Blended Learning for Supporting Student Learning

#BLENDKIT2016 This blog post summarizes my reactions and realizations after reading the required material for Week 1 of the BlendKit course.

There are several definitions of blended learning but the common factor is to facilitate learning via combination of face-to-face and online interactions. The roles and contributions of the online and F2F components vary depending on the situation. However, it is very clear that teachers must prioritize pedagogy over technology regardless of the situation.

Photos: my students doing a computer assisted quiz by pair. Currently, I am able to incorporate few laboratory sessions and off-campus online activities in my classes. In a way, i’m blending lectures with computer-assisted assessment. I am using technology and other “online opportunities” to drive better face-to-face interactions and to make more self-motivated learners. 

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Thoughts on Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Mobile Learning

“… In their pursuit of knowledge by going directly to sources of information that are relevant and of interest. For adults in training, we are moving from the practice of instruction to the practice of ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) learning (Jarche, 2007)”, as mentioned in The Mobile Learning Edge by Woodwill ED.D.

With this learning style though, I think it is very important for educators to provide a structure (in a form of syllabus or lesson plan) that is flexible enough to nurture various interests, dependable enough to provide on time guidance/self-assessment, and focused enough to prevent learners from being lost in too much information. Moreover, it highly depends on the level of maturity of the learner. If the learner is not mature enough to learn things by him/herself, then DIY strategy might just cause more frustrations than helpful realizations. Finally, it is very important that if the learner does not voluntarily submits him/herself in a DIY learning strategy, the facilitator should properly prepare the learners by providing them concrete expectations and/or learning outcomes at the start. Proper diagnostics should also be done to assess the level of preparedness of learners and educators must take the responsibility of providing proper intervention for those who need extra push to qualify for the prerequisites of the learning environment.

There are many possible and efficient approaches to this learning strategy. One is to maximize on blended strategies with portions dedicated to mobile learning, so that self-assessment and/or learning materials is readily available anywhere and anytime. Another is to consider PBL or problem based learning strategies to nurture the different strengths, needs, and interests of the learners. Most importantly, a delicate balance of rigor and scaffolding is much needed.

5 Learning Benefits of Conducting a Blended Class

Blended learning is a perfect and delicate mix of online and face-to-face learning. The advantages of doing a hybrid class varies from logistics to instruction.

Listed are 5 learning benefits of conducting a blended class.

1. Strategic planning allows the teacher to give more time for discussions and high-order thinking activities during face-to-face interaction. The teacher may provide introductory videos or materials online, then go deeper into the topic during face-to-face meeting.

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Understanding Blended Learning: A Beginner’s Point-of-View

Blended learning captured my interest as a relatively new educator. Being a millennium yuppie makes me naturally susceptible to technologically engaged activities. Hence, I’ve developed strong interests on learning and advocating teaching with technology.

Dreaming… More interactive learning in the Philippines!

In an effort to understand “blending” further, I joined an open online course popularly known as BlendKit in Canvas Network. Thank you to the BlendKit Team from University of Central Florida!

For its first week, I learned the basic ideas that revolves around blended courses. There are so many things I’ve learned, and I would like to emphasize these 4 general ideas.

1. Blended Learning is more than just adding an online component to a traditional course

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5 “Key Ingredients” of Instruction – Blending Guides for Starters Like Me

One of the things I’ve learned is that designing a blended course is a controlled process. Lack of proper planning and appropriate understanding of “blending” may result to excessive work and unnecessary stress. Control is much needed in effectively translating an educator’s enthusiasm to an interactive blended course. In deciding which class elements to put online, it is ideal that teachers follow a two-step process. First, establish an ideal and familiar learning strategy, which, for most of us, is an interactive face-to-face and student collaborative learning. Then, systematically analyzed which elements of the “lesson plan” can be delivered online or in multiple platforms.

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6 Functions Students Need in a Courseware Mobile Application

Mobility and connectivity are some of the advantages gained from doing an online or blended class. Most learning management systems (LMS) and open coursewares come in a flexible, multi-platform application – a webpage and a mobile app. For instance, Moodle sites, Litmos sites, Coursera and alike are all accessible via web and mobile app. PROUDLY! Our University’s moodle site has its own mobile application.

Mobile applications improve the mobility of learning spaces. Moreover, portability are enhanced by having (literally!) much lighter options – like smartphones and tablets. Students could check their smartphones for announcements or class materials. If a teacher forgets to bring the slides, he/she could load it from the mobile app. Moreover, Schools doesn’t need to invest too much on laptops or desktops, as tablets are much cheaper yet sufficient alternatives. All these may be achieved with a good mobile app and a well-designed course.

BUT, What makes a good “learning mobile app”?

SIMPLICITY and COMPLETENESS.

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From Face-to-Face to Online: The Spectrum of Learning Environments

I’ve recently engaged myself in an initiative to understand, learn and share the benefits of blended learning. This post is my reflection on the different modalities or environments of learning. I’ve created an inforgraphic to visually express what I’ve learned.

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