I’ve recently been participating in an online course for teachers called BlendKit 2012. This open online learning experience provides a five-week introduction to blended learning, or what some call hybrid learning. It is sponsored by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with funding from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC).
Essentially, a blended (or hybrid) course is one that includes both in-person, face-to-face instruction with substantial online instruction. Students in a hybrid course spend some time in a physical classroom environment, and some time in an online learning environment. It’s becoming an increasingly popular “middle ground” alternative between traditional face-to-face courses and online courses. I’m attracted to the hybrid concept because it encourages an instructor to consider what kinds of learning activities work best in a classroom and what kinds work best online, and design courses that take advantage of the best of both modalities.
Participants in BlendKit 2012 are encouraged to post blog entries about their experiences with hybrid learning. So I thought this would be a good time to post something to my blog that I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. This past summer, I had the privilege of presenting at the Desire2Learn Fusion conference. This annual meeting sponsored by the popular learning management system Desire2Learn brings together faculty, administrators, technical support staff and vendors for a few intense days of sharing, exploring and pushing the boundaries of online learning. My presentation detailed my experiences as part of the instruction team that used Desire2Learn to develop and deliver a hybrid course last year in intercultural communication. I’ve embedded the slides of that presentation below. Perhaps it will prompt some interest among participants in BlendKit 2012 who may be using D2L as part of a blended (hybrid) course, or thinking about doing so.