10 Questions for Blended Course Design

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A brief one hour workshop to get folks thinking about blended course redesign. Presented at Western Technical, La Crosse, WI.

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  • With the increase in the diffusion of blended and online programming across higher educational institutions, stakeholders are looking for ways to ensure the quality of the student experience. Quality of blended programs can be ensured through faculty and instructional development and training, faculty and instructor evidence of competence and recognition for excellence, constructive evaluation and feedback on blended and online course design and delivery, and community-building opportunities among instructors and staff. Blended learning is becoming a prominent mode of programming and delivery in education. It is swiftly emerging and transforming higher education to better meet the needs of our students providing them with more effective learning experiences. This movement is leading to a renovation in the way courses are taught and programs support their students. Instructional and faculty development provides the core foundation to institutional programming in providing a framework for implementing blended and online learning pedagogy in the classroom. This student-centered, active learning pedagogy has the potential to alter the traditional classroom by enhancing course effectiveness through increased interactivity leading to superior student outcomes.A recent study reported that "Respondents ... anticipated that the number of students taking online courses will grow by 22.8% and that those taking blended courses will grow even more over the next 2 years" (Picciano, Seamen, Shea, & Swan, 2012, p. 128). As the demand for blended learning opportunities increases, so does the need for development of instructors to teach and design blended courses and mechanisms to ensure the quality of courses and programs. The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) has been providing instructional development and blended learning opportunities to students for over a decade. Since 2001, UWM has developed 8 blended degree programs. In the fall of 2012, UWM offered approximately 100 blended courses and enrolled 7,655 students (26%) in at least one blended course. The average age of a blended undergraduate student is 24, 23% are students of color, and 64% are from the Milwaukee metro area. UWM (2012) defines blended courses as "…courses where 20% or more of the traditional face-to-face classroom time is replaced by online assignments and activities. Students spend less time in the classroom and more time working and interacting online, providing greater flexibility regarding when and where coursework can be completed" (para 1). UWM continues to see growth, as the nation does, and continues to provide opportunities for students to best meet their needs.UWM's Learning Technology Center has several measures in place for ensuring quality in blended learning on campus, including:1. UWM's Faculty Development Program for Blended TeachingThe Learning Technology Center at UWM offers a program for blended teaching providing instructional development earning an international reputation in the field. The program guides the pedagogical design to move more didactic activities online while keeping tasks that require a richer media due to equivocality and uncertainty in the face-to-face (f2f) environment. This increases the capacity for mastery of content and of deeper learning outcomes. The program is delivered in a blended format with multiple face-to-face meetings and integrated online activities. The blended format allows instructors to experience blended learning and provides the facilitators the opportunity to model good pedagogical practices in the blended learning environment. The program includes presentations by experienced blended instructors, online and face-to-face discussions and group work, creation of course materials, and peer and facilitator feedback. As part of the program, participants begin to develop their blended courses, leaving with the draft of a syllabus, a redesign plan, a learning module, and an assessment plan (Aycock, Mangrich, Joosten, Russell, & Bergtrom, 2008). The model is currently shared through the faculty development program and is being used by hundreds of faculty, teaching academic staff, and teaching assistants across many disciplines, course levels, and course sizes, illustrating its ability to scale on UWM's campus and on other college campuses.2. Certificate Program for Online and Blended TeachingThe Certificate Program requires the delivery of an online or a blended credit course at UWM; provision of a brief (2-3 pages) letter of reflection on how the instructor's pedagogy has changed; and a course evaluation by the LTC staff or by a certified mentor/evaluator through a peer evaluation checklist. In addition to the Certificate Program, the Learning Technology Center offers ongoing evaluations of blended courses.3. The Online and Blended Teaching Users GroupThe Online and Blended Teaching Users Group meets monthly to discuss challenges, exchange ideas, and share best practices for teaching online, blended, and tech-enhanced courses. Each meeting typically features open discussions as well as brief presentations by experienced UWM instructors and opportunities for networking with other teachers on campus.Format of the WorkshopThis workshop will consist of a series of group activities (5-6 participants per group) that require individuals to brainstorm potential strategies and considerations for implementation requiring that they collectively use their expertise and experiences to develop 1) criteria, knowledge and skills, needed to teach online and blended 2) methods of facilitating and delivering a faculty and instructional development program that would build these knowledge and skills 3) an evaluation instrument that would include the criteria outline in #1 4) a scalable process to implement such an evaluation 5) methods to illustrate instructor competence to others and in their tenure review, and 6) mechanisms that will provide support and community to all those involved in blended and online programming. After each group completes their activity, they will report out their group products to the larger group in order to share and gather feedback. After each activity, the UWM team will share their own considerations and examples in ensuring quality in these areas. These group activities will be documented (text, images, video) through collaborative web spaces and social media to be shared with those beyond the conference session as an open education resource on ensuring quality in blended and online courses.
