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Blended Learning

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Blended Learning

  1. 1. Blended e-learning in HE Greg Benfield George Roberts Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development
  2. 2. Intended outcomes <ul><li>This session is designed so that participants will have an opportunity to: </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce themselves to and through WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>Review recent research on the learner experience of blended e-learning in HE </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on some case studies of the use of e-learning in HE </li></ul><ul><li>Critically evaluate the role of learning technologies in higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Design an e-learning activity from a given scenario </li></ul>
  3. 3. Wider aims: good practice <ul><li>encourage student-tutor contact </li></ul><ul><li>encourage student-student co-operation </li></ul><ul><li>encourage active learning </li></ul><ul><li>give prompt feedback </li></ul><ul><li>emphasise time on task </li></ul><ul><li>have and communicate high expectations </li></ul><ul><li>respect diverse talents and ways of learning </li></ul><ul><li>(Chickering & Ehrman, 1987) </li></ul><ul><li>independent of the mode of engagement </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Good Learning </li></ul><ul><li>based on </li></ul><ul><li>reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Good Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>sets ground rules </li></ul><ul><li>provides alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>exemplifies models </li></ul><ul><li>gives access to experience </li></ul><ul><li>Good Design </li></ul><ul><li>Permeability </li></ul><ul><li>Variety </li></ul><ul><li>Legibility </li></ul><ul><li>Robustness </li></ul><ul><li>Visual appropriateness </li></ul><ul><li>Richness </li></ul><ul><li>Personalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Good Practice </li></ul><ul><li>encourages </li></ul><ul><li>contact </li></ul><ul><li>co-operation </li></ul><ul><li>active learning </li></ul><ul><li>gives prompt feedback </li></ul><ul><li>emphasises time on task </li></ul><ul><li>has high expectations </li></ul><ul><li>respects diversity </li></ul>
  5. 5. Session structure <ul><li>1. Welcome to WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Learners, technologies, issues </li></ul><ul><li>4. VLEs: beyond the filing cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>– Flexibility, Blogs, e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>– Communication and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>– Assessment and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>5. Designing for learning with technology </li></ul>
  6. 6. Welcome to WebCT <ul><li>Your id </li></ul><ul><li>Your password </li></ul><ul><li>Log in </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions </li></ul>
  7. 7. Participants’ experiences 1 <ul><li>Vicki: </li></ul><ul><li>“ At the beginning of the task I typed something in, and then lost it, and couldn’t find where it had gone. And that was frustrating because I spent all that time typing it in and then just couldn’t find it ” </li></ul><ul><li>Nick </li></ul><ul><li>“ for people from other campuses or other universities, because they have firewall, network problems and security problems as well. That’s the only pitfall .” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Participants’ experiences 2 <ul><li>Vicki : </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think you’re probably more careful about what you say. And also the fact that it’s printed, it’s there, you’re not going to say something that’s totally off the wall. Because it will be there and everybody else will know that you’ve said it, it was a daft idea. You’re not going to expose yourself in that way. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Cathy: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Well the fact that it is a permanent record reminds people sometimes that they have to think quite long and hard about what they put in there. So, whereas if you’re sitting in a group and you say something which is profoundly embarrassing you can laugh it off and say ‘Oh God!’ you know. Whereas if you’ve posted something on the WebCT site and everybody can read it you’re less likely to perhaps open up. ” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Session structure <ul><li>1. Welcome to WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Learners, technologies, issues </li></ul><ul><li>4. VLEs: beyond the filing cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>– Flexibility, Blogs, e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>– Communication and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>– Assessment and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>5. Designing for learning with technology </li></ul>
  10. 10. ... drawing on <ul><li>Review of Undergraduate Experience of Blended e-learning </li></ul><ul><li>Full report, Executive summary, 4 briefing papers at </li></ul><ul><li>JISC Effective practice & Learner Experience studies: </li></ul><ul><li>Learner Scoping Study (Sharpe, Benfield, Lessner, De Cicco) </li></ul><ul><li>LEX (Creanor et al) </li></ul><ul><li>LXP (Connole et al) </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis project (Sharpe et al) </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
