This guidance material is set out to explain and illustrate the Block and Blend pedagogy that the University of Suffolk is in the process of adopting.
These pages provide initial guidance for course teams — we anticipate this being developed in coming months, particularly as lessons from the Block and Blend pilot emerge.
Here we set out the characteristic features of the University’s Block and Blend pedagogy and briefly set out what each means for those seeking to implement the pedagogy on their course.
Curriculum delivery enables students to focus on individual or complementary aspects of the curriculum rather than exploring disconnected aspects at the same time.
Strategic use of the online learning environment, and instructionally designed learning materials and activities scaffolds learning across learning environments and affords students the flexibility to take control of their learning.
Responsibility for learning progress is shared between students and tutors, with space provided for constructive and critically supportive conversations and debates.
The content and activities remain in the students’ consciousness and focus – once the module has started, the last thing studied is always something in this module. There should be less need to ‘recap last week’s work’.
All learning activities, whether situated on campus, online, on placement or in the students own time and space, are clearly linked together and mutually supportive of each other.
Learning activities are designed to ensure students’ engage with active learning, and to foster collaborative and supportive learning relationships.
Student assessment is integral to learning, engendering a formative philosophy, and takes many distinct forms, leading to the students’ development and achievement of multiple skill-sets.
Students will inhabit physical and digital learning spaces, often at the same time.
Students on a block will focus solely on one module – tutors do not have to make space for other learning, and the students will be able to devote all their learning attention to the learning activities planned.
While there is a degree of ordering to those activities students are guided towards, there is also flexibility that allows students to make effective use of the learning spaces and to tailor their engagement in line with their own situation, needs, progress, passions and achievement.
On completion of each block, students have confidence that they have completed the associated learning.