ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORMS: BESPOKE ADVICE AND REALISATION OF IDEAS


'Don't ask what the technology can do for you, rather what the pedagogy needs.’
Gilly Salmon, Professor of e-Learning and Learning Technologies, University of Leicest


‘True innovation is essentially a people problem, not a technological problem.’

Steven Mitz, Professor of history and pioneer in the application of new technologies to teaching and research.
Artwork: visual identity project and facade of the making art school for children, in São Paulo. The work consists in the implementation of the visual language based on doodles, characteristic of the children's language, in the graphic design of the pieces and in the school architecture, including not only the painting the walls and reconfiguring the facade - but also the online environment (such as displayed here). The result brought a more cheerful atmosphere through the paintings and more airy and light through the restructuring of the facade.
By Lucas Rampazzo


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. tikvah@studioblended.com

How do you structure the learning journey you envision for a learner? This includes not just curriculum content, but also the schedule, communication, feedback, and assessment.

What environment are your learners, and your teachers, regularly entering online? Does it over-stimulate the brain, or does it bring calm and allow for undivided attention and flow?

How do you integrate pedagogical innovations that came out of technological advancements, and were consolidated during world-wide lockdowns? Such as, learning ecologies, learner autonomy, modular approaches?

At StudioBlended we take a more pedagogical, technical (design-wise), inventive/pragmatic and a more artistic approach to any Learning Management System (LMS), E-learning platform or a constellation of technology application. A Learning Management System (LMS), basically is E-learning enhanced with Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The challenge is to create one fluent, coherent learning journey. Clarity of structure and transparency are absolutely essential, especially, if your teaching is both ‘face to face’ and online (blended) and learers move from a physical space, to the online space where material is bundled. If they must search all over the place for the materials a lot, this can cause immense frustration and impede the learning flow. Uniformity. Recognising the structure, swift access both to the ‘whole’ overview and the actual assignments per module, all these aspects come in. For you as a teacher, an online platform allows you to navigate rolling out the course or training: you can monitor where your learners are, how they are doing. Just some first aspects...

Do you recognise any of this:

You are fully in transition from emergency education to  blended/bichronous education, and wonder if your learning management system (LMS) or combination of technology platforms still makes sense as the world opens up.

Perhaps you are frustrated with the online environment, and are tempted to revert to traditional education (fully in-person)?

Or perhaps, you must set up the online environment from scratch for your remote or blended training?

A Learning Management System (LMS) can offer you a way to structure the learning journey you envision for your students. But sometimes, in your context, other constellations of technology make more sense.

You also deal with privacy issues, licences, contracts - what makes sense?

Since the world is always changing, you must continuously adapt to ensure optimal learning and teaching environments. How can you find a sustainable approach?

Blended’ is mainly a design challenge. It doesn’t have a formula - every setting is different. Which is exactly why we work highly tailored and personalised with clients.

Inventiveness and agile approaches are vital when the education is still very much in transition and interim solutions are required. Or, when you need a fit for purpose approach for your training.

When it comes to structuring a learning journey, our inspiration comes amongst others from the limitations that our teachers in the South South European Peer to Peer, might face. These include that Internet may be too weak for high profile (heavy and expensive) Learning Management Systems (LMS), or/and when some learners and teachers alike prefer to use their smartphones, not a laptop, for communication.

We are always experimenting and innovating around light and modular approaches - to find the angle that realises effective teaching, optimised for a given setting. See StudiOpedia which uses a simple website page, Word, audiopodcast and ZOOM. We have first-hand, hands-on experience in designing, and developing for such light technologies.

Equally, our inspiration and inventiveness come from our teacher trainer’s close involvement with the Digitel Pro Erasmus+ Programme for teacher training, where state-of-the-art LMS are being used.

With the arrival of blended and bichronous online learning - which inevitably include screens - the visual environment has become more defining than ever. What is the quality of the environment you design online, for your learners and teachers? A calm environment, with beauty, stimulates the brain prioritising undivided attention for the actual learning.


Artbook for a poetic essay about buildings and landscape possibilities in the future by Lucas Rampazzo

At StudioBlended we can come alongside you for both the following scenarios.

Scenario I
For the most part, if you work for an institute, university, or school, - but definitely depending on your region too, there is likely a licensing agreement  between your institute and a platform or learning management system (LMS) probably already exists. This also depends on your region.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

- Brightspace (i.e. Technical University Delft, Netherlands TU/D)
- An environment developed uniquely for your institution (i.e. Open University Catalunya, Barcelona UOC)
- Canvas(i.e. University Applied Science Utrecht HU)
- Moodle
- MS Teams
- ...

