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Designing for distance learners

About this topic

These tools offer academics the possibility to share and disseminate knowledge, organise webinars and virtual seminars, allow for the possibility of closer collaboration between institutions, and facilitate communication with and instruction of students on placements.

The ways in which students engage in academic activity is constantly shifting. Across Cardiff University academics and learning technologists are implementing a wide range of innovative approaches to enhance the student experience through the use of learning technologies.

Internationalisation and employability play a crucial role in our strategic vision, and the role of distance, blended, and web-based tools in facilitating this vision is of fundamental importance.

The primary function of distance learning tools is to enable communication, instruction, and debate remotely. This should not be seen as the limit of the functionality of these tools. Indeed, many programmes adopt innovative hybrid or multi-faceted approaches to engagement in which distance learning is integrated into other learning paths, or used as a support tool for learners.

The modalities of interaction within blended or distance approaches to learning can vary from uses of virtual classrooms, webinars, and presentations, to the use of social media platforms, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and the creation of bespoke solutions to address specific issues.

This section highlights a variety of approaches adopted at Cardiff University to enhance the learning experience of students who are not campus-based, but also ways in which distance learning approaches can enrich the curriculum of campus-based programmes.

Case Studies

Improving the Learning Central experience

Christopher John

Published 06 Apr 2017 • 10 min read

Improving the Learning Central experience for Welsh language users and providing access to online learning materials without internet access.


Ways of learning | Designing for distance learners | Delivering blended programmes |

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Fostering a Sense of Community in Postgraduate Distance Learners

Dr Katja Umla-Runge, Sian Edney and Dr Athanasios Hassoulas

Published 16 Jan 2020 • 15 mins read

In this video, Dr Katja Umla-Runge, Sian Edney and Dr Athanasios Hassoulas discuss the initiatives they introduced to their e-learning MSc in Psychiatry to increase social integration and engagement of a highly diverse student body.


Ways of learning | Inclusive Curriculum | Designing for distance learners |

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Even better than the real thing? Developing online learning experiences and communities

Professor Ann Taylor and Neil Mosley

Published 16 Jan 2020 • 15 mins read

In this talk Professor Ann Taylor and Neil Mosley draw on their experiences of designing and delivering online learning courses and programmes. They explore ways to deliver educational outcomes and consider how to make online learning active and


Ways of learning | Digital & Information Literacy | Designing for distance learners |

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Cardiff Resources

Using Virtual classrooms to deliver blended and distance learning module

Theresa Federici

Published 19 Apr 2017 • 15 mins read

Theresa Federici describes how she has used virtual classroom software within the Languages for All Programme within the School of Modern Languages as a way to deliver modules to distance learners.


Designing for distance learners | Delivering blended programmes |

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