A Student’s Take on the Benefits of Blended Learning
We’ve been working on our Active Learning Framework for a while now, combining on-campus teaching with online learning resources and support that can be accessed anywhere at any time. Here’s student Charlie Parker’s take on how blended learning has been for her.
This past year has been tough for us all. Studying has been a welcome distraction, but also a challenge in itself. As a Masters in Art Practice student, this wasn’t how I pictured my final year of study, and I think all students were feeling the same. However, Glyndŵr has put so much in place to make it all that little bit easier, it’s actually been a very enjoyable academic year!
ALF stands for the Active Learning Framework (blended learning) approach Glyndŵr has been using for the past year or so now. And I have to say, I am loving this new way of studying! Sure, it would be nice to be able to go into our studios and have a chat over a cuppa in the cafe, but with restrictions and regulations, this just isn't possible. The way Glyndŵr and our tutors have developed the course over the past year has been really helpful. For me, on a Masters, I was a bit apprehensive about this new approach. However, I've found the benefits to be way more than any cons (AKA, not being able to physically be in uni, which is totally out of anyone’s control).
The best things I've found about the Active Learning Framework, and learning online, have been the fact that all of our lectures and sessions are recorded and uploaded for us to re-watch later. As someone who obsessively takes notes, I've found this so handy, because if I find that I’ve been too busy scribbling something down, and I’ve missed what someone had to say, it's not a problem! After the lecture, I can just go back and re-watch it! In a weird way, I also feel it's brought our cohort closer together. We make more of an effort to set aside time to discuss and review each other’s work, check in on each other and ensure everyone is doing ok. We also have the opportunity to chat more with students from various years and are able to have separate channels and video chats for various activities and sessions.
With so much more being online now, it's also opened up a whole host of opportunities. We've had lecturers being able to present from their studios at home, files are being shared so much easier, and we're able to have breakaway groups for discussion without being distracted by the other group of people on the table next to us!
Although I can't wait to get back onto campus and share a cup of tea with friends, I know the ALF will continue throughout the University. It's such a great system that they've put in place that I wouldn’t want it to disappear, even if everything got back to 'normal'. I now feel confident and excited about my final module and coming to the end of my Masters. I know I have such easy access to tutors, tutorials, and engaging sessions through the Active Learning Framework.
Written by Charlie Parker, an MA Art Practice student at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.