Reflections on Blended Learning

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Reflections on Lesson 1 – Blended Learning Design

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After reading Chapter 1 and listening to the Webinar and interviews, I feel that there is much more to developing an exceptional blended learning course than I realized.  There are many benefits to this method of learning.  It can be beneficial to students, instructors, and administration.  But there are also many challenges associated with developing/delivering a successful blended learning program.  To summarize my thoughts, I have generated the list below which includes the key elements that I feel are most important in meeting the following goal:

How can we make blended learning “the best of both worlds” ?

  • Clearly define course objectives before developing course activities, assignments and assessments.
  • Define the Instructor’s role – Is it directive or facilitative?
  • Decide the level of interaction or collaboration that should be required of students (some courses may lend themselves to more than others)
  • Be sure to develop content and learning activities that provide for plenty of practice and repetition.
  • Choose the type of learning activity (lecture, discussion, case study, simulation, reading assignment, etc.) that best conveys each objective of the lesson.
  • Be prepared to revise and adapt according to the students’ needs: “Knowing what works and what does not comes with experience.”
  • Incorporate the following elements:
  1. Live events. Synchronous activities. Lectures, video conferences, and chat session.
  2. Self-Paced Learning. Tutorials or other self-paced modules of instruction.
  3. Collaboration. Allow students to communicate with others, via discussion boards, blogs, video conferences, chats, etc.
  4. Assessment. Use the most effective form of assessment for each objective.  It may be a multiple choice quiz or an in-dept written assignment to communicate critical thinking and analysis of the subject.
  5. Support Materials. Provide reference material to the students: FAQs, reference tables, summarized content, etc. This help the student retain the information.

By completing this course, I hope to become more familiar with the tools and methods for developing an extraordinary blended learning experience – one that brings together the “best of both worlds”!

I love how giulia.forsythe incorporated the kitchen blender into this graphic image of blended learning.  It demonstrates the importance of have the right “mix” in the blender.

7704609288_14d335dd87_zsource: http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/is-blended-learning-the-best-of-both-worlds/

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