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Blended Learning Seminar

7 November 2018

Matthew Martin and Joe Hughes recently attended a conference on blended learning hosted by Belfast Metropolitan College and held at their Springvale Campus. The conference, entitled Where is Blended Learning Going?, had a particular focus on the use of virtual learning environments within the vocational training sector.

The event was the outworking of a two-year Erasmus+ project with which Belfast Met had been involved. The focus was largely on the implications of moving an existing training programme into a blended learning mode of delivery. Keynote speaker, Michael Hallissy, is a founding member of the H2 Learning Education Consultancy in Dublin and also has worked on digital strategies for schools with the Department of Education and Skills in Dublin and on the European Commission’s ET2020 Working Group, which has been focused on their new Digital Education Action Plan.

Joe Hughes commented, “The conference raised issues relevant to diverse virtual education environments. Whether you are working in English Literature, as Matthew is, or Technology and Design, as I am, we are all facing similar challenges in trying to harness the power of blended learning while keeping students actively engaged from a distance.”

Delegates from the City of Dublin Education Training Board (Ireland), the Tartu Vocational Education Centre (Estonia), Koning Willem I College (Netherlands) and CIFP (a vocational training college in Ursibil, Spain) attended the seminar.

“Regardless of where people came from,” said Matthew Martin, “the message invariably emphasised the need for an integrated approach to blended learning – one which often requires a fundamental shift in instructional strategy. The day was a great opportunity to exchange ideas around this type of work with people in many other sectors from across Europe.”

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