What is blended learning and why might I be
interested in this?
5. AnswerBlended learning is a mixture of both face-to-face
and online learning
“Current research suggests that the best results come from offering
learners a blended option” Hockly & Clandfield, 2010
What platform is best for online learning?
7. AnswerIt depends!
• What are you teaching?
• When do your students have time to learn?
• How much work do you want to do?
• How much communication / interactivity do you want to include?
• Synchronous or Asynchronous?
• VLE (Moodle, Edmodo) or PLE (Blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc)?
• Live classes (WizIQ, etc) or text chat?
Synchronous or Asynchronous? Which is best?
9. AnswerIdeally, a combination of both
Synchronous if it’s easy to set a time to meet and
you want to promote interaction
Asynchronous if it’s difficult for everyone to meet at
the same time and/or you want to allow people to
study at their own pace
VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) or PLN?
11. AnswerHow much control/ownership do you want to have?
How important is assessment to you?
VLE – allows for greater teacher control; learners log
in and are guided to activities; assessment is easy;
once course ends, community usually ends
PLE – enables greater learner freedom; learners set
up different tools themselves; assessment trickier;
learners build a PLN that can continue after course
How much technical/online tutor skills should I
13. AnswerMore than your learners and enough to enable you
to support them with any technical issues they may
• Familiarise yourself with the tools you are going
• Be prepared to offer learners technical support if
they need it
• Consider taking a course if you think you need it
What is synchronous online learning?
Any online learning that happens at the same time
e.g. a live class or chat
Should I use a webcam?
18. AnswerUsing a webcam helps humanise the
If you don’t/can’t, then make sure you have photos
of yourself and encourage your learners to add
photos of themselves/complete their profiles
If you use a webcam, become ‘camera aware’ – look
at the camera (eye contact) not the screen and think
about what learners can see in background, etc.
Can I do it alone? Do I need a moderator?
20. AnswerHow familiar are you with the platform? What kind
of platform is it?
e.g. with a webinar, it’s easier to have a
moderator/facilitator and a presenter. If anything
goes wrong, the facilitator can step in; it makes
questions/answers easier; 2 is always better than 1
How important is planning?
22. AnswerMake sure your live class is well planned with a clear
structure that is also logical.
What is the aim/outcome of the class?
How will you know if you have achieved the
Do you have enough variety and interaction
How do I know if there’s anyone listening?
24. AnswerYour live class needs to be engaging and motivating
– otherwise, why do learners need to attend it live?
They could watch/listen to a recording.
Ask questions, get the learners to interact and use
the text chat
What is asynchronous online learning?
Any online learning that is not ‘live’
e.g. via email or through forums, video, podcasting,
What about pairwork/groupwork?
29. AnswerTry to build some pairwork/groupwork into your
course – learners will like it
Be careful not to make pairwork/groupwork too
important in an asynchronous course
Think about time zones when establishing groups –
learners must be able to meet up with each other
Should I use video?
Making videos is a great way of presenting content
to learners, but requires a lot of time to prepare and
good technical skills
What about audio files?
Creating podcasts for learners to listen to is worth
considering – they are very portable and learners
can learn anywhere (while commuting, for example)
How flexible should I be?
35. AnswerMake sure the learners know how much time they
need to spend learning/studying each week
Set deadlines for assignments but be flexible and
extend these if necessary
36. Engaging Learners
How important is socialization?
38. AnswerVery important, especially at the beginning of a
course. Provide plenty of opportunities for this to
take place to help create a learning community
Meeting and greeting and ‘getting to know you’
activities will help learners feel part of the learning
Should the learners establish objectives?
40. AnswerAsking the learners to establish their objectives will
help you know what they want to get out of a
course and also give them something to aim for
Revisiting these objectives later on will help the
learners see what they have achieved
How important are deadlines?
42. AnswerIf you don’t set deadlines, then learners may never
finish something or submit an assignment
If deadlines are not realistic, learners may lose
interest / hope
What about netiquette?
44. AnswerAlthough it sounds like an outdated term, it’s still
worth establishing ground rules with learners.
Think about:- respect for others, acknowledgment of
other people’s ideas, humour (difficult to express
online), emoticons (don’t overuse), capital letters
(DON’T SHOUT!), etc.
How can I keep learners interested?
Make sure the learners are invested in your course
and make sure your content is interesting/engaging
Remember that variety is the spice of life
47. Mixed Bag
What about using text chat?
49. AnswerText chat is useful if people have slower or less
reliable Internet connections
Text chat can become a good space for socializing
Text chat in Facebook groups or using Twitter (with a
#hashtag) can be a great way to use this
What about privacy?
Make sure the learners are happy about what is
public and what is private on your course.
Is their work public? (e.g. PLE) or private (e.g. VLE)
Do I need a headset?
53. AnswerWith live classes involving learners using voice,
everyone should have a headset or headphones/mic
and not use speakers as it causes feedback
If you experience feedback, mut the mics and
unmute them when someone needs to speak
What should I do if the technical problems are
Keep calm and try to solve them, but if there are too
many tech problems, call off the live class and
reschedule for another day/time
Where can I go to get help?
57. AnswerLearn from others by joining online courses/sessions
and take notes of the things that work/don’t work
Do some reading or consider taking a course to help
Nicky Hockly (2012)
Webinars: A Cookbook for Educators
Nicky Hockly & Lindsay Clandfield (2010)