Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Is Blended Delivery More Sustainable?

When I became involved in the 'new' model of the Bachelor of Midwifery degree, which is delivered in a blended style with all students classed as distance, I instantly thought of it as a more sustainable approach. Giving this more thought I have begun to see the swings and roundabouts from both sides and have made a quick comparison table below.

I guess my point is that sustainability is complex and what that can on the surface appear more sustainable may not in fact be. It is a balancing act.
Sustainability Comparison Table Between On Campus and Distance Delivery of the Bachelor of Midwifery Programme.


Sustainable Benefit
Sustainable Barrier or Cost
Students having to move to Dunedin to undertake the programme.
a) Utilisation of campus services, buildings etc.
b) Economic benefits for Dunedin.
c) Provides graduates into the workforce in the local area.
a) Students who are unable or unwilling to move to Dunedin lose access to the programme.
b) Does little to address workforce issues in rural areas.
c) Does not allow for expansion of the programme in to other areas.
d) Staff must reside in Dunedin limiting potentially workforce calibre.
Students can study from home and meet in satellite groups.
a) Programme is more accessible to students irrespective of their location.
b) Less need for campus buildings as students study from home, utilising existing work spaces.
c) Students are more likely to stay and work in their home area on graduation, helping address recruitment and retention issues.
d) Staff can reside in other locations increasing diversity and expertise in the school.
e) Scope for programme to expand in to other areas of NZ.
a) Shifts economic benefits out of Dunedin.
b) Students still need to access practical experiences in large hospitals so must still travel to the city.
c) Some teaching needs to be face to face again necessitating travel to the city.

1 comment:

  1. Emma this is a thoughtful comparison of the on-Campus and Distance approaches for the Bachelor of Midwifery Programme. Have you any stats to show whether the distance programme has helped to improve the provision of midwifery care in rural areas?

    Also, would you estimate that the learning and teaching workloads are similar for both groups?