The role of blended learning for community cohesion: lessons from Northern Ireland

Roger Austin, Rhiannon N. Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This article presents research from teachers in Northern Ireland who completed a course on ‘blended learning’ to link schools involved in Shared Education. This is the Northern Ireland policy to bring pupils from different schools together to work collaboratively. Important findings showed that prior to 2017, when teachers received training in blended learning, nearly all contact between their schools was face to face. After the training, teachers stated that the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) was used as much as face-to-face contact. The VLE had the greatest impact on pupils’ knowledge and attitudes towards each other. Teachers reported that this approach made a positive impact on friendship development, the capacity of children to work together, respect for difference and normalising relations between their pupils. Two thirds of the teachers agreed that equal importance be given to online learning and face-to-face contact in future planning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-376
    Number of pages16
    JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
    Issue number3
    Early online date27 Apr 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020


    • Blended learning for community cohesion


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