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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Get a degree by 'blended learning' by Lucy Tobin

"When Melanie Liley donned mortarboard and gown to graduate with a degree in business studies last week, it was the end of five years of juggling essays and revision with a full-time job in marketing." writes Lucy Tobin. 

And, thanks to blended learning – one of the fastest-growing trends in education – Liley did it all without taking a day off work. "Blended learning meant I could squeeze the degree into my spare time, and study whenever I wanted, but still receive personalised advice and help from tutors and other students," she explains.

Blended learning describes courses that mix classroom-based education with distance learning, often via online features that allow students to receive tailored help from tutors, such as online forums, video conferencing and internet telephony technology such as Skype.
Blended learning is booming as higher education becomes more demand-focused.

London South Bank University sends professors from its faculty of business around the country as it guarantees at least three contact days for distance learners each academic year. "We go to venues near them – Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol and Plymouth, as well as London," says Nigel Scott, course director. "Blended learning suits those whose role requires travel or absence during the academic year, plus those who prefer to learn at their own pace."