This scenario means that you are unlikely to have the freedom to pick an LMS for your course, but rather must use the licensed LMS. In other words: it requires inventiveness within the existing guidelines, including the ‘house style’ (the visual outlook). Nevertheless, there may be plenty of opportunities for you to create structure and outlook, such as in additional downloadable material.

Scenario II
If you are working independently, with more freedom from your management, or perhaps on a smaller scale (with a smaller number of students), or with a much lower budget and technical staff investment, then you are likely to have a choice. However, be aware that some LMS options listed above, only work with larger institutes. If you have more freedom you may be working with any combination of open source and paid platforms such as:

- Stream
Dropbox
- Google Drive / Workspace
- WeTransfer
- Miro or Mural
- Outlook Email
- Zoom Pro
- WhatsApp
- A simple website
- MS Word, Excell, PowerPoint
-...

What StudioBlended offers
At StudioBlended we are well versed in both options, and the inventiveness they require:

- We take a pedagogical lens to technology
- We always look to enhance human and technical resilience [listen to a keynote].
- We always balance your options through our signature take on the golden triangle of quality, time and cost investment. What are the optimal trade-offs for you as a client?
- We are strong in conceptual thinking about your LMS, rather than getting lost in details (which often times leads to creating labyrinths) – and equally always experimenting ourselves to find optimal constellations of technology, without letting technology lead in innovation.

Here is what we can do for you to get you ready and prepared for the long run, as the world opens up:

- Advice on actual improvements of your curriculum design, effective teaching/learning, and how to translate these back into your online environment [Both scenarios]
- Advice on a logical and simple combination of technology for your unique setting [Scenario II]
- Advice on how to set up this project in a full and healthy cycle, from beginning to a smooth closure
- Decluttering the online learning / teaching environment [Both scenarios]
- Advice for more structure and more clarity of instruction
- Adding beauty and calm to the online environment, with graphic designs [Scenario II mostly]
- Advice on communication and feedback [Both scenarios]
- Advice on assessment [Scenario II mostly. For technology enhanced assessment at scale we advise conceptually only]
- Advice on complementing synchronous sessions with audio
- Advice on privacy issues, licences, contracts, as we create an optimal constellation of technology for you.
- ... (bespoke, to what you need)

Our experience
We team up in an agile way for you as a client, incl. - as required:
Tikvah Breimer - senior consultant, teacher trainer
Lucas Rampazzo - graphic designer
Jane Longely - editor

And externally:
Paolo Destillo - podcast producer
Wanda Fracheboud - senior advisor digital learning environments, collaborated also on our paper envisioning blended higher education in post-lockdown Europe
If needed, we can source in our network, such as for simple, light online learning platforms.

We do not engage in the technical side of the technology, since we would rather collaborate with your IT experts and develop each other’s capacity. Our senior consultant has relevant experience with such a collaboration in a university of applied sciences. Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc) focuses on the functionality and bridging the silos between departments that use the platform.

How is StudioBlended adding cutting edge value?
There is no need to reinvent the wheel, and so much is available open source. For instance,  a great matrix for your course structure in Brightspace by TU/Delft is available here, which you can also use for your LMS.

The real challenge is to make sense of it all, the pedagogy, the contextualisation, your trade-offs, simplicity and resilience. We never compete, being a foundation, but seek cross-learning from all active and inspiring players in this field.

Our unique signature and inspiration flows fundamentally from our artistic side, and just how visual learning is these days when it takes place on a screen. So much potential exists to use art and beauty as a language, to create a calming learning environment.

In the way we are wired, with our inclination towards unique incremental approaches, we continuously build our own capacity and experimentation centred on our own courses, particularly around scenario II clients.

How to get started?
You can reach out directly to Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc) to inquire about possibilities for your Learning Platforms Online. This is also the route to learn more about our unique collaboration with the artist and graphic designer Lucas Rampazzo. As a lead, Tikvah Breimer will operate as intermediary in client communication, so that Lucas Rampazzo can focus all his attention on the actual art creation for you.

We are here especially for you in technical and human resilience by design. #StudioBlended Keep asking: does it make sense? This is your day, in your life - enjoy every moment.

StudioBlended Foundation 2023

Curious, and would you like to know more?
Would you like to receive a bespoke quotation?
tikvah@studioblended.com
+31 6 42 47 29 69

Non profit Foundation

Registration Chamber of Commerce
KvK-number 86242598 (Dutch)

VAT identification number
NL 86 39 07 29 5 B01

Bankaccount

NL40 INGB 0709 6156 04
StudioBlended Foundation