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Blended learning: recipes or pick-and-mix? Stephen Bostock February 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Blended learning: recipes or pick-and-mix? Stephen Bostock February 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 blended learning: recipes or pick-and-mix? Stephen Bostock February 2008

2 Blended learning …combining established ways of learning and teaching and the new opportunities offered by technology in order to improve students' learning and increase flexibility in how, when and where they study Blended Learning Unit (CETL), University of Hertfordshire, http://perseus.herts.ac.uk/, accessed 10-4-2007 That is, blend traditional learning activities and new e-learning activities (online or face-to-face). Here we concentrate on online e-learning, blended with campus teaching/learning activities (TLAs).

3 Macdonald, J. 2006 Blended learning and online tutoring I think we still have a lot to learn about the ways in which asynchronous and synchronous [face-to- face or technology mediated] tutor-mediated support can be designed to complement each other. (p54) If there is currently a recipe for a blended strategy, it is a broth of pedagogy, heavily peppered with pragmatism

4 What is used in blended courses? Macdonald, J. 2006, B lended learning and online tutoring Survey of blended learning courses 2004/5: Asynchronous text conferencing (45 of 48 cases) Face-to-Face meetings (42) Course website (28) Online quiz/test (13) Email (10 – underestimated) Less than 10: Synchronous conferencing, PowerPoint slides, telephone, digital audio/video, print, digital whiteboard, phone conference, digital lecture..)

5 A simplistic example: possibilities OnsiteOnline Lectures Problem sheets in class Tutorials A field trip

6 A simplistic example: possibilities OnsiteOnline LecturesWeb documents Problem sheets in classFormative online quizzes TutorialsAsynchronous text discussions A field tripComputer simulation

7 A simplistic example: one design OnsiteOnline LecturesWeb documents Problem sheets in classFormative online quizzes TutorialsAsynchronous text discussions A field tripComputer simulation

8 Three tactics for adding online components Having identified the possible online and onsite course elements, why select one or other or both? 1. Deficit technology provides support for a missing or non- accessible learning activity. E.g. online discussion in distance learning 2. Substitution substitute a traditional element with a technology- based one. E.g. online tutorials replace onsite tutorials 3. Enrichment technology duplicates existing TLAs, allowing personalized experiences. E.g. lecture handouts on web, audio podcasts of notes, feedback from a quiz

9 Criteria for blendedness Efficiency and effectiveness for learning, of course Just pick and mix? Or a recipe? Complementary, mutually supportive course components? (technology-supported and traditional, online and onsite) A balanced experience for students and teachers, according to their expectations and abilities Flexibility of use, personalization, empowerment

10 Teaching Activities to encourage students to behave in ways that will promote the learning outcomes Intended learning outcomes written with active verbs describing the learning to be demonstrated, at threshold level and possibly at higher grades of performance Assessment Tasks to enable students to demonstrate learning in particular contexts, consistent with the verbs in the ILOs What the teacher does What the students do Learning activities Actual learning outcomes Constructive Alignment John Biggs 2003

11 Generating options Assessment tasks Online/CAA Assessment tasks Onsite /traditional Intended learning outcomes Teaching- Learning Activities Online Teaching- Learning Activities Onsite 12341234

12 Selecting options: example TLAs Intended learning outcome Teaching-Learning Activity: Online Teaching-Learning Activity: Onsite Recall information X Web documents & links Reading a set book, lectures Perform skill YFormative quizzesProblem sheets in class Contribute to discussion on Z Asynchronous text discussions Tutorials Apply knowledge and skills to W Computer simulation A field trip

13 A notional TLA selection Intended learning outcome Teaching-Learning Activity: Online Teaching-Learning Activity: Onsite Recall information X Web documents & links Reading a set book, lectures Perform skill YFormative quizzesProblem sheets in class Contribute to discussion on Z Asynchronous text discussions Tutorials Apply knowledge and skills to W Computer simulation A field trip

14 A simple tool Intended learning outcome Teaching-Learning Activity: Online Teaching-Learning Activity: Onsite ILO1 ILO2 ILO3 ILO4 e-TLA3 e-TLA4 TLA1 TLA2 TLA4

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16 What should drive the design of blended learning courses? Analysis Especially Intended Learning Outcomes (central to course design: Biggs) Other aspects of needs analysis? Learning activities Specific ones of a current course General types, from a theory e.g. Laurillards, modified Constructivist, REALS Modes of engagement

