Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blendkit, I am flipping the tables on you!

BlendKit, prepare to have your mind blown!

OK, I am a exaggerating a bit, but I am going to come to this MOOC from a non-traditional approach. I've been thinking about the DIY activities, and I have to say that the DYI tools (4th column, DIY project deliverables) are pretty nifty; not just for blended learning, but also for instructional design purposes in general. Now, I don't think I will have a ton of time to complete all DIY deliverables; and, considering that the course I am working with is only a proposal which may, or may not become a full course†, I think it's best to not spend a whole lot of time on a specific course until it's approved to run (given other competing time issues).

In any case, my guinea pig course is a course on Mobile Learning that I developed (at least in syllabus form) in the past year. The funny thing is that I originally conceived of this course as a blended course; however due to business factors (more online students interested in taking it as compared to local students), I decided to address the course to online learners.  That said, I think it would be interesting to take an online course and turn it into a blended course. Thus not asking which on-campus activities can be undertaken online, but rather which online activities can be done in person? And, how can in-person interactions improve the online course.

Looking at the mix map, I would say that the final presentations for the course (existing item in syllabus) as well as intermediate check-in presentations for the site surveys and the technology white papers (not on syllabus) would be good face-to-face elements.  The technology white papers can have an element of show-and-tell whereby the students who wrote a white paper on a specific technology that can be used for mLearning can demonstrate in class and have a learning activity planned around this.  For the site surveys, they can present what they have found thus far for their sites that can benefit from some form of mLearning intervention and get feedback from their peers so that they can uncover things in subsequent surveys that they might have missed, or not though of.

I am trying to avoid the "course and a half" syndrome that the Sloan-C folks warned us about, so if it seems too much for one course, feel free to chime in!

Finally, one more thing that would (I think) benefit from face to face interaction is doing the site survey as a team of two or a small group of  three people. This would be a course activity modification since the site surveys are individual activities in the current syllabus.  That said, I think that if small teams undertook the site surveys, they would potentially uncover more interesting information about their sites, the learners and the information to be learned than if they were working on their own.

One last word: even though I won't use the course blueprint for this activity, I think the course blueprint is a fantastic tool because it maps course description, to course objectives, to activities in the course. My syllabus already contains all that info, and it's a standard requirement to have these items in the syllabus from our department of Graduate Studies.

So, the question is this: what will you do for your blended course?

† while writing this the "I am only a bill" schoolhouse rock came to mind ;-)
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