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Key Issues to Consider

  • As always, start with the learning outcomes. What do you intend students to know at the end of the module?
  • Of these learning outcomes, which are better achieved via face-to-face sessions and which might be successfully supported via online resources?
  • Consider the various learning activities you have planned for the module. Which of these must be delivered face-to-face?
  • As you consider activities that could be provided online, how will they be integrated into the module? How will you make the connections between the online and face-to-face components clear to students?
  • As you introduce online elements to your module, would it be useful to reconsider the assessments? Could one or more assessments be completed online (e.g. using a blog, e-portfolio etc.)?
  • Think about your workload. Judicious use of technology should deliver a better learning experience for your students, and more efficient use of your time and energy. Make sure that you are not increasing the overall workload for yourself or your students. Otherwise, the innovation may not be sustainable.
  • Your work on developing online resources will be wasted if students do not access them through poor time management. What strategies will you use to ensure students understand their own role on the module and their responsibility for their own learning? Can you generate and communicate some tangible incentives?
  • Can you use the specific nature of Birkbeck students to your advantage in designing a blended learning module? For example, one generalization of Birkbeck students might be that they are busy, use public transport, and many have smartphones. Can they usefully access your learning activities via mobile devices on the way to work on a bus or tube?

Also consider:

Kennedy, Eileen (2014). The Flipside of Blended Learning. Lifelong Learning in Europe. 4. Available from: http://www.lline.fi/en/article/research/942014/the-flipside-of-blended-learning