Just what is blended learning anyway?


MEC Marketing Manager, Tim Howles, writes:

Blended learning is a hot topic in ELT circles just now. How should the use of technology in the classroom sit with traditional forms of face-to-face teaching? What is the right mix of the two? How can it be applied with the resources we have in our teaching institution?

One of our claims is that the Macmillan English Campus represents “blended learning made simple”. So last week we held the first in a series of academic seminars on the subject. The seminar was held at our head offices in London and was attended by delegates from various universities in the South-East of the UK.


Among the expert panelists and speakers that presented at the seminar, we were delighted to welcome back Pete Sharma, teacher, teacher trainer, author (check out his most recent book on the subject) and contributor to these very pages!

Pete Sharma

Pete discussed the importance of actually blending technology into teaching (as opposed to just letting it “sit on top”) which helped to generate some useful discussion and prompted the delegates to consider how a blended learning solution like the English Campus could be implemented in their university.

We were also thrilled to introduce a real-life MEC user as another presenter – all the way from Germany. Dr Mario Oesterreicher is head of the Language Centre within the Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, which has been using the Macmillan English Campus since October 2006.

Dr Mario Oesterreicher


Dr Oesterreicher explained the different ways in which the English Campus has improved teacher efficiency and student performance in the university, including various case-study interviews with students and teachers currently using it in the classroom. He also described how easy it had been to implement: from the date of signing the contract with Macmillan they were able to train teachers and build courses in the space of just 11 days – even whilst preparing for the start of term!

You may like to check out this case-study to find out more about the university.

So what is blended learning? Well, tell us your ideas. And keep your eyes peeled on connect2mec to find out how the Macmillan English Campus will help to provide a blended learning solution… made simple. And if you are interested in attending a MEC Academic Seminar this year, please contact us here.’


  • Though I unfortunately missed this session, I remember the audience reaction to Pete’s great presentation at International House Katowice, Poland.Though most of the audience were new to blended learning, all were really keen to put into practice what they had learned during the day.

    Posted by Byron on June 06th 2007

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