The project sought to achieve this goal first through a systematic review of the evidence on the use of blended learning in schools, supplemented by the experience of the team and by case studies of blended learning in the first phase of the project. 5 schools in each of the partner countries were invited to take part in the case studies which included primary and secondary schools and tutors working in Initial Teacher Education. This case study work provided rich contextual insights into the way that blended learning is understood in primary schools and across different subjects in secondary schools. A rigorous mixed-methods approach was used for the collection and analysis of data.
It was clear from the start, however, that one of the key elements of successful online learning for young people, as well as adults, is purposeful interaction through the development of social, cognitive and teacher presence. At present, few, if any courses on blended learning for teachers place sufficient emphasis on this.
The second phase of the REBEL project, therefore, saw the development of professional development courses in all 4 of the partner countries and at the same time, the co-creation of an evaluation framework to help schools assess their needs in this area.
A total of 200 schools across the four countries were involved in the training. The course was piloted and was based around a core of key elements related to the ways that blended learning can make use of both synchronous and asynchronous tools to foster an inclusive learning environment.
The third and final phase of the REBEL project was the dissemination of key findings through a MOOC and a website