  11. 11. Academy review research questions <ul><li>What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What underlying rationales are being used for promoting blended e-learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What monitoring and evaluation strategies are being adopted for ensuring and enhancing the quality of blended e-learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact is blended e-learning having on the student experience? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the success factors for blended e-learning? </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is blended learning? <ul><li>Activity (5 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>In groups of 3 or 4 compose an agreed definition of blended learning to share with the rest of the group. </li></ul><ul><li>We will compare your suggestions with findings from the Academy review. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Blended learning: QAA model hi collocation hi collaboration traditional laboratory lo computerisation hi collocation whiteboards in classrooms hi collaboration virtual field trips hi computerisation lo collocation CACL, online forums hi collaboration “Learning to teach online” hi computerisation hi collocation lo collaboration video link lecture hi computerisation lo collocation lo collaboration “traditional” DL lo computerisation lo collocation lo collaboration CBT training hi computerisation
  14. 14. The problem <ul><li>When we try to pin down the meaning of any modification of the term “learning” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e-learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blended learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distance learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>we will ultimately have to address what is understood by learning </li></ul>
  15. 15. 10 Dimensions of blended learning <ul><li>This leaves us with the possibility of blending </li></ul><ul><li>delivery different modes (face-to-face and distance education) </li></ul><ul><li>technology mixtures of (web based) technologies </li></ul><ul><li>locus authentic/work-based and class-room based learning </li></ul><ul><li>pedagogy different pedagogical approaches </li></ul><ul><li>chronology synchronous and a-synchronous interventions </li></ul><ul><li>roles multi-disciplinary groupings of learners </li></ul><ul><li>focus different aims </li></ul><ul><li>direction instructor-directed vs. learner-directed </li></ul><ul><li>epistemology associative, cognitive constructivist, social constructivist, situative </li></ul><ul><li>politics overt/covert curricula; direct/indirect objects of learning, flexibility, community, personalisation </li></ul>
  16. 16. Session structure <ul><li>1. Welcome to WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Learners, technologies, issues </li></ul><ul><li>4. VLEs: beyond the filing cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>– Flexibility, Blogs, e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>– Communication and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>– Assessment and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>5. Designing for learning with technology </li></ul>
  17. 17. Landscape Learner voices: Laura
  18. 18. Landscape Multi modal learning Mode 1: baseline admin and support Mode 2: Blended Learning Mode 3: FDL
  19. 19. Landscape: social software An ‘”underworld” of digital communication among learners’ (LEX, Creanor et al 2006) Google and Wikipedia preferred information search & retrieval tools (LXP, Conole et al 2006) “ The concept of ‘time’ is changing – both in terms of expectation of information and results on demand. There is evidence of a fragmentation of the learning timetable” (LXP, Conole et al 2006) ©BBC
  20. 20. Session structure <ul><li>1. Welcome to WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Learners, technologies, issues </li></ul><ul><li>4. VLEs: beyond the filing cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>– Flexibility, Blogs, e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>– Communication and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>– Assessment and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>5. Designing for learning with technology </li></ul>
  21. 21. Landscape: VLEs <ul><li>HEA Review </li></ul><ul><li>In HE (U/G at least) the landscape is characterised by </li></ul><ul><li>Wide scale use of virtual learning environments to provide supplementary course resources </li></ul><ul><li>Far less frequently radical, transformative course (re)designs to improve learning </li></ul><ul><li>Occasionally a holistic view of technology, including use of own technologies to support learning. </li></ul>Impact crater Pwyll, Europa Lunar and Planetary Institute
  22. 22. Roles <ul><li>Such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summariser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How are role assumed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Moderation: issues for consideration </li></ul>
  23. 23. Rules <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactional, instrumental, regulatory, heuristic, imaginative, representational, personal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task/outputs/product </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Netiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Response time </li></ul><ul><li>Equal treatment </li></ul>
  24. 24. Tools <ul><li>Shared documents </li></ul><ul><li>e-Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Learning Environments (VLE): e.g. WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>e-Portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge management systems </li></ul>
  25. 25. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: Flexibility <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Oberon: a 1 st year fully online module within a ‘standard’ programme </li></ul><ul><li>Content with interactive self-tests, quizzes and two ‘group’ activities </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise study at own pace and submit final portfolio when ready </li></ul>
  26. 26. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: Blogs
  27. 27. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: Blogs !
