UCEM to present at 27th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning: Guest blog by Dr. Tharindu Liyanagunawardena

Posted on: 9 June, 2017

Guest blog by Dr. Tharindu Liyanagunawardena, Chair of UCEM Online Learning Research Centre

I am pleased to announce that University College of Estate Management (UCEM) will be presenting a case study illustrating the success of our Online, Flipped, Blended Approach to Apprenticeship Education at the prestigious International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference on Online Learning in Toronto, Canada, in October 2017.

The ‘World Conference on Online Learning: Teaching in The Digital Age – Re-Thinking Teaching & Learning’ is the 27th biennial world conference organised by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). This is one of the most prestigious events in the world of distance and online education, regularly attracting over 1,000 instructional design and media technology professionals, as well as educational technology industry leaders from over 90 countries around the world. This will be the first time that UCEM has presented at this conference.

The event will provide an ideal platform for academic and industry leaders to exchange information and ideas on the latest trends in online, open and flexible learning. It is a great honour for UCEM to have been selected from many hundreds of proposals to present our practical case study as part of the “Re-designed Institutional Business Models” session, which will address questions including:

  • What are the implications of online, open and flexible learning, for institutional models, planning, strategies and implementation?
  • What projects demonstrate the necessary conditions for success in collaboration and partnerships in online learning?

UCEM’s case study demonstrates why institutions serving sectors with severe skill shortages should embrace new business models through new partnerships and by harnessing new technologies to create new, flexible learning opportunities. In August 2015 UCEM worked with the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) to design our apprenticeship course for online blended flipped learning/delivery. The course was launched in January 2016 after a rapid development cycle.

UCEM’s unique programme has set 340 apprentices on a pathway to professional recognition, and provides an important new alternative educational opportunity for school leavers.

Our case study examines how changes in government funding led to the creation of this programme; our collaboration with CSTT; and how UCEM designed this programme to meet the needs of the apprenticeship market (complementing flexible online learning with a face-to-face workshop, and enabling students to share work in a flipped classroom scenario).

UCEM has been an education provider in the built environment for almost a century. The institution’s charitable status is based on its remit to support and widen access to the industry and professional progression. University College of Estate Management is now a leading provider of apprenticeship-related education in built environment under the new government scheme in the UK.

The proposal was authored by Nicholas Moore, Dean Teaching and Learning and myself, and we are looking forward to presenting at the conference. Nick was instrumental in setting up the new apprenticeship programme at UCEM and was the chief architect of the programme blueprint.

About Dr. Tharindu Liyanagunawardena:
Tharindu is an instructional designer and the chair of the Online Learning Research Centre at University College of Estate Management (UCEM), UK. She holds certified membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) and she is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). She has worked in the industry as a senior software engineer before commencing her career in educational technology.