Designing the Ultimate Blended Learning Course
Technology has transformed education, and while some institutions have adopted modern teaching methods, others are still lagging. Educational inequality persists in various parts of the world, with people from comfortable backgrounds getting access to better education compared to those who rely on the state for the same.
While some states across the world have tried improving education access across the board, the efforts of others are marred by various factors such as resource limitations, corruption, incompetence, or simply a lack of awareness.
Considering that good education is instrument for progress of a nation, it is undoubtedly sad that it remains inaccessible to a large number of people globally.
However, with evolving technological trends, there is hope. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, schools and colleges across the world have adopted technology as part of their regular operations.
Moreover, considering how the job market has started prioritizing skills over standard qualifications, those learning through online mediums now stand with better prospects, including access to international markets without stepping foot out of their homes.
Technology can be highly useful in improving access to education, especially for those whose circumstances put them on a less-advantageous level than those who come from privileged backgrounds.
If you wish to hop on the bandwagon of progress yourself and avail of the online education services and play your part in promoting better education strategies, you should check out online masters in education programs to not only learn more about latest technological trends but to also enhance your credentials.
Moving on, since you have come here to learn about blended learning, particularly about ways to design a great blended learning course, this article will help you create one on your own.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is primarily about blending two different approaches to education. To illustrate this further, we compare the teaching methods of the past and the present.
Previously, the standard approach to education was that students would go to the classrooms and the instructor would lecture, which the students would listen to attentively, taking notes in-between, and then ask questions when the lecture ended.
For further learning, they would either approach the instructor during their office hours or visit the library to learn more.
Nowadays, multimedia resources and access high-speed Internet have made it easier for students to find all relevant information conveniently.
YouTube, with its wide-ranging catalog, is the ultimate hub for information. All you need to do is search for a relevant keyword, and you will ultimately find what you need.
Illustrated mathematics tutorials have made it far easier for students to grasp mathematical concepts and problems. Moreover, open-access journals and open-source learning material also provide a great opportunity for curious-minded individuals.
So, with blending learning, these two approaches are fused together to offer the students an experience that offers a blend of the best of both worlds.
There are various models for blended learning. This guide will introduce you to some of them.
Rotation is a model where the students have to come in for a face-to-face instruction every now and then, and have to study online independently during the period between these meetings.
This allows the students to learn at their own pace and time of choosing, while still being bound to attend face-to-face meetings. Not only does this make learning more flexible, but it also keeps the students from going off-track.
In this model, the students visit the classroom wherein they access learning resources through a computer. The resources are provided digitally, and the students can access them according to their schedule and go through them at their own pace.
However, there are no set timings for the visitations. A teacher remains present on-site, and in case of any confusion, the students can interact with the teacher to get personalized assistance.
How to design a great blended learning course?
Once you know about the different models of blended learning, you can start designing a course based on your students’ needs.
1) Underscore objectives:
You shouldn’t proceed any further without setting clear objectives. Lay your objectives down that you want to achieve with the course.
Are you simply trying to introduce a blended learning model to your students or are you trying to make learning more exciting? These are the sort of questions you need to answer because your next steps depend on it.
2) Create an outline:
Once you are clear on your objectives, you need to design an outline for the course. You need to evaluate how you will achieve the required learning outcomes.
The same goes for the pace you want to set for the course. You need to see if the course material that will be taught to the students digitally is not a lot so it overwhelms them.
You also need to see if you have the right resources for the job. Many YouTube videos which are available for educational purposes can help the students learn a topic in-depth. So, you need to pick and choose the right resources based on topic requirements as well.
3) Be interactive:
The students are going to get most of their information digitally, but personalized teaching holds its own place.
Sometimes people have trouble processing certain bits of information and need assistance with comprehending difficult concepts. You need to make sure that your students are aware of your office hours and can reach out if they need to.
Respond to their queries and emails immediately, so they don’t get stuck on a specific problem and have to hold off study until they have resolved the bottleneck.
Blended learning can be an exciting experience if outlined and assembled properly. It can also yield better results than traditional methods only. However, not all models will work for everyone, so you need to evaluate the requirements of your students and the facilities available at the institution to make the right decision.