Apr 26, 2014

How do you set up a flipped/hybrid/blended course?

English: Blended learning methodology graphic; classroom, online, & mobile learning
English: Blended learning methodology graphic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you're interested in setting up a Blended Learning course (a hybrid/ flipped class), you should check out the current Canvas.net course sponsored by EDUCAUSE and the University of Central Florida: Blendkit2014-Becoming a Blended Learning Designer.

I enjoyed the first week's reading which explored what is blended learning:
"Blended courses (also known as hybrid or mixed-mode courses) are classes where a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by web-based online learning."
The instructors also made sure we were aware of excellent reasons for implementing "blended learning":
 "When properly implemented, blended learning can result in improved student success, satisfaction, and retention."
We know that designing any course can be difficult, so we were offered three key points to consider, before setting up our blended course:
  1. "What’s the best mix of traditional, live, teacher-led presentation and synchronous or asynchronous, technology-driven methods of teaching?”
  2. "It is important to determine your role as a teacher in the learning process. Should it be one that is primarily directive or facilitative?"
  3. "Decide the importance of interaction amongst the students. In any event, blended learning lends itself to learner-centered, teacher-guided (as opposed to teacher-directed), interactive, and student-collaborative learning."
Where do you start?
    1. What is the first step? Design your course as a face-to-face class first, making sure it meets your learning objectives.
    2. What's next? Now you can figure out what works best face-to-face, and what would work better online.
    3. How do you know what would work better online? According to our instructors: "Students should be able to perform required tasks online with little or no prompting by the instructor."
    4. Still not sure what to do face-to-face or online? The instructors brought up the five ingredients Carman (2005) identified:
    1. "Live events. These are synchronous, instructor-led events, in which all learners participate at the same time, such as in a live "virtual classroom".
    2. Online Content. Learning experiences that the learner completes individually, at his own speed and on his own time, such as an interactive, internet-based or CD-ROM training.
    3. Collaboration. Environments in which learners communicate with others; for example, e-mail, threaded discussions, and online chats.
    4. Assessment. A measure of learner's knowledge. Pre-assessments can occur before live or self-paced events, to determine prior knowledge and post assessments can occur following scheduled or online learning events, to measure learning transfer.
    5. Reference Materials. On-the-job reference materials that enhance learning retention and transfer, including PDA downloads and PDF's."
    We were provided with a general and specific first-person case study, but what really helped were the two Do-It-Yourself files we were given:
    1. A course blueprint with instructions, a sample course template completed for an American History blended course, and a blueprint we could use to set up our blended course
    2. A blended learning mixed map with instructions, a sample of a blueprint completed for a Training and Development blended course, and a mixed map we can use to organize our blended course   
    I'll try to post more about the course as it progresses!

    Related Blog Posts:
    Flipping Learning in Higher Education
    A Flipped Class: What is it? Why use it? How do you do it?

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