Blended Learning Environment (BLE) Workshop


Part I


Academics will learn how to transform and re-purpose their current coursework to meet a more learner-centred environment and to implement the emergent technologies as potential assessment tools to enhance student engagement. The purpose of this series of workshops is to explore the benefits of new learning theories and blended learning.

The rationale for this workshop is to:

  • apply this knowledge to enhance student’s engagement with their learning
  • develop an awareness of how to use digital learning resources to support teaching and learning in FHS
  • create learning design concepts and briefs for delivery that can be applied to future courses and or programs

It is anticipated that these workshops will help academics to analyse and compare elearning technologies and their potential in regard to particular learning and assessment strategies. At the same time support tools and re-purposed existing learning resources can be strategically combined to provide targeted learning for recognised skills gaps. By skilling academics to provide a diversity of learning methodologies such as the combined use of interactive online communication and resources it is anticipated to increase learner motivation and improve outcomes.

Particiapants will explore new learning theories and new approaches to learning in the 21st Century. The workshop will focus on new strategies that maximise the use of technology-based tools for educational delivery, support and assessment. The participants will be able to identify the competency required by the learner, the appropriate assessment tool and what e learning resource development will be needed for that unit in the future to match the required learning outcomes in line with the assessment guidelines.

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this full day workshop, participants will be able to :

  • understand the meaning of blended learning approaches and the affordances this type of delivery in learning and teaching has on today's ubiquitous learners and how it encourages self directed learning
  • demonstrate an appreciation of the learning styles and modalities students bring to their learning and implement an education design that allows teachers to tap into those styles to connect with them so learners can have the opportunity to further engage in their studies in their own time and space. Time2learn wikispaces: Pedagogy 2.0
  • understand the learning theories to appreciate the types of technology affordances that would most benefit the learning outcome. Rather, avoid using technology that does not enhance the learning.
  • be confident to apply various mixed modes of delivery within a subject area by repurposing content to various platforms so to maximise the benefits of the ways in which learning activities can be designed to enhance the knowledge transfer and motivate students to learn in multimodal ways anytime, anywhere,
  • scaffold the learning using the cognitive apprenticeship model to higher thinking levels through blended learning design with the use of connectivism paradigm models for the development of expertise in a specialised field of practice
  • design effective unit outlines that cater for a wide variety of learning styles and time poor students to collaborate , intreract and participate in face to face and online network spaces to enhance the student experience and increase motivation and retention.

Redesign Powerpoint:220px-Blended-learning-methodolog.jpg

BLE Redesign Presentation:

Definition :

Blended learning is a mixing of different learning environments. It combines traditional face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities. The blended learning strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners. In the past thirty years technology-based materials played a supporting role to face-to-face instruction. Today advances in technology and the way we now can teach through a blended learning approach, technology will be even more important and so will the participatory web. Blended learning experiences according to Wild (2007) should be participative, not just interactive whereby “thinking and working together creates learning” (Allen, 2010) so that the processes of cognition and collaboration are both enhanced.

Demonstration Video Carpe Diem Schools demonstrates Blended Learning Model

Carpe Diem Collegiate High School is a blended-learning school that blends the best of face-to-face instruction, technology and extended learning opportunities in order to boost student achievement...Carpe Diem is working -- now it's your turn to "seize the day."

Key words: Interaction, Motivation, Collaboration, Participation.
Educate with knowledge to empower with character and to equip for life ! (Carpe Diem School's Mission statement)

The following principles highlight key aspects of the process of designing technology-enhanced learning (adapted from JISC, 2009);
  • Where technology is used, it should extend the potential for learning, and not be used simply for its own sake.
  • Quality learning occurs when there is coherence and alignment between the technology, course environment, learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessment demands of a course.
  • Effective practice in blended learning requires selecting the most appropriate tools for the purpose; that is, the learning to be achieved.
  • The adoption of blended learning should ideally exploit the capacity of technology to promote active and participative learning in both face-to-face and online contexts.
  • When unfamiliar technologies are integrated into learning designs, the rationale and benefits need to be clearly communicated to students.
  • Even advanced users of technology look to their teachers for guidance on how to use technology in learning; so ensure there is appropriate support for students in using the technology for learning.

