Since I started at Stockholm University in September 2019, I have been involved in teaching and examination mainly online. This push to move online due to the pandemic has been testing for the students and teachers alike. For instance, in an advanced level course that consists of a self-study period and oral examination. Although this is not a perfect example of the possibilities to apply blended learning tools, it anyway gives an idea of the opportunities and limitations of purely online-based education. Ideally, the oral examination would take place in a classroom environment that allows use of whiteboard and better student-teacher interaction. Relying on Zoom meetings in these oral examinations has not always been flexible due to certain limitations in presenting pen-and-paper drawings and uneven skill set among the teachers and students in the use of virtual whiteboards. What comes to improving the competence in blended learning, the ONL211 course has provided me with a number of useful tools that will be helpful for designing my future blended teaching and education.

Talking about those enabling tools, I would like to first mention Perusall for collaborative reading. We tested this with our PBL group and I found it quite useful. One can use Perusall by linking in Open Educational Resources of by uploading own materials. Second, I was introduced to Padlet, Wakelet, Prezi, and Microsoft Sway among a few other platforms. Among these, I have started to use Padlet and Perusall in my group meetings for sharing feedback and social reading within our journal club. I think all of these tools can be useful for facilitating blended learning and helping students to be engaged with the course and reaching the learning objectives.

As a take-home message, I would take from the ONL211 course and this topic is the need to rethink teaching in a blended learning environment. As summarized by Vaughan et al. (2013), it is crucial (if demanding) to go beyond rigid recipes and establish fundamentally new educational experience. Personally, I find the presentational approach as the primary starting point especially now that I am designing a new course from a scratch. However, I will take note of the tips and tricks that I learned from the experts and international colleagues to make the subsequent refining steps to introduce new dimensions to my teaching. I may well start by revisiting the introductory video to the topic by Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes in YouTube.


Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. Chapter 1 “The Community of Inquiry Conceptual framework”. / Download the whole book.

Topic 4: Design for Online and Blended Learning