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Blended learning

Blended learning courses allow you to leverage the best aspects of both face-to-face and out-of-class learning.

Summary

Blended learning refers to a course delivery format that shifts a significant amount of the work from in-person to outside of class.

This resources includes guidance on designing blended learning courses and example models of blended courses.

Frequently asked questions

Yes. Your Department Chair can help you ensure your plan meets the specifications for blended courses as established by your Faculty. The request also must be approved by the Associate Dean.

It is also advisable to meet with a teaching consultant at the beginning of the process to determine the feasibility and help guide you through the design process and technology selection.

There is a BL code attached to all blended courses in the SIS. This code signals to students signing up for the course that it uses a blended format. However, not all students are familiar with blended learning. Therefore, informing students as early as possible about the face-to-face and out-of-class schedule you plan to use is good practice. While many students appreciate the flexibility of blended courses, not all students like doing a significant amount of learning out-of-class or autonomously—so it is essential for students to be informed immediately.

The following recommendations help students manage expectations about a blended course:

  • Make your Moodle course available as early as possible. You do not need to have all your course content on the site. Include a notice about the course format that is immediately visible when students open the course page on Moodle.
  • Make your syllabus or schedule available as early as possible so that students see exactly how much and what kind of work will be done out of class.
  • Create a brief welcome video for students that explains the format and schedule of the course and any other pertinent information. You might also consider talking about the layout of your Moodle site.
  • Send one or two announcements through Moodle to remind students about the blended format. This way, students who have not logged into Moodle will be notified via email.

The CTL can help guide instructors through the planning process of blending a new or existing course. Instructors can book a consultation to discuss the feasibility of blending a course or schedule regular consultations throughout the development of their blended course as needed to get expert advice on planning all aspects of the course.

There is no single formula for a blended schedule, and your chosen format will depend on your learning outcomes, course activities, etc. Some courses meet for a shortened period every week, some meet on alternating weeks, and others meet at strategic points in the term, as scheduled in advance by the instructor.

Please refer to the blended models page for examples of blended course formats.

Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., Tamim, R. M., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). A meta-analysis of blended learning and technology use in higher education: from the general to the applied. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 26(1), 87-122. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-013-9077-3

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy R. F. & Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended Learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1-47.

Schmid, R.F., Bernard, R.M., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R. M., Abrami, P.C., Surkes, M.A., Wade, C.A., Woods, J. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271-291.

Zhao, Y., Lei, J., Yan, B., Lai, C., & Tan, H. S. (2005). What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. Teachers College Record, 107(8), 1836-1884.

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