Blended learning is the future of higher education in a post-pandemic world. The third instalment of Stop, Improve, Start offers up bite-sized suggestions on how to make it work for everyone.
- Stop lecturing and start seeing teaching as a collaborative exercise. The whole point of blended learning is that the “lecture stuff” can be done via video, learning online before the class. The class is about exploring ideas, skills and understanding through practice and engagement.
- Stop seeing knowledge in 1-hour chunks and see it as a sequence of micro-learning (3-, 5-, 10-, 15-minute chunks), which then triggers a learner activity.
- Stop using a textbook so often and start using the rich open education resources, videos, games and simulations, and infographics freely available online. Textbooks are expensive and don’t always cover the material you have chosen to teach or what the students in front of you really need to know.
- Improve your skills at relationship building online. Online interactivity and engagement is a skill that must be developed. Blended learning is about you being present both in class and online.
- Improve your design of classroom experiences and engagement activities. Use design principles and practices to create memorable learning, which reinforces the key knowledge, skills and capabilities you seek to develop in the course.
- Improve your use of questions, challenges and activities to reinforce and develop knowledge, skills and capabilities. In particular, improve the student’s ability to learn from failures and mistakes, and strengthen their ability to reflect on how they are learning.
- Start imagining how to work with teams and groups of students to co-create presentations, learning activities and assessments. See “blended” not just as about the format of teaching and learning but about who does the teaching and learning.
- Start thinking differently about assessment. Use peer assessment, team-based and project-based assessments, and shift from assessing just what students know to how they work together.
- Start looking at learning in terms of growth, not just outcomes. How much has each student grown in their learning since the course began? What evidence is there that they’ve improved their understanding, competencies and capabilities since the course started?