Encouraging the use of blended learning in Higher Education

Posted by Shaeen Chetty, on Oct. 16, 2023, 6:35 p.m.

Shaeen Chetty

Science, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Lecturer in Chemistry


Challenge and goal

The increasing class sizes and occasional power cuts in South Africa has placed a stress on teachers in Higher Education to ensure quality education and constructive learning within the classroom. Time remains the main factor as teachers cannot complete content and ensure that learners effectively learn content. Although blended learning is readily available on multiple platforms, there is a high resistance from teachers in Higher Education to implement blended learning. The main goal is to encourage teachers in Higher Education to utlise blended learning in their classrooms .


Topic of the user case

Blended learning 

Local context (specific)

South Africa is a country that is experiencing power cuts on a daily basis which makes it challenging to conduct lectures, tutorials and practicals. In conjuction with large class sizes, in excess of 300 students per class, the learning process has taken a more transmissive approach rather than constructive. The use of blended learning in courses will allow for students to conceptualise and grasp content in their own time and during the regular power cuts. This provides students with autonomy and allow them constructivism in their learning. 

Local CPD goals

The goal is to encourage academics to utlise blended learning in their classrooms by illustrating the effectiveness, techniques and support that are available.

Needs defined in STEM-CPD Roadmap

14 teach large groups of students
11 stimulate discussion
24 use blended learning approach
13 analyse the effect of teaching and introduce changes in an evidence based way.
2 attending presentations about teaching approaches.

CPD activities at the local university

Flipped classroom approach. 

Prior to the face-to-face seminar, participanats are provided with material (literature and videos) to review. Thereafter, online platforms will be constructed to evaluate the seminar and meet regularly to discuss experiences and challenges.


Teaching and learning materials

1. Literature & Videos

  • Lentz, G.S. and Foncha, J.W., 2021. Lecturer's Views on Using Blended Learning as an Intervention Programme for Teaching English Language Academic Writing to Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) First Year Students. Journal of English as an International Language16(1), pp.77-92. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1328452.pdf
  • D Janse van Rensburg, E. and Oguttu, J.W., 2022. Blended teaching and learning: exploring the concept, barriers to implementation and designing of learning resources. South African Journal of Higher Education36(6), pp.285-298.  https://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1753-59132022000600016
  • Scholten, D.J., Wijtmans, M., Dekker, S.J., Vuuregge, A.H., Boon, E.J., Vos, J.C., Siderius, M., Westbroek, H. and van Muijlwijk-Koezen, J.E., 2021. Practical guidelines to redesign introductory chemistry courses using a flexible and adaptive blended format. Journal of Chemical Education98(12), pp.3852-3863. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c0064
  • 5 Benefits Of The Blended Learning Approach In eLearning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C939JILoTFU
  • What is blended learning and its benefits? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE2oLUzp4Y0


2. Seminars

  • Seminars presented on three levels, departmental, faculty and institutional.
  • Seminars will be presented face-to-face.


3. Online Platforms

  • Two platforms will be setup.
  • The first is to provide anonymous feedback.
  • The second to provide a community of practice to discuss challenges and experiences.


Sustainable implementation

  • At the first stage of this user case, the lecturer who is developing the seminar will prepare learning material / literature to share with fellow lecturers.
  • One meeting will be organized on each instutitonal level (departmental/faculty/instutuional) where the lecturer will promote and encourage blended learning.
  • The process can be re-evaluated and implemented to new academics annually.

Expected impact of the CPD User Case

  • The expectation is to see an increase in the use of blended learning in the LMS and in classrooms.


Plans for eventual continuation of the CPD within the same topic

  • Evaluations rubics for the seminar to assess and improve on the seminar.
  • Reporting back on the achievements of the seminars.
  • Monitoring the progress of courses to determine if the blended approach is being utilised by students and staff to its' full potential.

Competence teaching, Deep learning, Blended learning (type P1-2a, P1-3c, P1-4b)

This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop their competence in teaching in higher education and how to facilitate student’s deep learning and development of higher cognitive skills and how to use blended learning and develop attitudes in practicing teaching and learning in an evidence informed way.
The approximate duration of a User case that follows this scenario is several months.
In this CPD scenario the participants professionalize in a close connection to their own teaching practice (at their workplace) and meet in person on location with the training staff and with other participants.

Learning environment
Several months

Creative Commons Licence Logo Creative Commons 3.0 BY SA applies to all content on Starfish.
Starfish-education support for the publishing on Starfish-education.eu does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors and Starfish-education cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Starfish-education cannot be held responsible for the content published by authors that is not conform with Creative Commons 3.0 BY SA.