“I like it. This is very fresh, innovative, strategic – instead of ad hoc - and sustainable!”

Response of one of our clients to the bespoke proposal we crafted for his decade strong course, to become financially healthy and resilient in two modalities, blended and bichronous.

“I don’t want to see your mission statement first. Show me your budget, your calendar, and your curriculum. And I will tell you what your values are”.
StudioBlended founder and lead, Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc).

Are you curious for more? Would you like to get in touch? Feel free to contact our lead directly for any questions or inquiries you may have.
Rio de Janeiro by prof. Joao Witaker, in conversation with Tikvah Breimer (lead, founder StudioBlended) Sao Paolo USP.

Are you struggling with... ?
- ...?  subsidies that dried out, rendering an existing multiple year strong iconic course, unaffordable for the prospected participants (fee, travel, stay)?

-…? the end of a European funded program for a degree, and the challenge to now make the valuable curriculum available and affordable, in-campus, in-context?

-…? creating a remote course out of a blended degree, or the other way around?

Does it make sense?

Are you aware that:
- ...?


-... ?

Our advice and partnering with you
Consider this: in the future we will not speak of ‘blended’ education anymore, we will only talk of good education – and it will naturally involve a thoughtful integration of ‘face to face’ and online learning and teaching.

‘Blended’ is mainly a design challenge. Every single course, degree and shelf activity at university, must be re-designed to make it fit for ‘blended’ use.

At a more fundamental level, many curricula at university, needed re-design already, from a technical educational point of view. Understanding by the learner fundamentally correlates with the quality of the technical design of the curriculum, such as proven by a neuroscience approach to curriculum design. The urge to go blended, is a strategic moment to re-design a curriculum to become resilient for the coming 10 years.

When a course or degree needs a re-design, but a strategic ‘blended’ vision for the portfolio is still under development or unclear, the risk is being paralysed by a liminal space, muddling through after a first pilot or ‘how things were always done’, or of wasting resources by jumping to invest in areas which later prove to be the wrong direction.

There is considerable intuitive appeal to the concept of integrating the strengths of face-to-face with asynchronous online learning. ‘Blended’ is a simple concept. At the same time, implementation offers virtually limitless design possibilities. And the scale of the need to re-design is real. What is valid for your context? What is strategic?

What is more: it is, in principle, possible to bring down the price of a traditional face-to-face course, by turning it into a blended or remote (bichronous) form – or even into a MOOC. But what are the underlying values for decision-making? What makes sense, when looking at a longer time-horizon?

Being aware of important potential stumbling blocks in terms of institutional embedding, and with a world still in liminal space, we argue it makes little sense to provide bold recommendations or static large upfront designs at this stage.

Instead, we aim to prepare the ground by already beginning to make re-design visible and tangible to the teaching team, and to bring out the right strategic and pertinent questions, to guide decision-making and vision at the institute, when it comes to the transformative potential of blended/bichronous re-design for a course or degree portfolio.

StudioBlended shows that it is possible to already start a tangible pilot – even without knowing all the strategic decisions yet. It is possible to already prepare the ground for a vibrant teacher community. A pilot takes the urgency to redesign as an opportunity to bring out strategic questions relevant to the entire portfolio.

We propose a pilot, working with an agile senior project team that can move lightly within your institution. A pilot is a way to demonstrate a quick win, even if outcomes take time to scale up and roll out. 

The pilot has four stages that together span two seasons:

Pilot Stage I: Re-design studio
- Re-design studio with the coordinator of the course or degree to envision an alternative reality in the most concrete ways (TOT component).

The re-design studio includes:

1.    Resilience analysis of the technical / interdisciplinary content and curriculum design
         (fit for purpose content framework design)

2.   Dynamic financial model preparation

3.   Nature and aspirations of the course

4.   Analysis of existing material and what worked well during emergency education
          (including systematisation)

5.   Technology questions / scoping / accessibility / greenfully designed / simplicity
          (relates to procurement, values, and being future proof)

Both modalities, blended and bichronous (= asynchronous and synchronous only), require technology. What is possible today, and what is possible in 10 years’ time? What are the right and strategic questions to ask for that? Or: what strategic questions does technology bring to the table (i.e. student numbers, privacy, climate impact of strorage and sreaming etc).

6.   Blended learning journey (a modular design)

7.    Bichronous learning journey (a modular design)

8.   Identification of individual learning pathways (differentiation, a modular design)

9.   Human resilience of the teachers
           (relates to technology, a schedule of presence/absence, communication, feedback)

10. Price setting (3 year scenario’s, trade-offs)

The financial model and price setting that is part of the resilience analysis of the re-design studio, have already been developed as part of our unique re-design methodology and will be contextualised for the institute. Finetuning to this specific pilot case, is cross-checked by our financial advisor. The head of finance of your institute will be actively involved, as well as admissions, to ensure legitimacy, and ownership and coherence

The re-design studio focuses on an analysis of the resilience of a course (importantly its content and financial health), and subsequent re-design into two modalities: a blended and a bichronous design (see visualisations below). The outputs create a shared language, to facilitate exchange between peers and leadership, essential in times of accelerated change.

The re-design studio is output based. Every step leads to a very concrete, tangible and visual design, financial model or strategic planning. At the same time, constraints are identified: to avoid cutting out an illusion from the overall reality. A limitation also stimulates inventiveness, with that sometimes even innovation. Every required step towards an output is introduced with a TOT component, drawing from StudioBlended’s unique methodology for resilient curriculum re-design.

Pilot Stage II: Visual presentation
- Visual presentation of the outputs of the re-design studio to the porfolio team.

The visual outputs, and financial model and pricing, as well as the strategic plan for implementation, are jointly presented to the team of short course coordinators, in a session of deep listening, dialogue and exchange. In the presence of the director, strategic questions that the coordinator and advisor came across, are brought to the table, to better understand values and vision for the institute’s education.

The presentation to peers/colleagues has a very prominent Training of Trainers (TOT) component, to prepare the ground among all short course coordinators, for possible re-designs. This is also why it is mostly visual, to gain more clarity on the pathway to re-design, and to spark the imagination.

Pilot Stage III: Consolidation of outputs
- Consolidation of the outputs in a visual, financial report, including a strategic implementation (investment in development) plan.

The outcomes of the studio and presentation are consolidated in a bespoke report for the Institute, and coordinator. The report is mostly visual (the outputs), showing the actual bespoke re-design, financial model outcome, pricing and strategic implementation plan. The latter is perhaps the most crucial to reassure the coordinator and take time and frustration out of his hands as it shows when to invest in developing what, over the three years of the pilot consolidation cycle.

Pilot Stage IV: Visioning workshop
- Visioning workshop (2 mornings), with the team of coordinators, which assesses scenarios in terms of outcomes desired in 10 years’ time (TOT component). Find it here.

As a space of psychological safety, the visioning workshop stimulates to share, listen, exchange, question, tell of mistakes, try, play, reimagine – and as such is a breeding ground for innovation.

It is very hands-on, working on the wall to co-create. In some ways it resembles a Theory of Change (TOC) workshop.

The workshop is the closure of the pilot, and the breeding ground for a fruitful way forwards to a strategic approach for the re-design of the entire portfolio of short courses as well as grasping what is needed to get there.

Each stage includes dialogue with the decision-maker, to be in step during the pilot implementation, create a common ground, and to allow the re-design process and visioning to achieve its transformative potential. An environment of new ideas and new decision-making is fostered, that ultimately leads to a clear strategic vision of what success looks like for the portfolio ten years from now.

An agile team of senior advisors is included in the proposal, to bring strategic horizon, vibrancy, cross-learning and an important training of trainers (TOT) component.

StudioBlended always works in a complementary, never competitive, way with existing teaching academics or educational advisors. For this pilot, and in close dialogue with the director, we may actively seek contact with any existing teaching academy, to see how they can fruitfully follow up and invigorate the re-design made.

This proposed pilot will allow the Institute to make re-design visible and tangible, and to create a sense of ownership among teachers for the re-design required for all its curricula. The pilot creates legitimacy for a strategic vision on good education. The aim is to learn, and to ask good questions about what good education is at your institute.

Curios? Feel free to contact our senior advisor and teacher trainer directly:

We are here especially for you as unique professional, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (climate / urban) curriculum, so that you can offer good and resilient education in all simplicity.

StudioBlended Foundation 2023

Curious, and would you like to know more?
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StudioBlended Foundation