Delivery modes for learning

Face-to-face learning

In this delivery mode, all teaching and learning occurs in a face-to-face context, on campus. Content, communication and collaborations between teachers and students, students and students occurs on campus at set times, days and weeks, and assessment tasks are ‘physically’ handed in.  This has been the delivery mode of learning and teaching in the tertiary education sector for many, many years. Traditionally this has been comprised of the large group ‘passive’ lecture where students sit, listen and take notes from a teacher presenting course content and information, supported by a collaborative small group tutorial session to explore, analyse, debate and form judgements or opinions on the information provided in lectures and additional readings.

In a modern day tertiary sector, the face-to-face learning and teaching opportunities have grown to include more active learning sessions – whether large or small groups.  Face-to-face teaching can be an integral part of an on-campus student’s learning experience, however without an online component, student to access basic and additional course and learning information is limited.

Blended learning

A blended course combines face-to-face elements, such as classroom or laboratory sessions, with online learning elements such as narrated presentations, videos and online forums. Blended courses include online content/activities to support face-to-face learning, or divide learning into online components and face-to- face components.

What types of content/activities are chosen and how they are implemented will depend on the desired learning outcomes and what the most appropriate and effective blend of in-class and online elements.  One way of approaching a blended delivery is to think about the most effective way of using the in-class time you have. For ideas, visit Teaching Practice | Facilitation | Models of ‘flipped’ facilitation.

There are many aspects of the online component that can be employed to support, supplement and enhance face-to-face learning and teachers are encouraged to consider these as they explore the learning needs of their students. At Federation University, we utilise two main forms of blended learning:

On campus (Blended)

Learning and teaching activities occurs predominantly on campus with face-to-face delivery being complemented by online communication, learning activities, resources and assessments. This may include transforming materially previously presented in a lecture environment, into interactive online learning, and then maximising weekly class time to consolidate peer learning opportunities. Or alternating learning between face-to-face one week and online learning the next.

Off campus (Flexible or block)

Delivery of teaching and learning activities, including communication, learning activities, resources and assessments occurs predominantly online. This is integrated with flexible (eg evening, weekend classes) or block mode teaching/training, delivered on campus or at a workplace. This may include 11 weeks of online learning, with a one week face-to-face block to consolidate and/or demonstrate learning/skills; or weekly online learning, consolidated with weekend face-to-face intensives every fourth weekend.

Wholly online

Wholly online courses are those that have no face-to-face contact with teachers or student peers. The delivery of all teaching and learning activities – including communication, learning activities, resources and assessment – all occurs online. For an engaging and effective online learning experience the teacher must embed opportunities for communication and interaction with and between students, teachers and content. Online communication and collaboration are essential in facilitating learning in any context, but are especially important for wholly online students who, without regular teacher and peer communication and support, may encounter feelings of isolation and disengagement.

Distance education

This approach differs from wholly online learning, in that there is no or minimal expectation of teacher or student communication or collaboration as part of the learning process.  Learning materials are forwarded via mail, or uploaded onto Moodle as a repository, where students engage with the material only, and then complete assessments based on their understanding of those learning materials. Teachers may offer advice or support when requested, but there are no scheduled classes (face-to-face or virtual) for peer learning purposes.

Resources, strategies or assistance


Federation University learning and teaching website

Learning Technologies Hub


Contact your Learning Designer via the CAD job portal to explore the learning and teaching possibilities for the delivery mode of your course.