Visions of blended learning: identifying the challenges and opportunities in shaping institutional approaches to blended learning in higher education

John Hill, Karen Smith

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Abstract

Although higher education has engaged in blended learning since the early 1990s and its benefits are well catalogued, research often focuses on individual programmes and less on how institutions envision and engage with it to enhance learning and teaching. This article provides a pre-Covid 19 pandemic snapshot of cross-institutional UK policy and practice, through an interpretative, qualitative study of strategy documents and expert interviews. Findings show that while not prominent in pre-pandemic published institutional strategies, commitments to blended learning are expressed in terms of flexibility, inclusivity and accessibility, recognising the need for structures and support. Experts identify strategic leadership, governance structures, professional development, and ongoing support as important requirements for large-scale adoption. The article concludes that blended learning, pre-pandemic, had not normalised. Post-pandemic, to normalise blended learning and support sustained widespread adoption, institutions should heed research literature recommendations and devise institutional visions that establish support, structure, and shared strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • higher education policy
  • institutional approaches
  • Covid 19 pandemic
  • adoption and implementation framework

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