Monday, October 26, 2009

Finding the appropriate blend of online and oncampus

I am at the "The Future of Online and Blended Learning: Strategy, Policy, and Practice Conference" in Vancouver, BC. Today, I will present my ideas about the design of the UCalgary Online Doctorate in Educational Technology, as part of an expert panel that includes Arshad Ahmed from ConcordiaU, Jim Greer from USask, and Karen Swan from UIllinois.

A talk that stood out for me yesterday was presented by my friend, Mark Brown, from Massey University in New Zealand. The title of Mark's talk, Finding Your Own Blend: An Online Scenario for Conversations about Learning Design, gives you an idea of what he talked about. Mark talked about the need to invest in new hi-tech forms of professional learning that challenge traditional ways of teaching to support teachers who are making the transition from stand and deliver to interactive forms of online learning. Mark demonstrated a web-delivered problem-based scenario that was designed for use in either a stand-alone online module or face-to-face professional development workshop on how to design a blended course for distance delivery. He described the early design and development of SBL along with the iterative process of authoring the scenario in the e-tool SBL Interactive.

Key ideas I jotted down from Mark's talk include: 1) we need to add value for learners for any adoption of any educational technology; 2) two key principles to consider in learning design - understand student's needs, and define what you want students to learn; 3) the right blend of online and oncampus is still a vexing question, 90/10 might be right, and also 10/90 - context vital to correct blend.

More on PFLi and the eCDF at

1 comment:

- brad said...

Wish I was there!

I agree that we need to understand student needs and I think I'd like to add that we also need to understand the context in which they are using the technology or will be applying the learning. That may be a fourth item in the list ... situating the technology in the learners space, not our own.