#blend13 Session: The Perfect Blend, Strategies for Developing Quality Hybrid Courses

Developing blended learning courses depends on a good definition – a definitive definition.

Hybrid/blended courses can’t simply be the amalgam-oration of offline content and things you do in the classroom to an online environment – you must also leverage those pieces (based on course objectives and pedagogy) to synergistic-ally connect. Activities or learning experiences done in isolation are not valid forms of blended learning.  Those individual online and face-to-face components must be connected – those individual components are merely nodes.

What’s the structure of the blended learning course?

Content replicated online is not necessarily a form of blending either – you must functionally leverage them for learning effectiveness.

  • Strategy 1: Planing
  • Strategy 2: Focus on student-centered learning & interaction
    “If interaction is missing, the course is considered to be web-enhanced, not blended.”
    “Content in a blended course does not indicate that the content has changed, rather that the methods have changed.”
  • Strategy 3: Making the Connection
    “Interactions should not begin and end in only one component in the course.”
    “The ideal here would be to have individual components somehow seed other new interactions.”
    “Ping Pong Model of Delivery”: and in this case, the interaction can begin from the online end or the face-to-face end
    “The goal here is to have the interaction help meet a course objective.”
  • Strategy 4: Use a rubric to help devise the online part of the course, some that can be used are the Quality Matters rubric, the Ely-Pipitone Rubric, these rubrics should be (and do) evaluate courses NOT instructors
  • Strategy 5: Backward Design (reverse engineering) Model: Begin with the End in mind – which essentially is all about STARTING with objectives/goals, developing assessments that will demonstrate that the goals have been achieved – and these assessments can take place online and/or in the classroom, this also means you want to develop activities that will bring students through learning experiences that help them meet with the course objectives/goals (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)
  • Strategy 6: Think through the process of the connections you’ve scaffold-ed

photo[3]Think through the course design/redesign protocols so that the blend has connectedness – by thinking of the connections as interactions the way a ping pong ball is used in a ping pong game. Once a point is ‘made’ (objective met), a new ball (or objective) can be served.

Interactions should have these types of interactions:

  • student-instructor
  • student-student
  • student-content
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