Monday, January 28, 2008

Hybrid Instruction and Assessment

Ongoing assessment is an integral part of instruction. Entry level, progress monitoring, formative. and summative assessments of student learning can be recorded easily through the electronic portfolio process. Since students are already submitting assignments digitally, discussing issues and collaborating with colleagues using asynchronous and synchronous communication tools, and creating electronic presentations, saving and submitting artifacts that demonstrate learning can be useful in documenting progress toward course objectives. Self-reflection can provide a rich picture of a student's growth of understanding of essential concepts. Students can demonstrate their ability to make connections between assignments and standards. I have started another blog on electronic portfolios for teacher education.

Go to my blog on electronic teacher portfolios.
Go to my website on electronic portfolios.
Go to my website on TeachPort and ClipBoard web-based portfolio systems.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blended/Hybrid Instructional Resources

Many universities have designed helpful websites, resource guides, tutorials, presentations, tips for teachers, creative ideas for interactivity and multimedia, case studies, etc. These resources are available to anyone and everyone involved in higher education thanks to the generosity and collaborative spirit of experienced online and blended/hybrid professors and educational technology experts.

University of Wisconsin Hybrid Courses: Combining Face to Face Instruction with Online Learning

Illinois Online Network - ION

Teach Online: Michigan State

Blended Learning Guide from Web Junction (Online Community Library Center)

PDF File of the Blended Learning Guide - 2007

Online Tutoring eBook (UK)

The Sloan Consortium on Blended Learning

The Sloan Foundation is probably one of the most useful resources, particularly in terms of current research on online and blended learning. Their introduction reads:

"A consortium of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education. The purpose of the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines. Created with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C encourages the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction."

Effective practices from Sloan-C are listed under the following:

The Journal for Asynchronous Networks - JALN - includes research articles on online and hybrid/blended learning. Additional publications include:

Future of Hybrid Learning

Will hybrid classes be a part of the future of higher education?
The following question was answered by 562 college instructors in higher education: “What percentage of student learning in your college, university, or organization is blended (i.e., courses having online as well as face-to-face components) today and how might this change in 3 years and in a decade?”
College instructors apparently saw the potential for more hybrid learning in 2003. This chart was taken from a chapter called "Future Directions of Blended Learning in Higher Education and Workplace Learning Settings," written by Curtis J. Bonk and Kyong-Jee Kim of Indiana University, USA and Tingting Zeng of Warwick University, UK. This chapter appears in the "The Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs" (Bonk & Moore, 2005).
Bonk, Kim, and Zeng (2005) stated that 40% of the respondents thought that 21-40% of their courses would be blended by 2006 and 37% expected this to be even higher. Sixty percent of the respondents indicated that by 2013 more than 40% of their courses would be blended. They listed the following trends for the future of blended learning:
  1. Mobile Blended Learning
  2. Greater Visualization, Individualization, and Hands-on Learning
  3. Self-Determined Blended Learning
  4. Increased Connectedness, Community, and Collaboration
  5. Increased Authenticity and On-Demand Learning
  6. Linking Work and Learning
  7. Changed Calendaring
  8. Blended Learning Course Designations
  9. Changed Instructor Roles
  10. The Emergence of Blended Learning Specialists (specialist teaching certificates, degree programs, and resources or portals related to blended learning courses and programs).
Another link to an article by Bonk and Graham which appears in the 2006 Educause Quarterly provides more information on the future of blended learning as well as online learning: The Future of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Survey Says…
Another chapter by Charles Graham of Brigham Young University is available online as well -
Blended Learning Systems: Definition, Current Trends, and Future Directions.

The Future of Higher Education

Articles from Educause

A Hybrid Campus for the New Millennium

Quotes from Ron Bleed (2002)

Half Bricks and Half Clicks!

"I propose that the schoolhouse of the future for colleges and universities should be a “hybrid” model, one that incorporates creative uses of technology, architecture, and people. This model not only will aid us in the design of new campus structures but also will help us to improve learning and to provide the socialization that supports the making of meaning for students in our new era."

