the learning environment
Choose the instructional strategies and learning
Choose the multimedia
Identifiy assessment strategies
Development (build course,
on your practice
The first stage of the model focuses on exploring reflective practice strategies. Based on the work of Schön (1984), we define a reflective practice as a process that uses questioning and reflection to help make changes to our way of doing things, in particular, to our teaching and learning practices. The tools proposed herein will present strategies to support you in reflecting constructively on your teaching practices.
1) Identifying Components of your Pedagogical Approach
Reflecting on your personal pedagogical approach is not a new idea and what we propose is only a starting point. So why is it necessary? Although previous literature on the subject mention its importance in improving teaching practices, it become essential when making significant changes to how you teach, as is the case with the transformation of a course into a blended format.
2) Reflective Journal – Strengths and Challenges of a Course
Finally, we conclude this stage by suggesting that you begin writing a reflective journal. This is especially useful for maintaining a continuous reflective practice. In the attached document, you will find a subject prompt for your first entry into your reflective journal.
Schön, D.A. (1984). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.
The second stage of the model is particularly important. The analysis of the learning environment will provide you with a wealth of information on which to base the redesign of your course. The future pedagogical choices you make about the structure and organization of your course will need to based on the context of your learning environment.
The third stage of the model is another important pillar of the course design process. To help you complete this stage, we present a short video and two follow-up activities.
In this short video, Professor Sylvie Lamoureux from the Faculty of Arts describes the importance of learning outcomes, the process of writing learning outcomes and the relationship between learning outcomes and different types of courses.
Before you begin writing your learning outcomes, we invite you to reflect on the learning essentials of the course you wish to design (or redesign). The following workbook proposes various effective strategies to identify the essential learnings of your course.
3) Writing Learning Outcomes
We have designed an interactive tool to help you write learning outcomes based on Bloom's taxonomy. This simple tool allows you to create a complete picture of a course's learning outcomes.
Link to the interactive tool: Write Learning Outcomes
The forth stage of the course design process aims to establish the structure of your proposed blended course. To help you complete this step, we have developed two tools to facilitate the process of dividing your course time between online and in class activities.
Our online course structuring tool gives you a calendar view of the semester where you can add online and face-to-face classes and their associated activities. The final product gives you a printable calendar which lists how the different weeks are divided - including their format, the activities you’ve described, and any other notes you have chosen to write.
Link to the interactive tool: Course Structuring
The excel version of the course structuring tools provides the same options as our online tool with the added benefit of being able to save your work to your computer. You can choose how each week will be divided (percentage online versus face-to-face), add the learning outcomes for each week, and break down the activities students will be required to complete.
The excel tool has been formatted to print on a standard letter (8.5 x 11) page.
You will notice that only areas of the excel sheet that require information can be modified, all other areas have been restricted. A set of instructions has been provided within the excel sheet and can be viewed by clicking on headings.
Excel Document: Course Structuring
At this stage of the design process, it is time to explore in more detail the learning activities to be designed as part of a blended course. Based on the model of Garrison and Vaughan (2007), which values the importance of complementarity between classroom activities and those that students must complete independently online, various tools will be examined to help you implement your choice of learning activity.
1) Template to Design a Week
You can use this template (provided in .DOC format) to reflect on and to design different learning activities that will be assigned to your students during a typical week of your course.
Word Document: Planning Tool based on Garrison & Vaughan (2007) (nom: planning-tool)
2) In-Class Activities
To help you reflect on the design of activities happening in-class, we propose both an inventory of active teaching strategies and a guide to help you design learning activities.
3) Online Activities
Lastly, you can consult a table that introduces a list of possible active learning strategies that can be developed for the online component of your course.
Garrison, D.R. & Vaughan N.D. (2007). Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles and Guidelines. San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
One of the particularities of a blended course is the use of media resources. At this stage of the design process, you need to think about the media which will be most appropriate for your course and for your students’ learning.
At this stage, you must address the issue of the assessment of learning. To help you make the right choices we have put together a short guide that presents important principles, a list of assessment strategies and a tool that allows you to make explicit the constructive alignment between your learning outcomes and the chosen assessment strategies you have chosen.
To begin your reflection, we propose that you view a short video of Professor Colin Montpetit of the Faculty of Science. This video addresses important ideas regarding the assessment of learning such as: the choice of assessment tasks, the role of constructive alignment, the design and the assessment according to different types of courses.
Inventory: Assessment and Feedback Strategies
Workbook (Word format): Constructive Alignment
At this stage of the design process, you must take the time to build and create all that will be required for the course. Now that you have done an overview of the essential elements of a course, you must take the time to produce (or find) all activities, resources, and assessment tasks that students will have to complete.
All the tools and resources available in the design process can be used in the context of this work.
Finally, we also invite you to consult a resource produced by the University of Waterloo, which provides advice regarding the design and development of courses and online content with the learner experience in mind.
Link to the resource: http://cel.uwaterloo.ca/honeycomb/
Since a blended course features online components, it is strongly recommended that one perform a pilot test before the start of the course. At this stage, you may be able to make corrections, which can often make the difference in the first iteration of a blended course.
We therefore propose a tool, based on the work of Dick and Carey (1996) that will help you efficiently test the online components of your course.
Workbook (Word format): Pilot Testing
Dick, W., & Carey, L. (1996). The systematic design of instruction. 4th ed. New York, NY: Harper Collin.
Beyond the many best practices suggested for teaching a blended course, it is important to survey the mood and views of the classroom. In the interest of obtaining feedback on your teaching, we propose a mid-term evaluation tool designed to provide formative assessment on specific characteristics of teaching a blended course.
We propose an interesting resource based on a study done in New Zealand.
Resource: Effective Practices
This tool will allow you to choose from a series of prepared questions or design your own custom questions to assess how your blended course is progessing.
Link to the interactive tool: Building a Mid-Term Evaluation Tool
The design cycle of a blended course is, in essence, an endless loop. The second iteration of a course brings you back to the initial stage so that appropriate changes and/or additions can be made.