From 16-18 October 2019, the Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference 2019 took place in Madrid (Spain). This year the conference focussed on Blended and online education within European university networks.
On 2 September EMBED launched the European Maturity Model for Blended Education in Edinburgh.
EMBED is a reference model for developing and implementing blended education. The EMBED partner experts from Delft University of Technology, KU Leuven, University of Edinburgh, Dublin City University, Aarhus University and TAMK shared the development and use of the maturity model for blended education. This model embraces all levels of an institution: the design of blended courses, organisational aspects such as staff support, training and institutional leadership, next to policy development and strategies which enable an institution to innovate continuously its blended education, teaching and learning.
EADTU organised the Blended Learning Webinar Week from 25-27 June.
The concept of blended learning itself is far from clear-cut. The literature spans various definitions and meanings, e.g. ”the thoughtful integration of conventional and digital methods of teaching and learning” (Graham, et al., 2013). It is agreed that the digital is not a supplement and does not simply replicate aspects of the conventional – each should enhance the other. Blended learning combines conventional and digital methods to achieve an “optimal exploitation of ICT and internet” integrated with the conventional technologies of physical material, and co-presence in space and time. The value of blending the two is that digital methods offer much greater personalization, flexibility, inclusiveness and efficiency than conventional methods can, but they have to be used appropriately (Laurillard, 2015).
This matters, because universities face challenges as keeping quality with large student numbers and lower budgets per learner, supporting study progress and success and meeting the needs of part-time students. Innovation by b- learning will lead to quality enhancement of the learning experience, personalization, accessibility, flexibility and inclusion. Furthermore b-learning is suitable for teaching large groups synchronously and asynchronously; constituting small learning groups; capitalizing on the worldwide connection with research; multi-campus education and blended mobility, etc.
Hence, blended education plays a role in solving problems teachers and leaders face. Also, they enrich institutional concepts on learning (e.g. the “guided independent learning” or “active learning” models), as well as institutional policies for teaching and learning. Furthermore, it can contribute to solutions related to scalability and cost-effectiveness in higher education.
In this webinar week we explored good practices and new developments in the field of blended learning.
On 4-7 June 2019 the EMBED training seminar in Dublin, Ireland took place. This 3-days intensive training session was organised by the project team of EMBED. The training seminar was an opportunity to learn about state of the art of blended teaching and education and to apply new concepts on the current context of your university.
Participants further generated feedback on the multidimension maturity model for course design as developed by the consortium (micro) and on the institutional strategies needed in order to implement it (meso).
Furthermore, participants also learned about the monitor to assess the maturity of blended and online educational practices at universities. The monitor is conceived as a multi-layered instrument with dimensions and indicators that were newly developed or adapted from previously validated instruments. Its goal is to grasp in detail practices and conditions for blended education All instruments are piloted across different institutions, programmes and courses
• Introduction to EMBED (The European Maturity Model for Blended Education) by George Ubachs (managing Director EADTU and coordinator EMBED)
• Introduction to European Maturity Model for Blended Education by Willem van Valkenburg (TU Delft)
• Matters of Quality: Blended Education by Willem van Valkenburg (TU Delft)
• Introduction to ABC by Clare Gormley (DCU) and Suzanne Stone (DCU)
• Matters of Design: Blended Learning by Wiebe Dijkstra (TU Delft)
On Friday 14 December 2018 the Multiplier Event of EMBED took place in the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Stakeholders discussed challenges and opportunities of internationalisation and mobility by new modes of teaching and learning. The EMBED Multiplier Event builds on an European Maturity Model for Blended Education.
EMBED will create a reference model for developing and implementing blended education EMBED partner university experts from Delft University, KU-Leuven, University of Edinburgh, Dublin City University, Aarhus University and TAMK shared the development and implementation of the maturity model for blended education. This reference model for developing and implementing blended learning embraces all levels of an institution: the design of the blended course, organisational aspects such as staff support and training, and institutional leadership, developing policies and strategies making the institution continuously innovative.
From 26 till 28 September 2018, the EMBED Intensive Training Seminar in Blended Teaching and Learning took place in Tampere, Finland. This year the seminor focused on Blended and online education within European university networks.
During this seminar there were:
The essential content included: