Employers / Managers

“I never even knew that I needed teacher training. And now that I have had it with StudioBlended, I cannot believe just how much it changed my life - the technique, the pedagogy, the human resilience.” Patricia Samora, full professor architecture and urbanism, PUC Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“I always thought teaching was so strict, but you made me realise that you can actually enjoy teaching so much - and it even makes more sense, people learn more and learn better. I feel so grateful”.
Tannya Pico, PhD candidate from Quito, Ecuador, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Why teacher training is more urgent than ever?
With the arrival of blended learning teacher training is more important than ever.

Covid-19 changed the world for good, and the future is blended.

If you never heard of blended before - ‘blended learning’ is about the ‘thoughtful integration of online and face-to-face learning experiences’ (Garrison and Kanuka 2004, p. 96). Or in the words of Dijkstra & Goeman (2021, p. 6) ‘Blended learning refers to learning as a result of a deliberate, integrated combination of online and face-to-face activities.’

Surely - higher education and capacity development of professionals, are never going to be the same in the post lockdown world.

Our StudioBlended was born out of the actual need we identified for university lecturers. See the paper we published recently for the Future of Europe Conference, ‘Envisioning blended higher education in post lockdown Europe: Reflections on experience, needs and risks through a pedagogical lens.’

To us, quality teaching/pedagogics and accessibility must guide technology, coupled with time/costs that make sense - whilst we can use remote platforms to optimize live time teaching.

Our unique approach is that we see ‘blended’ through new eyes, through the new meaning and value of ‘live’ time (in person, in a physical space) in the post lockdown world. From there, we think back how to design online education.

To illustrate just how pressing and urgent the matter is for teachers, have a look at the interview our teacher trainer gave for an Axel magazine publication on the impact of Covid on teachers [forthcoming in October].

Lecturers need support from the institution where they work in their professional development, in order to be equipped to implement blended higher education.
Every single subject in this (almost) post-Pandemic era must be re-designed, and lecturers need pedagogical and new technical skills to be able to achieve this.

However, many university lecturers actually teach as an additional task alongside their core role which is research. This makes it really difficult for them to find the time to prioritise a teaching qualification. In reality, teacher training can actually make a teachers’ life so much easier as it increases resilience.

Sometimes, university researchers lose the will altogether, to teach.

The bottomline is that in view of these factors, university lecturers run a lot of risk of burnout in the coming years. Alternatively, employers are likely to run into serious issues of retention of their highly qualified staff. It is really difficult to replace a good teacher, since teaching is indeed a growth journey. Students are also affected by lack of technique and pedagogy.

In Europe, the EMBED Maturity model, under ‘professional development’, shows how institutions can actually have the ambition to realise a strategic shift at the institutional level, including equipping their entire academic staff. Considerable funding has been invested in technical staff to guide this revolution in curricula for the coming years.

Clearly, we also need a reality check for regions outside northern Europe: does it all make sense? Your institution may be ambitious and passionate, but still in need of an incremental approach.

At the individual level, professional development in blended university teaching, is an important aspect of career training.
Have a look for instance at the European Career Framework for University Teaching, which helps institutions/universities to evaluate and reward the teaching achievements of academic staff. Likewise, the Roadmap for Change, which shows how a strategic change might be planned and implemented.

Teacher training or teachingqualifications are nevertheless typically quite expensive, not just in terms of the fee required, but also the cost of a lecturers’ time. Such training typically requires a lecturer to be present for a considerable amount of half/full days, time in which he or she cannot work on research or projects, or employment to finance the qualification.

Sometimes it may be a good investment to take out a loan for a degree that requires a full-time seasonal or even year-round time investment, if you and a lecturer are certain it will be easy to pay it off through better job opportunities, but that is not always the case and it may take a long time to repay such a degree.

StudioBlended will never want to replace the formal qualifications by institutions that give a lecturer the status and registration you want, and always encourage a lecturer to take a full formal track of teacher training and qualification, if it makes sense for them in this moment in their career.

Even so - learning as a teacher offers lifelong enjoyment; it does not start or stop with a qualification. Even those with a qualification, may now feel the urgent need to update their technique and pedagogy for the blended post-lockdown world.

A key strength of StudioBlended is that we can come alongside, right where you and your team are, and work incrementally from there. We can begin where you are, and go with you to a new track, without needing a very large program that needs a long procurement process or large investment of technical staff at each faculty for several years. We offer a quality personalized product.

We love to stay light between people in the organisation – as opposed to becoming all immersed, since this greatly enhances the quality of the independent consultancy we can give.

We simply, on the job, with a highly personal and tailored approach, develop the capacity of your academic lecturer - and enable him or her to reach a completely new track in terms of resilience. He or she will develop both technical and pedagogical resilience,- the ability to design for up to a decade, and resilience as a human capability.

We do so whatever the institutional overall setting and given technological conditions are.

We identify strongly as European in quality - including the north/south divide, and work across the South of Europe and Latin America coming from this identity.

What does StudioBlended offer for your team of lecturers?
StudioBlended developed one course, our resilience course by which we can train your entire team of academic professionals in a coherent methodology and framework. We take a highly personalised and tailored approach per lecturer, to be of the most relevance to them.

If researchers feel discouraged - allow us to bring back perspective, and simplicity through technique. The realisation that teaching is actually something that can bring so much enjoyment. 

The duration of the resilience course is 10 weeks, with 2 hours interaction online per week with the trainer (both plenary and individually) – and 4 hours self-paced study load on our learning platform online.

The content in a nutshell:
1. Being a corporate athlete - resilience as a human capability
2. Technical (content) resilience and pedagogy in design - resilience and simplicity that last up to a decade

The output is a course design completely fitting with the actual scope of work of the lecturer for the academic year. The outcomes are the refreshing conversation on resilience, technique and pedagogy with the trainer and peers, the training on using the actual techniques and pedagogy.

We train in Southern/Europe and Latin America. Our cutting edge is exactly that interim solution, between European ambitions at a very strategic and institution-wide level, and the reality of countries where an incremental, fit for purpose approach is much more viable and also enjoyable. For the technical fields in which we train see under Technical/Regional.

Another attractive option is to do the same resilience course, but as a compact 1-week intensive atelier right where you are, on campus with your team. Very similar to the atelier we offer in Italy.

Feel free to contact us directly for a tailored offer based on your needs, and options we have.

What does StudioBlended offer individually as a follow up for occupied lecturers?
As a follow up and aftercare of the course, we offer light, incremental ways to continue to grow and consolidate the resilience framework and methodology. In this way, the community of practice at your department is further deepend and consolidated, in a very authentic, demand-driven way.

Our smaller ‘fit for purpose package’ or ‘punctual interventions cardallow for personalised and tailored consultancy in a moment of need. See www.studioblended.com/package-card

Another way, is to go for a retreat with us, a live 1-week compact resilience atelier in Italy. 

European network Erasmus+
Our teacher trainer / StudioBlended lead is well connected with European universities (Netherlands, Italy are priority in 2021/2022) in her role as ambassador for the Erasmus + Generation for the Future of Europe Conference spring 2021-spring 2022. As such, a resilience course, organic training is also an excellent way to start building professional relationships across institutions and experts intercontinentally.

We are affiliated in Europe (Italy), so that certificates are acknowledged qualifications for an employer’s CV, for their employer, or future career paths.

Stay tuned, more follows after the summer in Europe, as the academic year unfolds.

StudioBlended 2021