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Technology Enhanced Learning


In UCD we use the term Technology Enhanced Learning as an inclusive term which spans a spectrum of learning delivery modes (as outlined below); from face-to-face/web-enhanced to learning that is delivered as part of a blended/hybrid approach to that which is delivered fully online.

Web-enhanced learning is  face-to-face delivery which  is enhanced or complemented with a small amount of web based resources or activities (typically up to 20 percent). A web-enhanced programme/module is the first step towards blended or online delivery.

 Characteristics of a web-enhanced module or programme include:

  • A module that is delivered in the traditional face-to-face setting with some components in the virtual learning environment, for example; online learning and assessment activities or lecture notes;
  • Requiring learners to complete an activity online such as watching a video, reading an article or completing a quiz before or after a lecture;
  • Engaging learners in face-to-face lectures by using student response systems.

It is a hybrid model that utilises the benefits of both face-to-face and online learning modes of delivery. A substantial amount of the delivery (typically from 20% -79%) is delivered online with the remaining portion delivered face-to-face. The blended model reduces the time spent in a more traditional face-to-face setting with most of the delivery and learning activities conducted online.

Characteristics of a blended module/programme;

  • Learners complete large amounts of coursework online often prior to having face-to-face classes, lectures and labs (flipped classroom approach);
  • Some learning materials and activities might be only delivered and accessible online with the use of a and virtual learning environment;
  • Engaging learners online and incorporating some online activities (e.g. online discussions or group work);
  • Assessing and providing feedback via the virtual learning environment.

A large proportion (80% or more) of the module/programme is delivered online typically with no face-to-face delivery. It can be delivered through a combination of synchronous activities in real time such as virtual classrooms, or asynchronously, such as self-paced components and structured activities via the virtual learning environment. Online programmes are primarily designed to meet the needs of learners who do not have access to the physical institution/campus.

Characteristics of an online module/programme:

  • Mostly used in distance-learning programmes where the learners are primarily off-campus and may be spread across national or international geographic locations;
  • All learning activities are conducted online in a synchronous and asynchronous way;
  • Assessment and feedback is also conducted online.

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to the design and development of blended/online learning rather it is highly dependent on the learning context and is nuanced to enhance the student learning experience. While development requires a holistic approach, the approach can vary considerably according to factors such as; discipline, year/level, student cohorts’ characteristics and needs, module/programme learning outcomes in addition to the faculty members’ teaching approaches and experience. 

This resource provides guidance on the process of designing blended and online learning, it can be used by faculty and staff to; 

  • review and align existing blended and online learning 
  • guide the development of new blended and online learning  

Drawing on the principles of the ADDIE instructional design model we offer guidance on the different phases involved in designing and developing blended and online learning. ADDIE offers a systematic approach to analysing needs, designing and delivering curricula and implementing and evaluating modules/programmes. The five phases of the instructional design model are outlined in each of the tabs;