  • “Overall, 36 percent of schools offer at least one blended program” (Allen, Seaman, & Garrett, 2007, p. 36)“Respondents…anticipated that the number of students taking online courses will grow by 22.8% and that those taking blended courses will grow even more over the next 2 years” (Picciano, Seamen, Shea, & Swan, 2012, p. 128). Colleges are delving into blended learning and many experts believe that there will be further movement to blended classes (PEW Internet, Future of Higher Education report, Anderson, Boyles, & Rainie, July 27th, 2012).  
  • Many grant funding agencies have identified the potential benefits and are supporting the move to blended learning in higher education.  For example, the Sloan Consortium Localness initiative and the Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Learning Challenges have and are supporting numerous universities and colleges ability to support blended learning opportunities. There is an increased commitment to blended learning efforts based on the benefits and potential identified.
  • The Sloan-C 2005 Workshop on Blended Learning adopted what has become a canonical definition of blended courses: first, that blended courses are designed to integrate face-to-face and online work in a pedagogically effective manner; and second, that the face-to-face time of a blended course is reduced to be replaced by online learning activities. Thus, a blended course is NOT merely a course with a Web site, which is usually termed a Web-enhanced course. A blended course is NOT a fully online course, because at least some seat time is retained. A blended course is NOT a course in which online activities have been merely added to face-to-face activities, because the two modes of learning must enhance and elaborate one another, instead of operating in parallel but having no points of contact.
  • Blended course definitions: A Pedagogical Model
  • The growing interest in blended learning and an increasing number of blended learning initiatives undertaken on campuses is due, in part, to instructors implementation of the blended model in order to take advantage of the pedagogical rewards in using two mediums, online and face-to-face (Godambe, Picciano, Schroeder, & Schweber, 2004), which includes the opportunity to make student learning more active. For example, Kaleta, Skibba, and Joosten (2007) describe that “faculty decided to try the hybrid model because of the many teaching and learning benefits…including the ability to provide more ‘active learning’ and ‘engage’ students by using technology” (p. 136). Other often cited reasons for the increased interest in blended learning relates to opportunities for improving student learning and success (Dziuban, Hartman, & Moskal, 2004), increasing student satisfaction (Dziuban & Moskal, 2001), and increasing retention and access (Picciano, 2006). For instance, Picciano (2006) explains that “well-designed blended learning environments have the potential of increasing access to a higher education because they improve retention” (p. 100).
  • 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
  • https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/groups/sa/ltc/public/blended_web_presentations/07_Blended-integration_ALL/flash/index.htm
  • 10 Questions for Blended Course Design

    1. 1. 10 Questions for Blended Learning Tanya Joosten, tjoosten@uwm.edu Learning Technology Center University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
    2. 2. About us
    3. 3. TechEnhanced Blended Online Traditional Self-paced MOOCs Flex Faculty development programs and pedagogical consultation Technology training and support Evaluation and research The LTC provides faculty development and pedagogical consultation, technology training and support, and evaluation and research of an array of course delivery modes, including tech enhanced, blended, and online. What we do?
    4. 4. Delivery modes TechEnhanced Blended Online Traditional Self-paced MOOCs Flex Content • Text • Images • Audio • Video Interactivity • Discussions • Groups • Feedback Assessment • Written and oral examination • Discursive • Portfolio Pedagogical considerations For each delivery mode, there are pedagogical considerations to be made with regard to content delivery, interactivity, and assessment. The UWMLTC faculty development program and pedagogical consultations with our team guide instructors in making decisions about these considerations.
    5. 5. About UWM
    6. 6. blended learning is growing
    7. 7. What is blended?
    8. 8. “Hybrid (blended) courses are courses in which a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online, and time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced but not eliminated” (Aycock, Garnham, and Kaleta, March, 2002, para. 1).
    9. 9. Blended learning: 1) courses that integrate online with traditional face-to-face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner; and, 2) where a portion (institutionally defined) of face-to-face time is replaced by online activity (Picciano, 2006, p. 97).
    10. 10. What is blended for UWM?
    11. 11. Web-enhanced 0 - 20% Blended 21 - 99% Online 100% Blended 1 21 - 50% Online with commensurate reduction in seat time Blended 3 81 - 99% Online with commensurate reduction in seat time Blended 2 51 - 80% Online with commensurate reduction in seat time
    12. 12. Why does your campus need to define blended? Who needs to be involved in defining blended for your campus? What is blended? How is it different from face-to- face? online? others? Where will the definition live? How will it be communicated to the community?
