Date: Tuesday 18th June 2019, 9:00-17:00
Venue: The Leathersellers Hide (4th floor of Learning Hub), Waterside Campus
Theme: Reflections on Active Blended Learning in Practice
Keynote speaker: Dr. Sri-Kartini Leet is currently Head of School for Art, Design and Performance at Buckinghamshire New University. Until 2017, she led the Photography subject at the University of Northampton, and was an active driver of learning and teaching initiatives – specifically around the exploration of other modes or platforms of delivery for a practice-based course, as well as the embedding of work-based learning within the curriculum.
Blended learning has long been defined as an approach to learning and teaching which combines face-to-face and online education. During my time at Northampton, my Photography team engaged effectively with innovative approaches to teaching a practice-based subject using blended methods, where the key was to use online, interactive tools to promote active learning, complementing the value of studio, workshop and classroom-based teaching. Moving on to a new role at Bucks New University has led to a re-thinking of what blended learning means in a different context where my broad staffing base emerges from a range of fields of professional practice, and where teaching and learning is more closely connected to industry practice. Based on the principle of applied learning, and ideas around ‘learning by doing’, the approaches adopted allow students the space to experiment as they develop their identities as practitioners. Furthermore, students are often given opportunities to engage in industry-set briefs or professional practice to apply their skills and knowledge to ‘real world’ environments.
My talk will reflect on the varied interpretation of ‘blended’ where learning itself is not defined purely by the mode of delivery (i.e. online or classroom-based) but explored in relation to the range of strategies employed to engage students actively in their learning. Drawing from both practical and theory modules, I will highlight a few examples where particular tasks or projects provide the stimulus for individual exploration of the subject. Developing the theme of bridging HE with industry, I will discuss our recently formed partnership with Creative Media Skills, based at Pinewood Studios, where teaching is delivered both at the University and by industry experts at Pinewood. My evaluation of the industry-HE model is also relevant to the apprenticeships we currently deliver, where a blended approach is central to ‘on the job’ learning.