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Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started

Learn how to promote effective practice and pedagogy in blended learning on this vocational education training course.

53,154 enrolled on this course

Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started
This course is part of the Blended Learning Essentials program, which will enable you to explore the essentials for teachers, trainers & managers developing blended learning.

Explore blended learning methods

This course is designed to help anyone teaching or supporting learning in the vocational education and training (VET) sector understand the benefits of blended learning and how to use technology effectively to support learners.

Supported by a group of ‘digital champions’, you’ll connect with teaching and training professionals who understand the practical challenges of using blended learning.

You will discover the importance of being able to blend digital learning methods into your teaching. These methods will help your learners become familiar with the digital workplaces they will be joining.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Why is there such interest now in using learning technologies? Well, this course will explain that, whatever your role in vocational education and training. The course is about blended learning, which means using the most appropriate learning technologies alongside our usual teaching methods. We’ll be giving you practical support and advice on making the best use of technology for your learners. To help you answer questions such as, which technology should I use in my context, and does learning technology really help to improve learners’ success? I believe it gives teachers the tools that they need to develop their digital technological skills. It gives them the opportunity to be ahead of their learners and engage them more in their lessons.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds In this digital age, it’s very important that we’ve got the ability to facilitate and deliver a message across a variety of media. And by doing this course, this will help us achieve that end. The course runs online. And it’s free and open to anyone. So it’s very easy to access at any time. It’s been designed especially for professionals in the vocational education and training sector. So it covers a wide range of educational settings, and all kinds of learners with a variety of expectations and needs. The whole point of using digital technology is to improve your learners’ success. It can be motivating, so it keeps them focused. It can support their independent learning when the teacher or trainer isn’t there.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds And being online, it’s very flexible. So whether you’re a complete beginner, occasional dabbler, or expert user of learning technologies, this course has something to offer you. You’ll gain knowledge and skills through videos of good practise, guided practical activities, discussion with other participants, and through trying out how it works in your own learning context. Digital technologies are improving teaching and learning for students by expanding the classroom, so that students can learn whenever, wherever they want to, basically 24/7. We’ve brought together some of the leading academics and practitioners in the vocational education and training sector. So we make sure it’s based on the real experience of making technology work.

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 seconds And we’ve built this innovative course around the key challenges currently facing teachers, tutors, and trainers in the sector. Studying the course is easy. You can do it in around three hours a week using your computer or mobile device. And what’s more, once you sign up for the course, you’ll have permanent access to the resources and activities. And then you can use them in your own local professional development, as well as for supporting your learners. Please join us and discover the essentials of what it takes to make the best use of blended learning.


  • Week 1

    Why should we focus on blended learning?

    • Welcome

      Before you get started take some time to meet the educators who will support you through the course. There's also an opportunity to meet your fellow learners, identify your learning goals and plan your learning journey.

    • What is blended learning?

      This activity will help you to develop your understanding of the main principles of blended learning.

    • Teachers and learners

      This activity considers the impact of digital technology on teachers and learners.

    • Summary of the week

      To round off this first week we take a look back at the main learning points as well as looking forward to next week.

  • Week 2

    Preparing for blended learning

    • The week ahead

      This week we will focus on your preparation for blended learning. We will approach this in terms of your knowledge, skills and competencies, within the context of your teaching practice.

    • Principles of blended learning

      In this activity we will consider a full range of blended learning approaches highlighting a variety of case studies from the sector.

    • Your readiness for blended learning

      This activity provides you with the focus to consider your current experience and the development you may need to implement blended learning within your teaching.

    • A case study of effective blended learning in practice

      In this activity we explore how an FE college has overcome challenges to implement large-scale blended learning.

    • Summary and looking forward to next week

      To round off this second week we take a look back at the main learning points as well as looking forward to next week.

  • Week 3

    Systems, tools and resources for blended learning

    • The week ahead

      This week we will explore Virtual Learning Environments, digital tools, and Open Educational Resources. This will help you to understand the essential tools necessary for planning and designing for blended learning.

    • Your Virtual Learning Environment

      This activity considers the Virtual Learning Environment, and provides opportunity for you to consider how your VLE can support blended learning.

    • Online tools beyond the Virtual Learning Environment

      This activity looks beyond the Virtual Learning Environment at a range of open tools that can support blended learning.

    • Open Educational Resources

      This activity explores the benefits and challenges of using Open Educational Resources within your teaching.

    • Summary

      To round off this third week we take a look back at the main learning points as well as looking forward to next week.

  • Week 4

    Designing blended learning

    • The week ahead

      This week we bring together elements from previous weeks and look at the process of designing a blended learning course.

    • Designing blended learning

      This activity considers the process of blended learning design including curriculum and instructional design. We also consider the value of story telling and story-boarding techniques.

    • Assessment and feedback

      This activity considers the importance of assessment and feedback in the curriculum design process.

    • Flipping the learning

      This activity introduces the flipped classroom and describes the benefits for both teachers and learners.

    • Summary

      To round off this fourth week, we take a look back at the main learning points as well as looking forward to next week.

  • Week 5

    Teaching for your learners’ futures

    • The week ahead

      This week we are going to consider some of the wider issues around blended learning in the VET sector. These include issues around employability, inclusiveness, quality and efficiency.

    • Developing your learners’ digital literacy

      This activity considers the digital literacy skills needed by students in order to improve their employability opportunities.

    • Improving access to learning, flexibility and inclusion

      This activity considers inclusive teaching practices and the support of students with special educational needs.

    • Drawing it all together and course close

      We close the course with an opportunity for you to ask any outstanding questions, and introduce the next course in the series.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

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

  • Identify ways in which new technology can contribute to the difficult challenges facing the VET, FE and Skills sector.
  • Evaluate the many free or affordable tools now available to enhance teaching and learning.
  • Apply your knowledge of blended learning to develop training materials using appropriate technologies.
  • Evaluate a variety of effective blended learning approaches and apply the most suitable to your delivery in order to improve the learners' experience and attainment.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at everyone working in further education, skills training, vocational education, workplace learning and lifelong learning or adult education.

Whether you are directly supporting learners or delivering training, this course will help you use blended learning more effectively.

Continue learning with part 2: Embedding Practice. This course is run in two parts. This first introductory course, Getting Started, will be followed by a second short course on Embedding Practice, which will run again in early 2018.

Who will you learn with?

Chair of Learning with Digital Technology, Knowledge Lab, UCL IOE.
Developing a global community of teachers around the Learning Designer

Twitter: @thinksitthrough

Dean of Digital Education and Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Leeds. For more information see: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/education/staff/156/professor-neil-morris

Promoted by

promoted by

Association for Learning Technology

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

UCL Institute of Education

Founded in 1902, as a teacher training college in London, the IOE is now a world-class research and teaching institution.


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