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GVSU Blended Teaching and Learning


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A discussion of the 10 questions and then some at GVSU on March 20th, 2013

A discussion of the 10 questions and then some at GVSU on March 20th, 2013

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  • Institutions need to find appropriate definitions of blended (and online) that facilitate the nature of the organization culture in order to facilitate acceptance of this innovative pedagogical model, assure consistent data collection and communicate effective with faculty/students. Additionally, traditional definitions of blended need to be re-visited since the emergence of new pedagogies and emerging technologies create paradigm shifts.
  • Welcome to the second presentation in our train-the-trainer series. In this presentation we will examine the purpose, format, and outcomes of our faculty blended course redesign development program.
  • Six main outcomes are highlighted as central to the faculty development program.  First, faculty start with concrete development of both broad-perspective elements of their new course, such as a course redesign plan and a syllabus, and the development of more specific features of the course such as learning modules. This is especially appropriate in disciplines or areas where “learning modules” are not typically the unit of course redesign, thus requiring faculty to re-examine their conceptual basis for instruction from the bottom up.  Second, faculty must acquire new teaching skills and knowledge appropriate to a blended learning frame, such as how to facilitate a peer learning community both face-to-face and online, and how to assess student learning in a manner that is quite distinct from the usual “three exams and a term paper” of a traditional face-to-face course. In the latter context, it is important to note that faculty are often committed to the use of summative assessments such as exams and term papers without ever having questioned previously their efficacy. The prospect of a blended course redesign thus holds out the possibility of a paradigm shift from modes of instruction that once seemed satisfactory to a model of teaching and learning that problematizes everything that has once been taken for granted. This is a source of considerable skepticism and anxiety for faculty who have been teaching for many years in a more traditional manner, often unreflectively.
  • This is what my students see when they come to a unit. They have an agenda that tell them what reading they are supposed to complete and what the lecture topic is. As you can see here, my students are given 3 options for receiving the lecture material. They can download the PowerPoint file to their desktop and print the notes, they can view the PowerPoint and notes text online in their browser, or they can listen to the lecture and view the PowerPoint slides using a product called Breeze Presenter or Adobe Present. Most of my students prefer to simply print the notes and read them or they print the notes and highlight them as they listen to the lecture. But, they were given the lecture in alternative formats to whatever met their learning style.
  • This is a sample text lecture. This was created right in PowerPoint. It is pretty low tech, which means it was easy to create and it is easy to support. I simply typed my lecture text in the notes box in PowerPoint and covered it to html. Students have little problems viewing these since .
  • This is a sample of what the audio lecture look like. This again was created right in PowerPoint. I recorded voice narrations right in PowerPoint. I then used a product called Adobe Present or Breeze Presenter to create this flash-based interface. This is slightly more advanced than the text only, but it was still pretty easy for me to do. It does take some time to record the audio and to just get used to talking to a computer. But, because it runs in the browser, Internet Explorer, it is pretty easy for the students to listen to as well. They do not need any additional software. However, if they ever run into problems with the audio, their speakers, or bandwithd, they can always read the text version.
  • This is a sample of what the audio lecture look like. This again was created right in PowerPoint. I recorded voice narrations right in PowerPoint. I then used a product called Adobe Present or Breeze Presenter to create this flash-based interface. This is slightly more advanced than the text only, but it was still pretty easy for me to do. It does take some time to record the audio and to just get used to talking to a computer. But, because it runs in the browser, Internet Explorer, it is pretty easy for the students to listen to as well. They do not need any additional software. However, if they ever run into problems with the audio, their speakers, or bandwithd, they can always read the text version.
  • Discussions help identify the concepts that students are struggling in their application in certain contexts. Here is an excerpt from a discussion that took place online where the students discuss not understanding systematic soldiering, a theoretical concept.
  • Here is an example of a quiz and an example of the quiz statistics. The quiz allows you to target the concepts that students did not understand from the reading and lecture.
  • So, to recap, this is what a typical week looked like for my students. They received the agenda for the following week when they left class. They had the weekend to complete the reading and listen to the lecture with the initial discussion post being due on Tuesday at the latest. Then, they had to respond to at least on classmate no later than Wednesday, and they had to take a quiz prior to coming to class on Thursday.
