Reflections on Blended Learning

Mark Neild  blog by Mark Neild, EdD student, SOE, University of Bristol

This article is a personal reflection on the best and worst of blended learning from the perspective of a senior lecturer in innovation and entrepreneurship teaching a unit with 35 and another with 160 students, who is also a student at the School of Education.

The positives of online learning

In some ways the forced move to “blended learning” has enabled us to accelerate a move towards the “flipped classroom” in which students consume prepared material individually and come together for “meaning making” through shared dialogue. One advantage of individual consumption is that students can learn at their own pace, stop and rewind in a way impossible with a real time “lecture”. This has benefits for interactivity, particularly for students whose first language is not English.  Such “asynchronous” interaction allows those who (for whatever reason) process new information more slowly to still engage in online discussions rather than missing out because by the time they are ready to contribute, the discussion has moved on. We have also been able to invite visiting experts for 20-minute guest Q&A sessions without the need for hours of travelling and recorded some great guest interviews.  The weekly outline for our unit of 160 students looked like this. (more…)

Academic lives are in transition

Blog by Richard Watermeyer, School of Education, University of Bristol; Tom Crick, Swansea University; Cathryn Knight, Swansea University and Janet Goodall, the University of Swansea

A group of university academics set out to capture and profile academic lives-in-transition as a result of the pandemic. Here’s the results.

The physical closure of university campuses by the Covid-19 pandemic has almost overnight changed “how we do what we do” as academics, and the nature of our daily routines.

In an attempt to capture and profile academic lives-in-transition, we designed a large-scale international attitudinal survey coinciding with universities’ mass online-migration and for which we received an overwhelming response. (more…)

Alone together? Digital inequalities and the 2020 student experience of higher education

Dr Sue Timmis: Co-Director –  Centre for Knowledge, Culture and Society, School of Education, University of Bristol

Alone Together was written by Sherry Turkle (2011), a digital ethnographer, and explores how technology is helping to shape what it means to be human. It makes a rather one-sided claim that technology is replacing social interaction and human contact.  Writing in the midst of an unprecedented world pandemic, nothing seems further from the truth.  The need for social interaction is increasing and many of us are seeking ways to exploit technology to achieve this. (more…)

Transitioning to online teaching: a few reflections to consider

Blog by Carolina Valladares Celis School of Education

In one way or another, most lecturers and teaching assistants at the School of Education are already familiarised with the use of technologies to support our teaching. For instance, Blackboard is regularly used to upload resources for students – either to prep before class or to communicate and reflect afterwards. Using technology to deliver our teaching, though, is a different matter. (more…)

The impacts of Covid-19 on basic education: How can Ghana respond, cope, and plan for recovery?

Author and teacher Kenneth GyamerahBlog post by Kenneth Gyamerah, Professional Teacher and Development Consultant. MSc in Education (Policy and International Development) from the School of Education,  University of Bristol. Kenneth is a Chevening Scholar and a Global Youth Ambassador for Education.

With the global attention on the health implications, it is worth highlighting that the Coronavirus pandemic has triggered an unprecedented immediate global education emergency (Srivastava 2020). Taking some key learning experiences from disease outbreaks such as Ebola and SARS, it is apparent that the impact of COVID-19 on education will be critical for countries that have low economic resilience, inadequate technological infrastructure, limited budget for education , and high rates of dropouts. (more…)