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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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10 Questions for Blended Course Design

  1. 1. 10 Questions for Blended Learning Tanya Joosten, 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 • • • • | 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:
  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