This is a series of blog posts about my learning activities in the
Open Networked Learning (ONL202) pedagogical course.


Blended (in-class + online) learning opens up a new set of oportunities to engage and motivate the students. Students should sense ownership of their learning path. Teacher supports with clear instructions, fostering learning in a flexible environment. Check out the main models for desiging blended courses.

Blended learning

This week’s topic is about methods to support course design in Blended Learning. A first question that comes up is: What is blended learning?.

Blended learning is combining online and in-classroom activities to expose students to different types of learning methods. The blended learning is an interesting concept because of the greater selection of tools that can be employed to engage students. Our current teaching challanges due to the pandemic restrictions also push the development of such blended activities.

Teaching in hard sciences, e.g., physics and computer science, can greately benefit from blended learning. However, most of higher education institutions are still mostly delivering content in the traditional lecture style. However, these fields have the great advantage of dealing with problem solving cases, which can be augment by online tools. The use of online activities may raise the interest of the students and motivate them to engage more with the course activities. This is only succesfully achieved, if the teacher provides scaffolding through constant check ups and clear instructions.

The clear set of instructions and norms are possibly the most important thing to consider when desiging a blended course. Students can easily get overwhelmed in an online environment with the plethora of information. In flexible learning environment, the student motivation can significantly decay if the learning path is not well-defined and possibly lose the sense of purpose. In the topic below, I listed three models worth checking to assist in designing a blended course.

Frameworks and models for blended learning

This week, our PBL group 1 prepared a compass rose point to different directions each representing a framework or model to support designing a blended course. We highlighted the:

  1. ABC Arena for Blended Learning: Designed at the University College London, it provides a well-structured model with step-by-step instructions on how to quickly adapt the teaching activities to online mode.
  2. The 5 stage model: Provides a structured development process that supports the construction of better online learning.
  3. The Community of Inquiry: Introduces a framework to create a home for a community escaping from the conventional teaching styles and is based on engaging students to create paths and explore what they want to learn, taking a more flexible approach to learning.

Below, you will find a snapshot of our Compass Rose work, and
here you can access the interactive board we built.

Learning in communities

  1. Group 6 members: Victor Souza, Mohit Gupta, Kinaz Al Aytouni, Marcus Stensmyr, Stephanie Birkner, Hui-Chen, Erik Elfgren, Vigdis Ahnfelt, Charlotta Hilli, and Cecilia Hellekant. ↩︎

Topic 4: Design for online and blended learning