Using a Blended Learning Approach to support Women returning to STEM

Herman, Clem; Gracia, Rosaria; MacNiven, Lesley; Clark, Bernie and Doyle, Geraldine (2019). Using a Blended Learning Approach to support Women returning to STEM. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 34(1) pp. 40–60.



This paper examines a blended learning model designed to support women returning to STEM after a career break and its delivery in a unique partnership between an online distance education provider and a community based equality organisation. Through this partnership additional activities such as networking events, returnships, career clinics and webinars were used in addition to a structured online Badged Open Course (BOC), which enabled a successful return to employment for many of the participants. This paper outlines the results and implications of an evaluation of this integrated model and argues that blended learning approaches need to be flexible and adaptable to be able to incorporate the needs of different groups of learners at different life-course stages, taking into consideration gender and other diversity characteristics.

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