  • I have a few tips to help you with your course redesign based on my own challenges that I encountered.TIP 1: Avoid course and a halfUse Backward Design from McTeague and Wiggins from the beginning of your planning rather than as an afterthought to make sure yor are connecting each learning activity to a learning objective. If an activity overlaps another or does not link to a learning objective, get rid of it. The first time I taught the blended course, I realized that I had overloaded it with activities. My students were completing a “course and a half.” Many faculty whom we interviewed for our book chapter reported they had a similar experience even though we told them in the faculty development workshop this could happen in their redesign process.Do not “pack on” activities to make your course more rigorous. Do not keep your current f2f course and simply “add on” some online activities. Are your learning objectives being met based on the activities you are having them complete? Referring to questions 1 and 10 will assist you in rethinking your learning objectives and planning to avoid course and a half.1.) What do you want students to know when they have finished taking your blended course?10.) There is a tendency for faculty to require students to do more work in a blended course than they normally would complete in a purely traditional course. What are you going to do to ensure that you have not created a course and one-half? How will you evaluate the student workload as compared to a traditional class?TIP 2: Promote online learning community I cannot mention this enough. In developing your learning activities, consider ways that you can focus on creating opportunities for interaction and collaboration amongst the students and implement the use of asynchronous discussion for completion of the activity. Groups and discussion forums are two primary ways to provide a means for students to build these peer networks. Also, consider how your learning activities can be engaging for students. The research indicates that peer networks are directly linked to the success of first generation college students and minority college students. Also, students are more satisfied when they feel they are “a part” of something. For example, many students come into the college setting without having knowledge of the college experience or the” ins-and-outs” since their parents did not attend college. Giving them the opportunity to build these networks through class activities gives them linkages to important information and partners in learning that can assist them in succeeding.Students in the online medium can become disengaged if all they are doing is reading and taking exams. The blended model lends itself to active learning online. The online medium offers new opportunities to engage them by using interactive content, providing active learning, integrating rich media, and using frequent, low stakes assessment. Have students interact with the content by having them pull information from web sites or other online resources into their online discussions (something you can’t have them do in the f2f). There are also digital activities that they can complete online like crossword puzzles, flash cards, and other digital games (e.g., Study Mate, Hot Potato) that allows them to learn basic concepts in an engaging manner. Video clips from YouTube or your own video collection can provide them with a better understanding of course concepts and can be loaded into the course management system for easy access. Since you are meeting f2f less, providing students engaging ways to learn online increases their learning and their satisfaction.Questions 3 and 4 of the 10 questions will assist you in getting thinking about your activities. Remember, focus on building online learning community and engaging activities.3.) Blended teaching is not just a matter of transferring a portion of your traditional course to the Web. Instead it involves developing challenging and engaging online learning activities that complement your face-to-face activities. What types of learning activities do you think you will be using for the online portion of your course?4.) Online asynchronous discussion is often an important part of blended courses. What new learning opportunities will arise as a result of using asynchronous discussion? What challenges do you anticipate in using online discussions? How would you address these?Tip 3: Plan for integration. How will the online tie into the f2f and vice versa? There was a disconnect the first time I taught the course. Integration was something that I thought would come naturally. If you don’t integrate the two mediums, students feel that one is less important than the other. For instance, I had planned that the online prepared my students by giving them a foundational knowledge of the content, so we could perform higher order learning in the f2f. The content area of the online and the f2f were the same. However, I did not plan any specific integration activities to tie the two together. My students felt that the online portion was “busy” work and could not understand how it tied into what we were doing in the f2f. The next semester, I brought online quiz results into the f2f