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Designing a Blended Learning Course

Key considerations when developing a Blended Learning course

Caulfield (2011) suggests considering the following critical questions as you begin to plan your blended course:

  • How can you use a blended format to leverage new opportunities for students to learn the concepts that are most difficult? If there are specific areas where students have a lot of difficulty in, what online activities could support these difficulties?
  • How will you integrate face-to-face and online activities cohesively? 
  • How will the characteristics of your course (size, demographics, etc.) influence the design?

Four Steps to Planning your Blended Course

The following step-by-step model for developing a blended course is adapted from Stein and Graham's (2014) design for a single lesson. It is based on a "backward" design approach, which aligns course goals and objectives with course assessments and activities.

Following the Backward model of course design, the following templates may help in planning your course:



Caulfield, J. (2011). How to design and teach a hybrid course: achieving student-centered learning through blended classroom, online, and experiential activities (1st ed). Sterling, Va: Stylus Publishing.

Garrison, D. R. & Vaughn, N.D. (2007) Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Anderson, L. W. and Krathwohl, D. R., et al (Eds..) (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Allyn & Bacon. Boston, MA (Pearson Education Group).

Stein, J. & Graham, C.R. (2014). Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-Based Guide. New York: Routledge.


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