Blended approach to learning from September 2020

Mixture of on-campus and virtual learning for students  

The University of South Wales (USW) is planning a blended approach for the return to on-campus learning for the next academic year, starting in September 2020.   

This blended learning approach, which combines a blend of virtual and on-campus delivery, will ensure students receive good experiences, interacting with other students and academics, and high-quality education.  

Many of USW’s courses have practical components taught in specialist facilities such as labs, workshops and creative studios. Planning is underway to ensure we can run as many as possible on our campuses in small groups, in safe environments, from September. Other face-to-face activities that can be run safely, in suitably smaller groups, will also be planned. 

Other provision, such as large lectures, will be delivered virtually for the first term (September to December 2020) so as not to breach social distancing guidelines for large groups of people. 

USW has been delivering its provision to students remotely since March when the University moved to off-site teaching, learning and assessments. 

The University welcomed a new cohort of nursing students during the early weeks of lockdown via a remote induction and learning provision. A few of the students have shared their first experiences of USW over the last few months here.  

Professor Julie Lydon, Vice-Chancellor of USW, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming students back onto our campuses from September. Our provision will undoubtedly look different as we introduce small group work that can comply with social distancing guidelines in safe environments. Combined with virtual delivery, replacing for example our lectures, will ensure that whilst keeping our students and our staff safe, we can focus on providing the very best blended approach to education for our students, enabling them to progress through their studies with us.  

“Students should be reassured that we will not be replacing face-to-face lectures with hours of lecturing on a screen. We will use that time for engaging in activity, discussion, debate and exploring issues and problems. We will do the same for other learning activity that we cannot yet safely run on campuses.   

“Where we are running learning digitally, we will do so to USW's high specification to ensure students learn actively and feel part of our USW community. We will provide great personal support, engage students in enquiry and problem solving, and students will continue to have regular interactions with tutors and peers to a normal timetable.  

“Whilst the start of term will look different, students should be certain that they will have an experience where they are a valued part of USW’s community and have a well-rounded and challenging academic timetable.” 

Mishan Wickremasinghe, President of the University of South Wales Students' Union, said: "We are working closely with the University to make sure that the student voice is heard in the planning for the next academic year.  There will be a combination of on-campus and virtual learning in September, and we are all working hard to make sure your time at USW continues to be inclusive, supportive and safe.”

Prospective and current students will be given more detail about how this affects their course over the next couple of months. There is further information available for current students and prospective students on the coronavirus section of our website.