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Topic 4 was tasty. It tickled my appetite and even though I never do the cooking at home, I will try out and explore new recipes in my teaching.

Blended learning could mean several things, but it does not necessarily mean a mix of campus (in-person) tutorials and online activities. It could mean (as in the present covid-19 era) a blend of activities online; some asynchronous, some synchronous. Face-to-face today could mean zoom-meetings. It is a multimodal learning and it creates new roles for both teachers and students. For many educators, adapting, changing, and expanding to online learning has been challenging, I believe. Nevertheless, it is not fruitful to transfer what you do face-to-face in a classroom to an online platform. Sharing (among colleagues) material, pedagogy, experiences and ideas is essential as well as stepping beyond the safe territories in the expanded realm of blended learning.

Blended learning for me is also about combining the expertise of the teacher to set achievable goals for students by shaping the material using suitable technologies allowing/facilitating to design multi-modal learning in a scaffold framework based on student needs in an face-to face online mode.

To implement blended learning for traditional style of teaching is to set a platform for an open dialogue in two-way communication, allowing for effective feedback and interaction both ways. There has to be an alignment between learning activity and assessment.  I believe it is important to provide a wide range of activities and assess student learning/motivation which is long-term and self-directed, and self-determined by keep student goals in mind. One challenge for the teacher is to design activities correctly to motivate and guide the students for an effective outcome. Using different approaches allows for long-term life-long learning. Activities can be used for reflection, feedback, and evaluation with online quizzes which are useful and helpful for testing student learning and seminar preparations which could be inspiring and stimulating. So, what’s the recipe then? Well, check below, but remember to add those tablespoons of flexibility.


Blended Learning


  • 1 bowl of suitable technologies (e.g. MyMoodle)
  • 1 educational technologist
  • 1 media production specialist
  • 1 educator (aka master chef, knowledge provider, supervisor, assessor, quality control expert, labyrinth builder, motivator, learner)
  • 1 personal learning network (educator’s PLN)
  • A bunch of fresh learners (aka sous chefs, knowledge providers, motivators)
  • 1 librarian
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted flexibility
  • 5 cups of asynchronous activities (quizzes, lectures, assessments etc.)
  • 5 cups of synchronous activities (zoom seminars, chats, assessments etc.)
  • Links
  • Images
  • 2 pounds of energy
  • A pinch of optional season of your own taste

Step 1: Take the bowl and fill the digital classroom with all ingredients (including educator) except learners. Save some of the energy for later. Stir well. Shape the mix into a nice and functional design with a dynamic team.

Step 2: Pour learners into the digital classroom. Mix and melt them together in a zoom meeting for one hour. Make sure not to overdo it or the learners may collapse. Let them cool down for two days.

Step 3: Add more energy, knead the team (if needed), and stir the learners until no social loafer remains and the rest starts to stick. Top with a pinch of encouragement and thought-provoking questions. Now they’re ready to roll!


Cleveland-Innes, M. (2021). Blended and online teaching and learning: Identifying pedagogical change in higher education. ONL211 topic 4 Intro video (9:35 min).
Video and slides on the Padlet    /   Video on YouTube

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

What’s cooking?