The institutionalisation of online and blended learning initiatives in politics and international relations at European universities

Abstract

The Higher Education landscape is constantly evolving. Larger and more diverse student cohorts, the growing demands for flexibility and accessibility, but not at the expense of quality, have been driving universities to reimagine learning spaces by using the affordances of digital technologies. While there is an abundance of literature on individual experimentation with blended learning formats at course level, there are far fewer accounts of institutional implementation. This article analyses four cases of institutionalised blended learning implementation at European universities, with a disciplinary focus on political science and international relations. By exploring the strategies, structures and support (Graham et al. in Internet High Educ 18:4–14, 2013), we aim to understand at what stage in the institutionalisation process each case can be situated. Based on our research, we identify five critical factors for a mature blended learning institutional implementation: an integrative approach, a gradual development model, a rigorous evaluation process, strong relations with the university and openness towards cooperation.

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Correspondence to Alexandra Mihai.

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Mihai, A., Questier, F. & Zhu, C. The institutionalisation of online and blended learning initiatives in politics and international relations at European universities. Eur Polit Sci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-020-00307-5

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Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • E-learning
  • Institutionalisation
  • Online learning