Beyond the Technology: demonstrating digital transformation - beyond blended - post-pandemic curriculum and learning design

Elizabeth Newall welcomes Helen Beetham and Sheila MacNeill to discuss rethinking learning and curriculum design in higher education in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adapt to new challenges.

In this episode, Helen Beetham, a researcher in digital education and Sheila MacNeill, an independent consultant with experience in curriculum design explore the evolution of curriculum design pre and post pandemic, emphasising a shift towards a more holistic approach. They introduce the concept of "beyond blended," which focuses on blending of different modes of learning, particularly synchronous and asynchronous, and the impact of technology on time and place within the curriculum.

The discussion also touches on the student experience during the pandemic, highlighting issues related to new technologies such as generative AI, accessibility, and the need for flexibility. Helen and Sheila share that different students have different preferences for learning modes, and the pandemic has highlighted the importance of catering to diverse learning needs.

Helen and Sheila share their work on the six pillars of blended learning. They emphasise the importance of understanding the pedagogic differences between in-place and online learning, the role of pace in learning, and the need to balance flexibility with the specific needs of students. They also introduce the idea of using "lenses" to examine the curriculum from different angles, both at the curriculum and strategic levels.

The conversation concludes by highlighting the need for a robust curriculum design process and the potential for new technologies like generative AI to be accommodated within flexible curriculum design process.

Show notes

Episode guests

Helen Beetham
Helen Beetham
Researcher at University of Wolverhampton
Sheila MacNeill
Sheila MacNeill

Episode host

Headshot of Elizabeth Newall
Elizabeth Newall
Senior sector specialist (digital transformation)

Additional links