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IBLC11-Keynote-Building university learners’ and teachers’ capacity to meet the challenges of blended learning in a transitioning society.

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Nannayi Dakat
13 June 2011

Authors: Trish Andrews and Dr Caroline Steel


Our society is changing. Ubiquitous technology ownership and widening access to socially mediated networks have expedited knowledge creation and exchange and transformed the ways we work and learn. This paper proposes that this rapidly changing world is creating a number of disjuncts for learners, teachers and institutions. Students are coexisting both within this rapidly transitioning society and the more rigid world of higher education.


Our data and other studies show that students’ expectations are changing. Many students hold strong beliefs about what they really value and want from their education and technology plays a pivotal role. While we have built a significant knowledge base and experience around creating and supporting blended learning we need to extend this. Learners are still disappointed by traditional understandings of learning and teaching approaches that are more relevant to an industrialised society. The nature of institutions creates a challenge in responding to changing student expectations and needs.  A particular issue is the difficulties of providing flexible infrastructures and opportunities to support and prepare diverse teachers and diverse students to participate in and influence this transitioning society.


This talk will focus on the need to adapt our approaches to blended learning to ensure that university education retains currency in a rapidly transitioning and increasingly mobile and digital society. This means building the technical and pedagogical skills, knowledge and literacies of both learners and teachers. One way to envisage a meaningful way forward is to create a collaborative dialogue between learners, teachers and institutions. We propose that this will provide a valuable opportunity to rethink the skills, knowledge and literacies required for teachers and learners to meet the current and emerging needs of this evolving mobile and digital world.

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