The “Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice” MOOC started. I have attended the “Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started” course last year. It really helped me to understand what is blended learning approaches, why it is useful in teaching, and how we can design blended courses. So I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn the topic further. It’s a good way for me to keep my knowledge up-to-date and learn from others.
In this week, it focuses on “how to make sure that when we use blended learning, we do achieve our aim of improving learner success“.
I particularly like the way of explaining to us how we can ‘identifying evidence of learning’ through the case study from an Aromatherapy course in Section 1.5. In this example, the different types of learning in action include below, which are useful for us to conduct a learning design in the later sections.
- Acquisition (reading, watching, listening)
- Discussion (exchanging ideas, Q&A with each other or with the teacher)
- Practice (putting concepts, ideas, into practice in an exercise, with feedback)
- Production (producing something for the teacher to assess).
The document “Learning types and digital technologies” demonstrates how we identify learning types, what learning activities are included a learning type, what learning experience the learning activity brings, and what conventional technology and digital technology support the learning activities.
The discussions about Learning Analytics have made me think more of the increasing use of data to support students’ learning, its challenges and issues. Among the learning materials, I feel the two articles “Learning analytics in secondary schools” (written by Tim Gander) and “Ten tips for safe and effective learning analytics” (written by Niall Sclater) helped me the most. As we have increasing amount of requirements for statistic reports of students online actions, it is crucial that we know why we use learning analytics and we provide complete transparency and clear institutional policies.
… to raise and benefit success of learners a policy framework must be established that supports the use of learning analytics, as opposed to academic analytics. The use must be driven by pedagogy rather than institutions. (Tim Gander, 2013)
Students should normally be asked for their consent for personal interventions arising from your analytics, either during enrolment or subsequently. But sometimes legal, safeguarding or other circumstances may arise that mean they can’t opt out of such interventions; if so, these circumstances must be clearly stated and explained. (Niall Sclater, 2015)
It’s great to know that the UCL Knowledge Lab has developed a Learning Designer Tool based on the six learning types from professor Diana Laurillard’s Conversational Framework. The tool is useful for quick developing a learning design, visualising, editing, sharing and reusing it. I have created one from stretch using the tool, and I’m looking forward to exploring it more.
I also enjoy reading other people’s comments and learned learning martial and technologies:
- Blended Learning Essentials Glossary (created by University of Leeds)
- Literature review and code of practice on learning analytics (Jisc)
- Case studies of use of learning analytics (Jisc)
- VoiceThread is a tool that allows people to put collections of media (e.g., images, videos, documents, and presentations) together for an asynchronous conversation. People can make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a web cam, a telephone, or uploaded audio file on a media file.
- MyTestXPro is a tool for creating, organising and conducting online tests (created by a Russia project)