Students today are no longer passive consumers of content they can drive the content once the facilitator has set the stage they merely act as a 'concierge to their learning' (Curtis Bonk 2005). Students today have the ability with technology in higher education to become a global broadcaster to their learning such as eportfolios , blogs wikis etc or use of webinars to present their learning using a myriad of web 2.0 participatory web tools.This can be done synchronously and asynchronously in face to face or online in classroom to real students or virtual the walls are no barriers and learning can extend beyond the classroom globally or locally at the same time. Imagine a network of students collaborating on global health from around the world presenting in real time to the class about local health issues and responding in real time to enrich the learning experiences outside of ones own town and country.

Higher Level Thinking Skills:

Two Way Interaction…. Formative Learning… 21st Century Skills (Ref:21Century TechedTech 2012 )
The flipped classroom of today should incorporate more then a one way street that only incorporates student consumption.The original Web 1.0 was one way. Delivering videos that allow the student to only be consumers of information will never allow student higher order levels of learning . Today the Web 2.0 allows for multi-directional interaction. Students can be learners, consumers, producers, collaborators, critical thinkers all at the same time. The analog days of the one way street are over. The Web 2.0 allows us all to be producers. Students should be entering Bloom’s higher order action verbs that go beyond remembering and understanding. They should be analyzing, evaluating and creating. A flipped classroom should provide opportunities that are:
  • action based
  • authentic
  • connected and collaborative
  • innovative
  • high level
  • engaging
  • experience based
  • project based
  • inquiry based
  • self actualizing

Formative learning can incorporate video, audio, simulations, games, journals, blogging, peer review and collaboration, and inquiry based activities both in the classroom and on the flip. Last, formative learning should include self-evaluation that can be one of a number of methods including self -checks, reflections, and journals. Examples using Mahara, Wordpress blogs, wikispaces for group work etc. The role of formative learning is to give quality to the final outcome, support the standards, and support real learning.

Part II

Designing BLE learning approaches in your Unit


Specific steps to work through will include:
  • Current learning design and learning theory eg student-centred learning
  • Different e-learning technologies
  • Appropriate e -learning strategies
  • Resource location and evaluation
  • Consideration of repurposing existing content, or developing new content, including appropriate e-learning technologies, activities and assessment to map with the content
  • How to make future resources shareable (eg pedagogical and technical considerations)

Using Technology Wisely- How to model 'Good Teaching' with Technology

Instructional strategies are the heart for integrating appropriate technology.

Modelling good teaching with technology listen to University of George Mason podcast which discusses about role of academics today, professional development and modelling good lessons with good technology to achieve the learning outcomes.

‍What are the principles of educational design that one should be aware of when developing my teaching materials? ( Ref:Macquarie University, 2008 )
Educational design is the systematic approach to the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of learning materials and activities so that effective learning can take place (see Fardouly). This means that every component of the instruction, the content, its sequencing, the teaching methods you use and how you assess that learning has occurred, is governed by the learning outcomes of the unit, which have themselves been determined by analysing your learners’ needs.

An outline of the instructional design process is shown below (Fardouly, 1998). It is an extensive and complex process and there are extensive resources available to assist those who are novices.
Who are your learners?
What are you trying to achieve?
What knowledge, skills and attitudes need to be taught?
How much content do you need in your instruction?
Design and Development
What are your objectives?
What skills, knowledge and attitudes are you trying to develop?
What resources and strategies will you use in your instruction?
How will you structure the content of your learning material?
How will you assess the learners’ understanding and whether or not they have met the objectives of the instruction?
This may involve presenting classroom instruction, teaching learners how to make the best use of interactive learning materials, or coordinating and managing a distance learning program.
Provides the basis for improvement and development of the instruction.

