Managing change: The use of mixed delivery modes to increase learning opportunities
AbstractScience teaching in the new millennium will need to suit the students' needs and understanding, and employers' expectations. Choosing to learn will help form the learning opportunities presented. This paper looks at the way the delivery of teaching and learning materials for large first year biology units of study has changed over a period of time during which there have been reductions in staff resources and increases in student numbers. The strategies currently used to manage student learning and improve the learning experience will be detailed. These include a mix of on campus and online opportunities such as the management of laboratory classes in a peer mode model and the recent re-purposing of existing online resources to provide a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE offers a safe, student centred learning environment with access to synchronous and asynchronous communications, and access to learning and assessment materials. Reasons for the development of the VLE are discussed, with ideas on the management of campus based teaching in the experimental sciences.
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