January 23, 2017

Webinar on choosing modes of delivery and the role of face-to-face teaching in an online world

Why get the bus to campus when you can study online?

Why get the bus to campus when you can study online?

On Tuesday I gave another in the Contact North series of webinars designed around my open, online textbook for faculty and instructors, Teaching in a Digital Age.

This focused on Chapter 9 of the book, but with a different twist from last year’s webinar on the same topic, this year’s webinar focused particularly on the move to blended learning, and the need to redefine the role of campus-based teaching when so much can now be done online.

You can download a recording of the webinar from here: https://contactnorth.webex.com/contactnorth/lsr.php?RCID=760bef531b9a8fcf59f5480dd57401ff. However, make sure you have the WebEx ARF player downloaded in order to play the recording – see the download instructions on the above web page if the ‘play’ button doesn’t load the recording.

Also note that the presentation doesn’t start until two minutes into the recording because the introduction was accidentally muted.



  1. Dear Tony, Thank you for the article. Personally I like to see blended learning in line with Littlejohn and Pegler (2007) that there are 4 aspects that can be changed in size according to the circumstances of the teacher, institute and student. They see the blend as space, time, activity and media. To this I want to add the three other aspects of formal informal and non-formal learning. So I want to expand the blended learning definition to include the 4 aspects mentioned above with the three aspects of learning environments. (So I do not see blended learning as face-to-face combined with online or paper-based learning with online learning as it is seen traditionally in our country – South Africa) but I am not sure if this idea of mine is workable. Can you please comment?

    • Hi, Erna

      I think that this is a different but perfectly valid way of looking at blended learning.
      The problem with English as a language is that it is not rule-based but usage-based. In other words it is how people choose to use a term that eventually defines it, although purist grammarians will often contest this. If you think of blended learning in the interesting way you have suggested, and other people see the value, then that’s great.
      However, in terms of decision-making, if you make a decision-making process too complex, it won’t get used (unless it’s automated, which is even more risky, if people affected by the decision-making are not aware of the underlying criteria.) I would like to see how you would operationalise then the seven criteria for making decisions about whether or not to use blended learning or what to do online and what face-to-face.
      Does anyone else want to comment on this?

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