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Getting Started with Blended Learning

Garrison and Vaughn (2008) make the distinction that blended learning is not an additional layer of technology to an existing course, but argue that the most important aspect of a blended course is a “fundamental redesign [of the existing face-to-face course] that transforms the structure of, and approach to, teaching and learning.” Therefore, whether it's a new course or one you've taught before, the process for developing a blended course is the same.

How much time will it take to develop a blended course?

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There is no escaping the fact that (re)developing a course for any environment takes time. Sometimes, however, it is not practical to redesign an entire course. And, because blended learning is extremely flexible in terms of delivery models, it is possible to incrementally increase the amount of out-of-class activities over the course of several terms. For example, the first time you deliver a blended course, you may develop two or three online or "mixed-modality" (i.e. a mix of online and face-to-face) modules, so that it is about 25% online. The next time you teach the course, you can build on this until you have the optimal mix of digital and face-to-face learning that meets your needs.

When developing a blended course, in addition to the regular planning of the course content and activities, you also need to produce digital content.

Digital Content for Blended Courses

In a blended format course, a substantial part of the time commitment will go to the design and creation of online learning experiences. In order to help get an idea of how much time it will take, first take an inventory of existing digital content then determine what will need to be created.

 
Planning

A blended course also requires a substantial block of time at the front end to commit to course design. The time required for planning will vary greatly depending on how much instruction will be delivered online and how much you change the pedagogical approach. A slow transition to blended requires a lot less work than a complete redesign of the course. 

Find out how to design a blended course

References

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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