The University of Southampton
Institute for Learning Innovation and Development

Blended Learning

Blended learning is a teaching approach in which a student learns in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, or pace.

The combination of technology enhanced learning together with the traditional lecture-based approach supports our students in developing their digital literacy alongside their subject specialism. It is this combination of skill development which will ensure our graduates are successful in their future aspirations.

This isn’t only about the technology, it’s about active learning.

The Institute for Learning Innovation and Development (ILIaD) is working with educators to introduce blended learning to their courses, whether that's thinking about ways to take elements online, using technology in the classroom or lab or finding innovative means of assessment and providing feedback. Educators are supported with advice and guidance on learning design, the production of multimedia and the creation of learning objects. ILIaD also provide guidance for educators using online tools to provide feedback and assessment.

Blended learning additionally supports the reality of teaching large groups, allowing the lecturer to reorganise resources and use their time in the most effective way to give all students the opportunity to engage with the learning environment.

The underlying application of digital technology surrounds our everyday lives and we can all make good use of it provided we developed our digital literacies skills. Developing effective use of digital and IT skills is an essential requirement for employers, so by utilising blended learning you are supporting student’s employability.

During this past year of our Enhancement Theme of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) we’ve encountered a great many individuals who successfully blend learning to enhancing the student experience. These people are the risk-takers and innovators, often using technology to tackle issues around delivery and engagement. Often they draw inspiration from the work of other colleagues across different sectors, from the way students use technology themselves to talk and communicate and their own desire to engage and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the web, smart devices and new technology.

Many of these educators don’t think of themselves as technology experts, but they are passionate about the learning of their students, keen to try out new things and just as keen to understand when things don’t work as much as when they are a success. This isn’t only about the technology, it’s about active learning.

We have approached three academics from across the university who have agreed to share how they have used blended learning in their teaching.

If you are interested in showcasing what you have been doing with blended learning or if you have been inspired by an academic who has been using blended learning in their teaching then please get in contact with us via your faculty liaison.

To learn more about blended learning and using new technology for teaching & learning visit:

 

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