designing blended courses
Nate Cottle, professor of human environmental sciences at the University of Central Oklahoma, uses the process approach to learning as delineated by William Horton (2006) in his online and blended courses. Cottle spoke to Online Classroom about using this model. “Learning isn’t something that has to be confined to the classroom, and so as I teach blended classes, I think the more I can involve the students in learning and the more contexts I can involve them in, the more they’re going to learn,” he said. “The idea is to get them to slowly digest the information in different ways and to engage in different activities so that by the time the course comes to an end, they can apply the knowledge they have learned. That’s the ultimate goal: to get them to be in a state where they can apply the knowledge.”
Blended learning does not simply involve shifting portions of face-to-face instruction online. Ultimately, a blended course will require reconceptualization of the entire learning process. That’s where ADDIE comes in.
The ADDIE method is an acronym that stands for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. It is a critically important tool for designing blended courses.
Blended instruction offers flexibility, accessibility, and a way to maximize the benefit of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student. However, a well-design blended course requires more than shifting components of a traditional course online. It takes deliberate and thoughtful planning and design. This whitepaper provides proven, practical advice for designing a blended course from the ground up.
The discussion board in Kathleen Lowney’s large blended (or hybrid) section of introduction to sociology at Valdosta State University wasn’t serving its intended purpose of engaging learners with the content and preparing them for face-to-face class sessions. She tried dividing the students into smaller discussion groups of 50 and then 20, and the results were the same: the weaker students waited until the last minute and essentially repeated what the better students had posted previously. When she replaced the public discussions with private journals, the quality of students’ posts improved, as did their grades.
Introductory courses are packed with content. Teachers struggle to get through it during class; students struggle to master it outside of class. Too often learning consists of memorizing material that’s used on the exam but not retained long after. Faculty know they should use more strategies that engage students, but those approaches take time and, in most courses, that’s in very short supply.
Blended courses, when executed skillfully, can create a better learning experience for students while also meeting the needs of the institution for scalability and academic rigor. This seminar goes beyond discussing theory and focuses on demonstrating how blending has worked in classroom settings, giving you the skills you need to adapt the blended learning model to your own courses.
Online Seminar • Recorded on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
This seminar will provide you with greater confidence in making the move to blended learning classroom, as well as a clear understanding of the right way to approach it, the best practices for content delivery, and the most meaningful methods of assessment and improvement.
Online Seminar • Recorded on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
In order to realize the full potential of a blended course, a professor needs to understand how to maximize the benefits of both online and face-to-face teaching environments. In this seminar, Drs. Kelvin Thompson and Susan Wegmann share the newest, research-based techniques for improving blended courses.
Online Seminar • Recorded on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Blended learning course design entails more than simply converting content for online delivery or finding ways to supplement an existing face-to-face course. Ideally, designing a blended course would begin with identifying learning outcomes and topics, creating assignments and activities, determining how interaction will occur, and selecting the technologies to best achieve those learning outcomes. However, a variety of constraints often affect the way blended courses are developed, which can compromise their quality.
This blended learning video series provides a comprehensive approach to blended course design based on established pedagogical theory and shaped by real-world experience.