Blended teaching delivery high-level principles

The University of Bath aims to deliver a strong and effective blend of in-person and online teaching and learning activities where physical distance is no barrier to social connection.  As agreed by Senate on 1 February (S22/23-45) our blended approach of in-person and online delivery – the Bath Blend – will be central to achieving this:

  1. Teaching delivery will continue in a blended format, both on-campus and online (with synchronous and/or asynchronous delivery).
  2. The majority of teaching delivery will take place on campus and promote active student learning.
  3. Course teams should determine for themselves, within operational parameters and constraints, the appropriate pedagogical balance between different types and modes of delivery methods and teaching activities. Where possible, teams should promote a consistent approach between directed and independent study or research, as relevant to the content and intended learning outcomes of the course.

Key delivery expectations

The following delivery expectations are intended to be applied course wide and are informed by legal and regulatory responsibilities. The Bath Blend Baseline design document will also help course teams ensure legal and regulatory compliance in the digital environment.

Our CASE for quality

Well designed, high-quality blended provision will demonstrate the key themes of consistency, accessibility, scaffolding, and engagement. Read more about our CASE framework for blended delivery, and how it applies to the Bath Blend Baseline.

Teaching in a blended environment

The following tips are designed to help you identify key aspects of the blended learning environment. We emphasise the importance of seeing the purpose of any given session, be it online or in-person, within the context of the whole course. This will help students create links between the different learning approaches, and it will better enable course teams to keep their planning and delivery, including the use of technology, straightforward and focused on clear learning outcomes.

Course-wide approach: Course teams should develop a shared understanding of what teaching types and modes entails, in the context of their course, so they can provide consistent information and teaching delivery experience for students.

Be consistent: To ensure a consistent approach to VLE modules, course teams will consider the Bath Blend Baseline Document in the context of their subject and provide students, where relevant, with high-quality resources and activities that are joined up across a course, clearly scaffolded, engaging and support students beyond the timetabled sessions. This is to enable our students to develop their independent study skills.

Provide clear guidance: At course level, provide sufficient detail about how courses will be delivered and the extent to which a course will be delivered through a blended approach, and signpost and support the required technologies used as well as digital skills and how these will be supported.

Students ideally should be provided with clear information on:

  • The purpose and reasoning why the particular type or mode of delivery supports students to develop the knowledge and skills to meet the intended learning outcomes.
  • The expectations and support needs (including equipment needed) on students if undertaking a different mode of delivery (e.g. hybrid/hyflex), synchronous delivery and self-paced independent learning.

Incorporate Professional Body requirements: Subject Benchmark Statements and Professional Body accreditation requirements (if relevant) should inform the teaching delivery strategy for a course. Note: there is normally considerable flexibility in how these can be used by course teams.

Use technology appropriately: In-person blended courses will be supported by corresponding module(s) on the VLE (or appropriate platform).

Encourage staff training and support: Course teams should identify and signpost to staff support and training opportunities so that they are able to deliver a course effectively, in particular those relating to digital skills.

Build in support for students: Course teams should consider and identify the skills students will need to participate effectively in digital learning and teaching, and signpost them to support and training opportunities relevant to their course, in particular those relating to digital skills.

Integrate self-paced resources: For self-paced learning, ensure online materials and recordings will be valuable by being high-quality, up-to-date, reflect developments in the subject-matter, and be accessible as per relevant University and legal guidelines.

Involve students: As good practice, course teams will share with students the rationale for the design of their learning environment including the layout, opportunities for interaction and any additional requirements.

Use in-person time fully: For on-campus delivery, design teaching to maximise the benefits of being present in-person. For example, group work activities; time for discussion, debate or problem solving; feedback and support; and applied learning working with clients or local community groups.

Plan synchronous sessions carefully: For synchronous (live) online learning, design teaching to maximise opportunities for active collaborative learning, including discussions and questions and answers, and the ability to meet and network with people across the globe.