Not all teaching staff having control or input into the curriculum design process. However, it is still important to be aware that historically your unit would have been developed through a similar process.

Workshop Activities and Templates

Download this document for Workshop BLE Template


Disruptive Learning:

Download Workshop Resources:

  1. Take away tips BLE
  2. Shifting to BLE

Planning and Designing a Blended or Online Course Resources

Resources by University NSW (TeLT) 2012

The process of designing blended and online courses is covered in this section of the site. General information on setting up and revising curriculum is available on this site in the Curriculum Design pages.

Planning blended and online courses

Your overall course design

Designing online assessments and learning activities

Further practical course design help:

  • Moodle Assignment tool
  • Moodle's Lesson tool for adaptive tutorials
  • Providing audio feedback online
  • Turnitin support site- Turnitin
  • UNSWTV contains a collection of videos about using Turnitin with Moodle.

Worksheets and Templates

Flowcharts, storyboards, sitemaps or even sticky notes can be used to plan and map the course or activity. You might want to use these worksheets and templates for course design.

Resources (external)

10 Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in PBL:
This PBL Mania post will explore some of those collaborative Web 2.0 tools that can enhance the PBL experience. Allowing students to network while immersed in PBL is so important. This could include communication and collaboration student to student, student to teacher, and student to expert. Below you will find a small collection of tools that might just help make collaboration even more amazing through the use of the online environment. Whenever using any online tool make sure students are practicing good digital citizenship and responsibility. Also be sure you are aware of your school’s AUP and each site’s user policy. Now let’s take a look at some of these tools.

  • Titan Pad – Great way for quick collaboration and sharing a document. No email or sign in needed. You will soon see that TitanPad is really a simplistic Google Doc… without the fuss! All that is needed to use TitanPad is a visit and then press of a button called Create Public Pad. Learn more from a prior post that also lists ways to use in clas\
  • Wall Wisher – Like collaborating with virtual post-it notes on a virtual wall. It really has lots of uses. There are so many ways to incorporate Wall Wisher in the classroom. Make sure you take a look.
  • Corkboardme – A program a lot like wall wisher that can be used to support a group’s collaborative activities. A premium version does allow for some privacy features.
  • Google Docs – an amazing way to facilitate live and real time digital collaboration
  • Voicethread
Ipad apps
  • Evernote
  • Annotate
  • Dropbox

Example: Blended Learning Design Worksheet 1: Scoping ideas creatively!

BLE Design Worksheet.JPG
Adapted by Griffith University from Fink 2005) Download a copy

Part III

Understanding the new pedagogies and learning styles of today for the future

Consider Flipped Model Approach: (K. Newton 2012: ) a BLE approach

Re-purposing Existing Content:
Reusable content objects would have the most significant impact, followed by wireless technologies, peer-to-peer collaboration tools, digital libraries, simulations and games,assistive technologies, and digital portfolios.

(Curtis Bonk et al )Future Directions of Blended learning in Higher education and Workplace Learning Settings (2005)
Emerging technology.JPG

Cognitive Apprenticeship Model

Introduction to Cognitive Apprenticeship


Some significant trends in learning:
  • Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
  • Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience. Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – through communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.
  • Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same.
  • Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains. The tools we use define and shape our thinking.
  • The organization and the individual are both learning organisms. Increased attention to knowledge management highlights the need for a theory that attempts to explain the link between individual and organizational learning.
  • Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
  • Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).

Connectivism Model (George Siemans)

Principles of Connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

Connectivism also addresses the challenges that many corporations face in knowledge management activities. Knowledge that resides in a database needs to be connected with the right people in the right context in order to be classified as learning. Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism do not attempt to address the challenges of organizational knowledge and transference.

Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.

What do Students Need today for the Future?