Blended Learning – Ideas
In this topic we are going to go over some great blended learning ideas. We will discuss how they can be implemented into your curriculum, what you might need in doing so, and where to go past successful implementation.
We know some basic blended learning words by know, if you don’t read this article first, and will be using them throughout this article.
The tools, strategies and resources that can be used within hybrid learning come in three main categories: Communication between the teacher and the student, collaboration among students, and demonstration of learning. First we are going to see a table which easily shows how blended learning can be used to achieve the categorical goals.
|Communication between the Teacher and the Student||
|Collaboration among Students||
|Demonstration of Learning||
As one can see there are many options to choose from and even some overlap between the categories. You may notice that “online discussions” are represented in each section. For this reason we are going to go over this blended learning strategy.
Online discussions bring students together to collaborate on class ideas. Discussions are reflective naturally and require the students to react and respond to other’s perspectives. Some students have difficulty with the social aspect of live discussions and would much rather participate online. Online discussions can then provide a way for students to contribute to the discourse without feeling overwhelmed by social pressures.
There is a greater chance that students will interact with each other online in today’s age. Many students already spend a great majority of their time online, providing an educational discussion forum can allow the students to talk in a familiar environment. As the students use the discussion boards over time they are likely to develop a sense of community within the class. A positive growth in community will be reflected by higher degrees of trust with the other students, an increase number of questions within class time, and a sense that the class provides value to the student.
The active engagement with the course content will empower the student. In the end, students will be more motivated, interested and will likely participate more. Also faculty can spend less time answering questions. In classes or office hours questions are often repeatedly answered by the instructor. When using an online discussion students often answer each others questions with little prompting to do so.
Piazza is an amazing website to set up an awesome discussion board for your class. It enables students to have natural discussion within a course and it’s free to use.
Face to Face group work
Another excellent tool to use inside of blended learning is face to face group work. Typical discussions that occur within the classroom are one way conversations between the teacher and the learner. For the most part little or no dialogue actually occurs within the classroom apart from the occasional question.
But when this tool is used two way conversations can begin between learners and teacher. Being able to travel between working groups and really analyze what are the issues on a group by group basis really enhances the learners’ education. This is because individual tutoring is gained by allowing for this type of environment to unfold.
An additional benefit of face to face group work is more discussion about material is happening. This action leads to the learners discovering the material for themselves instead of being instructed on their misunderstandings. Of course if there is too much confusion the instructor will be there as well.
This idea is excellent for both the learners and the teacher. On one hand the learners get to have a precise record of their education and teachers have an archive of the work being completed by the student. Students can utilize their work as a show piece going forward and even review when needed. Additionally, it has been shown that students that keep portfolios also have a more developed understanding of the material.