  • Bleed is not suggesting distance learning models should separate faculty and students physically (but feels that fully online learning is appropriate for some). Nor is he suggesting a model "in which we simply “bolt” technology onto a traditional course—that is, use technology add-ons to a course to teach a difficult concept or add supplemental information."
  • Proposes a "drastic change in courses and facilities on campuses. The model is 50 percent virtual instruction and 50 percent redesigned physical campus spaces or, in other words, half “bricks” and half “clicks.”
  • "The greatest potential of the hybrid campus is in the people dimension. Combining virtual learning with new kinds of physical spaces can restore the human moment in the educational process."
  • Peter Drucker, the management futurist, predicts that “thirty years from now, big university campuses will be relics.”
  • "The hybrid model should have ubiquitous on-campus network connections so that students can access the virtual components of their learning within the local urban context and also, of course, with global connections."
  • Bleed quotes Mitchell (1999): “[The] crucial task is not digital plumbing of broadband communication links and associated electronic appliances.” He adds, “Nor is it producing electronically deliverable content.” Mitchell says that our real task is “imagining and creating digitally mediated environments for the kinds of lives that we want to lead and the sorts of communities that we will want to have.”

Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0

Quotes from John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler (2008)

  • "The most profound impact of the Internet is its ability to support and expand the various aspects of social learning."
  • "The Internet has also fostered a new culture of sharing, one in which content is freely contributed and distributed with few restrictions or costs." Most obvious example is the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement. MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative provides open access to undergraduate- and graduate-level materials and modules from more than 1,700 courses (covering virtually all of MIT’s curriculum).
  • "The latest evolution of the Internet, the so-called Web 2.0, has blurred the line between producers and consumers of content and has shifted attention from access to information toward access to other people."
  • Refers to new kinds of online resources that bring people with common interests together to share ideas and "collaborate in innovative ways" — social networking sites, blogs, wikis, and virtual communities
  • Web 2.0 - "a new kind of participatory medium that is ideal for supporting multiple modes of learning."
  • "Social learning is the greatest impact of the internet - and the full impact has not yet been realized."
  • Defines "social learning" - "content is socially constructed through conversations about that content and through grounded interactions, especially with others, around problems or actions."
  • "The focus is not so much on what we are learning but on how we are learning."
  • Describes the "Cartesian perspective" - knowledge is a kind of substance and pedagogy is the "best way to transfer this substance from teachers to students."
  • Cartesian premise - “I think, therefore I am,” - "knowledge is something that is transferred to the student via various pedagogical strategies"
  • The social view of learning - “We participate, therefore we are.”
  • Focus shifts from the "content of a subject to the learning activities and human interactions around which that content is situated."
  • Encourages the practice of what John Dewey called “productive inquiry”—the process of seeking the knowledge when it is needed in order to carry out a particular situated task.
  • Informal learning is taking place both on and off campus via the online social networks.
  • Social life of Internet-based virtual education can coexist with and extend traditional education.
  • Need to build a "community of students and scholars as much as on providing access to educational content."
  • These communities are harbingers of the emergence of a new form of technology-enhanced learning—Learning 2.0. Learning 2.0 goes beyond "providing free access to traditional course materials and educational tools and creates a participatory architecture for supporting communities of learners."
  • The web offers "innumerable opportunities for students to find and join niche communities where they can benefit from the opportunities for distributed cognitive apprenticeship."
  • "Finding and joining a community that ignites a student’s passion can set the stage for the student to acquire both deep knowledge about a subject (“learning about”) and the ability to participate in the practice of a field through productive inquiry and peer-based learning (“learning to be”)."
  • "We need to construct shared, distributed, reflective practicums in which experiences
    are collected, vetted, clustered, commented on, and tried out in new contexts. One might call this “learning about learning,” a bootstrapping operation in which educators, along with students, are learning among and between themselves. This can become a living or dynamic infrastructure—itself a reflective practicum."
  • "The demand-pull approach is based on providing students with access to rich (sometimes virtual) learning communities built around a practice. It is passion-based learning, motivated by the student either wanting to become a member of a particular community of practice or just wanting to learn about, make, or perform something. Often the learning that transpires is informal rather than formally conducted in a structured setting."
  • "Learning occurs in part through a form of reflective practicum, but in this case the reflection comes from being embedded in a community of practice that may be supported by both a physical and a virtual presence and by collaboration between newcomers and professional practitioners/scholars."
  • "The demand-pull approach to learning might appear to be extremely resource intensive. But the Internet is becoming a vast resource for supporting this style of learning. Its resources include the rapidly growing amount of open courseware, access to powerful instruments and simulation models, and scholarly websites, which already number in the hundreds, as well as thousands of niche communities based around specific areas of interest in virtually every field of endeavor."

