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Third of university courses taught through hybrid teaching – D2L comments

online lesson

New data from the BBC shows almost a third of university courses are still combining face-to-face teaching with online learning in 2022-23, compared with only 4.1 percent in 2018-19 before the pandemic. Reactions from students have been mixed.  

Stewart Watts VP EMEA at D2L, argues that hybrid learning programmes offer more personalised flexible learning options, when they are executed effectively:

“As the past two years have demonstrated, universities need to think carefully before adopting complex online environments. If institutions want to continue using a hybrid learning format this year, they need to ensure in-person classroom teaching is paired with online components more effectively. There needs to be a logical learning pathway and a better connection between online and offline events. For example, in-person seminars should refer to materials mentioned in online lectures or video demos. Courses should be devised carefully to satisfy students who enjoy in person learning and those who want the flexibility of online learning, with technology complementing all current learning and teaching objectives, rather than being treated simply as an “addition”. This means the overall course structure may be different from university to university.

“Similarly, what works for one student may not work for another. The “one-size-fits-all” approach is simply no longer viable. When designed and implemented correctly, blended learning programmes can support lecturers and students by allowing greater course customisation and personalisation, allowing students to learn at their own pace. Similarly, by bringing courses online, lecturers can identify trends in student learning. For example, learning analytics can provide lecturers with real-time insight into the location and extent of learning gaps—where a student is progressing and where they still need support. By using data to drive their teaching or courses, staff can plan more extensive learning programmes that account for all students’ learning needs.

“By designing courses this way, lecturers can identify individual weakness far more quickly allowing earlier intervention. Staff can also provide group feedback on students’ work via online forums and other tools rather than individually, allowing more time for one-to-one tutoring which can be hard to achieve on a course that has up to 300 students.”

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