• University of Nottingham

Blended and Hybrid Learning Design in Higher Education

Delve into theories of learning, teaching, and technology to design more effective and engaging blended and hybrid courses.

1,071 enrolled on this course

A lecture hall equipped with camera and projector for facilitating blended and hybrid classes in higher education.

Blended and Hybrid Learning Design in Higher Education

1,071 enrolled on this course

  • 5 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore blended and hybrid learning with the University of Nottingham

COVID-19 has had a transformative impact on higher education. Blended and hybrid models of learning are now the norm, and not an anomaly.

On this five-week course from the University of Nottingham, you’ll explore a range of perspectives on blended and hybrid learning. You’ll examine key paradigm shifts in pedagogical thinking, and consider their implications for your own teaching practice. You’ll learn from leading thinkers like Stephen Downes, Diana Laurillard, Neil Selwyn, and Norman Vaughan.

Discover theoretical and philosophical frameworks for learning design

How you design courses depends on the conditions and resources available to you. Theories of time, space, and technology have much to contribute to debates around education.

You’ll start by reviewing a wide variety of theories and philosophies, discussing their implications for blended and hybrid learning. You’ll cover key concepts like flipped learning, asynchronous teaching, and connectivism in pedagogy.

Get practical tips on how to design effective blended and hybrid learning content

Once you’ve mastered the theory, you can begin to apply it in practice. In Weeks 3 and 4 of the course, you’ll receive practical guidance to use in your own teaching.

You’ll discover a range of platforms, apps, and tools, and develop strategies for designing accessible and engaging course content.

Understand the legislative and institutional context of blended and hybrid learning

No course can be designed without considering regulatory frameworks within higher education. In the final week of the course, you’ll explore the wider institutional and legislative context of blended and hybrid learning.

You’ll finish the course capable of designing courses that meet the demands of the post-COVID-19 era.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Hello, my name is Neil Hughes and I’m the academic lead for blended learning design in higher education. Blended learning and its multiple variants dominate the teaching and learning landscape in higher education, and not just because universities have invested heavily in education technology and need some bang for their buck. It’s a lure for many educators is that it offers a tantalising prospect of teaching and learning that combines the best of both worlds. So why take this course and what will you get from it?

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds By the end, I very much hope that you will have gained knowledge and critical understanding of current conceptualisations and variants of blended learning, and understanding of what it means to think of blended learning as a complex social practice, awareness of the spatial and temporal dimensions of blended learning, awareness of the range of digital platforms, apps and tools that can be used to enhance learning in higher education. An introduction to some of the most important learning design frameworks and principles and understanding of what it means to treat the online dimension of blended learning as a rhetorical space. Awareness of the institutional context of higher education and how it impacts on learning design.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds Practical advice and insights from some of the leading voices in blended and online learning, such as Norman Vaughan, Neil Selwyn and Diana Laurillard, as well as from each other. Advice about where you can go for support, to deepen your knowledge and skills in the field of blended learning. Oh yes, one more thing. I’ve woven literature, film and music into the course narrative. I’m hoping that by doing so I’ll be able to shed light on some of the more difficult concepts addressed in the course, add some narrative drive, spark your interest and ultimately to make the learning journey we’re going on together a little more enjoyable.


  • Week 1

    What are blended and hybrid learning?

    • Welcome to the course

      Welcome and introduction to your course.

    • Blended Learning: definitions

      We explore some of the common definitions of blended learning.

  • Week 2

    Time, space and technology

    • Introduction

      This week, we look at time, space and technology.

    • Time

      In this activity, we will discuss synchronous and asynchronous time.

    • Space

      In this activity, we will address issues to do with learning spaces.

    • Technology

      In this step, we address the issue of educational technology.

  • Week 3

    Pedagogy, activities and assessments

    • Introduction

      This week, we will be talking about pedagogy, activities and assessments.

    • Pedagogy

      In this activity, we interrogate the issue of pedagogy and explain its centrality to questions of effective blended and hybrid learning design.

    • Practice

      In this activity, we explore how pedagogical theory can be put into practice.

  • Week 4

    Learning design

    • Introduction

      In this activity, we explore some of the different instructional design frameworks and the pedagogical and ethical principles underpinning them.

    • Getting started

      In this activity, we look at how to get started with blended and hybrid learning design.

    • Learner personas

      In this activity, we analyse the role that learner personas play in the learning design process.

    • Enhancing your learning design

      In this activity, we look at steps you can take to enhance your learning design.

  • Week 5

    The wider context

    • Intoduction

      Introduction to this week's learning focussed on the different contexts of learning design.

    • Legislation and regulation

      In this activity, we discuss aspects of the legislative and regulatory environment that are relevant to learning design in England, and the UK more generally.

    • Institutional context and support

      We look at the institutional context of blended and hybrid learning design as well as identifying internal and external sources of support.

    • Denouement

      With these final steps, we conclude the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate the field of blended and hybrid learning design in the Higher Education context
  • Improve your understanding of blended/hybrid learning and explore some of the new directions it has taken in the context of the pandemic
  • Develop your awareness of practices effective for learning
  • Develop practical design skills that you can use in your own blended/hybrid teaching practice
  • Demonstrate deeper understanding of issues such as accessibility, usability and the aesthetic dimension of blended and hybrid learning design
  • Discuss some of the wider contexts shaping digitally-enhanced teaching and learning in universities today
  • Explore the sources of support that can be drawn upon, both within HE institutions and more widely, to help you in this area of teaching and learning

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested or involved in designing blended or hybrid courses. It will be particularly valuable to university managers, academic staff, researchers, learning designers, learning technologists, and students of any subject.

Who will you learn with?

My name is Neil Hughes. I am Professor of Languages and Digital Learning Technologies at the University of Nottingham and the author of Introduction to Blended and Hybrid Learning Design.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$54/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 27 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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