In the autumn, Lund University will be introducing a major educational initiative on e-learning and blended learning. It is intended for teaching staff who are curious about testing digital tools in their teaching activities.
“For the University, integrating digital technology in physical teaching is a matter of survival – that is why we are making this extra investment”, says Bo-Anders Jönsson, pro vice-chancellor and vice chair of the University’s education board.
“Course design focusing on blended learning” is the title of the new University-wide course. Attendance is free of charge but participants must register as a teaching team consisting of at least two people.
“The idea of aiming this at teaching teams is that we believe it increases the chances of inspiring educational discussion at the relevant department”, says Marita Ljungqvist, senior lecturer at AHU, the Division for Higher Education Development.
Teaching teams of several people can also include someone with digital experience, but the course is primarily intended for those who have never tried digital tools, an approach which generated a discussion in the education board.
“We have several passionate people in this field, but it is important that we also involve those who so far have not engaged with digital learning, if we are to succeed with the digital transition. E-learning is a management issue, so the faculties will also be involved in the selection of course participants”, says Bo-Anders Jönsson.
The course will run from October until April 2018 and was developed from a previous proposal to establish a special centre for e-learning.
“It is the approach to teaching that is important, and we believe that different physical and digital forms of teaching can be better developed and integrated through time-limited programmes such as courses”, says Marita Ljungqvist.
“Around twenty-five participants will find out about how people work elsewhere with blended learning. Critical and reflective discussions will be a major part of the course, such as when digital elements are suitable and when they are not”, continues Marita Ljungqvist. Half the course is dedicated to projects which involve testing, evaluating and sharing experiences between faculties.
If there is a lot of interest, the course will be offered up to four times and will reach a total of a hundred lecturers. The education board is also planning to set aside special funds for quality enhancement projects during 2018, as a next step in the development.
Applications to the course can be made on the AHU website: www.ahu.lu.se under the heading “University-wide courses”.
Footnote: Blended learning – or blended learning environments – combine traditional classroom methods with modern computer-mediated activities. It is a kind of flexible learning, which can take place at a distance, but always includes some physical meetings.