I have enrolled to complete a MOOC course Blended Learning Essentials offered on FutureLearn which started this week. I have enjoyed the course so far although it is only a week one and the materials within the course are so useful and all the videos are presented so well, so easy to follow. If you think perhaps you might like to find out more and do this course as well, there is still time to enrol and complete week one as all the lessons are so easy to follow and recap. I am not sure if the course providers would appreciate me saying this but I would recommend it even if you just enrol to explore for useful materials and forums. Here is the link if you wish to find out more and enrol: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started
I decided to enrol for this course because of the job I do as a trainer and I thought this might help me look into how we can deliver efficiently and effectively for less without compromising the standards. We are all having to reinvent how we deliver knowledge and skills to our learners whilst the core teaching pedagogy may not have changed. In the recent years in particular with the financial crisis across the world, our position has become challenging to deliver more for less without compromising quality. So it seems doing nothing is not an option now and we get constantly reminded to think beyond the four walls; in other words blue sky thinking is the buzz word but I prefer to call it diverse thinking. Whatever approach we may adopt, it is the same objective in the end to deliver more for less.
Here are few things I have picked up from the course so far and I would like to share it here and hopefully you will find them informative and useful too.
I like the part in the course where it explains that limited time spent in the classroom is effective by the use of blended learning solution. