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Dyskusja EPALE: Blended learning w edukacji dorosłych

W czwartek 26 listopada 2020 r., od godz. 10.00 do 16.00, EPALE będzie gospodarzem internetowej dyskusji na temat blended learning w edukacji dorosłych. Dyskusja będzie miała zupełnie nowy format, zaczynając od 30-minutowej transmisji na żywo, której towarzyszyć będzie rozmowa w formie komentarzy na platformie.


EPALE discussion: Blended learning in adult education.

W tym roku edukacja we wszystkich sektorach została postawiona przed niespotykanymi dotąd wyzwaniami w postaci zamknięcia wszystkich rodzajów instytucji szkoleniowych. Wywołało to wiele dyskusji na temat przyszłego rozwoju podejścia opartego na blended learning (nauczaniu hybrydowym) na wszystkich poziomach kształcenia.

W czwartek 26 listopada 2020 r., od godz. 10.00 do 16.00, EPALE będzie gospodarzem internetowej dyskusji na temat blended learning w edukacji dorosłych.

Dyskusja będzie miała zupełnie nowy format, zaczynając od 30-minutowej transmisji na żywo, której towarzyszyć będzie rozmowa w formie komentarzy na platformie.

Prezentację przedstawi Lauri Tuomi, dyrektor generalny Fińskiej Fundacji Uczenia przez Całe Życie (Kvs) i członek zarządu Europejskiego Stowarzyszenia na rzecz Edukacji Dorosłych (EAEA). Przeanalizuje on kwestię blended learning do uczenia dorosłych, powołując się na przykłady tego, co się udało w praktyce w Finlandii w czasie pandemii COVID-19. Perspektywa blended learning jest długoterminowa, ponieważ w tym roku przypada 100-lecie edukacji na odległość w Finlandii.  

Dyskusja będzie obejmowała następujące tematy:

  • Czy blended learning w edukacji dorosłych jest najlepszym rozwiązaniem w sytuacji przedłużającego się zamykania instytucji uczących dorosłych?

  • Jakie są główne wyzwania związane z wdrożeniem blended learning do nauki w ramach edukacji dorosłych?

  • Jakie inicjatywy i polityki w zakresie edukacji dorosłych są niezbędne do wdrożenia podejścia blended learning?

Zapraszamy do podzielenia się swoimi doświadczeniami i przemyśleniami podczas naszej internetowej dyskusji, którą będzie moderował dr Tuomi i członkowie jego zespołu.

Komentarze pod dyskusją są już otwarte, więc uczestnicy mogą się przedstawić lub zamieścić swoje uwagi z wyprzedzeniem!

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I have to say that I support Anne's opinion about how important face to face learning is, in spite of all the benefits that on-line learning has. It has proved how efficient it can be through these last two years of pandemic. Certainly, on-line learning has come to stay, but we should never forget how crucial real human contact is and how motivating it can be. In sight of this, blended/hybrid learning in all his modalities shows us more possibilities than just pure distance learning, because it can use the benefits of both "worlds." I am saying this, because Educational Authorities often bet for distance learning, considering just the economical aspects of it, ignoring that education, in all levels, needs, real interaction o be meaningful.

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I agree with the discussion and face to face learning is really important.  However, during the pandemic I noticed  multi-faceted approaches in online and distance learning.  The current pandemic has highlighted the need to be flexible in our teaching and learning approach.  We have to highlight the need for cooperation and collaboration in the virtual world.  This also highlights the  importance of blended learning which I believe it is the ideal approach.  

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I really liked what Mr. Lauri said: "It's all about learning to learn." Considering the pandemic situation we're asked to change and adapt to new ways of learning. I'm guessing this is a period of change, so some outputs may be unknown to us; yet, it doesn't mean that they have negative consequences. Really liked the approach of the discussion! 
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I agree this is a growth mindset where the current situation has highlighted the importance to get out of our comfort zone and embark on innovative teaching practices.  

