1. Use real life case studies or scenarios to teach
2. Publish PDF transcripts of any videos in a module. Or publish a one page summary sheet of key learning points that students can keep for future reference
3. Simulations. Use dummy sites or real life examples that students can work on in their own time.
4. Social learning - Include a case study or personal viewpoint when producing a help guide or video. Have a forum for peer to peer questions, or interview someone and publish it as part of the learning. This can help avoid isolation and can be motivating and engaging for students.
Others were more specific ideas to help make the most of the technology:
1. Have an online glossary if you are running a course online. It's simple to set up, easy to access, and ensures everyone is working from the same base level of understanding. Some considerations are where do you publish it? (PDF, wiki, web page?), and do you make it fixed or editable (so that users can submit suggestions or definitions?).
2. Give students simple instructions & tasks to complete - It could be as simple as "find the glossary and bookmark the page". It gives a sense of progress and accomplishment.
3. A "What do you think?" activity. In week 1 they asked what we thought blended learning meant. We were given 5 simple scenarios to read and then use our judgement to say whether they were blended learning interventions or not. Instead of a stark yes/no answer, it was more of a detailed answer explaining why it was a "yes" or a "no".
4. Surveys and Quizzes. You can set these up using SurveyMonkey or TypeForm, but what about asking a learner to create one? What questions would they set for a beginner user for example? This can flip your assumptions about what you as the expert think someone needs to know.
5. Open Learning. Encourage students to broaden their learning by researching educational resources like Khan Academy, Linda.com, or YouTube. Can they share a particularly useful video they found?
Variety of material
How much do you want to guide the learner or let them choose their own path? It's hard to answer, but having a variety of material in different forms will help learners focus their attention and pick & choose their own path. It's similar to classroom learning where you would have a variety of activities for different types. (Videos, quizzes, online forums, articles to read, sandpits, peer to peer support, online assignments)
Blended learning can be good in theory, but is it appropriate for every student? How does material appear on different devices? Do all students have flash player or even internet access? If you offer online help as a tutor, when are you going to be there to answer it? (ie you can't be available 24-7). Have you accounted for any other access or learning needs? (eg visual impairment)
Ideas for activities
- Get learners to search the internet to find the answer to a very specific question before a f2f session, and compete to see who gets the best answer.
- Ask learners to work in small groups to develop a slide to present to their peers, which explains what could go wrong in a procedure/technique/skill they have just learned about.
- Ask each learner to browse YouTube to find a good video that’s relevant to the topic they are currently learning.
- Prepare a multiple choice quiz using a question you have put to learners previously. Use their previous wrong answers as the choices, along with the correct answer, and ask your learners to pick the best one.
- Create a video, "Introduction to the topic" to include with webinar joining instructions. Recap it at the beginning of the webinar
- Keep activities short and collaborative (ie the learner is not passive, but is involved in the task)
It's important to design a programme of learning before you start. It's equally important to offer a range of activities (eg quiz, self directed learning, open learning resources) and to say what these are, how your learners will use them, and for what purpose. The DADDIE model is very helpful to follow:
- Define the intended learning outcomes
- Analyse the learners’ needs, expectations and requirements
- Design the course sequence, learning outcomes, activities and assessment
- Develop the resources, learning activities, and tests
- Implement them, making sure they are accessible, inclusive and usable
- Evaluate the course with learners to check that it is effective in achieving the learning outcomes, and to discover any additional outcomes
1. Constructivism - A constructivist pedagogy is based around learners constructing their own knowledge and meaning through experience. This includes learners engaging in real world activities, building on their prior knowledge and experience, developing relevant skills and competencies, developing self-awareness and independent learning skills, working with teachers as facilitators instead of instructors and using formative assessments to inform future learning needs.
2. Social constructivism - a hypothesis that states that individuals learn as a result of social interaction and collaboration with others..is exemplified by online courses, where learners can share ideas and knowledge in a collaborative space to increase their own personal knowledge.
3. Problem based learning - encourages active learning, use of real world scenarios, social learning and the application of knowledge to new situations. As well as being practical, solving a problem can give space for people to be creative. It's freeing and can allow a little idea to flourish, or help a question form