    13. 13. Why teach blended?
    14. 14. What are we doing today?
    15. 15. 10 questions See handout
    16. 16. Connect w/me • twitter.com/tjoosten • linkedin.com/in/tjoosten • facebook.com/tjoosten • juice.gyoza@gmail.com | google+ • juice gyoza | second life
    17. 17. Redesigning your course using the 10 questions
    18. 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. 19. What goes online? • Content Delivery – Acquire basic content (lecture and reading) – Assess understanding of basic content (discussion forums, rubrics, and quizzes)
    20. 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. 21. Lecture formats
    22. 22. Sample text lecture
    23. 23. Sample audio lecture
    24. 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 don't 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. 25. • I can go at my own pace and re-read things I need to, otherwise skim things I don't need certain depth on. • so you had to listen to the powerpoints and sometimes people just didn’t have the time, but could read them thoroughly and reference them better…we are online classes because we don’t have the time or access to sit through a lecture on a computer. But we could all work reading a really good powerpoint through into our schedules.
    26. 26. Audio introductions
    27. 27. What (else) goes online? • Content Delivery – Acquire basic content (lecture and reading) – Assess understanding of basic content (discussion forums, rubrics, and quizzes)
    28. 28. Sample discussion forum
    29. 29. Sample quiz
    30. 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. 31. What goes online? • Building Learning Community – Online discussion questions – Group experiential learning activities (virtual labs)
    32. 32. What goes online? • Summative Assessment – Assess achievement of learning objectives for course (midterm and final exams)
    33. 33. Sample Module Wednesday Sunday Week 1 F2F Class -Agenda posted -Reading/lecture available online -Individual project task due Week 2 Online Class -Discussion post due -Discussion responses due Week 3 -Complete Weekly Quiz prior to class F2F Class -Targeted discussion from quiz results and discussion forum -Group project task due
    34. 34. Recap: What goes online? f2f? • Content Delivery – Acquire basic content – Assess understanding of basic content • Building Learning Community – Online discussions and group activities • Summative Assessment – Assess achievement of learning objectives • 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
    35. 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. 36. 10 questions discussion
    37. 37. Activity: What Goes Online? F2F?
    38. 38. Designing a learning module using backwards design Learning Technology Center University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    39. 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. 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. 41. What’s in a Learning Module? • A chunk of content • A learning activity • A mode of assessing student work
    42. 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. 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. 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. 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. 46. Activity: Respond to Next Steps issues Respond to one of the five questions in a group at your table. In responding to your question, consider the elements of the question that you find intriguing, problematic or surprising? Post your responses to the questions at the following wiki space: http://blend12nextquestions.wikispaces.com/
    47. 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. 48. Question 1: “Course and a half” syndrome Now that you delivered your first blended course and have experienced course and a half, what strategies can one use to streamline the course and help manage instructor workload to avoid course and a half?
    49. 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. 50. Question 2: Re-examining course goals and objectives How can one identify and build upon the successful elements of learning objectives in the blended model? Specifically, was the learning environment (face-to-face or online) appropriate for the assigned activity and achievement of each learning objective? Did it provide the evidence or documentation that the learning objective was met?
    51. 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. 52. Question 3: Building presence, enhancing connectivity, and building community Sometimes we can lose the connection and our ability as instructors to build presence in the mediated environment. Instructors need to develop skills and strategies to meet these needs in the blended format. What are some ways one can successfully enhance social presence and connectedness with students?
    53. 53. Next Steps: Presence, Connectivity, & Community • Social presence – Connection – Community of learners • Online relationships – Challenges – Community creation • Preparation – Trust – Responses – Socially intimate communication
    54. 54. Question 4: Community Building Many times when we introduce a mediated environment, we find out course design needed more opportunity for collaborative learning for students to engage students and assist them in building peer networks. Where can your course lends itself in assisting students in building community with other students? the instructor? and, the public?
    55. 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. 56. Question 5: Managing your time and staying organized Many students enroll in blended courses because of the flexibility associated with time shifting. At the same time, they may overbook their schedules 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. 57. Next Steps: Managing your time and staying organized • Course Scheduling: Manage time carefully • Explain and inform • Keep good records • Manage student expectations
    58. 58. Course evaluation Learning Technology Center University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    59. 59. Why is evaluation particularly important for 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. 60. What tools can be used to evaluate a blended or online course? • Evaluation checklist • Evaluation can involve yourself, colleagues, or students
    61. 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. 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. 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. 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. 65. Integration of face-to-face and online 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. 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. 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. 68. Ensuring quality on campus Blended faculty development program Certificate in blended teaching Lazirko award Users group Program council

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