Blended Learning Conference, Sebel Surry Hills, 29th August

Blending with purpose, to overcome the LMS limbo. Blended learning in the spaces between.

Mark Brown – How do we address the issue of quality

  • Blended learning can help to create a vibrant digital learning ecology. However it can also be used to entrench 1950s pedagogies.
  • Quality is a value laden, contestable, context bound, discipline specific construct.
  • Quality assurance versus quality enhancement
  • Can use Australasian Survey of Student Engagement to benchmark student experience
  • Tensions can include institution vs individual, clear standards vs creative flair, externally imposed requirements vs internally owned commitments, central quality police versus local professional responsibility, quality compliance versus quality culture
  • Sloan Consortium has five pillars approach to assessing quality. Also see the Quality Matters Program (, wee wikipedia “Benchmarking e-learning” for a range of other tools
  • Quality enhancement at Massey involves: promoting a high level of professional trust, giving responsibility for quality back to academics, building distributed leadership for teaching and learning
  • Quality Enhancement Framework: Designs for Learning, Resources for Learning, Facilitating Learning, Assessment for Learning, Evaluating Teaching, Professional Learning.
  • Peer review: owned by academics, focus on subject design, emphasis on development, encourages formative feedback… particular framework look at or look at QUT for a similar emerging framework
  • Blended learning for quality needs to disrupt the dominant reproduction metaphors of education.
  • Unesco pillars of learning: Learning to be, Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together. Matt adds: Learning to change and grow.
  • Albert Einstein: “Not everything that can be counted counts, not everything that counts can be counted”

Panel Session: Securing Buy-In from Stakeholders

Dr Lisa Germany, Educational Manager, Elearning at Victoria University
Professor Richard Constantine, Pro Vice Chancellor Information Services and Chief Information Officer, Flinders University
Professor Kent Anderson, Pro Vice Chancellor (International), University of Adelaide

Lisa Germany: Need to identify pain points and senior/middle management need to act first (actions speak louder than world). Embedding is the key (blended learning shouldn’t be special – it should be embedded in course review, performance review, etc)

Simon McIntyre – Learning To Teach Online (UNSW)

  • “Learning to teach online in an on-campus workshop is like learning to train a horse by riding a carousel.”
  • The “Learning to Teach Online” project is a free resource from UNSW available under a Creative Commons license.
  • Shared on UNSWTV, JISC Edmedia Share
  • Program called DEFI(?) to look at patterns of access.
  • See
  • Report at
  • [Very good presentation and resource – lookup]

Mike Keppell – Evaluating blended learning

  • How to evaluate the impact on the learner, teacher, discipline, school/faculty, organisation
  • Evaluation strategies:
  • See work by Philip Morgan
  • Ask stakeholders about what success will look like.
  • OLT: Tilly Influence Factor

Janson Hews, Education Director Powerhouse Museum – The Importance of Creating a Community Based Peer to Peer Learning Experience

  • Learning as participation (Sfard, 1997)
  • Very good presentation that showcased a range of initiatives and Powerhouse pedagogical design principles.


About matthewbower

Professor at Macquarie University.
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