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Beyond Flexible Learning - practice guide

Part of Advance HE's Beyond Flexible Learning member benefit theme, this practice guide for course teams designing and delivering learning, describes the three key teaching modalities that may contribute to blended learning.

  • In-person learning: any form of formal or informal learning that requires physical co-presence of educators and students.
  • Synchronous online learning: formal online learning undertaken in groups in real-time facilitated by an educator.
  • Directed learning: flexible, self-paced learning activities that students carry out independently or as part of a team at a time and a location – online or in-person – that suits them.

Combining modalities provides choice of time and place of learning for educators and students.

  • Hybrid: a deliberate integration of synchronous (online and in-person) and directed learning, used sequentially such that any one modality will be used at a given time.
  • Hyflex: learning is offered in-person, synchronously online and asynchronously online, with students deciding how to participate.
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The practice guide was informed by the six case studies from the 2021/22 Collaborative Development Fund Future Student Experience project. Advance HE members can access the Future Student Experience reports here.

Advance HE members can download the practice guide below, as well as access the other outputs from the Beyond Flexible Learning theme.

Beyond Flexible Learning - Modes of learning: a practice guide
Beyond Flexible Learning - Modes of learning: a practice guide View Document

Beyond Flexible Learning - introductory video

In this introductory video,  Dr Kay Hack introduces the theme and discusses how HE providers can provide high quality education experiences while leveraging the benefits of online learning for students.

As we move into the post-pandemic world, institutions will have to grapple with the need to resume face-to-face learning while maintaining the benefits for students that flexible learning offers. Teaching practices therefore, will need to adapt to provide flexible and online learning offerings that also foster the social interaction and collaboration that students have missed over the past few years. 

Watch the video here

Beyond Flexible Learning - quality assurance podcast

In this podcast, Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser, (Learning and Teaching) with Advance HE is joined in discussion by two speakers who have been considering the role of quality assurance in the changing higher education sector, Dr Nick Mount Academic Director of University Of Nottingham online and Professor David Webster Director of SOAS Foundation College.

In the discussion the role of quality assurance processes in validating completely new short, credit bearing, professional development programmes, designed to meet demands for upskilling and reskilling the workforce, as well as traditional undergraduate programmes that are now moving to hybrid delivery is examined.

Listen to the podcast here