  28. 28. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: Blogs and Portfolios
  29. 29. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: e-portfolios
  30. 30. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies: Blogs and Portfolios and Projects
  31. 31. <ul><li>Virtual Teamwork (Business School) </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-professional learning: Partnerships in Practice (Health and Social Care) </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis and podcasts (OCSLD, Online Tutoring) </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging, Skype, MSN, BuddySpace </li></ul>Beyond the filing cabinet case studies 2b: communication/collaboration cont’d
  32. 32. Multi-tasking with chat
  33. 33. Learners’ expectations of technologies <ul><li>Activity </li></ul><ul><li>Small groups of 3/4 </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast the landscape of technologies in HE with the population traversing this landscape: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify one or two key implications for improving the learner experience of HE with technology </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Session structure <ul><li>1. Welcome to WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is blended learning? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Learners, technologies, issues </li></ul><ul><li>4. VLEs: beyond the filing cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>– Flexibility, Blogs, e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>– Communication and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>– Assessment and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>5. Designing for learning with technology </li></ul>
  35. 35. Design for Learning Background reading Individual task Group task Plenary Follow through
  36. 36. Design for Learning (distribute) background reading Individual task: write one sample examination question and explain why this is a good question. Post to discussion area Plenary: presentation by groups Follow through: collate and distribute all questions & criteria Framing: final examination will be composed of your questions Group task Evaluate Critique on discussion board Compile sample examination paper and post Produce assessment criteria
  37. 37. What the research says about VLEs… <ul><li>Students are overwhelming positive about access to supplementary course information (Sharpe et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ we've never done any surveys, ever, that have given other than the students want more of it, wider and deeper” (Longside 2). </li></ul><ul><li>“ On the whole students were not very complimentary about VLEs …. Dislike appeared to relate more to the inconsistent way the VLE was used than the services incorporated into it” (LXP, Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Students are concerned about </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistency in use between modules </li></ul><ul><li>Time and expense associated with downloading and printing </li></ul><ul><li>Mismatches in staff and student expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions need to re-evaluate the worth of the content they provide </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear expectations for attendance, if necessary, use incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Schools/departments should establish templates, protocols and standards of VLE use </li></ul>
  38. 38. … and other university systems <ul><li>Students make regular and frequent use of online resources (Sharpe et all 2006): “I have contact with the university even though I am not there” (quoted in Aspen & Helm 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The university as the core physical centre for learning is becoming a thing of the past” (Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students displayed the ability to integrate for themselves a wide range of technologies and applications. The majority of the technologies and applications used by students to support their learning were not maintained or supported by their host institutions.” (LXP, Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions need to be more supportive and integrative of learners’ technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions should remove barriers to digital connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions need to explore new methods to deliver content </li></ul>
  39. 39. … and other university systems 2 <ul><li>Google and Wikipedia are preferred information retrieval tools; Google is often used to turn up learning materials from other universities (LXP, Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ the usabilty of Google contrasts with the complexity of many university library systems” (LXP, Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Students frequently look outside their own institutions to find content </li></ul><ul><li>Students need more effective provisions of opportunities to learn: </li></ul><ul><li>information retrieval and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>how to avoid plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions need to re-evaluate the usability of many of their IT services </li></ul><ul><li>HEIs increasingly need to be better able to aggregate content, ie. provide repositories of high quality academic resources in easy to find form </li></ul>
  40. 40. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies 2: communication/collaboration <ul><li>There is an “‘underworld’ of digital communication among learners” (LEX, Creanor et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Technologies are used extensively to communicate with fellow peers and tutors, with students demonstrating use of a variety of tools (email, MSN chat, Skype, mobile phones, etc.) to support a range of communicative acts” (LXP, Conole et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students are part of a wider, networked, community of peers …[in which they] share resources, ask for help and peer assess” (LXP, Conole et al 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Yet … </li></ul><ul><li>“ In the surveys of courses making use of multiple features of the VLE, discussions frequently appear as the part which is least used and valued by students … and as being something that is difficult to engage undergraduate students with …. Even in courses where discussion is well integrated into the course design, there are still reports of students having difficulties in making good use of both asynchronous and synchronous discussions” (Sharpe et al 2006) </li></ul>
  41. 41. Beyond the filing cabinet case studies 2a: communication/collaboration <ul><li>Why is that do you think? </li></ul>
