An E-Learning Consultant, Learning Technologist, and MOOC Project Manager. Also a lifelong learner and occasional reflector.

Blended Learning Workload

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A recent posting to the ALT list enquires about
'specific information on how the (traditional not distance) Universities and Colleges you work at or know of deal with the issue of 'officially' recognising the time that teachers put online in a blended learning context'
and asks:
'Are there any reports that you are aware of that shows how 'online contact' with students by teachers is recognised as part of their teaching duties in a blended learning context? Do you use workload calculators , for example, or do you integrate your online tutoring to specific lesson plans which are approved?'
This is an issue which must be addressed, especially in research-led institutions, if meaningful online interactivity is to become established and sustained.

Any ideas, experiences or resources out there?

1 comment :

  1. A summary of the various replies, plus the experience of one of own academics.

    1.Some institutions offer flexibility as to how the total workload is allocated. For example if a contract states 40 teaching/contact hours then this can comprise both f-2-f and online activity, usually by replacing 'traditional' contact hours with online. However, extra hours are not renumerated and a minimun level of f-2-f contact is required. It's unclear where the flexibility resides.

    2. Other institutions, which use matrices to calculate the workload of their staff, have some formulas, offering a flat number of hours per week for online activity plus more time depending on the number of students. This approach is gaining more support in the UK.


    3. Institutions that offer total flexibility regarding workload (no fixed times) but with approved teaching approaches and lesson plans. So staff may work late in the night or during the weekend, but within an agreed framework and aseesed on the learning outcomes of their work done. They then negotiate their 'time' based on the needs each time.

    4. From one of our own Academics

    "Both here and at Sheffield I've found workload weighting simply recognises on-line work when, and only when, it replaces a face-to-face element. So an on-line discussion could replace a tutorial, but it has to look like the same amount of work. One boss once told me that my on-line disussion group would have to last for an hour if I was replacing an hour's tutorial. A quiz could replace an essay.

    What isn't recognised is the blended bit, which is a great pity because that’s where the value is, It also often encourages more students beyond the classroom confident to take part."

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