Blended Learning Activity – Program Design LEDx

Blended Learning Activity

Sherry and I worked together on the blended learning challenge for this week.  The challenge was to design (or re-design) a program using blended learning strategies.  Below is our documented process and the two artifacts (presentations) we created to support this activity.

Our  process:

discover

We reviewed the suggested website for a program list of existing hybrid courses for students.  We reviewed many, but we liked Caldwell University’s model because of their requirements and the connection we saw with their purpose and our desire for the UCO program.

understand

We looked at existing documents for our program which included the Plan of Study, Course Matrix, Course Catalog, and department meeting notes.   We compared this information and discussed the similarities and needed development of an online/hybrid program.  We reviewed some research regarding, student learning, problem-based administrative practices, and inquiry-oriented teaching programs. All of this information helped us determine the language of our values for the redesigned program.

envision

With values and information we obtained during the diagnostic process, we then developed a Vision and Mission for our redesigned educational leadership program.

The Vision: The Educational Leadership program produces school leaders that possess the skills and traits to develop a culture and climate that is optimal for student learning and success.

The Mission: The educational leadership program provides a robust blended learning environment with opportunities to learn, grow, and connect through meaningful and intentional experiences, while developing educators into quality school leaders.

Our Values:

A depth of knowledge in

  • supervision, curriculum, & technology
  • Innovative and critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Inter and intrapersonally developed
  • Data literate
  • Operation and organization management

…Leaders

build

We then worked to build out the requirements for a redesign which would include a formal course description change, as well as communication and standardization among students, instructor, and department personnel.  We would look to implement processes that would support the coordination of time, resources, and activities for future collaborations, activities, and networking.

course-redesign

The most important resources in this redesigned model will be human capital and capacity building for blended learning.  It is crucial that all stakeholders understand the vision and mission of the blended learning educational leadership program.  There is a need for ongoing professional development opportunities for department staff so that they can implement and support the program fully.  It will be vital to conduct research around the program and use the results, along other points of data to implement with fidelity and sustain the redesign over time.

Here is our sample LEMx for the program redesign:

program-lemx

Our artifact presentations:

Google Docs:

 

PowToons:

Blending Learning: Create, Facilitate, and Mix

Design and Facilitation Challenge

I teach Technology for School Administrators and have recently started the design process to develop it as an online course. I often use the instructional strategy, Think, Pair, Share & Pair Squared, in my face-to-face class because it allows students an opportunity to process their understand of a concept by communicating that information to others.  It also allows for peer feedback and information during the sharing portion of the instructional activity.

I created a short media presentation using PowToon’s to describe how this strategy would work in an asynchronous online environment.

This past Monday night, October 10, I facilitated this design pattern in my face-to-face classroom.  I had my students watch the video, I choose C, and then “pair, share” a reflection question regarding 21st-century learning and learners. After processing their thoughts with their paired partner, I had them pair square with two others in the room, and repeat the reflection and feedback process.

At the cumulation of this activity, I showed my class the LEM pattern and asked for feedback on how to enhance this activity and make it relevant in an online environment.

bl-design-and-facilitation-challenge-2

Here is the feedback from my class:

wordle-student
Benefits of the Strategy:

  • Introduces several different viewpoints from your group, how to use other’s knowledge into your own answers.  It provides a wealth of knowledge provided by the group as opposed to the singularity of an individual’s limited experience.
  • Provides the opportunity for hearing other points of view. Gives students a chance to converse with someone that they might not normally choose.
  • Expands our thoughts and gives us a different point of view in a safe environment.

Improvements:

  • Students need to prompt each other with more questioning techniques, and engage each other back and forth. Have a tete a tete!
  • Ask students to create ideas instead of just sharing opinions.
  • Have students pose the questions of relevant interest.
  • Make the students come up with the topics.

What is Blended Learning?

Today I was challenged to explore diverse approaches to blended learning.  I looked at some of the resources provided by the online course facilitator and selected to review content provided by the University of Central Florida.  The information from the site is shared as an open educational resource under Creative Commons, Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

https://blended.online.ucf.edu

The site provides many useful resources on blended learning and how to create blended learning environments. I thought the “building your course” framework was a very easy and simple place to start for those seeking to develop a course.  The site begins with a section called First Things First. The author outlines the importance of starting with the end in mind, looking at course goals, learning objectives and outcomes before jumping into the design stage.

UCF - Course Blueprint: This diagram is an example of a course blueprint for a History course.

UCF – Course Blueprint: This diagram is an example of a course blueprint for a History course.

Next, the site challenges the reader to look critically at the factors that build a successful blended learning course.  It highlights the need for designers to review instructional methods of the course, the organization of content, support materials, as well as course interactions and assessments to build out a well-developed course.

I like that in the conclusion of the overview it states, “the successful creation of a blended course is highly dependent on the ultimate goals and the learning objectives students are to achieve at the end of the course” (University of Central Florida, 2012). AGREED! The site also provides a very nice toolkit that developers can use to begin the design process.

The site is a great resource to learn more about blended learning.  They have even provided a very nice toolkit to help designers get started. https://blended.online.ucf.edu/blendkit-course-diy-project-tasks/ 

PRO: I elected to share this learning model framework because it outlines the starting structure of where to begin in the design process.  Since I’m in the beginning stages of this process, the resources were very relevant to where I am in the design process. I also feel that is was very user friendly.

CONS: There was lots of information in the toolkit, more than I really needed.  But maybe that will change over the development cycle.


Resources:
University of Central Florida. (2012, January 23). Building Your Course. Retrieved from https://blended.online.ucf.edu/process/building-your-course/


I also took the time to review a specific type of blending learning posted by the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.  I’m interested in the Enriched Virtual model.  I think this model could be very powerful in the program that I support.

Here is how they define that model:
Enriched Virtual model — a course or subject in which students have required face-to-face learning sessions with their teacher of record and then are free to complete their remaining coursework remote from the face-to-face teacher. Online learning is the backbone of student learning when the students are located remotely. The same person generally serves as both the online and face-to-face teacher. Many Enriched Virtual programs began as full-time online schools and then developed blended programs to provide students with brick-and-mortar school experiences. The Enriched Virtual model differs from the Flipped Classroom because in Enriched Virtual programs, students seldom meet face-to-face with their teachers every weekday. It differs from a fully online course because face-to-face learning sessions are more than optional office hours or social events; they are required.

Source: Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014).

PRO: This model allows for the majority of the work and readings to exist in an online format and the face time to focus on project, presentations, and evidence of outcomes.

CONS: I’m not sure that I see any con at this time.