Learning and Teaching in Action: MMU's Journal for the scholarship of teaching and learning

Special Issue: Moving to block teaching: challenges and opportunities

As a response to the pandemic, some institution in the UK (and abroad) are moving to remotely delivered block teaching in the academic year 2020/21, to create academic offers that are responsive and flexible to the current situation and the high uncertainty this brings for universities, staff and students. Our institution recognises the challenges this pandemic has brought to staff, students and the wider community. Together we are re-thinking our approaches, to re-imagine and embrace learning and teaching approaches that are flexible, inclusive and creative and celebrate the diversity of our students and staff.

In this context, it is imperative to understand the impact of block teaching in remotely delivered and/or blended mode on learning and teaching in HE.

We want to gather the thoughts and ideas of planning block teaching from colleagues from across Manchester Met and from the professional services, to start a process where we can learn with and from each other. Considering the range of pedagogic perspectives, approaches and strategies in blended mode block teaching will help us move forward in an informed way, plan for supportive, inclusive and stimulating learning opportunities for all our students, and support colleagues in the planning and design process.

We will gather these experiences and reflection in a special issue of Learning and Teaching in Action where we aim to capture our collective journey towards blended block teaching mode, from planning through to implementation and evaluation. The special issue will remain "live" until May 2021, thus charting and chronicling every stage of this important process.

At this initial stage, we seek submissions from colleagues that explore the planning of block teaching in exclusively remotely or blended mode. For reference, the following indicative topics have been identified:

Moving to block teaching as an opportunity to:

  1. (re)consider inclusivity
  2. support lab and studio work
  3. empower students to succeed
  4. support students' wellbeing
  5. enhance students' career readiness
  6. enhance provision in English for academic purposes
  7. instill values of professional and research ethics and integrity
  8. overcome perceptions of "disciplinary unsuitability"
  9. turn challenges into opportunities and identify the opportunities brought by the challenges
  10. any other area of relevance not included in the above

We are accepting submissions in the form of

  1. Practical guidance – how to shape a unit for block delivery in blended mode (1000 words)
  2. Practitioner story (1000 words)

If you are interested in contributing on any of the above or seek further information, please contact the editorial team:

We start accepting contributions from 20th June 2020.
Reviewed contributions will be published progressively.

Thank you for considering offering your contribution to this special issue,

The editors
Dr Chrissi Nerantzi, Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos, Dr Nicoletta Di Ciolla
Email: blockteachingHE@mmu.ac.uk
Twitter: #BlockteachingHE