Ten Questions to Ask When Designing a Blended Course

A blended course sometimes reduces face-to-face "seat time" so that students can pursue additional teaching and learning activities online. These ten questions (adapted from the University of Wisconsin's Hybrid Course Website) are a good starting point when thinking about blended course redesign.

  1. top 10What do you want students to know when they have finished taking your blended course? What are the intended learning outcomes of the course?
  2. As you think about these outcomes, which would be better achieved in the online environment and which would be best achieved face-to-face in class, tutorial or in the lab?
  3. Blended teaching is not just a matter of transferring a portion of your existing course to the online environment. What types of learning activities do you think you will be using for the online portion of your course? For the face-to-face part of the course?
  4. Blended courses provide new opportunities for asynchronous online discussions. How will you use asynchronous discussions as part of the course learning activities? What challenges do you anticipate in using online discussions? How would you address these?
  5. How will the face-to-face, online and other “out of class” learning activities be integrated into a single course? In other words, how will all the course activities feed back into and support the other? How will you make the connections between the activities explicit to students?
  6. When working online, students frequently have problems scheduling their work and managing their time. What do you plan to do to help your students address these issues and understand their own role and responsibility for learning in the course?
  7. How will you divide the percent of time between the face-to-face portion and the online portion of your course, for example 50% face-to-face, 50% online or some other combination?
  8. How will you divide the course-grading scheme between face-to-face and online activities? What assessment methods will you use to assess student work in each of these two components?
  9. Students can have challenges with using new instructional technologies to support their learning. What specific technologies will you use for the online and face-to-face portions of your course? What proactive steps can you take to assist students to become familiar with your course website and those instructional technologies? If students need help with technology later in the course, how will you provide support?
  10. There is a tendency for faculty to require students to do more work in a blended course than they normally would complete in a traditional face-to-face course. What are you going to do to ensure that you have not created a course and one-half? How will you evaluate the student workload (and your own) as compared to a traditional class?

For video resources to help you design blended courses go to University of Wisconsin’s Learning Technology Centre