John Seely Brown - Xerox (PARC) 2007

"Perhaps most salient to any discussion about learning in the 21st century is the fact that today’s students are growing up digital. They have a new vernacular—a digital, multimedia vernacular—and learn in ways that are different from how I learn and, I would guess, how you learn. How can we begin to take advantage of those differences and unleash in our students a passion to learn and create?"

How is learning in the 21st century different? More quotes from John Seely Brown -

  • "Skills learned today are apt to be out-of-date all too soon. The concept of lifelong learning—a term used all too glibly—is now more important than ever."
  • "A new approach is needed with the focus shifting from building up stocks of knowledge (learning about) to enabling participation in flows of action, where the focus is on both learning to be through enculturation into a practice and on collateral learning."
  • "Lifelong learning that is now dramatically enabled by the Net." Seely calls this "passion-based learning, as students are intrinsically motivated by either wanting to become a member of a particular community of practice or by just wanting to learn about, make, or perform something."
  • "Informal learning that's not "formally conducted in a structured setting."
  • "Learning occurs in part through a form of a reflective practicum; in this case, though, the reflection comes from being embedded in a social milieu supported by both a physical and a virtual presence, and by both the amateur and the professional practitioner."
  • Seely talks of "21st-century learningscapes." He says, "Imagine a hybrid model of learning—one that combines the power of passion-based participation in niche communities of practice with a limited core curriculum for teaching the rigorous thinking and argumentation specific to that field. Designing such a curriculum would require an elegant minimalism. It is implicit in this new learningscape that, given the nearly infinite number of niche communities that exist on the Net, nearly any student of any age will find something that he or she is passionate about."
  • Seely expects "a form of spiral learning to evolve, initially rooted in one community but then branching out to encompass expanding interests and skills. The spiral would weave a tapestry between activities in the niche communities of interest and the core curriculum, with both serving to ground and complement the other.
  • "This new learningscape would be supported by an understanding of the interplay between the cognitive and social bases of learning, and enabled by the networked state of the 21st century. Such an educational experience would undoubtedly build a strong foundation for lifelong learning in a world of accelerating change."

Books on Hybrid/Blended Learning

Blended Learning: Research Perspectives

The Sloan Consortium

This publication is designed for multiple educational contexts such as: designing and delivering hybrid courses, student interaction and student satisfaction, strategies for training and preparing faculty and other related topics.

At the nexus of education and technology, blended learning is growing rapidly. Integrating face-to-face and online learning, blending can enhance learning and optimize seat time. How can blending transform today’s learning environments? In response to this question, 24 practitioners at 16 colleges and organizations examine research, stakeholder perspectives and best practices in 13 chapters designed for multiple educational contexts such as: designing and delivering hybrid courses, student interaction and student satisfaction, strategies for training and preparing faculty and other related topics.
Click here to view the chapters.
ISBN: 978-0-9766714-4-2

Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines

D. Randy Garrison, Norman D. Vaughan

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8770-1

November 2007

The Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs

Curtis J. Bonk, Charles R. Graham, Jay Cross (Foreword by), Michael G. Moore (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-7758-0
December 2005, Pfeiffer

Student-Centered Pedagogy

Blended Learning - University of Central Florida
Dziaban, Hartman, Moskal (2004)
Pedagogical Approach

  • Blended learning should not be a matter of time spent in class vs. online ("ratio of delivery models")
  • Should combine the effectiveness of socialization in the classroom with "technologically enhanced active learning opportunities of the online environment"
  • Redesign should incorporate: a shift from instructor-led lecture to student-centered instruction in which students would be "active and interactive learners."
  • Interaction should be increased between student/instructor, student/student, student/content, student/outside resources.
  • Include interactive formative and summative assessment mechanisms
  • Instructors must become "designers of active learning environments"
  • Instructors must be "more facilitative in their teaching."
  • Used Carl Rogers model of the facilitative teacher who gives the "instructional environment precedence over information transmittal."