  42. 42. Three (and a half) approaches to understanding learning <ul><li>People learn by association : building ideas or skills step-by-step </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. mnemonics, training drills, imitation, instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>associative learning leads to accurate reproduction or recall </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People learn by constructing ideas and skills through active discovery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. exploration, experimentation, guided discovery, problem-solving, reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>constructive learning leads to integrated skills and deep understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People learn by constructing ideas and skills through dialogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. discussion, debate, collaboration, shared knowledge-building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social constructive learning also leads to integrated skills and deep understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People learn by participating in communities of practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. apprenticeship, work-based learning, legitimate peripheral participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>situated practice leads to the development of habits, values and identities </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Three broad approaches cont. <ul><li>All approaches emphasise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learner activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructive alignment of activities with desired outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for consolidation (practice) and integration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They differ in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The role and importance of other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The authenticity of the activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The formality of activity structures and sequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The emphasis on retention/reproduction or reflection/internalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The locus of control </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Principles of effective learning design <ul><li>People learn more effectively when: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are motivated and engaged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their existing capabilities are brought into play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are appropriately challenged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>zone of proximal development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>scaffolding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>differentiation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They have opportunities for dialogue (with tutors, mentors or peers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They receive feedback (intrinsic or extrinsic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They have opportunities for consolidation and integration </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Task <ul><li>In your groups develop a short online group activity and prepare a presentation of this activity using the flip chart paper. </li></ul>
  46. 46. References <ul><li>Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for Quality Learning at University Second Edition . Maidenhead, Open University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Browne, T. and Jenkins, M. (2003). 'VLE surveys: a longitudinal perspective between March 2001 and March 2003 for Higher Education in the United Kingdom.' UCISA. online, accessed 12 November 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Catley, P (2005). ‘One Lecturer's Experience of Blending E-learning with Traditional Teaching or How to Improve Retention and Progression by Engaging Students’. Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching , 1(2) online at ! </li></ul><ul><li>DfES (2005) 'Harnessing Technology: Transforming learning and children's services'. Online at </li></ul><ul><li>HEFCE (2005). HEFCE strategy for e-learning, online at </li></ul><ul><li>JISC (2003). 'Virtual and Managed Learning Environments.' Joint Information Systems Committee. online at , accessed 25 August 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>JISC (2004). Effective Practice with e-Learning: A good practice guide in designing for e-Learning . Bristol, JISC. Online at </li></ul>
  47. 47. References cont’d <ul><li>JISC (2005). Innovative Practice with e-Learning . Bristol, JISC. Online at </li></ul><ul><li>Laurillard, D. (1993). Rethinking University Teaching-A framework for the effective use of educational technology . New York, Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching-a conversational framework for the effective use of educational technology . London, RoutledgeFarmer. </li></ul><ul><li>Mayes, T and de Freitas, S. (2004) Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models . JISC. Online at </li></ul><ul><li>Sharpe, R, Benfield, G, Roberts, G and Francis, R (2006). &quot;The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and practice undertaken for the Higher Education Academy.&quot; Retrieved 3 October, 2006, from </li></ul>
  48. 48. Virtual teamwork <ul><li>200+ 1 st year Business students </li></ul><ul><li>Formed randomly into virtual teams of 6 members each </li></ul><ul><li>Students collaborate online for 4 weeks to create a PowerPoint presentation on a specific teamwork theme (e.g. ‘motivation’ theory) </li></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practicality, logistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Online tutoring (podcasts) <ul><li>Online CPD short course </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly podcasts allow tutors to introduce and explain key ideas and comment on previous week’s learning points </li></ul><ul><li>Easy and quick to produce </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki is perfect for collaborative writing </li></ul>
  50. 50. Online tutoring (Wiki 1) <ul><li>Groups produce a collaborative presentation whose content is first discussed/debated/organised using WebCT Discussions </li></ul>
  51. 51. Online tutoring (Wiki 2) <ul><li>The full history of page revisions is preserved in a Wiki </li></ul>
  52. 52. Partnerships in Practice
  53. 53. Assessment for learning <ul><li>Scenario </li></ul><ul><li>First term, first year compulsory law module </li></ul><ul><li>A new subject for most (75%) students </li></ul><ul><li>High failure rate (25%), poor general results (28% 3rd class, 7% Ist) </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly optional WebCT quizzes (50% take-up) </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: </li></ul><ul><li>Quiz takers: 4% fail, 14% 3rd class, 24% Ist </li></ul><ul><li>Non-quiz takers: same pattern as before </li></ul><ul><li>Overall: 14% fail (approx half previous figure) </li></ul><ul><li>21% 3rd class </li></ul><ul><li>14% 1st (double previous figure) </li></ul><ul><li>(see Catley 2005) </li></ul>

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