The idea of online/blended learning was a new concept to me as an educator when it was introduced due to Covid-19, although I had been exposed to online learning as a learner myself through various platforms, the side of an educator was a complete foreign concept.

So, moving from a classroom, face-to-face environment to an online and blended mode is easy – imply take your content (as is) and upload it into a system where the students have access to it – a Learner Management System (LMS) – RIGHT?


I was soon faced with reality that this was not in fact the case.  All of a sudden, the learners did not have immediate access to all the information, did not know how to make their way through he content (normally as a facilitator you assist them through this process).

The constant concerns I had –

Are they logging into the system?

Are they understanding the content?

Is only seeing them a limited time per week enough?

I immediately started thinking – What can I DO as a facilitator to eliminate some of these questions that were weighing so heavy in my mind.

As an institution, we went through hundreds of hours of training (online) to equip us for the semester that we were currently in.  You might be asking yourselves, what could possibly have been taught to us at that stage in this world crisis that would actually be beneficial to both learners and facilitators?  Well it was everything – from the basics of the LMS, all the way through to gamification, online assessments, etc.

It was a typical sink or swim situation – and there was no other choice but to swim for the benefit of the learners (as well as personal development, but that is a whole other section)

Now all the facilitators are feeling a little better equipped to deal with the blended, online learning – so… off we set relooking at content, making it better for the online experience.

The learners start noticing that the content is a little more engaging and start frequenting the LMS a little bit more – this happens for a while and then the interest is lost again.

So here comes the fun part, creating more interactive activities that students are engaged and wanting to come back, there are so many tools that can be used here, the list is literally endless!

There is a clear difference between learners who have willingly signed up for online studies and those that have been forced into online studies due to the current world situation.  The learners who have been forced into it are scared, unmotivated, unsure, reluctant, etc.

This is where student support comes into play – they want to know that someone is there to assist them through these new processes until they feel a bit more comfortable.  As a facilitator to a specific course/programme/module – this is your responsibility to support them – and no, we do not need to be available 24/7 for them, they just need to know that if they request assistance, they will receive it.

Student support is probably the biggest factor in keeping the students engaged and motivated for he more online, blended learning.

The negative, fearful feelings toward this type of learning are warranted and very real, however, as facilitators, we are able to change those negative feelings into much more positive ones.

I definitely see more blended/online learning happening as we move further into it, and the possibilities are endless.

And as an educator, I cannot wait to see how we are better able to implement and manage all the new ideas and tools that are available to us.

From fear to excitement is the true path that we have taken this year!

Topic 4: Design for Online and Blended Learning – Reflection