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Finding the Right Mix?

Finding the Right Mix?

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Finding the Right Mix?

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  1. Finding the Right Mix? Teaching European Studies through Blended Learning Alexandra Mihai Institute for European Studies (IES) Vrije Universtiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

  2. The European Union…

  3. …a labyrinth? Complex Multidisciplinary A rapidly moving target

  4. Target groups

  5. Need for… … a flexible pedagogical approach But…

  6. How flexible?

  7. A maze of information out there

  8. But… … is all this education or just information?

  9. Our approach Three combined/complementary methods • E-learning: the E-modules • Face-to-face seminars • Webinars: online seminars via Elluminate vOffice™

  10. E-modules • an online learning tool offering a structured and interactive way of learning about the history of the European Union, its structure, policy areas and decision-making processes • combines a knowledge/theoretical component with a practical component (i.e. case studies, real-life scenarios, EU case law) • User-friendly interface- learners are in control • Tools for self-assessment and evaluation

  11. Face-to-face teaching • Three days intensive seminars in Brussels conducted by academics and practitioners • provide an advanced understanding of the EU institutions and the decision-making process • Balance of theory and practice • Reduced group size aimed to create a “learning community” and facilitate interaction

  12. Webinars • Synchronous online interaction tool • Used for various pedagogical purposes: • “virtual office hours” • Ice-breaking & feedback sessions • Short online seminars • Longer online conferences • Using Elluminate vOffice™ • Complements the E-modules and the face-to-face seminars

  13. Why mix? Organise content around the learners: be where they are! Facilitate access to knowledge and expertise

  14. Blended learning… = more than the sum of its parts

  15. Finding the right mix The European Studies blended learning continuum

  16. Challenges? • Self-paced vs. interaction/building a ”learning community” • Managing complexity at various levels (content, technical & student management) • Need for specific skills for the educators to operate in a virtual environment (“train the trainer”)

  17. Thank you for your attention! Alexandra.Mihai@vub.ac.be www.emodules.be