While Topic 4 unfortunately coincided with the easter break and I wasn’t able to attend the online meetings, I really enjoyed utilising the resources and learning more about online and blended learning as a concept.

At the core of blended learning is the idea of taking elements from traditional ‘face to face’ learning and combining it aspects of online learning. The hope is that this will encourage students to engage more deeply with active learning techniques which are facilitated through Digital learning technologies. For example, the use of technology can accommodate a wider range of learning styles, better flexibility for students, new options and formate for learning beyond the traditional classroom setting.

While I have until this point had very little experience with blended learning in my own course design, I am very excited to begin to integrate many of the tools I have come across in this course into my courses. The great thing about thinking more deeply about blended learning as a concept, is that I am confident I can avoid the pitfalls of a ‘add Digital technology and stir’ approach.

When designing a blended learning course, the three key questions to ask yourself are:

  1. “What do I want my students to be able to do, know, or value as a result of taking my class?’
  2. “What learning activities or assessments will provide students with opportunities to develop or demonstrate achievement of the course learning outcomes?”
  3. “Which of these learning activities or assessments would best lend themselves to an online format and which to a face-to-face format? What combination of online and in-class activities would best address the course teaching and learning objectives?”

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to think more strategically in terms of how best to compliment existing learning models with digital technology.

In my area – law – facilitating class discussions and research based learning are perhaps the two key areas that could be enhanced through the use of digital tools. In this respect, I believe a number of tools could be really useful when integrated into my courses.

  • Firstly, blogs – asking students to engaging in an ongoing manner with the course – and commenting on each others reflections would be a really wonderful way of facilitating discussions outside of the classroom. It would also allow me to give more feedback on their own writing and ideas.
  • Secondly, online activities and chat boards which would allow students time to think and reflect on the course, and work collaboratively. Having these discussions maintained online would also allow me to view, evaluate, and build on all contributions.
  • Thirdly, in addition to assigned readings, it would be wonderful to begin to provide more course content online through video tutorials or documentaries. This could also include online quizzes which could give students instant feedback regarding their understanding of the material.



Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2007). Blended learning in higher education: Framework, principles, and guidelines. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Sands, P. (2002). Inside outside, upside downside: Strategies for connecting online and face-to-face instruction in hybrid courses. Teaching with Technology Today, 8(6). Retrieved from

University of Central Florida & American Association of State College and Universities. (n.d.). The Blended Learning Toolkit.Retrieved October 10, 2018, from:

Learning Technology Center. (2018). Hybrid Courses. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.Retrieved October 10, 2018, from

Design for online and blended learning