and use them to structure our f2f discussion. It allowed me to provide “just in time” teaching and target their weakness in learning. I also pulled discussion posts that I thought indicated there was a weakness in learning that we needed to address or that highlighted key points. By bringing online discussion posts and online quiz results into the f2f class, the students felt that both environments were connected and equally important.Question 5 of the 10 questions specifically addresses integration5.) How will the face-to-face and time out of class components be integrated into a single course? In other words, how will the work done in each component feed back into and support the other?Tip 4: Don’t feel that you have to follow the traditional f2f scheduling format. You don’t have to still meet every class period for a reduced time or even meet every week. Where do the content and activities lend themselves to meet f2f? In my traditional, f2f course, we met one night a week for several hours. The first time I taught my blended course, I thought that I should still meet every class period, but just for a reduced time period. I realized that it didn’t provide the flexibility students needed because they still had to spend the same amount of time and cost driving and parking. The next semester, we only met on half of the days we were scheduled to. The students and myself were much happier with the schedule. Also, the time in between the f2f meetings allowed more time to complete work online. It seemed more relaxed and less stressful. It helped me better manage my workload and stay organized and my students felt the same. In another course, we didn’t meet for several weeks in the beginning while we worked on learning several foundational theories online, then we picked back up with the f2f meetings for the practical and experiential portion of the course. Question 7 gets one thinking about how this will look for his or her hybrid or blended course.Question 7 states, how will you divide the percent of time between the face-to-face portion and the online portion of your course? How will you schedule the percent of time between the face-to-face and online portion of your course, i.e. one two hour face-to-face followed by one two hour online session each week?Tip 5: Assess both mediums, online and f2f.How are you assessing the f2f work? Is it more than attendance? The first time I taught the course, I implemented new low stakes grading for the active learning that was taking place online and had little assessment surrounding what was taking place in the f2f. My online assessment plan was very detailed focusing on online discussions, quizzes, group projects, exams, but the f2f portion was lacking greatly giving students the idea that the f2f was less important. Build f2f learning activities into your assessment plan (e.g., CATs, Case Studies, Simulations, etc). Question 8 of the 10 questions addresses this issue.8.) How will you divide the course grading scheme between face-to-face and online activities? What means will you use to assess student work in each of these two components?Tip 6: Manage student expectationsThe first time I taught the course, student support was an afterthought. I quickly realized that unless I want to answer the same question 25 times over e-mail, I better identify the areas where my students need support. Remember, blended learning may be as new for your students as it is for you. They will have anxiety and uncertainty about the new mode of delivery of this course. Take some steps to reduce those feelings. Specifically, I focused on managing student expectations in regards to blended learning: What is blended learning? Why is blended learning beneficial? What are your responsibilities as an blended student? Also, I wanted to find ways to help students become familiar with the course and the technology. I provided them with help sheets, a scavenger hunt, and contact info for tech support. By providing these resources, I was better able to manage my time since I spent less time responding to e-mail.Questions 6 and 9 address supporting students. 6.) When working online, students frequently have problems scheduling their work and managing their time, and understanding the implications of the blended course module as related to learning.9.)Students sometimes have difficulty acclimating to the course Web site and to other instructional technologies you may be using for face-to-face and online activities. ---I hope you find these tips useful and understand why the 10 questions are so important to a successful course transformation into the blended mode.TIP 1: Avoid course and a halfTIP 2: Promote online learning community Tip 3: Plan for integrationTip 4: Don’t feel that you have to follow the traditional f2f scheduling formatTip 5: Assess both mediums, online and f2fTip 6: Manage student expectations
  • Transcript

    • 1. Blended Teaching and LearningTanya Joosten,, @tjoosten
    • 2. Defining blended for your campus
    • 3. Blended course definition:A faculty perspective Blended courses –• Integrate online with traditional face-to- face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner; and• Replace a portion (institutionally defined) of face-to-face time by online activity (2005 Sloan-C Workshop on Blended Learning)
