Determining your blend
Once you have developed your blueprint, you can begin to ask yourself some questions to think about how you will blend your course:
- What learning objectives could be best delivered face-to-face? What learning objectives could be best delivered online?
- Is there content that students typically struggle with? What approach (face-to-face or online) might best support students in understanding this content?
- Is there content that students may benefit from more active or hands-on learning opportunities?
- How will the face-to-face and online sections of the course relate to and build upon one another?
- Is the workload reasonable for students? How would the workload compare to a non-blended course?
Determining the online learning activities & technology selection
After determining the sections of your course that will be face-to-face and online, you can begin to ask yourself some questions to think about the online learning activities that will be integrated into your course:
- What is the learning objective associated with the activity?
- How long should the learning take?
- Will the activity be individual, collaborative, or both?
- How will the students get feedback on what they have learned?
- What are the formative and summative assessment tasks associated with the activity?
- How will I motivate students to participate in the activity?
- How will the students communicate with each other and ask the instructor questions?
Technology is integral to blended courses, yet it should not be the focus. It is important to keep in mind the learning objectives and choose the technology option that will maximize learning and help students to achieve the learning objectives. It is also important to remember that overloading a blended course with technologies just for the sake of using technologies does not make for an effective course. Keep it simple and ask yourself, “Will using this technology enhance students’ learning?” Use the course learning objectives as your driving force but also factor in your comfort level and the comfort level of your students with the technologies you are considering.
To discuss available technologies at the University of Manitoba suitable for your blended learning course, including UM Learn support, contact The Centre at TheCentre@umanitoba.ca