17 Analyze the problem Factors to consider before we can select and design teaching and assessment methods include 1. My teaching philosophy and personal goals 2. The learners: knowledge, ability, learning styles … 3. Other stakeholders 4. Subject domain and intended learning outcomes 5. Environment, resources, constraints 6. Aims and the evaluation methods needed E.g. The JISC Effective Practice Planner

18 Other theories Educational theories can serve to organize course design, providing checklists of necessary features. 1. Laurillards Conversational Framework has 12 L&T processes, that can be simplified to 6 (by Hegarty, Bostock and Collins 2000) 2. Social constructivism as Rich Environments for Active Learning (REALs) has 5 themes ( Grabinger & Dunlap 1995; Bostock 1998)

19 The Conversational Framework Course feature Online TLAsOnsite TLAs 1. Information delivery 2. Discussion with teacher 3. Task goals understood 4. Practice skills 5. Reflection and adaptation 6. Student cooperation

20 Example course using the Conversational Framework (Hegarty, Bostock & Collins 2000)

21 Constructivism: REALs Constructivist Principle Online TLAsOnsite TLAs a. Student responsibility & initiative b. Active learning by making things c. Authentic learning contexts d. Authentic assessment e. Cooperative support

22 Example course using REALs (Bostock 1998)

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24 Why is course design so difficult? 1. There are many variables and contexts: every course is different 2. Its not a simple problem, its a wicked problem 3. So how can become better at it?

25 Educating the Reflective Practitioner Donald Schön 1987 The traditional view of professional practice was: Professionals know the theory and use it to solve problems Theory and technique are derived from academic research and applied to life problems Technical rationality approach to problems, theory and technique are applied to the facts If a new type of problem arises, they must create new rules or theory

26 But life isnt like that There are indeterminate zones of practice (wicked problems) Problems are unique Multiple aspects to a problem Uncertainty because there is no model or framework for the problem, no handle on it Conflicts of interest and values, ethical dilemmas Some situations are beyond conventional technical competence. They require artistry. Technical rationality is an insufficient or wrong view of professional expertise.

27 Reflection-in-action Professionals both act with expertise (knowing-in- action) and do it flexibly, intelligently, creatively (reflection-in-action) reflection-in-action is central to the artistry with which practitioners make new sense of uncertain, unique, or conflicted situations … she behaves like a researcher trying to model an expert system (p.35) They construct and maintain the world as they see it; Communities of practitioners are continually engaged in … worldmaking (p.36) Theory derives from the community of practice

28 Learning professional practice (of designing e-learning) If there is no science-based theory or technique for designing blended learning, how can it be learnt? That is, how can we join the community of practitioners, their language, conventions, skills, values, etc. Schön: Enter a practicum where you tackle real- world problems with peer support, and coaching from experienced professionals in the field In other words, become action researchers in e- learning, researching your own practice to improve it

29 Conclusion All design methods have educational assumptions, implicit or explicit. How to blend effectively? 1. Alignment of onsite and online teaching and assessment with the intended learning outcomes will blend them to a degree 2. Other theories may add richness 3. However, it will never be simple – its a wicked problem – but simple tools may get us started by framing the problem 4. There are no blueprints, you must join the community of practitioners who design and research their own e-learning practice in collaboration with their students

30 References Anderson, L.W. and Krathwohl, D.R., et al. 2001 A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing, abridged edition, New York: Longman Biggs J.2003 Teaching for quality learning at university, 2 nd ed. SRHE Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) 1956 Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain, New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green Bostock, S.J., 1998, Constructivism in Mass Higher Education: a Case Study British Journal of Educational Technology British Journal of Educational Technology 29 (3), 225-240 Bostock, S. J., Hulme, J. A. and Davys, M. A. 2006 CommuniCubes: Intermediate Technology For Interaction With Student Groups, chapter in Audience Response Systems in Higher Education edited by David Banks, Hershey PA: Idea Group Inc. Grabinger, R. S. & Dunlap, J. C. 1995 Rich environments for active learning: A definition, ALT-J, 3 (2), 5-34 Hegarty, J.R. Bostock, S J. and Collins, D. 2000 Staff development in information technology for special needs: a new, distance-learning course at Keele University, British Journal of Educational Technology 31 (3),199-212 JISC, 2004 Effective Practice Planner http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elp_practice.html Laurillard, D. 2001 Rethinking University Teaching, 2 nd ed., Brighton: RoutledgeFalmer Macdonald, J. 2006, B lended learning and online tutoring Schön, D. A. 1987 Educating the Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass


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