Subject, Pedagogy and Modality (SPaM) - A Framework for Hybrid Education

For the past few years I have been working in (UK) Higher Education supporting Universities to move towards a mixed-modal design for learning and teaching. Through this work I have developed the SPaM Framework, an adaptation of the TPACK framework which aims to firstly reduce the techno-determinism that often occurs using TPACK and secondly to base curriculum design and pedagogical and technological decision-making on the modality of teaching.


SPaM Framework and Questions

The SPaM framework is openly licensed and free to be used and adapted by anyone who seeks to use it. More resources will be added in the next few months to support its implementation but ways in which it has been used so far is:

  1. As a framework to design blended/hybrid programmes and courses in higher education.
  2. To support the development of mixed-modal modules where students have a mixture of on campus and online teaching.
  3. As a tool to help identify the appropriate expertise required to support and develop blended curriculum (and make sure the right people have a seat at the table).
  4. As part of a University development day mapping learning activities to different modes of teaching.
  5. By individual academics seeking to design and teach blended modules/courses.

Predominately for use where blended and hybrid approaches are being discussed or promoted the framework helps ensure that the fundamental principles of good blended learning design sit at the core of any development.

A copy of the framework graphic is also attached for easy download, but here's link to the framework website where there is lots more information.


Tagged in: Higher Education, Leadership, Instructional Design, Online Learning, Blended Learning, Hybrid Teaching and Learning, Research, Curriculum Planning

All Comments

Posted on September 13, 2022

This is really interesting, first time I have come across this framework. What made you want to modify the TPACK model? Interested to hear your thoughts about what is missing.

Posted on September 16, 2022

Hi - Thanks for you question.

TPACK originally modified Schulman's original PCK to bring it up to date with the use of tools and technologies for learning and teaching. It was a really useful way to bring technology to the forefront of teacher education. However in my. experience it also then created a technology-centric approach to learning and teaching. Whilst this wasn't the intention of the authors the application of TPACK often resulted in a focus on technology and use of digital tools. I wanted to move away from the techno-centric approach and focus more on the mode(s) of teaching.

This was particularly relevant during the height of the pandemic when all of a sudden we were all tasked with moving our learning and teaching into online spaces. My observations of this was that despite "technology" being widely used the learning (and teaching) experiences were mixed. This led me to have conversations with teachers (mostly in higher education) about the design of curriculum and learning tasks and what emerged from that was that it wasn't a lack of technological skills that was the issue but a lack of consideration for the 'mode' through which the teaching and learning took place and so the concept of "teaching mode" was surfaced and ultimately became "modality" in the context of the framework.

Posted on September 18, 2022

I'm very interested in this framework. In particular, I think the way you have outlined the various elements of context that surround the three elements is helpful to educators who are using this as a reflective framework when designing instruction. It looks like this framework is something you've been working to develop fairly recently. Do you plan to do any further work to validate the model? Anecdotally, I certainly agree with you that conversations around modality aren't fully explored through the TPACK model. Thanks for sharing this work and getting me thinking! Looking forward to seeing where you go from here with this work!

Posted on October 27, 2022

Thank you for the comment. The framework has emerged from the practical application of developing hybrid education experiences and so has been validated throughout its development.

However, the intention is to consolidate the range of uses for the framework through evaluation of it in a range of contexts where it is being used.

For example I am aware of it being used for blended / hybrid learning curriculum development as well as a framework for academic development so I hope to write this up in the near future.

Posted on October 28, 2022

Great! I hope you'll share future publications about the framework in this space as well!

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