In spring 2021, impressed by suggestions from college students, I redesigned my two undergraduate schooling programs as blended studying programs.
Whereas I used to be conversant in the advantages of blended studying (e.g., flexibility, elevated pupil engagement, improved tutorial achievement), what I didn’t understand was how important this mannequin was for educating within the wake of a world pandemic. All through spring 2021, I heard from a number of of my colleagues about college students who fell behind as a result of they missed a number of weeks of lessons as a result of pandemic, household emergencies, and different psychological and bodily well being points. But, in my programs, the blended studying mannequin made it potential for college kids to make up any lessons they missed throughout the similar week and keep on monitor. My Monday interactive digital Zoom lessons have been recorded so college students who missed a category might watch it later, and my Wednesday lessons featured design-based studying actions that may very well be accomplished in teams, or, for college kids who weren’t in a position to make it to class, individually at dwelling.
As we glance to the way forward for greater schooling, blended studying could be the mannequin college students want as they navigate an ever-changing and ever-challenging world. A number of meta-analysis analysis research have already proven that blended studying results in persistently higher results on college students’ tutorial outcomes in comparison with conventional in-person studying (e.g., Li et al., 2019; Vallée et al., 2020).
So, what is mixed studying? Broadly talking, it’s “the strategic mixture of on-line and in-person instruction” (Graham et al., 2019, p. 11). However, what does the strategic mixture of on-line and in-person instruction actually appear to be in greater schooling?
Let’s unpack this a bit by trying on the two principal elements: in-person instruction and on-line instruction.
In-person instruction is the educating and studying that occurs when the scholars and teacher are collectively in a bodily area. The important thing factor right here is having individuals collectively in the identical bodily area.
One query you may ask your self earlier than designing in-person instruction is: “Why does everybody should be collectively in the identical bodily area?”
If you’re merely going to lecture at college students, they don’t should be in the identical bodily area as you. In reality, a current research confirmed that in a HyFlex class, on-line college students have been extra engaged and felt it was simpler to ask questions throughout lectures in comparison with in-person college students (College of Copenhagen, 2021).
In-person instruction must be designed to benefit from the affordances of getting everybody collectively in the identical area. This may appear to be:
- A makerspace, Shark Tank, or hackathon occasion: Have college students construct a bodily or digital object that connects to the category content material (e.g., design a cardboard mini golf sport that demonstrates three totally different engineering practices; remodel a youngsters’s e-book into an augmented actuality studying expertise; construct a board sport that teaches youthful college students about civic engagement; design an invention to deal with one of many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).
- A press convention : Ask college students to collaboratively devise a set of interview questions, and interview you (or a visitor speaker) to realize data about an occasion or phenomena associated to class. Then write a press launch or design a information report video to tell others about what they discovered.
- Position play or debate: Interact college students in performing out or debating an essential idea, occasion, motion, or expertise.
- Crew scavenger hunt: Invite college students to go on a stroll across the room or constructing to search out hidden objects or search for particular issues associated to class (e.g., take photographs of the inaccessible design options within the constructing; search for hidden QR codes across the constructing and full the challenges offered).
- Escape Room: Problem college students to collaboratively “unlock” the classroom door by fixing a sequence of puzzles and challenges. Or, they may break into a box.
- Challenge-based learning: Give college students an genuine native, nationwide, or world situation to unravel as a workforce utilizing the Design Thinking process.
- Multimedia Production: Have college students interact within the design of a TikTok-style video, public service announcement, podcast, sequence of posters to be displayed within the hallways, or different media. Tip: Ask college students to assemble new data (e.g., design a TikTok that teaches this idea to your loved ones) somewhat than to summarize/repeat data from class (e.g., design an infographic that showcases the historic occasions we mentioned in school immediately). See this digital media design student choice board for multimedia design instruments.
In every of those actions, college students are invited to socially assemble their data by hands-on, minds-on studying, designing, and constructing experiences that convey everybody collectively in the identical bodily area.
On-line instruction refers back to the educating and studying that occurs in a web-based setting. There are two principal sorts of on-line instruction: synchronous on-line instruction and asynchronous on-line instruction.
Synchronous on-line instruction is when educating and studying occur in actual time with the help of a video conferencing instrument (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams) or one other real-time collaboration instrument (e.g., Google Jamboard, Hypothes.is, YoTeach). Synchronous on-line instruction provides college students a handy option to interact in school from wherever they select and might scale back exterior obstacles to attendance equivalent to transportation, campus parking, and in lots of instances, bodily and psychological well being points. Moreover, videoconferencing instruments afford new methods for college kids to work together with their friends and the teacher, together with by the textual content chat field which permits college students to share their ideas, reply to prompts, and see their friends’ pondering in actual time, and breakout rooms which may enable for fast conversations or group undertaking work (one thing that’s a lot more durable to do in a big in-person lecture class).
