Developing a Blended Learning Course

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Developing a Blended Learning Course

developing-blended-learning

Blended learning is a combination of classroom and online learning. So, how do you create and implement a successful blended learning experience that is interactive, engaging, and effective?
Below are a few top tips to help you develop learning courses that seamlessly combine these two learning approaches.

Define your Learning Objectives

As with all learning strategies, you need to begin by clearly defining the objective and goals of the course. Only then can you begin to design the content of the course. Distinctive objectives work as your guide when you develop your course, and they will inform you whether you are headed in the right direction.

Keep in mind, your course will cover both classroom and online learning.

Consider the following:

  • What will the learner takeaway be once they have completed the course?
  • Is this course meant to develop a skill-set?
  • What are they supposed to come away with once they leave the classroom?
  • What information should be included in the syllabus?
  • What instructional strategies and models will be used to deliver the learning?
  • Once you have identified your objectives, you can define them and use them as the foundation for creating instructional strategies for both learning environments.

    Syllabus and Modules

    When you develop a blended learning solution, it is vital to have a clear syllabus and outline each of your modules. You decide which modules are delivered through face-to-face classroom sessions and which will be done via an online platform.

    By having a course outline and syllabus, you help the learner stay on track, specifically when they have to learn independently via online learning. For the teacher/facilitator, an outline assists with tracking the learner, ensuring sequencing and transition between the two learning styles runs smoothly.

    Remember: When you create the syllabus and module outlines, make sure that they are based on your objectives, and mention the tests, papers, and presentations required from the learners. Be specific with deadlines, attendance, and requirements for learner participation.

    The outline you put down will help you determine whether your blended learning course is on the right track.

    Determine Level of Interactivity

    When putting together a blended learning course, you have the freedom to choose the level of interactivity in the overall eLearning experience. As previously stated, you determine how much of the course will take place online and how much will take place through self-paced learning activities. This is what determines the level of interactivity.

    Interactivity in the classroom encourage student engagement, while online learning interactivity teaches difficult concepts and provides the learner with the opportunity for self-assessment. These interactivities are integrated, helping the learner connect between the two environments. For example: introduce an online interactivity after a classroom session and provide feedback about the activity in the next classroom activity.

    Classroom interactivities may include: case studies, group discussions, learning by doing, and problem-solving exercises. While online learning activities may include: self-assessments, wikis, blogs, virtual labs, case studies, problem solving exercises, simulations and concept mapping.

    Include Collaborative Group Activities

    Group collaboration develops an important part of the blended learning experience. When learners work together, they share knowledge and learn from each other. Group collaboration happens organically in the classroom, but it may not be that natural regarding online sessions. The way to make online collaboration easy is through discussion forums, chat rooms, and learning rooms.

    These online tools facilitate continuity, especially if the conversation or discussion was initiated in the classroom session.

    Assessment Planning

    You need to have a strong assessment strategy in place to measure your learner’s progress. For blended learning, you must decide whether assessments are entirely or partly online.

    Assessments can be online quizzes, with subjective tests taking place in the classroom. Or you can choose online formative and summative assessment courses.

    You should:

  • Select options that best track the progress of the learner
  • Ensure quizzes/tests/assessments assist learners in assessing their achievements while also assessing what areas need improvement.
  • Ensure results are measurable and trackable so that you understand the effectiveness of your strategy.
  • Following the above blended learning tips will help you create an effective learning solution.

    Masterskill: Education through Innovation

    Our blended learning platforms clients may choose from (depending on the product offering) are:

    1) Logical Choice
    2) UCertify
    3) JasperActive

    All these platforms use many of the components mentioned to deliver a blended learning experience they include:

  • Classroom interactivities include: case studies, group discussions, learning by doing, and problem-solving exercises.
  • Online learning activities may include: self-assessments, wikis, blogs, virtual labs, case studies, problem solving exercises, simulations and concept mapping.
  • Online collaboration easy is through discussion forums, chat rooms, and learning rooms.
  • Online Assessments such as quizzes, with subjective tests and certification preparation.
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