Developing blended learning resources and strategies to support academic reading : a student-centred approach
This article focuses on a blended learning curriculum development project, in which a student was prospectively engaged with teacher educators in developing resources designed to increase support for academic reading. Curriculum development took place at the University of Hertfordshire School of Education through the Change Academy for Blended Learning Enhancement (CABLE) project, which was developed through participation in the UK Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee Pathfinder programme. Senior colleagues in the School and members of the University of Hertfordshire Blended Learning Unit, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, provided strategic and operational support. The project evaluation framework was based on RUFDATA (reasons and purposes; uses; focus; data and evidence; audience; timing; and agency). The need for support for academic reading had been demonstrated through programme evaluation and review. Gaps in provision were identified following a survey to define the scope of Master's-level reading and an audit of available resources. Resources and activities for accessing, interacting with and sharing reading materials were developed by teacher educators in consultation with the student (education practitioner) team member and a university information consultant. In addition to the student contribution throughout the project, other participants on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme module contributed to evaluating the resources developed to support their reading. This project provides an example of a learner-centred approach to programme development. Students' views were valued as part of the design process through identifying learning needs and then developing and trialling resources to support academic reading, and as part of the ongoing development and evaluation.