    • 4. Blended course definition:An Institutional Definition blended 1 blended 2 blended 3 21 - 50% 51 - 80% 81 - 99% Online with Online with Online with commensurate commensurate commensurate reduction reduction reduction in seat time in seat time in seat time Web-enhanced blended Online 0 - 20% 21 - 99% 100%
    • 5. UWM‟s Institutional Definition
    • 6. Blended course definitions: A Pedagogical Model
    • 7. UW-MilwaukeeFaculty Development Program: Purpose | Format | Outcomes
    • 8. Overall purpose or goals Design, develop, teach, and advocate for blended courses A practical approach ● Get started ● Redesign course ● Develop course material ● Acquire teaching skills
    • 9. Program format Taught in a blended format and in multiple formats during the academic year Face-to-face meetings and online assignments ● Model good blended practices ● Experience blended course as a student ● Effective teaching model Experienced blended teachers are program facilitators
    • 10. Schematic of Faculty Development Program Out-of-class Out-of-class Out-of-class assignment assignment activity and and and discussion discussion discussion (learning (assessment (syllabus) Friday module) plan) Friday 1st Wednesday Sunday Wednesday 2nd face-to- face-to- face face session session
    • 11. Program activities Presentation, demonstration, small- group activities, facilitator feedback, peer feedback, online discussion, consultation Emphasis on faculty “active learning” ● Discussing ● Questioning ● Developing
    • 12. Six Main Program Outcomes1. Start of a redesigned course ● Course redesign plan ● Course syllabus ● Learning modules2. New teaching skills and knowledge ● Building a learning community ● Assessment of student learning
    • 13. Six Main Program Outcomes3. Re-examine both face-to-face and online component4. Faculty know what to expect ● Student expectations ● Technology issues ● Teaching challenges5. Faculty get their questions answered6. Faculty make an early start on course development
    • 14. Program evaluation Progressive & summative ● Classroom assessment techniques ● “Reality check” survey ● Anonymous survey at end of program Ongoing ● Queries from instructors ● Follow-up interactions ● Formal debriefings ● Certificate Program for Online and Blended
    • 15. Course Redesign Course Content • Ten questions • Decision rubric for • Online vs. F2F - Integration content choices • Designing learning modules • Learning objects Course Evaluation Online Learning Community• Progressive/summative Transitioning to• Before, during, and after • Synchronous/asynchronous blended • Establishing voice• Self evaluation• Peer evaluation Teaching • Discussion forums• Student evaluation • Small groups Course Management Assessment Plan Helping Your • Staying organized Students • Rubrics • Managing workload • CATs • Avoiding course and a half • Managing expectations • Templates • Time management • Traditional formats • Technology support
    • 16. Eight lessons we‟ve learned1. Incentives & time for participation2. Participants with prior experience using technology3. Blended format for faculty development program4. Involve experienced blended teachers as facilitators5. Plenty of time for participant interaction (face-to- face)6. Provide regular, fast, and positive feedback7. Focus on pedagogy (redesign conversations) more than technology (support solutions)8. Open door policy: Provide continuous support and maintain contact
    • 17. Redesigning your course using the 10questionsTanya JoostenLearning Technology CenterDepartment of CommunicationUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • 18. Course details Original course design ● Organizational Communication, COMMUN310 ● Original Design: Night classes, 3 hours app. Course Transformation ● Goal: To more effectively use valuable f2f time ● Means: Focus on task requirements and medium selection ● Experience teaching fully online and fully f2f ● New Design: Reduced class time, 45% online, 55% F2F
    • 19. What goes online? Content Delivery ● Acquire basic content (lecture and reading) ● Assess understanding of basic content (discussion forums, rubrics, and quizzes)
    • 20. Content delivery What is the task? What type of delivery is “best”? What technology is available to me? What skills do I have?
    • 21. Lecture formats
    • 22. Sample text lecture
    • 23. Sample audio lecture
    • 24. What lecture format did you prefer? Why? I preferred the standard ppt w/ notes because that was the easiest for me to access from my home computer and was the easiest to print out. I chose ppt form as dont need to be online all the time. And I can study the slides whenever i want to. It also has the option of outlines, which helps in studying.
    • 25. I can go at my own pace and re-read things I needto, otherwise skim things I dont need certain you had to listen to the powerpoints andsometimes people just didn‟t have the time, butcould read them thoroughly and reference thembetter…we are online classes because we don‟thave the time or access to sit through a lecture on acomputer. But we could all work reading a reallygood powerpoint through into our schedules.
    • 26. Audio introductions
    • 27. What (else) goes online? Content Delivery ● Acquire basic content (lecture and reading) ● Assess understanding of basic content (discussion forums, rubrics, and quizzes)
    • 28. Sample discussion forum
    • 29. Sample quiz
    • 30. What goes face-to-face? Decreases students‟ equivocality and uncertainty Allow for instant feedback for understanding Provide opportunity for higher order learning Presentations of group work done outside of class
    • 31. What goes online? Building Learning Community ● Online discussion questions ● Group experiential learning activities (virtual labs)
    • 32. What goes online? Summative Assessment ● Assess achievement of learning objectives for course (midterm and final exams)
    • 33. Sample Module Wednesday SundayWeek 1 F2F Class -Individual project task -Agenda posted due -Reading/lecture available onlineWeek 2 Online Class -Discussion responses -Discussion due post dueWeek 3 -Complete Weekly Quiz prior to -Group project task due class F2F Class -Targeted discussion from quiz results and discussion forum
    • 34. Recap: What goes online? f2f? Content Delivery Decreases students‟ ● Acquire basic content equivocality and ● Assess understanding uncertainty of basic content Allow for instant feedback Building Learning for understanding Community ● Online discussions and Provide opportunity for group activities higher order learning Presentations of group Summative Assessment work done outside of class ● Assess achievement of learning objectives
    • 35. Keys to a successful transformation TIP 1: Avoid course and a half TIP 2: Promote online learning community Tip 3: Plan for integration. Tip 4: Don‟t feel that you have to follow the traditional f2f scheduling format. Tip 5: Assess both mediums, online and f2f. Tip 6: Manage student expectations
    • 36. 10 questions discussion
    • 37. Activity: What Goes Online? F2F?
    • 38. Designing a learning module usingbackwards designLearning Technology CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • 39. Backward Design Introduced by Wiggins and McTighe in Understanding by Design (2005) Instructors begin with learning goals and outcomes rather than activities Effective in online and blended courses because students need more structure
    • 40. Key Questions in Backward Design What do you want your students to do (not just know)? What evidence will you accept that they have accomplished that? What learning activities will produce this evidence or documentation?
    • 41. What‟s in a Learning Module? A chunk of content A learning activity A mode of assessing student work
    • 42. Module 2 Learning Objectives By the end of this module, students should be able to: ● Describe the qualities of four different academic research models ● Develop an effective research proposal for a ten-page academic research paper
    • 43. Module 2 Content for ENG 102 Davis and Shadle‟s “‟Building a Mystery‟: Writing and the Academic Act of Seeking” Lecture outlining strategies for developing an effective research question
    • 44. Module 2 Activities for ENG 102 Quiz over readings to demonstrate mastery of terms and ideas In-class and online discussions to examine research models and proposal-writing strategies Reflective journal entry focusing on “topics” Formal essay that proposes and justifies a research question
    • 45. Module 2 Assessment for ENG 102 Automated, quantitative feedback on quizzes Holistic, overall feedback and quantifiable rubric assessment on discussions Individual, end-comment feedback on reflective journal entries Individual, end-comment feedback on research proposal
    • 46. Activity: Respond to Next Steps issuesRespond to one of the five questions in a group at yourtable. In responding to your question, consider the elementsof the question that you find intriguing, problematic orsurprising?Post your responses to the questions at the following wikispace:
    • 47. Next Steps: Five issues to address in“perfecting” the blend “Course and a half” syndrome Re-examining course goals and objectives Building presence, enhancing connectivity, and building community Community Building Managing your time and staying organized
    • 48. Question 1: “Course and a half” syndromeNow that you delivered your first blendedcourse and have experienced course and ahalf, what strategies can one use to streamlinethe course and help manage instructorworkload to avoid course and a half?
    • 49. Next Steps: “Course and a half” syndrome Focus on learning objectives and outcomes Take advantage of LMS reporting features Seek help or feedback from colleagues Cut approximately 20% of your course Join or create a community of instructors Keep teaching logs for reflective practice Use progressive and summative evaluation
    • 50. Question 2: Re-examining course goals andobjectivesHow can one identify and build upon the successfulelements of learning objectives in the blended model?Specifically, was the learning environment (face-to-faceor online) appropriate for the assigned activity andachievement of each learning objective?Did it provide the evidence or documentation that thelearning objective was met?
