Whilst blended learning has been around as an ideology for quite some time, there hasn’t really been a refined way to define it, apart from a mix of classroom-based and online learning. More importantly though, as is the way with ideologies, it’s often implemented out of expectation rather than a specific need or alignment to a larger strategy or set of defined goals. In many cases, it’s technology for technology’s sake.
At Netex we work in partnership with institutions to deliver technology-enhanced learning solutions. The first part of any partnership is to understand what the short-, medium- and long-term goals of the institution are so that we can develop and provide the most appropriate solution.
Secondly, we focus on a bespoke solution design that involves the institution rather than delivering ‘out-of-the-box’ products.
Lastly, we plan the rollout of the project and support with change management and implementation to ensure that the vision of the institution is met and a return on investment delivered. We focus on small cohorts to test efficacy and gain traction and then grow the solution organically throughout the institution.
The key part of how our solution impacts on blended learning is, of course, the technology. The key to successfully implementing the use of technology is the ability to understand what works and what challenges must be overcome.
At the core of what we do is the digitisation of existing institutional content using our professional authoring tools. The design team use the institution’s brand guidelines and identity throughout – none of what we create is branded as Netex. We can then enhance what was once static content with interactive activities, videos, formative assessment and so on. The enhanced content is then published in a variety of formats such as SCORM and xAPI dependent on how the institution wishes to deploy or integrate content in its blended model.
So far, maybe this is similar to what you’ve learned about other technology providers.
What’s different at Netex is how we demonstrate the impact of the content. In a blended learning environment, it’s important for the institution to understand what students do and don’t know, as this will inform what happens in the lecture theatre and seminars.
Our analytics engine and algorithms can, of course, deliver formative feedback around performance but more importantly they can deliver real insight into the impact of the technology element of a blended learning course.
Academics will get an understanding of engagement levels, time on task, strengths, weaknesses and confidence levels. This is data that will not only inform what happens in lectures, but also inform the institution about its broader, institutional performance in areas that are measured by frameworks such as TEF, NSS, international rankings and so on. Netex provides the technology that harnesses the kind of data that allows an institution to be in control, allowing them to adapt, reuse and repurpose content.
In a blended learning environment, Netex will deliver engaging, institutionally branded content that is able to demonstrate its own impact on the experience of both students and academics whilst delivering against the goals of the institution and all stakeholders.