Asynchronous on-line instruction is when educating and studying don’t happen on the similar time or place, equivalent to going by a web-based tutorial or taking part in a web-based dialogue discussion board. Asynchronous on-line instruction offers flexibility and comfort in studying by permitting college students to be taught at their very own tempo and time. It additionally provides college students extra time to have interaction deeply with the category content material as a result of they don’t seem to be required to reply in actual time to the instructors’ prompts.
Whereas each of those modes of on-line instruction provide thrilling new affordances, far too typically on-line studying is designed in a means that replicates in-person instruction and domesticates know-how to suit inside conventional educating practices (Prestridge, 2022). However, it doesn’t need to be this manner! On-line instruction may appear to be:
- An interactive on-line lecture with a number of technique of engagement (synchronous): As you current college students with new data, give them a number of alternatives to showcase their consideration and engagement (e.g., reply to a immediate within the chat field; create a sketchnote or meme and put up in a shared class slide deck; design a mindmap or visible illustration and add to a collaborative class Jamboard).
- An interactive on-line studying expertise with a number of technique of engagement (asynchronous): Interact college students in a self-paced studying exercise the place they’ll discover the content material at their very own tempo and time and showcase their engagement in a number of methods. Take a look at this Nearpod interactive online lesson for instance.
- A select your personal journey studying expertise (asynchronous): Present college students with a “What would you do?” state of affairs through a branching Google Form that engages them in pondering critically in regards to the course content material. Each time they enter a solution, the shape can take them to a special web page primarily based on their response (see the UChange Uimpact UMass instance).
- An area scavenger hunt (synchronous or asynchronous): Ask college students to search out three objects from round their dwelling area (or no matter area they be a part of class from) associated to the category matter. The extra unrelated to class content material the article is, the deeper the scholar should assume to attract a inventive connection (e.g., a pupil may share how a crocheted blanket pertains to the legal guidelines of thermodynamics). College students can showcase their objects in real-time or take a photograph and share it on a collaborative Padlet or Google slide deck. You may even have college students vote on the article with essentially the most inventive description!
- A digital selection board exercise (asynchronous): Present college students with a digital selection board that deepens their pondering and studying in regards to the class content material to finish at their very own tempo and time (see Women’s History Month Choice Boards).
- A social annotation social gathering (synchronous; however may be carried out asynchronously): Invite college students to annotate an article, weblog, doc, or different text-based supply in real-time throughout class. They may annotate the class syllabus in a Google Doc or use Hypothes.is to annotate a current information article associated to the category content material (e.g., critically study how this New York Times interactive options visible knowledge).
These are only a few examples of how one can engineer on-line studying experiences in ways in which benefit from the affordances of on-line instruction. In every of those examples, the learner just isn’t merely doing one thing they might in a bodily area. As a substitute, they’re interacting with their friends, the content material, and the teacher in new methods with the affordances of digital instruments and apps.
If you’re not conversant in digital instruments and apps that may enrich your on-line instruction, browse my student-designed free open entry eBook Online Tools for Teaching and Learning to get began.
Placing all of it collectively: Mixing in-person and on-line instruction
Now that we have now unpacked the 2 elements of blended studying (in-person instruction and on-line instruction), how do you mix them?
You may do what I did and begin the week with an interactive on-line lecture after which have college students attend class in individual and apply what they discovered by a design-based studying exercise. You may remodel an in-person class into a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous studying alternatives (e.g., college students might full a selection board on their very own or in pairs to be taught extra in regards to the class matter, devise a set of interview questions, after which interview the visitor speaker in a real-time press convention). You could possibly even have college students individually interact in an interactive on-line studying expertise through Nearpod to develop their very own understanding of the category matter first earlier than coming to an in-person class the place they take part in a challenge-based studying exercise in groups.
It doesn’t matter what association you select, the bottom line is to try for a “strategic mixture of on-line and in-person instruction” (Graham et al., 2019, p. 11). Which means contemplating what affordances every kind of instruction provides and profiting from these affordances so you’ll be able to have the most effective of each worlds.
Graham, C. R., Borup, J., Quick, C. R., & Archambault, L. (2019). Okay-12 blended educating: A information to personalised studying and on-line integration. Provo, UT: EdTechBooks.org. http://edtechbooks.org/k12blended
Li, C., He, J., Yuan, C., Chen, B., & Solar, Z. (2019). The consequences of blended studying on data, expertise, and satisfaction in nursing college students: A meta-analysis. Nurse schooling immediately, 82, 51-57.
Moore, M. (1989). Editorial: Three sorts of interplay. American Journal of Distance Schooling, 3(2), 1-7.
Prestridge, S. (2022). Shifting on from the pandemic in school-a roadmap to versatile modalities. Routledge Open Analysis, 1(24), 24.
College of Copenhagen. (2021). On-line college students interact extra in lectures than bodily attendees. Phys.org. https://phys.org/news/2021-09-online-students-engage-physical-attendees.html
Vallée, A., Blacher, J., Cariou, A., & Sorbets, E. (2020). Blended studying in comparison with conventional studying in medical schooling: systematic evaluation and meta-analysis. Journal of Medical Web Analysis, 22(8), e16504.
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