What is blended learning?
Blended learning (sometimes called flipped, hybrid, or mixed-mode learning) is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face and online learning. Approaches to blended learning are diverse, and there is no set template for implementing a blended course. For more information, see the About section of our website.
What is the recommended ratio of face-to-face and online time?
While there is no set ratio that would be ideal for every blended course, The Sloan Consortium specifies that 30%-79% of instruction is delivered online in a blended course (Allen, Seaman & Garrett, 2007, p.5).
I am considering teaching a blended course but I don’t think I have the technical skills necessary. What should I do?
There are a number of ways you can get the technical support you need and improve your skills so that you feel confident teaching a blended course. CTL offers tutorials and training on a variety of technologies, or you can book an individual consultation. You can learn about eClass (Moodle) through Moodle 101 (a self-paced guide to the features of Moodle through short screencast videos and examples) or through IST support. CTL can also assist you by taking on some of the technical work needed in the development of your blended course (for example, the creation of animations, audio and video editing, support setting up your eClass page, and more!) Please contact us for more information, we would be happy to help you.
Where can I find resources and support?
We have a number of resources available on this website and through CTL. To learn more about how blended learning has been implemented in courses at the University of Alberta, browse some case studies. We also have compiled some information about how to design, deliver, and evaluate your blended course. If you need assistance with technology, see the FAQ above or contact us. We also provide a number of on-campus resources such as workshops on a variety of topics which could support you in the development of your blended course. On our website you will also find links to a number of other resources including journal articles and websites that you may find helpful. Last but not least, please contact us to find out how we can support you.
What funding is available?
The Provost’s Digital Learning Committee (PDLC) has established funding to support faculty interested in redeveloping an undergraduate course into a blended learning format through the University of Alberta Blended Learning Awards. For more information on these awards, visit the About section of our website.
Why should I use eClass (Moodle) in the development of my blended course?
While a number of learning management systems (LMS) exist, the University of Alberta has adopted eClass (Moodle). The system is quick to learn and there are a number of eClass training opportunities and supports available for faculty at the University of Alberta. eClass also allows you to integrate numerous aspects of your course within one system, including but not limited to: syllabi, readings, videos, formative and summative evaluations, discussion boards, course messaging, assignment submission, grade books, and more. Further, the adoption of one LMS by faculty provides a consistent experience for students across their courses; it means that one login provides all of the information and resources students need, all in one place.
How long does it take to develop a blended course?
This varies considerably depending on how much of the course you intend to blend (i.e. the whole course or just a few modules or units), how you plan to organize the course and what resources or activities you plan to develop. Even the amount of time required to create specific resources can vary depending on your approach, needs, and the technology you choose to use. For example, the creation of tutorial videos can require a minimal time investment (e.g. recording a lecture you’re already giving) or can be extremely time consuming (e.g. scripted, animated videos). The feedback we’ve received from instructors is that developing a blended course requires a significant up-front time investment, but the workload decreases significantly after implementation. In subsequent years, the time to prepare for a (previously developed) blended course would be approximately equivalent to a non-blended course.
How does CTL support professors and the workload needed to develop a blended course?
There are a number of ways CTL can support professors in the development of a blended course:
- Funding from the PDLC can be used to hire TA’s and / or provide course release to support instructors to manage the workload associated with developing a blended course
- CTL employs Educational Developers who will be assigned to assist the instructor with aspects of course design, development, implementation (such as helping organize resources in eClass) and evaluation. The Educational Developer also manages the project budget and deadlines and liaises between the instructor and the technical support team at CTL. This reduces the workload for instructors and frees up more of their time for content specific course development tasks.
- CTL can provide a wide array of technical supports to instructors – from tutorials and one-on-one consultations to video filming and editing, creation of animations, and support with eClass.
What should I do about copyright?
It is best to familiarize yourself with the rules and practices surrounding copyright well in advance of your course and allow 6-8 weeks to obtain permission to use a copyrighted resource. We strongly urge you to visit the Copyright Office Website for more information.