[8] Engaging students with innovative teaching: Using Blended Learning in the Foreign Languages Classroom



Engaging students with innovative teaching: Using Blended Learning in the Foreign Languages Classroom

Author (s)

Rocio Perez-Tattam Senior Lecturer
College of Arts and Humanities
Tanya May


AdvanceHE (formerly Higher Education Academy) defines Blended Learning as using “multiple methods to deliver learning by combining face-to-face interactions with online activities” . The summer of 2017 saw the beginning of a university-wide Blended Learning Pilot headed by Dr Paul Holland in his capacity as Dean of Educational Technology. It involved, among others, the College of Arts and Humanities and a number of modules across the College.

As explained by Dr Holland in his paper presentation at the STEM Conference 2018, some of the drivers for the adoption of blended learning approaches at Swansea University include “increasing student expectations” with regard to flexible and differentiated learning, and “rapid developments in Technology Enhanced Learning”; the ultimate goal is further improvement of NSS scores. In other words, by engaging students with their learning through innovative teaching as represented by blended learning approaches, Swansea University hopes to enhance the student experience, increase student satisfaction, and thus improve its position in the league tables.

This session will introduce examples of blended learning activities such as Blackboard Campus Pack blogs, audio-enhanced PowerPoints, online quizzes and videos using cloud-based applications in the context of the foreign languages classroom. It will discuss student engagement and performance data as well as student feedback, with a view of sharing innovative teaching practice with impact based on evidence. The session will end with an interactive quiz. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices and a pre-prepared set of questions.

Session Outline

introduction and general outline of the session, explanation of rationale, nature of teaching activities and discussion of quantitative/qualitative data (10 mins); interactive quiz (5 mins), Q&A (5 min). Participants will be engaged through the interactive quiz and the use of pre-prepared questions. The aim of the session is to introduce the audience to blended learning approaches. This session is recommended to anyone thinking of introducing blended learning activities into their teaching practice.

Key Words

blended learning, foreign languages classroom, student engagement, innovative teaching, digital technologies

Key Messages

By the end of the session, the audience should have knowledge of different blended learning activities, should have an understanding of the role of blended learning in engaging students with their learning and delivering innovative teaching, and should be able to apply blended learning approaches to their own teaching.


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