Hoogeschool Utrecht made the decision to use the platform across all 6 faculties and in less than 12 months produced more than 600 courses most of which are 140 study hours (5 credits). In 3 years more than 1700 courses have been created, 2 years ahead of the original ambition.
Why Blended Learning?
Society has changed and so education has to change. The learning context for students and teachers in the 21st century is quite different from that which the educational system was built. Students, teachers and the working world have other expectations and demands of the learning outcome.
Changes, or possible changes, in Dutch educational laws ask for creative solutions from a university. When, for instance, commercial parties are allowed on the market, HU has to convince students that the programmes are better and more useful for their future. HU is be prepared for demands on flexibility, both in programmes and in learning environment – and to offer education from 17 to 67 years old.
An important goal in HU is the improvement of the quality of F2F education. Teachers are experts and scarse, so we should optimise the time they are available to students. That’s why HU want to turn Blooms taxonomy upside down and spend as little time as necessary on remembering, understanding and applying so in class a teacher can concentrate on analysing, evaluating and creating. In the F2F meetings students construct knowledge together and learn deeper. Blended learning is not a goal in itself, but it is unavoidable if you want to optimise the effect of the F2F meetings.
The implementation of blended learning is organised as a project in HU. The project focuses on port-initial and part-time programmes, mostly master programmes.
Didactical starting point
When teachers start to redesign their courses, it is important that they understand the motivation for the project. The intention is not to implement more technology into education, but to improve the quality of contact time, so to change the didactical approach.
Designers are never responsible for their courses as individuals. Redesign always starts with the programme team. The team decides on the curriculum, the general lay out of the courses, the (digital) tools needed and who is ‘gonna do what’.
In this context the platform is used to empower the teachers to redesign their courses as blended courses while they keep all criteria for Life Long Learning in mind.