Blended Learning Guidelines

​​​For many further education and training (FET) programmes and higher education (HE) programmes, government restrictions have required a pivot to a blended learning delivery mode. 

When considering Quality Assurance (QA) factors regarded blended learning programme delivery, it may be useful for providers to review QQI's Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines for Providers of Blended Learning Programmes which supplement and are an addition to the Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines or core Quality Assurance ​guidelines, as they are more commonly known. The interpretation and implementation of quality assurance guidelines is set out in the Policy on Quality Assurance here.​

Blended Learning Seminar Series

To support colleagues working in a QA or academic management role in FET and HE, QQI has designed a series of blended learning themed seminars featuring advice from experienced national and international experts on how to implement successful blended delivery from a quality assurance perspective.

QQI Blended Learning Seminar 4 - Wednesday, 26th May 

‘Successful and Meaningful Student Engagement- Planning for 2021-2022’ 

​We asked stakeholders what they thought would be key to delivering a successful academic year. Their answer? Student engagement - how to create it, how to support it, and how to find out what others are doing to make it happen.

With our panel of experts from Ireland and the UK, our blended learning seminar on ‘Successful and Meaningful Student Engagement- Planning for 2021-2022’ allowed colleagues to share their student engagement highlights from the past 14 months, as well as some of the most successful and inspiring initiatives in the field. Our contributors included QAA, USI, CDETB, RCSI, IT Carlow, Chevron College, NStEP and QQI. 

The seminar explored these questions and more: 

What student engagement practices did students think worked best over the past 14 months? 

How did staff and students work together to create meaningful engagements?

How did QA practitioners create and support student engagement partnerships? 

What will work in hybrid provision? What initiatives could your institution/ organisation effectively integrate in 2021-2022 and beyond? 

The video links below will bring you to recordings of the presentations featured. 

Engaging students in Covid times​’ presented by Dr Ailsa Crum, Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement & Standards, QAA. You can view the slides here

Shaping the Future with Students as Partners’ Ms Lorna Fitzpatrick, President, USI and Mr Kevin McStravock, Deputy President and VP Academic Affairs, USI. You can view the slides here.

Learners as leaders and guides’ Ms Carrie Archer, Professional Learning and Development Coordinator, CDETB.  You can view the slides here.

Seven steps towards implementing a universal culture of student partnership across a University – Perspectives and Future Outlook’ Professor Celine Marmion, Deputy Dean for Student Engagement, RCSI. You can view the slides here.

Lessons for Student Engagement in Decision-Making Post-pandemic’ Mr Oisín Hassan, Programme Manager, NStEP. You can view the slides here​.

Chevron College’s Dialectical Approach: Co-Creating Cultures of Engagement’ Dr Áine McKenna, Senior Lecturer, Chevron College. You can view the slides here.

Learning with the Learners’ Mr David Denieffe, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Gina Noonan, Head of Centre for Teaching and Learning, Institute of Technology, Carlow to be joined by Thomas Drury, SU President, and Andrea Molloy, SU mature officer at IT Carlow. You can view the slides here.

Academic integrity and the student voice – a snapshot’ Ms Sue Hackett, Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Division, QQI. You can view the slides here.

QQI Blended Learning Seminar III: Thursday 4 February 2021

QQI held the third seminar in its Blended Learning Seminar Series on Thursday, 4 February 2021. Professor Michael O'Leary and Dr Zita Lysaght presented on ‘Aligning Assessment, Learning and Teaching for Quality Assurance in Further and Higher Education contexts’. 
During the seminar, Professor O’Leary and Dr Lysaght discussed some essential concepts underlying efforts to ensure that assessment, teaching and learning are well aligned in our programmes.  In doing so, they posed three questions that they hoped would act as catalysts for conversation and reflection: 
1. What does alignment mean in the context of Assessment, Learning and Teaching?
2. Why is it important?
3. What challenges does alignment present for colleagues involved in programmatic/modular design and/or review based?

A copy of their presentation slides​​ can be viewed by clicking on the link. 

Dr Alison Farrell of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (NFETL) also presented assessment resources available from NFETL and detailed professional development opportunities that may be of interest. Please click on the link to view a copy of  Dr Alison Farrell's presentation slides . You will also find details of  NFETL Assessment Resources and Professional Development by clicking on the link. 

Dr Alison Farrell is Senior Lead for Sectoral Engagement at NFETL Homepage - National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The full recording of the seminar can be viewed by clicking on the link. 

QQI Blended Learning Seminar II: Assessment in a Blended Learning Environment Wednesday, 4 November 2020 12.30-13:50

The second event in the QQI Blended Learning Seminar Series ‘Assessment in a Blended Learning Environment from the humanities perspective’ took place on Wednesday 4th November 2020. Dr Mary Kelly and Ms Aisling Reast from Hibernia College and Dr Melanie Ní Dhuinn from Trinity College Dublin presented at the seminar, which was chaired by Dr Peter Cullen, QQI. 

The presentations included: 
•‘Overview of Assessment in a Blended Learning E​nvironment’ presented by Dr. Mary Kelly, Head of the School of Education at Hibernia College. Dr Kelly provided an introduction to some key principles in designing authentic online assessments which support teaching and learning in a blended environment. This presentation also looked at how institutions have had to reconceptualise how we assess students in a meaningful way, meeting the learning outcomes, ensuring that we can validate the progression of students and the awarding of credits. Link here 

•‘Online Assessment Quality Assurance – a case study’ during which Ms Aisling Reast, Registrar at Hibernia College, discussed quality assurance processes underpinning assessment at Hibernia College and, in particular, how the College adjusted the operation of one particular assessment, once it became clear that modifications were required due to the public health restrictions in place this year. Link here 

•‘Reimagining the teaching, learning and assessment spaces in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) through a COVID prism, with a specific focus on the School Placement modules ‘ presented by Dr Melanie Ni Dhuinn, Assistant Professor (Education) at Trinity College Dublin. The final presentation of the seminar looked at how one ITE programme has reinvented the overall experience of the School Placement modules using a blended learning approach that overturns and topples the traditional tables and assessment approaches. Link here​.​

A number of questions were raised during the seminar and links shared, all of which are available here

A recording of this seminar can be viewed here​

QQI Blended Learning Seminar I: Blended Learning, QA and Academic Management​ Friday 18 September 2020

As the first in a series, QQI hosted a short seminar entitled Blended Learning, QA and Academic Management on Friday 18 September 2020 to help set the agenda for the remainder of the seminars. 

Highlights of the event included: