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Guidance for designing_blended_courses


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WCET Annual Meeting Presentation

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Guidance for designing_blended_courses

  1. 1. Guidance for Designing Blended Courses Andrew Black, University of Utah Glenn LeBlanc, University of Maine System
  2. 2. The Distance that Really Matters
  3. 3. Blended learning Combination of:  On-site and online  Synchronous and asynchronous “Best of both worlds” (Dziuban, Hartman and Moskal 2004) “Thoughtful integration” (Garrison and Kanuka 2004)
  4. 4. Good learning environments Motivation  Cooperation Real-world problems  Multiple perspectives Application / integration  Critical debate of new knowledge  Open dialogue Avoid information overload  Others? Reflection
  5. 5. Blended Gone Bad No student engagement Surface-level engagement In-class activities replicate online activities Focus on credentials rather than learning Other effects?
  6. 6. Promoting Understanding Online / Online / On site /Asynchronous Asynchronous Synchronous Build Strengthen Use Understanding
  7. 7. 1. Building Understanding Basic facts, concepts, principles, axioms, theories… Reflection, practice, feedback, remediation, assessment Chunking and cognitive load “Learning objects”: audio, video, text, manipulables/simulations, self assessments Arthur C. Clarke: “Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be.”
  8. 8. U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis“Overall … promoting self-reflection, self-regulation and self-monitoringleads to more positive online learning outcomes. Features suchas prompts for reflection, self-explanation and self-monitoringstrategies have shown promise for improving online learningoutcomes.”
  9. 9. Metacognition“…positive effects for techniques such as prompts thatencourage students to assess their level of understanding or setgoals for what they will learn whereas mechanisms such as guidingquestions or advance organizers had mostly null results. … In a relatedvein, there is some evidence that online learning environmentswith the capacity to individualize instruction to a learner’sspecific needs improves effectiveness.”-- U.S. Department of Education. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in OnlineLearning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. September 2010.
  10. 10. 2. Strengthening Understanding Elaboration / making connections Finding and sharing  alternative explanations  examples and non-examples Move toward complexity / transfer Benefit of multiple sources
  11. 11. Problems Everywhere…“The ability to solve very complex and ill-structured problems requires thatstudents learn to think differently than they normally do in classrooms andtraining sessions, where they focus on memorization and comprehension.Students are unable to solve ill-structured problems because they cannot thinkflexibly enough. Throughout their education, they are taught only one point ofview: that of their teachers. If students comprehend that point of view wellenough to pass the quiz or exam, they are rewarded with a good grade.”- Jonassen, D.H. (2004) Learning to Solve Problems. An Instructional Design Guide. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
  12. 12. 3. Putting Understanding to Use  Discussion and perspective sharing  Creation of new works  Ill-structured problem solving  Cognitive flexibility  Authentic experience and assessment  Teachers vs. machines (Arthur C. Clark revisited)
  13. 13. Managing the Mixed Environment Andrew Black, Ph.D.
  14. 14. Mixed/Hybrid/Blended Learning Mixed/Hybrid/Blended learning can mean many things. For example:  An online class which meets at least once in a traditional classroom setting  An on-ground course which submits all work electronically and engages in classroom discussions through an LMS  A traditional on-ground class mixed with distance students attending live through videoconferencing, webconferencing or video streaming  A combination of on-ground, online, web and videoconferencing in the same live class setting  What other examples do you have?
  15. 15. The Mixed Classroom
  16. 16. Web and Videoconferencing Together
  17. 17. Challenges Challenges exist in managing both the classroom AND the technology at the same time  Live in-class as well as live distance students by video  Live web-conferencing, sharing PPT, desktop and applications  Live chat monitoring and responding  Holding in-class activities that engage both the on-ground and distance students equally  Engaging with the distance students equally with the traditional students  Group work
  18. 18. What do you do… If the students are required to give presentations, both local and distance? If one or more of the technologies fails?  Audio  Video  Webconferencing  Desktop/application sharing  Multimedia such as YouTube or other videos
  19. 19. Attention to Students Mixed classroom with synchronous videoconferencing  Raised hands can be seen, students engaged, but teachers must discipline themselves to watch the screens too  Webconferencing with limited video feeds makes this more difficult Webconferencing systems enable:  Desktop, application and multimedia sharing  Live chat features  Live whiteboard capabilities
  20. 20. Other Methods Additional options:  Have more than one instructor assigned to the class so that one can lecture and the other can run the technology/monitor the webconferencing classroom  Employ a TA or assign a student for each class session to manage the technology allowing the teacher to focus on teaching  Employ a technician to ensure the classroom is set up and running before each session, and is available for immediate response in the case of a system failure
  21. 21. Group Work How do you do group work in a mixed classroom?  Generally, distance students work in a group while local students are broken in to groups as well  Technology limitations for mixing distance and local students in workgroups during a live class.  Using webconferencing systems, breakout rooms can be set up for distance and local students to chat and engage in group activities.  Distance and local students benefit from mixed engagement
  22. 22. What is the Goal? Ultimately, the need/demand for mixed classroom environments varies:  Institutional and student needs  Availability of funds and technology support (or lack thereof…) Making the distance classroom simulate the traditional classroom:  “…there is some evidence that online learning environments with the capacity to individualize instruction to a learner’s specific needs improves effectiveness.”  -- U.S. Department of Education. Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. September 2010. How do student learning needs factor in? What about the students’ comfort levels with technology?