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While it would be a great benefit to educators if there was a “one size fits all” type of learning style where all students thrive, that’s simply not the case. Hence why schools and businesses have used variations of blended learning for some time now; there is simply no way to predetermine which students will respond better to visual aids, direct interaction, lectures, independent study or dozens of other forms of teaching. By combining these styles of teaching into one highly flexible lesson plan, however, it is much more likely no student will be left behind.
Here are a few of the more important considerations to create an effective blended learning course-
One of the most important aspects of designing any blended learning course is to ensure it meets the organization’s ultimate needs, from both a technical and an educational perspective. This can only happen by performing an in-depth analysis of existing hardware/software technologies, plus gaining an understanding of how the learning courses will be distributed and ultimately used by potential students. These types of insights will directly affect what design elements are chosen and how they can be implemented the client’s with existing technologies.
Understanding the student’s specific learning needs is also an important aspect to consider, because this will also help determine which types of blended learning models will be the most successful. For example, if part of the student’s overall training objective is to become proficient with operating certain types of equipment or machinery, then it would make sense to include a simulation to offer practical experience.
Once the various delivery methods are decided, then the next step is to select the proper learning management platform that will handle all of the organization’s needs. Since there are a number of viable learning management systems (LMS) available with varying levels of security, accessibility, management levels and other considerations, it is important to select an option that ensures 100% compatibility with the technology and the various learning courses that will interact with it.
Likewise, the actual management of a blended learning course is another consideration since there will be decisions to be made regarding scheduling, registration and notifications. How resources are shared and delivered will also play a factor, as will the instructor’s level of interaction with the various learning formats.
Since a blended learning course is a continually evolving system that tracks and evaluates each learner, the monitoring tools it provides instructors is critical for the program’s success. This could mean implementing a number of evaluation methods for different types of instruction so that feedback and adjustments can be made as quickly as possible. The system should also be expansive enough to allow for quick implementations of new courses as a need arises.
Of course, the main objective of any organization considering a blended learning course is to deliver great course content that stimulates the student and accelerates the learning process, which is exactly why so many organizations turn to us at Designing Digitally, Inc. For more information on creating an effective blended learning course or to receive a custom needs evaluation, please contact our staff directly at (866) 316-9126.