10 Questions to Blended Course Redesign

A blended course, by definition, reduces face-to-face “seat time” so that students can pursue additional teaching and learning activities online. To be successful, a blended course requires careful pedagogical redesign. These ten questions offer you a way to start thinking about some of these design issues.

1. What do you want students to know when they have finished taking your blended course?

2. As you think about learning objectives, which would be better achieved online and which would be best achieved face-to-face?

3. Blended teaching is not just a matter of transferring a portion of your traditional course to the Web. Instead it involves developing challenging and engaging online learning activities that complement your face-to-face activities. What types of learning activities do you think you will be using for the online portion of your course?

4. Online asynchronous discussion is often an important part of blended courses. What new learning opportunities will arise as a result of using asynchronous discussion? What challenges do you anticipate in using online discussions? How would you address these?

5. How will the face-to-face and time out of class components be integrated into a single course? In other words, how will the work done in each component feed back into and support the other?

6. When working online, students frequently have problems scheduling their work and managing their time, and understanding the implications of the blended course module as related to learning. What do you plan to do to help your students address these issues?

7. How will you divide the percent of time between the face-to-face portion and the online portion of your course?

8. How will you divide the course grading scheme between face-to-face and online activities? What means will you use to assess student work in each of these two components?

9. Students sometimes have difficulty acclimating to the course Web site and to other instructional technologies you may be using for face-to-face and online activities. What specific technologies will you use for the online and face-to-face portions of your course? What initial steps can you take to assist students to become familiar with your Web site 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 purely traditional course. What are you going to do to ensure that you have not created a course and a half? How will you evaluate the student workload as compared to a traditional class?

Please make some notes to yourself along the following lines: which of these questions do you find surprising? Which do you find troublesome? Which do you find intriguing?