Workplace training, lifelong learning, and apprenticeships lie at the heart of the Further Education and Training (FET) sector in Ireland, yet the curricula and provision modes remain traditionally and academically situated. A new professional development programme designed and facilitated by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board’s (LCETB) technology enhanced learning team seeks to disrupt the hierarchical knowledge flows of traditional further/vocational education and training (F/VET) curricula and rigid face-to-face provision mode by supporting a transition to blended learning. In what ways can an institutional transition to blended learning support a change to more collaborative and active learning experiences in the F/VET classroom? In what ways can digital technologies and blended learning design be used to make collaborative and inquiry-based learning easier and more accessible to teachers designing learning in F/VET environments? In what ways can an inquiry through blended learning professional development programme model and promote the collective intelligence and distributed knowledge-making of teachers in the Irish FET sector? These core questions frame LCETB’s transition to blended learning provision over the course of the 2022-23 academic year. This study explains the researcher’s rationale and theoretical bases informing the PD programme design. It demonstrates the initial findings of the programme via an action research methodology and a design and development ePortfolio comprised of multimodal lesson, activity, and assessment designs created and curated by participating teachers. Finally, the research proposes an open-access, adaptable, and scalable blended professional development programme for other F/VET institutions making the transition to blended provision.
Blended and Online Learning Designer, Technology Enhanced Learning Support Service, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Clare, Ireland
Blended Learning, Technology Enhanced Learning, Distributed Learning, Collaborative Intelligence