Enriching Student Experience through Blended Learning
University of Central Florida - Albrecht (2006)

  • New technologies are changing quickly, providing new potential for blended learning
  • "Blended learning labels the shifting venue and communication patterns that have occurred in culture. We have moved from lecture halls to homes, cars, and ipods offering anytime, anywhere delivery while increasing interaction as well."
  • "The impact of these changes on learning depends to a large extent on faculty transformation of content and interaction to the newer technologies."
Hybrid Learning: Maximizing Student Engagement
Campus Technology
Ruth Reynard 5/23/2007

Maximizing Student Engagement

Reynard defines dynamic learning environments as those that "heighten interaction at all levels and keep students engaged in the process through self-direction and response" (Reynard, 2003). Typical course design is "linear and conventional" with "preset expectations about content, interaction, learning products (e.g. assignments, quizzes, essays), and evaluation."
In a dynamic learning environment "students are free to explore, interact with, comment on, modify, and apply the set content and additional content they discover or create through the learning process, and all of this leads to the outcome for each individual student, which therefore, customizes the learning process for each student." Reynard feels that dyanmic learning can be more relevant and applicable to real life. Students can progress through a course of study "in an ongoing dynamic process of learning relies upon a variety of inputs, learning supports (scaffolds), and interaction."

  • Hypertext changes teaching and learning by providing students with the ability to explore and retrieve texts for courses and maximize their customized choices in the process (Dwight & Garrison, 2003).
  • Hybrid offers immediate intervention by instructor
  • Hypertext provide scaffolding and learning support for students
  • Other supports could be additional links, synchronous chat sessions, self-reflection opportunities, asynchronous discussion, and collaborative knowledge building opportunities.
  • Hybrid courses "maximize the students' potential for reaching a high level of learner autonomy through self-directed choices, and customized application or outcome."
  • Dynamic interaction can happen online or in the classroom in a different form of interaction.
  • F2F class meetings may be used for scaffolding learning rather than for conventional instruction
  • Online classes can provide "online material, online learning resources, and time to reflect, interact, and produce learning objects or evidences of learning."
  • F2F class time does not have to be passive with students just listening to lectures.
  • F2F class time should provide "dialog, group work, or lab work or demonstrations of practice."
  • Internet tools can be used to provide content through hyperlinks to text, multimedia resources, online discussions, chats, personal blogs, wikis, etc. "Throughout the process of exchange, content is worked on and applied by the learner. The more varied the inputs, the more likely that students will engage with content more effectively."
  • Research shows that "students look for teacher intervention more directly in an online environment than in a face to face environment" (Moore, 1993; Reynard, 2003).
  • "When learning is self-directed, students know exactly when they need the instructor and why."

Key strengths in hybrid model:

  • Relevant learning scaffolds (including instructor intervention, collaborative knowledge building, and meaningful, self-directed research).
  • Heightened interaction (with self, with instructor, with other students, and with content).
  • Transformative learning outcomes (applied directly to relevant practice).

Multimedia Learning Design Pedagogy: A Hybrid Learning Model

Tsoi, Goh, and Chia (2005) discuss a hybrid model of teaching using multimedia that is meant to engage learners in "meaningful learning. They refer to this model as clearly different from the "traditional transmit/receive" approach to teaching and learning.

The model has three phases in a cycle:

  • Phase 1: Exploration - what did you do?
  • Phase 2: Concept invention - what did you find out?
  • Phase 3: Concept application - how will you apply it?
Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle:
  • concrete experience - focuses on "doing"
  • reflective observation - focuses on "understanding the doing"
  • abstract conceptualization - focuses on "understanding"
  • active experimentation - focuses on "doing the understanding"

Visit the Sloan Consortium WIKI Articles on Learning Effectiveness

Hybrid vs. Blended Learning

The Sloan Consortium is taking a poll asking which name your university uses: blended, hybrid, or mixed-mode. Click Here!

