Blended Learning is an area of instructional design that I have been exploring and designing for over the past two years. So when the opportunity arose to take a MOOC about Blended Learning course design by UCF, you can bet I was all over that!
Our first assignment involved reading chapter 1: Understanding Blended Learning. Already, I am picking up some nice thoughts and areas to reflect on. Here are few bits of information I am currently reflecting on:
- The best strategy for design begins by clearly defining the course objectives.
- Well defined objectives can drive and inform the content delivery method, pedagogy, and decisions for class meetings, interactions, and how often.
I personally can not agree more with these statements! Just scroll down and read a few of my other blogs talking about the importance of clearly defined objectives and learning goals. And in designing blended professional growth courses, I have found this strategy to be invaluable. The very natural next step is to begin to see which objectives lend themselves to online delivery vs. live, F2F(face-to-face) delivery and so on.
However, the most intriguing thought that I pulled from this reading deals with another approach to identifying course activities and technologies that will support learning.
- It is suggested that when designing the lesson plans, that the teacher design for the “ideal” learning experience of a traditional setting (F2F, instructor-facilitated, student-collaborative) initially. From there, you use a systematic approach analyzing the elements of that lesson for delivery online without compromising the effectiveness of the learning.
When I work with the subject matter expert (SME), this seems like a very logical approach and seems to be more the case in reality. I find myself in a similar circumstance when working with teachers who want to use technology in their teaching. I often work with that teacher through the eyes of a traditionally written lesson and try to identify the elements of that lesson where technology will enhance or support learning without compromising the lesson effectiveness. I like this approach to begin to understand the decision making process for online vs. F2F.
One thing is clear, designing blended learning experiences can certainly be a more rigorous and time consuming process than designing for more traditional settings. But it is so much fun especially when done successfully!