🙂

When thinking about a Blended Learning course I am a bit hesitant. I love the idea of blending synchronous and asynchronous phases as both offer a variety of opportunities and can encourage learning in different ways. The perfect mix can get the students to great learning outcomes. But why am I hesitant?

Because there need to be some things to be thought of when using such a course design. Here are some I found really helpful:

  • Collect general data, content data and background data from the students to track if the students understood the material, have further questions and adapt the teaching to different backgrounds. (Ameloot et al., 2022)
  • Be clear and transparent in learning goals and  course structure. Also, it might be helpful to give students time at the beginning of the course to plan how the want to work. It might be useful to also block specidic times for asynchronous phases. Communicate the assessment at the beginning and from our discussions I found it really helpful to mix summative and formative assessment.
  • Only use synchronous meetings to discuss and reflect on specific aspects so students have the feeling it is worth attending these sessions.

As I have also tried a BL Design now as a student, I can reflect on those experiences as well:

To paraphrase Baldwin-Evans: The most effective blended learning design offers a learner-centred approach that is personalisable and accessible. (Baldwin-Evans, 2006) I can agree. Without evaluating the ONL Course, I can say that it was a really valuable experience so far. The learner is definitely in the focus and is guided by meaningful input and the facilitators who keep track that the group is going in the right direction. Also, the focus areas can be personalised and it is basically up to yourself what you take from the course and how much effort you put in. I feel like, the more I engage with a topic and with my group, the more I get out of the course. This is a great motivation for me. I am just wondering if this format works for people who do not have an intrinsic motivation, might not be engaged in the topics and do not like self-regulated learning.

I found the “Guide to Blended Learning” (Cleveland-Innes & Wilton, 2018) really helpful for the general idea behind Blended learning and how I could start designing such a course. Maybe it helps you as well. 🙂

 

Literature: 

Ameloot, E.Rotsaert, T., & Schellens, T. (2022). The supporting role of learning analytics for a blended learning environment: Exploring students’ perceptions and the impact on relatednessJournal of Computer Assisted Learning38(1), 90102https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12593

Baldwin-Evans, K. (2006). Key steps to implementing a successful blended learning strategy. Industrial and Commercial Training, 38(3), 156–163.

Cleveland-Innes, M. & Wilton, D. (2018). Guide to Blended Learning. Burnaby: Commonwealth of Learning.

Topic 4: Blended Learning – some thoughts