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Wanted to point out this community of practice on EPALE It was established in relation with an Erasmusplus project VET 4.0 and will be kept alive during the next two years at least as we were just starting today another Erasmusplus project Comm(on)-line with partners from Belgium, Northern Macedonia, Spain and Scotland. Our aim is to learn from each other how to create, guide and coach professional learning communities in an online learning environment. Out first TPM as well as the first LTTA have been held this week online, and it's a real challenge but also extremely interesting to participate and experience on my own "skin" how this works, the collaboration etc. 
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The perspective for the blended learning is long-term as this year is the 100th anniversary of distance learning in Finland.
Congratulations with this occasion! I Would like to say that many countries in Europe has a big experience in distance learning . It develops and develops due to the rapid development of ICT and different changes in society. This COVID period proved that we all have certain experiences and great wish and necessity to live"" hand in hand"" with with different approaches in virtual and face to face learning.
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While we have been both participating and providing online courses, there is a need for a technical assistant meaning it's too much work for the teacher having to both be the technical instructor as well as the subject teacher. Therefore an active helpline is probably needed when providing life courses online.
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Thanks for discussion !
It would be nice that in future the organizers of discussions would introduce  new approaches to organizing of them.It would be a good lesson  for us to see and even practice these methods. Let us consider that today 's discussion was a start for it. Thanks!
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Thank you, Ilze, and all participants, for your insightful comments!
And yes, this was our very first experiment with a live streamed online discussion and it is precisely our intention to continue explore new formats - both for these kind of discussions and also for other contents on EPALE. Stay tuned :)
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It is very important in every educational establishment to develop a support system for learners and pedagogical staff.I just wish to say to develop a system  for teaching and learning because if we use or speak about separate elements we will not reach good results.
We have to remember also about monitoring of quality of any type of teaching and learning.
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Dear Ilze, I fully agree with you. The educational providers role is very important in order to ensure that the learningn environments support the bleded pedagogy and that every teacher is provided with technologica and pedagogical support. And of course, as you say, the monitoring of quality should be integrated in the quality system of the institutions. 
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Many thanks for this inspirational blended debate :-) I found many things you discussed in the video interesting. Of course, the psychological motivation and the confidence is a crucial and largely discussed issue. On the side of the teacher and on the side of the audience. A simple example of my own family - my 70+ mother has zero confidence of herself being part in any online activity. Hence no motivation at all. But she finally handled Skype and even Zoom as she had the chance to see how it works while having a session with her grandchildren. This was a huge boost to her confidence and now she is much more opened even to online education activities. Of course, many people need special guidance to become more confident... I liked the question of how the new blended approach might contribute to dealing with the pandemic situation. Well. you can already see that those countries with at least some tradition and experience in online learning had a better and more rapid adaptability to shifting a large part of the labour force into home office mode. Especially Scandinavian countries like Norway or Finland have shown us the way, as usually. I sincerely believe that if we succeed to engage more people in blended education, there is a better chance for the economy to adapt to such abrupt situations like this one. And they will come, for sure. 
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Indded Martin. I think your mother's experience is common to many older adults during this time. I particulary like it when you say "I sincerely believe that if we succeed to engage more people in blended education, there is a better chance for the economy to adapt to such abrupt situations like this one.'
I totally support this and it is strange that sometimes it takes a crisis to break us out of our comfort zones :-)
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Dear Martin, than you for your comments and sharing with us your mothers' experience. Tell my greetings to her! The older people need especially encourament to use new technological tools and sometimes just the first experience opens them the whole new world. Family members role is important! Therefore  in adult education the families could be seen as a learning community itself!
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This is really interesting thanks for sharing.  I agree that the older generation might lack technical skills and might feel discouraged but on the other hand they have a lot of experience in life.  Once they manage to identify the motivational factor to access wider information they can be of an asset to the younger generation who might have a lot of digital skills but still need to nurture wisdom.

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Yes the small step approach is key Manika and you have rightly pointed up the important roles of flexibility of approach & indeed compassion which we need to bring to all human situations. I think this highlights evry much the often neglected part that emotional learning has to play in the overall business of education
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This is an interesting discussion.  It is important to scaffold the learning process carefully while continuously evaluating how learners are progressing in their educational journey.  Creating the environment for learning is important but implementing it is challenging. We have to understand, as outlined in the discussion, the human factor as well.

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 I liked your question: “ CAN ADULT EDUCATION CONTRIBUTE TO HELP COMBAT THE PANDEMIC AND STRENGTHEN LOCAL COMMUNITIES? In other words, to establish the purpose of adult education activities as their contribution to the resolution of problems in society and the mobilization of local resources to strengthen communities and the meaning of collective life”. I thought: yes, it can!
And we need to use, and many are already using, the pandemic as a new opportunity for adult non-formal education. Precisely because "the mask is not placed on the eyes!". And that is a good sign, because we must not lower our arms, we must live and live as well as possible in a situation like this.
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What type of training do you think is appropriate for adult education providers to assist them to incorporate a blended learning approach within their current educational offering?
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Yes Dorte, the competences of independent learning and self organisation or self direction are competences that are slow to develop and need to be first addressed and fostered in a face to face setting. In my experience they are best addressed through certain pedagogical approaches such as project or /inquiry based learning. In using these approaches there are 2 key elements
1. A tangible outcome to be achieved either individually or as a group
2. a presentation of the outcome or aspect of it by everyone involved.
These methods slowly build confidence and can be enhance by the use of ICT tools which lead in time to a distance learning component,
I think these approaches can underpin the basis of Life Long Learning, of becoming an independent learner
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Thank you Anne, for your thoughts and approaches. I also think that there is enormous potential in project-oriented work. Especially in connection with the presentation of results.In practice, it is not always easy to implement (I am referring here exclusively to my experience in non-formal vocational education and training; in other areas it probably looks different):Many participants would like to get input/knowledge first and then work in a project-oriented way (this is probably a habit and the procedure gives them security).So for me it is important to find ways to promote self-organised learning "inconspicuously" with very small projects.
I think a lot about that at the moment.
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yes it is challenging in you situation. Maybe some of the colleagues reading here can offer you the benefit of their experience. 
I have a good example of a project done withing the context of formal vocational education, where the students developed a digital escape game with puzzles based on items they were required to know for their discipline ( trainee electricians) Simple tools like Kahoot
can be used as a start.
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However it must be served by a strategy and plan for learning for each individual and not universal as in our education models in general.
Now that the DEAP will be putted in place i would like to see an offer by the CE/DGEAC trough Mooc's focused on pedagogical/andragocical startegies/tactics for learning. This should be massive involving teachers/trainers/leaders-directors-managers and enhancing the greatest european network on learning. and should be based on associations as stakeholders. 
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Como refere Fernando Albuquerque, uma das questões essenciais prende-se com a capacidade de os adultos poderem frequentar e beneficiar deste tipo de abordagem. Uma dificuldade que decorre da falta de acesso à rede digital, aos equipamentos tecnológicos adequados ou porque não construídos as competências digitais necessárias para interagir novos contextos de aprendizagem.
Temos, pois, que garantir a existência, simultânea essas três dimensões, sem as quais, as novas ocorrências ocorrerão novas exclusões.
Este momento de crise pandémica é uma oportunidade de iniciarmos este novo caminho na Educação e Formação de Adultos.
Um abraço para tod @ s
Bravo Nico
Universidade de Évora / Portugal
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Obrigado Nico for your comment. Indeed the future learning contexts and the technology which will support them will indeed have to be developed simultaneously. But whatever we have learned from this pandemic, it that the big Tech companies can react very quickly to emerging needs
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Es esmu no Latvijas. Es esmu viena no 4 Latvijas EPALE koordinatorēm. Jaukta tipa mācības pieaugušajiem - plusi un mīnusi: + mācībās var piedalīties ģeogrāfiski plašāks reģions; +attīsta savas digitālās prasmes - ne visi pieaugušie pārzina digitālās prasmes - nav iespējas praktiski darboties Ļoti labs Erasmus+ projekts. Pieaugušo izglītotāju digitalizācija.
I am from Latvia. I am one of the 4 Latvian EPALE coordinators. Mixed type training for adults - pros and cons: + a wider geographical region can participate in the training; + develops their digital skills Not all adults are familiar with digital skills - no practical operation Very good Erasmus + project. Digitization of adult educators.
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A big problem from my experience is that participants are not as engaged / active in distance learning phases as they are in face-to-face phases. Self-study phases are not always used as well, so that attendance phases are quickly overloaded with content.
According to my experience in non-formal vocational education and training, this is often not a question of digital skills or the attitude towards digital work, but rather a lack of skills for self-learning and self-organisation. I think we talk a lot - and this is of course very important - about digital divide, lack of digital skills, but an important basis for Blende Learning are competences for independent learning and self-organisation.
I look forward to other thoughts / aspects to my thoughts.
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I fully agree with you Dörte. In my experience this confidence comes through the pedagogical approaches used such as Inquiry & project based learning. The skills pf self organisation and independent learning as not achieved over night, and have to be built up slowly, and requires patience and sensitive handling. It must have the face to face element. In my opinion it cannot be achieved without it.
However, Adult Education has always had as its goal, the development of adults as independent learners. This has been the cornerstone of the concept of LIfe Long Learning
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I think that learning skills are of great importance in virtual as well as in blended learning , they go hand in hand with selforganizing skills.In schools starting from the first day of learning it is important for teachers to guide the acquisition of knowledge and skills in different ways.
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I agree this is really important to nurture these competences from an early age.  Schools play a crucial role to provide ample learning opportunities where learners can experience different learning modalities which will pave the way for lifelong learning. Situations such as the current pandemic has further highlighted the importance of flexible learning environments, self-regulation and self-efficacy in the learning process.

