Three key learnings from emergency remote learning that can help inform your planned blended learning approach

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic required colleges and training providers to adapt quickly in order to minimise disruption to their courses and apprenticeships. Consequently, the education world turned to technology like never before.

Here we look at three key learnings from this move to emergency remote learning that colleges can use to help establish long-term planned blended learning approaches.

1. Using a partnership approach to tackle common challenges
After the move to emergency online learning it quickly became evident that the traditional ‘Chalk and Talk’ format, combined with an over-reliance on online webinars, was resulting in ‘Zoom Fatigue’. As a consequence, learner disengagement levels skyrocketed and tutors lacked sufficient time for detailed pedagogic planning.

A close collaboration between tutors, leaders and edtech experts can help address and troubleshoot these challenges. It’s also important to invest in expertise who can advise your decision-making on factors such as on-demand and live webinar split, and the amount of peer-to-peer work needed to ensure that learners remain engaged.

2. The importance of learner analytics
Tutors also faced the challenge of looking after large groups remotely whilst ensuring a high quality of teaching and learning.

Learner analytics from a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) can provide tutors with clear insights into where the whole class, as well as individual learners, need to focus their attention. Additional features such as auto-marking can also help tutors manage their workload and adopt a more sustainable long-term approach to blended learning.

3. Creating an intuitive learner experience
Emergency remote learning also created frustration as learners lost the regular opportunities to ask their tutor questions in-person.

A VLE with high-quality online tutorials allows learners to access key concepts and teaching on demand. Learners can re-watch new concepts and revisit topics they are finding tricky without waiting for face-to-face time with their tutor. When attending their in-person classes, the tutor will be able to reinforce learnings and answer any questions.

Mark Mckenna, Managing Director of Mindful Education, will be presenting on this topic at the AoC’s upcoming Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference – The future of learning is blended learning. To find out more and book your place please visit the conference web page.

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