    • 51. Next Steps: Re-examining Goals & Objectives F2F, online & integrated learning modules/exercises What should students be able to do Assessment Discipline-specific language, more active verbs: ● compile, create, plan, articulate, revise, apply, design, analyze, select, utilize, apply, demonstrate, prepare, use, compute, discuss, explain, predict, assess, compare, rate, judge, distinguish, compare/contrast, critique… Usually NOT „think critically‟, „know‟, „understand‟… A good test: If it could apply to any learning module/exercise, it might be an essential learning outcome (i.e., revise the objective!)
    • 52. Question 3: Building presence, enhancingconnectivity, and building communitySometimes we can lose the connection and our abilityas instructors to build presence in the mediatedenvironment. Instructors need to develop skills andstrategies to meet these needs in the blended format.What are some ways one can successfully enhancesocial presence and connectedness with students?
    • 53. Next Steps: Presence, Connectivity, & Community Social presence ● Connection ● Community of learners Online relationships ● Challenges ● Community creation Preparation ● Trust ● Responses ● Socially intimate communication
    • 54. Question 4: Community BuildingMany times when we introduce a mediatedenvironment, we find out course design needed moreopportunity for collaborative learning for students toengage students and assist them in building peernetworks.Where can your course lends itself in assisting studentsin building community with other students? theinstructor? and, the public?
    • 55. Next Steps: Community Building Don‟t forget the basics Unlike a F2F course, instructor must encourage and manage community building Comfort with the technology and delivery model increases community building Collaborative learning opportunities increases online community Active learning strategies increases online community Bridge course work with extra-curricular Build-in synchronous opportunities for peer interaction and group work
    • 56. Question 5: Managing your time and stayingorganizedMany students enroll in blended courses because of the flexibilityassociated with time shifting. At the same time, they may overbook theirschedules or not allocate time for studying. What strategies did students employ to balance their schedules and manage their in- and out-of-class time effectively? What effective instructional strategies can one employ to help students stay on track? Are there any additional strategies one could implement the next time the course is delivered to help students stay organized, assessed student readiness, and manage student expectations?
    • 57. Next Steps: Managing your time and stayingorganized Course Scheduling: Manage time carefully Explain and inform Keep good records Manage student expectations
    • 58. Course evaluationLearning Technology CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • 59. Why is evaluation particularly importantfor blended and online courses? The experimental mood: blended and online courses are different than face-to-face Ideally, “experiment” ensures that we come as novices to the blended or online course structure Pedagogical experiment argues that we demonstrate academic rigor in the online environment Progressive evaluation permits making changes throughout course – before, during and after the course is offered
    • 60. What tools can be used to evaluate ablended or online course? Evaluation checklist Evaluation can involve yourself, colleagues, or students
    • 61. What do we want to evaluate? Learner Support Course Organization and Design Instructional Design and Delivery Integration of Face-to-Face and Online Activities (blended only) Student Assessment Student Feedback
    • 62. Learner support Not a significant issue in traditional face- to-face courses Student self-assessment: is s/he likely to succeed as an online or blended learner? Acquiring the technical skills and requisites Knowing what to do when troubles arise
    • 63. Course organization and design A basic syllabus affords a contract between instructor and students The use of modules to organize course activity is more pronounced in online and blended courses The course Web site is a visual representation of the learning goals and activities
    • 64. Instructional design and delivery A relationship between learning objectives and learning activities A progression towards critical thinking Ongoing efforts to develop an online learning community of peers
    • 65. Integration of face-to-face andonline work (blended only) If course redesign is not completely thought through, there is a tendency to favor the face-to-face over the online. Running two modes of instruction parallel and independently is a sure recipe for the course-and-a-half syndrome Each form of learning must affect -- extend, elaborate, intensify – the other
    • 66. Student assessment The online environment lends itself to frequent, low-stakes assessment with ample feedback Traditional forms of assessment offer little information about the learning taking (or not taking) place Rubrics help both instructor and student apply abstract knowledge to disciplinary practice
    • 67. Student feedback Like student assessment: frequent, low- stakes, and information-rich The simple “reality check” is an extremely valuable tool The students find their voices within the course The community of learners benefits from a give and take between instructor and students
    • 68. Ensuring quality on campusBlended faculty development programCertificate in blended teachingLazirko awardUsers groupProgram council