Strategies for incorporating blended learning into an HE environment John Earland
What is blended learning?
DET definition• The Department for Education and Training (DET) provides a definition of blended learning:• “learning which combines online and face to face approaches”. (DET, 2003)• Simplistic and two dimensional
Heinze and Procter researchBlended Learning is learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course. (Heinze and Procter, 2003)This provides a broader and richer context to inspire innovation and creativity
Blended learning isn’t….a cheap way to deliver coursesanother name for distance learninga one size fits all pedagogya way of reducing staff commitments on a course
Virtual Methods Blogs and Reflective Journals Wikis/Deli.cio.us/Glogster/Wallwisher – to allow collaborative assessment-both formative and summative and sharing of ideas Discussion Forums Text Messaging Assignment Submission Gradecentre Assessment tools – tests, quizzes etc.content generator Virtual Classroom/Pronto/Mizaru Handouts/Dvolver/ Course Documents RSS Feeds
What if we BLEND these two together? Two becomes one superb learning environment• Now we have the opportunity to enhance and enrich out students’ learning experience• The skill is in the blending ..like any good tea taster can tell you!
A blended learning concept Blackboard course structure reflects the actual course structure; Each module broken down into areas of study; Each area of study has the learning outcomes and assessment strategies outlined; Learning materials are uploaded and enhanced using CourseGenie; Quick quizzes and self assessment formative tests follow the learning materials; Written/Online summative assignments Online tutoring using chat/virtual classroom Use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, vodcasts and SMS texting
Blackboard course structure Course Materials, Assignments etc. all tabs redefined to reflect the structure of the course. Also include quick links to the Discussion Board, My Blogs, RSS feeds and course admin. area.
Learning units The learning areas contain the Scheme of Work, the subject being covered at a particular time and some general learning materials that cover the course as a whole, along with the podcasts. These could easily be located elsewhere if it was deemed appropriate. Once you are in a particular learning area, the learner would then drill down into the specific subject of interest at a particular time of the course.
Learning unit content In this section the student will find the learning outcomes expected from studying this section and how they are going to be assessed. It is important that there is an online component so that the learner can track their own progress and you can check learning.
Blogs-My Personal Journal This is the journal used as a vehicle for student self reflection and to identify action points for progress. This is very much a personal reflective log but one which is monitored by tutors with the permission of the learners.
Lessons Learnt• Time requirements• Blended learning misconceptions• Still learning• All staff and students must “buy in” to the concept• Communication is essential• Collaborative as well as individualised learning must be at the heart of the strategy
And finally ...• “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs• I am committed to Blended Learning as the way ahead in all areas of education, and I am confident that I can help drive this university forward to meet the challenges and exciting opportunities of the future .
References and creditso DET, (2003) Blended Learning, NSW Department of Education and Training.o Heinze, A. and Procter, C., (2003) Reflections On The Use Of Blended Learning. University of Salford, Salfordo Procter, C., (2003) Blended Learning in Practice, In Inaugural Education in a Changing Environment conference. University of Salford, Salford.o Singh, H. (November - December 2003) Issue of Educational Technology, Volume 43, Number 6, Pages 51-54.o Adams,J. (2010)C reativeC ollaborative Learning UsingW eb 2.0 Tools. Society for Teachingand Learning in Higher Education. Toronto,Canada. June 2010 Available from:o http://bathspa.academia.edu/JoelleAdams/Papers/184784/Using_techno logy_to_improve_learning_teaching_and_research_in_my_professional_ practice