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Dear Dörte, I agree with you. The lifelong learning skills need to be taken into account in blended learning, too. Would you like to share with us any good practices on how these competences have been developed? In the morning I also raised the aspects such as attitude and confidence to be taken into account - not only the techical skills. 
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Just to let you know, that Dörte's blog "Putting down roots: establishing e-learning opportunities in informal adult education" is also available in English:  
Other content on the platform that you might find interesting is "Learning Through Lockdown – Moving Online" blog post by Fiona Aldridge ( and the DEPAL project's guide on participatory learning and digital storytelling (
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Yes it is a fair point Dorte. Self organisation and independent learning are competences that are not acquired quickly and do need to be addressed in the first instance in a face to face environment. But certain pedagogical approaches such a project base or inquiry base learning do build up these competences slowly and can be enhanced by supplementing with guided online work. These methods have 2 key elements
1. a tangible outcome
2. Presentation by the learning of aspect of what they have worked on.
I guess the whole basis of Life Long Learning is that adults can become independent learners over time
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We surveyed Further Education colleges in England about the move to online learning during the lockdown period in the Spring/early Summer of 2020.  Lower level adult learners (particularly those learning English as a second language) had issues with access and digital literacy which prevented them from fully participating/engaging with their learning online. 
However, there is a place for online learning which works alongside face-to-face classes.  For some learners their personal circumstances are such that their time physically in a college or an adult learning centre is 'protected time' that they can devote solely to themselves and their learning away from other pressures such as caring for elderly parents or for children or work.  Additionally, adult learners often lack confidence if they are returning to learning after a long period of time and the importance of face-to-face classes where they form a bond with their teacher and benefit from peer learning with fellow students cannot be underestimated.  Some vocational/technical/practical adult courses (such as construction, engineering, hairdressing) cannot solely be delivered online and practical elements of the course need to be in a physical setting but could be supplemented with online learning. 
The benefits of blended learning is that it allows adult education to be even more flexible meeting the needs of adults who have many other challenges in life to contend with.  The key is that policymakers will see purely online as a 'cheaper' way to deliver adult education so it definitely needs to blended so that the benefits of face-to-face learning are retained ensuring better motivation, achievement and retention.
Digital poverty is a major issue in English colleges.  In our recent survey 100,000 learners (young learners and adults) do not have access to digital equipment and functioning wifi.
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Dear Marguerite, thank you for your participation in the discussion today. You raised an important issue: the digital poverty. This was also discussed shortly in the morning. This is an issue for the politicians and educational providers: how we could act in order to affect to the issue that not all are able to participate fully blended learning. Outreach and access have been the topics for EAEA (European Association for the Education of Adults) this year: it is essential that the educational providers / governments / European union are able to act e.g. by providing possibilities to support those who are in danger to exclude. Also, new cheaper tools (such as mobile phones and the learning solutions) may provide ways to prevent exclusion. 
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A question of the KVS colleagues related with the topic: is blended learning approach a method for increasing access and outreach to all possible learners, or one more path to increase the huge gap between those who can participate and have the means to participate, and those who never manage to have equipments, the support and the background to take part in such activities?
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I agree Susana,
Learning & Work Institute in the UK has just finished their survey of participation in adult education.  The majority of those taking place are already working (and mostly in better paid jobs) and already have higher level education.  The adults not participating are in low paid work (or not working) and usually left full time education with the lowest level of education.  So, how do we reach the 'hard to reach'? They are the ones who will probably benefit the most, but are not participating........
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