• University of Edinburgh
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Making Blended Education Work

Explore challenges and advance blended learning practices in higher education.

7,071 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Improve high-quality and mature blended learning practice in higher education

On this course, you’ll explore emerging practices in blended learning and get introduced to a maturity model developed in a partnership of seven European higher education organisations.

You’ll work through debates related to the conceptualisation and practice of blended learning, as well as examples of blended designs at course, programme, and institutional level.

This course offers a platform to share your experience of blended learning, evaluate and advance the maturity of your blended learning practices, and innovate blended learning methods in the wider context of digital transformation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds What is blended learning? How is blended learning facilitated in higher education? Why does blended learning matter? How can we advance blended learning practices? In this course, we explore these big questions through critical lenses and case studies. Over the past decade, we have witnessed an increasing reliance on technology to facilitate educational delivery, learner interaction, and decision-making related to learning. With the Internet and technology being more accessible today, blended learning has emerged as a popular learning design in higher education. Despite inconsistency in the definition of blended learning, it is generally believed that blended learning integrates both online and face-to-face modes. Combining the best of the two worlds, it is believed that blended learning can enhance learning and cost-effectiveness.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds However, research has found that blended learning practice has primarily been implemented in a bottom-up approach by individual instructors, rather than as an institutional endeavour. It is also noted that staff are in dire need of professional development in support of their blended learning practice. Importantly, in order to ensure that blended learning practice aligns with pedagogical principles and the strategic vision of educational institutions, we need to take a systematic approach to evaluate the quality and maturity of blended learning in terms of the learning experience, teaching activities, and the institutional conditions.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds In order to bridge this gap, we invite learners of this course to reflect on the blended learning practices, conditions, strategies and policies in their institutional and regional contexts, and collaboratively identify tracks for optimisation or change to mature their blended learning practices. This course is offered by a team of international experts from University of Edinburgh, Delft University of Technology, KU Leuven, Dublin City University, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Aarhus University, and European Association of Distance Teaching Universities. You will be hearing about best practices of blended learning in these institutions and regions. You will also be expected to join this community to exchange your experience and learn from others. We are looking forward to meeting you at the course.

What topics will you cover?

This course will:

  • Introduce concepts of blended learning, blended teaching, and blended education
  • Introduce a reference model to assess the maturity of blended learning practices in course, programme, and institution levels at higher education
  • Include topics that look into critical dimensions of blended learning, such as relations between beliefs and practice, institutional culture and leadership, and post-digital thinking.

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...

  • Describe and critically discuss the conceptualisation of blended education
  • Apply key principles of blended learning for programme/course design
  • Assess and analyse the benefits and challenges of blended education
  • Evaluate the quality of blended education
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the relationship between beliefs and practice in blended learning and teaching

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for higher education institution leaders, particularly those involved in leading the design, implementation and research into blended learning (e.g. those leading learning technology teams, those directing academic programmes, and heads of academic departments). The course also covers topics relevant to learning technologists, practitioners, and researchers who are interested in blended learning related research and implementation strategy.

What software or tools do you need?


Who will you learn with?

Yi-Shan Tsai is a lecturer at the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia, and an Official Vistor at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Mark Brown is Ireland's first Professor in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). Twitter @mbrownz More... https://www.dcu.ie/nidl/people/director.shtml

I am MA (lang.) and BSc (computing). I work as a senior adviser in digital education at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). I maintain digma.fi LMS, and develop the EXAM system in Finland.

I am associate professor in online education, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Wiebe Dijkstra is an educational advisor at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. He is an expert in designing, developing and implementing blended learning courses in Higher Education.

Stephan Poelmans is professor in Information Management at the KU Leuven (Belgium). His research interests include blended and e-learning systems and their use in the field of software engineering.

She holds a PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning with specialisation in Gamification of MOOCs. She now covers the role of Programme Manager at the EU Association of Distance Teaching Universities.

Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in Dublin City University. Head of the Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning@DCU - @1MNGM

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.


EMBED is a strategic partnership about innovation in higher education by the implementation of blended education, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (2017-1-NL01_KA203-035288).

European Union

This project has been funded by the European Union.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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