Lessons Learned

There were many suggestions of the learners during their final presentations and in the related discussion. Most of them covered issues closely related to the quality framework.

The platform

The guidelines of the consortium seem to be proofed by the learners of the test course. The observers found out, that all platforms used in the test course and the courses of the learners do not support the learning in a satisfying way. There is some effort (from the programmers and communities of the learning platforms) to be expected to create a well-working and satisfying learning platform. The recommendations of the consortium should be seen as an impact for developing an appropriate and useful learning platform in Blended Learning.

Several items are in context with the selected learning platform:

  • The use of materials (see Use of Materials)
  • User tracking   
    An easy to handle and efficient user tracking is necessary in an appropriate learning platform.
  • Well-defined and structured messaging system
  • Learning in a team (see Teams)

The use of webinars

Some participants of the test course promote the use of webinars. That must be seen from two points of view:

  • During the distance learning, the webinar is a contradiction to the principle or “learning everywhere at any time in a self-paced way”, because webinars force the learner to participate at the webinar at a specific time and does not allow the learner to determine the individual learning speed.
  • The webinar can be seen as a part of the onsite teaching, because all learners participate at that webinar at the same time and listen to one speaker. In that case, it is necessary to clear the question, why it was not possible to teach that content/competence during the onsite teaching (Here an organizational problem in the course development can be the reason …).
    Webinars can be used as break activity during the distance learning.   
    The topic of webinars in Blended Learning must be investigated in the future. The use and efficiency should be part of further studies.

Use of ICT

The use of ICT should be an absolute quality criterion for both – teachers as well as for learners. Here the consortium follows the ideas of Jaap van Lakerfeld (PLATO network) mentioned in the results of the GINCO project[1].

Teachers’ education in efficient and correct use of ICT must be increased.

The use of material

Some learners of the test course mentioned the necessity of high-quality materials – including the copyright protection – in teaching. They suggest teaching teachers in this quality issue during their education to teachers and in continuous education too.

User support by tutors/teachers

For each Blended Learning course, appropriate and well-defined arrangements have to be made. These agreements are the basis of further cooperation between the learners and the tutors, they are crucial for the students support and finally for the learning success of the learners.

Tutorial support

Based on special arrangements the tutorial support for the learners mast care about some special issues:

  • Tutorial support depends on the age of the learners
  • Depends on the pre-experience of the learners
  • Mail/Messages must be possible
  • Between teachers/students
  • Students and students

Hint: A good platform should provide the configuration to switch on/off various modes of messaging including sending mails directly from the trainer to the learner.


The platform must offer the possibility to teach in small groups in the same course, where the group acts like a team. That includes the creation of sub teams as well.

These features of team building are partly implemented in some available learning platforms – but not in a consistent way and in most cases neither user-friendly nor well described.

Assignment deadlines for distance learning

There is an open problem with given deadlines for assignments. There are further studies necessary to clear that issue and to find appropriate methods how deadlines can be brought into well-working context with the idea of self-paced learning.

Training of the platform

It is a quality criterion to provide appropriate training of the platform for the students and the teachers as well. The criterion should be on policy level (of the institution).


[1] van Lakerveld, Jaap; Zoete, Joost de (2011): GINCO: Quality in courses. Quality features in the pre course phase; the development phase; the implementation phase, and the follow up phase of Grundtvig courses. PLATO.