Week 3 of the BlendKit Course deals with assessment and one topic is the use of projects and authentic tasks as evidence of students reaching learning goals. For me, that translates readily into assignments where students create media. Such projects are the focus of the Remix project at Notre Dame (image above) and they are one of the main topics on this blog. To learn more, watch the video and check out the links below it.
We have lots of material to help blended course instructors explore the possibility of student-created media. Below is a sampling of articles to start with, and there are many more on the projects page.
Student engagement in learning is critical and becoming actively involved is key. Learning involves interaction with the instructor, with content, and with other students. It would be wonderful if all three could happen exclusively in face-to-face courses and very frequently, but sometimes one or the other is problematic. Today’s answer is often blended learning.
Following up on Week 2 of the BlendKit course, this article explains a few ways in which online interaction can reinforce face-to-face activities in a blended course. How many of these techniques one should use, which ones, and how frequently will vary from situation to situation. Read more…
Blended Learning describes a course where part of the face time requirement has been moved online. For example, instead of meeting three days a week in a classroom, one class period is replaced with online activity. The type of activity is up to the instructor.
When an institution is strapped for classroom space, this arrangement can make scheduling easier. For students who are commuting long distances or working full-time jobs it can be very convenient. One benefit for faculty is that the act of designing a blended course is an opportunity to infuse newer, more effective strategies.
I know of a class that meets four days a week and the department believes they are losing students due to scheduling conflicts. They are considering a blended format so the class only competes with three-day classes, ergo fewer conflicts.
I worry that faculty members and administrators with no online learning experience will make this change and simply assign students an extra hour of busy work. That shouldn’t happen, though. Many institutions have instructional designers who can work closely with faculty to develop learning experiences that effectively maximize face-to-face interaction time.
In the first week of the BlendKit MOOC I am becoming more familiar with blended learning. BlendKit itself is fully online, though, and my most useful takeaway this week has been greater sympathy for folks who struggle to navigate a rich online learning environment. The course website offers an awful lot of resources and opportunities — it’s taking time to learn my way around!
[image credit -“Mason Jar Smoothie (#2688)” by regan76]
Since 2011, the University of Central Florida has offered “BlendKit,” a free six-week online course for folks who want to learn more about blended learning. The 2017 edition launched on Monday, but there’s plenty of time to enroll. The first of five live webinars will be Monday, March 6 at 1:00 pm Eastern (US) time. In the meantime, you can prepare by working on orientation activities and other assignments.
The organizers know that not everyone who signs up plans to finish all components of the course. They welcome everyone from lurkers to auditors to active participants, and “completers.” Badges are used to recognize completion of different types of activity, including assessment, design, and content. All course materials are freely available on an open website called the Blended Learning Toolkit.
I have heard great things about BlendKit, so this year I decided to enroll. I’ve begun to familiarize myself with the layout of the course and so far I’m amazed with the thoroughness and attention to detail. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my reactions and experiences. I’m pretty confident that you would find BlendKit rewarding, too, so here’s a signup button if you want to join me:
Every January brings predictions about trends that will dominate the headlines in the coming year. This article is my biased attempt at identifying a consensus among.
To help keep you from feeling left out of conversations around the water cooler, each trend is defined and includes a short bibliography.