I believe, and one that I’ve been making, sometimes loudly, sometimes sotto voce, for quite a long time. It will be the second iteration of Glow before we really start to get things right, and because of the reason that Ewan gives: “Until we play with it it’ll be very difficult for those of us working in new technologies to see how it could be improved and made more relevant for the learner.”

    On another issue, I’ve played around with Moodle for a while now and I’m not sure what it offers that Glow might not. Can anyone play some light on the possible differences for us?

  5. Pingback: Use new things in new ways, else don’t bother. » Blog Archive » Stuart Meldrum

  6. One of the best aspects about Glow is its potential. I hope staff dont see it as a short term panacea. It will be important to stress that only through its use will it be able to evolve into an even more powerful tool and fulfil its full potential.

  7. Can I just challenge that the Learning will take place either in school or online. Learning is a coginitive process which happens inside a person’s brian. The delivery mechanism for what we would like that person to learn might well be inside school, at home via a book or online but these are delivery mechanism not learning. The key is that the method of delivery is now begining to open up. It can cover more learning styles by having multimedia options which the individual person can use. Personally I am heavily a visual/kinasthetic learner (This may stand out very my various posts which miss out words) and I respond to visual delivery options.
    The other main thing a VLE can do is provide a small assessment process which can check how much a person has learned remembered and provide feedback to that person.
    Therefore ALL learning is a blend for that individual. Its a blend of information, stimuli understanding that that individual responds too

  8. Just to prove my point can I change that first line too……..”Can I just challenge that the Learning will only take place…..”

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