What would a curry be without spices? Nothing. The blend of different spices make the difference of a good and a bad curry. Or no curry at all. Also, some like their curry really hot while others prefer a curry with no cardamom. With that said, it is difficult to find the perfect blend of curry that fits all.

However, I do believe that all people can find at least one of the spices tasty in a curry blend. With that said, I think blended learning is good because that means that everyone can find their spice in the blend and enjoy it even though they don’t enjoy the whole dish. So even though the blend is not perfect for everyone, there is a better chance that many can find at least one flavour of the curry enjoyable.

Anyhow, this blog was not supposed to be about food, but about blended learning. Yet, I believe the two have something in common 🙂 A curry is a blend of different spices and blended learning is a way to teach and learn in different ways. So, just as a curry can be appreciated by everyone for one of the flavours included, blended learning can be enjoyable, appreciated and valuable for different people in different ways in a learning context.

A good way to start the learning curry is to start with Universal Design for Learning. It is a good base recipe for developing a course or learning opportunity. You need to consider the how, the what and most important of all (in my opinion) the why. In order to learn I think engagement is of essence. Why should I learn this? Why is this relevant? Why do I need to know this? If I get answers to these questions I think it is easier to engage and really embrace the knowledge that is offered to me. Just like Simon Sinek says in his talk I think it is good to start with why.

Starting with why opens up my thinking and make me reflect upon what I should include in a course and what should be included and how.

Another good recipe to use it the Community of Inquiry. The ingredients for this cooking includes social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence. A good way to be socially and cognitively present, as well as present as a teacher, is to interact with the community. Interactivity can be done both online and face-to-face. In these pandemic times I have actually found that some interactions are better when we do it online, than when we are in a traditional classroom. So even though the pandemic is terrible, it has forced me to reevaluate how and what I teach (and also questioning the why at times I must add 🙂 ) .

Authenticity is something that I value both in my professional life as well as in my private life. I believe it is increasingly important now when filters distorts what we are and how we are. Filters that change my looks, filters that tell me what to buy, what news to read and filters that enable or constrain my reality in different ways. I think that these filters have strengthen my authenticity as I refuse to let anyone force me to be and act in certain ways without my consent. Even though I know digitalisation affect me in different ways, I want to fight it in the ways I can. However, this sometimes make me a little too authentic and it is difficult to separate the private and the professional authenticity. Ah well, c’est la vie 🙂

To sum up – start cooking your curryblend! But before you start to cook, remember to be clear about why you are cooking and for whom, and be authentic in your cooking. Bon appetite!

Topic 4 – Design for online and blended learning