Session abstracts


The Office for Students Review of Blended Learning, 2022
Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services, University of Edinburgh
in Palm Court

Dr Highton was part of the panel who met with staff and students in a number of universities of varying size, shape, age and mission. They developed a set of questions to collect the data necessary to get a clear understanding of blended learning approaches being taken. The technology context was different in each provider, and this technology context was essential for understanding how blended learning provision was enabled, quality assured and available equally to course leaders and students across their institution. This presentation will tell the story of how the review was done and highlight practical suggestions for moving forward.


Beyond ‘blended’ – new definitions and principles
Sarah Knight (lead presenter) Helen Beetham, Head of learning and teaching transformation HE and Research Directorate, Jisc
in Pateley

In 2022 Jisc undertook  a review and survey of approaches to curriculum and learning design in UK higher education, to explore whether and how these are changing after the pandemic shift to online learning. In 2023 Jisc is developing new guidance for curriculum teams and strategic managers. These include new definitions that go beyond a simplistic belief in ‘blended’ as the best of all possible worlds to a nuanced account of learning in different modes. Under the rubric of ’space and place, time and pace’, this presentation will consider: What are the pedagogic considerations of using online and in-person settings? How are digital media blurring the boundaries of time and place? How are campus places and digital platforms being integrated? How are teachers and students choosing to use their time, and invest their attention? What are the implications for workload and digital capability? For belonging, sustainability and equity in the curriculum? 

Participants will engage with:
·       A process model for curriculum design
·       Principles for engaging students in different spaces, times and modes
·       New guidance for teaching staff and curriculum teams


Moving forward with Blended Learning @ UWTSD
Emily May, Digital Learning Manager; Roger Covello, Principal Learning Technologist, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
in Palm Court

With campuses throughout south-west Wales and others in Cardiff, London and Birmingham the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD) is committed to delivering high quality blended learning – and to supporting learners and staff to develop their digital skills and confidence to study and work remotely. For this presentation, the Digital Learning and Digital Skills teams will take you through their approach in promoting digital pedagogy and skills to staff as well as students. This is supported by a rolling programme of training, webinars and drop in sessions as well as the development of online resources; allowing staff and students to access a range of support at a time and a place that suits them.


Adventures in audio: the interdisciplinary approach shaping engaging real world experiences for students - a podcast and radio production module case study
Rebecca Snelgrove, Content Developer (Digital Education), Keele University
in Palm Court

Post pandemic there’s still considerable debate about what the future of higher education looks like, in particular the student learning journey. Our presentation focuses on our experience of hybrid delivery of a module, to showcase our reflections on what module design and delivery may look like. We put student experience at the heart of the module, using various strategies to build an inclusive, community environment, both online and in person. We engaged with industry experts to create authentic experiences, from interviews for asynchronous learning content to a synchronous pitching and feedback session with a panel of industry experts.


Embedding staff and student digital skills development and support at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, to effectively support our Active Learning Framework
Alicia Owen, Digital Learning Manager, Wrexham Glyndŵr University
in Palm Court

Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s learning blend is our Active Learning Framework (ALF), based on principles of Universal Design for Learning. With appropriate use of digital technologies at its core, ALF embraces accessibility, flexibility and engagement. To embed ALF, we have worked to develop and support staff and students’ digital skills. This presentation outlines changes made and highlights their positive impact, demonstrated through findings from our Jisc Digital Experience Insights surveys. Our results relating to digital learning and teaching have been above the sector average and have improved year on year, as have most of our results relating to digital skills development.


Pedagogy review - does the university TEL strategy deliver for today's students?
Lain Hough, Senior Sales Development Representative, Instructure
in Palm Court

With a generation of students who expect a flexible university experience, are used to consuming content via Netflix binges, and are potentially shouldering more responsibility at home - do tutors need to review how they present learning materials and engage their students? The short answer is yes, but with no clear definition around hyflex, blended or distance learning and managing guidelines set out by the OFS, it is difficult to know how to deliver in today’s environment.

This session will present best practices from institutions across the UK and explore how a robust digital ecosystem can support multiple pedagogical approaches.


Using IT effectively to deliver engaging and impactful teaching: a practical view of what teaching can look like using Microsoft Teams
Mary Hill, Digital Skills Manager, Sheffield Hallam University
in Palm Court

"Online or a blend of in-person and online teaching can be highly effective if the educator has knowledge of and confidence in using online tools and functionality.  Knowing, and importantly seeing, what is possible can help us design courses to make full use of these tools and functionality, rather than just delivering in front of a webcam material previously designed purely for in-person delivery.
This session will show what online teaching can look and feel like by exploiting the functionality of Microsoft Teams before, during and after the event.

Do you know how to make a teaching session using Teams flow well, have an engaged and interacting audience, and convey its messages impactfully?  This session will show you the art of the possible."


Empowering Staff for Digital Success: Strategies and Challenges for Blended Learning
Marc Bennett, Digital Adoption Manager and Dr Terry Charlton Learning Enhancement and Technology Team Manager, Newcastle
in John Charles 3

This workshop invites participants to discuss how they have approached and implemented blended learning at their own institutions. The session will begin with an interactive overview of progress from Newcastle University, before opening the floor to colleagues from the sector to share their own experiences. The workshop aims to help members reflect upon and consider different strategies to blended learning, before considering innovative ways to overcome challenges and achieve better outcomes for students.