The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee website - Hybrid Courses - is one of the most informative I have found. On their FAQ page, they indicate that "hybrid" and "blended" mean essentially the same thing. They choose the name "hybrid" over "blended" or "mixed." they describe a hybrid as a course in which some traditional face-to-face "seat time" has been replaced by online learning activities." This site discusses the differences between web-enhanced and fully online courses and provides examples of different approaches to hybrid teaching and learning. They list three key features of hybrid coursess:
  • web-based learning activities are introduced to complement face-to-face work
  • "seat time" is reduced, though not eliminated altogether
  • the web-based and face-to-face components of the course are designed to interact pedagogically to take advantage of the best features of each.

The University of Illinois Online Network (ION) does differentiate between "blended" and "hybrid" courses. They label courses according to the amount of time spent in a classroom versus online. Michael Lindeman's powerpoint (2005), "Making the Shift: Onground to Online" describes the differentiation between blended and hybrid.

  • Onground - Courses in which all learning activities are implemented in a face-to-face classroom setting.
  • Blended - Courses in which a significant amount of the activities are implemented in a face-to-face classroom setting. Some materials available online. No online instruction time is substituted for f2f time.
  • Hybrid - “Courses in which a significant amount of the learning activities have been moved online, and time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced but not eliminated” (Garnham & Kaleta, 2002)
  • Online - Courses in which all learning activities have been moved online.

Get the Powerpoint!

View Powerpoint: Overview of Hybrids (Lindeman, 2005)

View a Chart from Maricopa College District on the Wide World of Hybrids!

Background and Purpose of this Blog

This blog is my personal journal of research and resources on hybrid teaching and learning in the university setting. I have been teaching in a variety of college settings for since the mid 90s. I enjoyed teaching face to face (f2f) and experimented with early technology-enhanced online teaching tools, primarily posting course webpages and resource links for my students. In the late 90s, I embraced the "free" options for Blackboard and began to post course materials, quizzes, and discussion questions for my students. When my university purchased their own Blackboard license, I become more engaged in the possibilities of posting make-up classes, online assignments, and discussion. I found that the dropbox and gradebook were convenient for both receiving assignments and sending students feedback. These early web-based course shells were never meant to be hybrid classes in lieu of class seat time. They were simply a convenient way to continue class discussion, share website resources, post materials to avoid printing handouts and resources, and extend communication between me and my students.

In the process of using a web-based instructional course shell to extend learning and communication, I discovered that many of the activities we carried out online were of greater benefit than the typical f2f course lectures, discussions, and group activities. In particular, discussion was typically richer online, with greater evidence of critical thinking and analysis of the reading. Plus - the online discussion was not dominated by just a few. Students who never spoke up in the f2f setting were sharing in-depth, thoughtful responses in the threaded discussion. Many of the courses I teach involve project-based learning. Submitting projects, presentations, and assignments digitally allowed me to give on-going feedback during the week. I no longer took up class time with quizzes, but put them all online. I changed my attitude about quizzes and decided to treat them as "study guides," allowing students to use their texts and the web resources to find help. I still held traditional midterms and finals in class, but I began to move toward more project-based assessments.

I have now developed and taught a number of fully-online classes, as well as hybrid classes in which some online time counted as seat time. I truly believe that students can learn in both onsite and online settings. Some students are most successful in f2f classes, but some are highly motivated and engaged in fully online classes. I think that hybrid classes can offer the best of both worlds. I feel that today's younger students are completely comfortable with online communication through email, text messaging, My Space, Facebook, blogs, Second Life, and the many social possibilities for virtual living, social networking, and online collaborative interactivity. Many of our university students are mature adults returning to school after working in the business world. They appear to be more comfortable with self-directed training models, peer collaboration, and independent learning. Many researchers are discussing the future of higher education and how the "learning space" is changing. This blog is my attempt to organize the ideas of researchers and leaders who propose that hybrid learning is the future of higher education.