Blended Courses and Online Programs

I just finished teaching my Thursday night class "Leading Change" and decided to blog about the changing paradigm of offering courses and entire programs entirely online or through a blended model using face to face and online instruction.  Over the last 4-5 years I have taught under a web-enhanced model.  Classes would still meet weekly but I used the web to provide additional opportunities for collaboration, uploading assignments, posting readings, etc.  This is a model that many professors use and I personally believe that it has been very effective. 


This past spring I taught my first completely on-line course - "Data-Driven Decision Making".  While I am a huge advocate for technology, I still believe in the power of personal interaction and the synergy that can emerge from a group of people deeply engaged in group discussions and activities.  I was somewhat trepidatious, wondering how I might engage students as meaningfully as I had within a classroom setting.  However, as the course progressed, I was extremely pleased with the level of dialogue and interaction that emerged among the 21 students in the class.  In a "good" face-to-face class meeting (like the one that I led tonight), students may deeply engage in discussions with four or five other peers, and may hear other classmates share out briefly in a whole group setting.  However, the online forums and wikis that I utilized in the DDDM class, allowed students to interact with all of their peers, not just a small group.  Many of my students commented that the depth of interaction in this online class was much greater than most of their traditional courses.  This didn't just happen though. I put in much time preparing for the course and establishing expectations and norms to create a community of learners.  I have seen many of my own colleagues successfully transition to on-line learning.  I have also seen those who did not put the time and energy necessary for their on-line classes to be successful and the results were as bad as expected.

My preferred teaching mode is probably a blended approach.  I used this model this past summer to teach "Technology Leadership in Schools".  We met in a computer lab the first 6 class meetings and met face to face about every third scheduled class.  The remainder of the content was delivered in a similar method as my DDDM class with online discussions, wikis and other tech leadership related activities and assignments. 

I hope to continue teaching courses under these various modalities: online, blended,and face to face, because they acknowledge interactions needed for effective adult learning while utilizing new technologies to allow some of those interactions to occur from a distance.  Good night. DMQ

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.