Beyond the Technology: The education 4.0 podcast

In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Newall welcomes Helen Beetham and Sheila MacNeill, who discuss rethinking learning and curriculum design in higher education.

Helen Beetham, a researcher in digital education and Sheila MacNeill, an independent consultant with experience in curriculum design talk about the importance of rethinking learning and curriculum design in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adapt to new challenges.

The conversation explores the evolution of curriculum design pre and post pandemic, emphasising a shift towards a more holistic approach. They introduce the concept of "beyond blended," which focuses on blending of different modes of learning, particularly synchronous and asynchronous, and the impact of technology on time and place within the curriculum.

The discussion also touches on the student experience during the pandemic, highlighting issues related to new technologies such as generative AI, accessibility, and the need for flexibility. Helen and Sheila share that different students have different preferences for learning modes, and the pandemic has highlighted the importance of catering to diverse learning needs.

Helen and Sheila share their work on the six pillars of blended learning. They emphasise the importance of understanding the pedagogic differences between in-place and online learning, the role of pace in learning, and the need to balance flexibility with the specific needs of students. They also introduce the idea of using "lenses" to examine the curriculum from different angles, both at the curriculum and strategic levels.

The conversation concludes by highlighting the need for a robust curriculum design process and the potential for new technologies like generative AI to be accommodated within flexible curriculum design process.


Show notes

·       Beyond blended: Post-pandemic curriculum and learning design: lessons from the higher education (HE) sector. Available to download from:

·       Sign up to receive advance notice of the Beyond blended web guide:

·       Read the report on Approaches to curriculum and learning design across UK higher education

·       Read our member story on blending digital and physical at the University of Northampton

·       Check out our framework guide for digital transformation in higher education, and explore a comprehensive perspective on how the digital environment can support positive work, research and learning experiences, and promote a sense of belonging and wellbeing

·       Subscribe to Headlines - our newsletter which has all the latest edtech news, guidance and events tailored to you

·       Get in touch with us at if you’d like to come on the show or know someone who might suit the series

Direct download: Beyond_the_Technology_Beyond_Blended.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:56am UTC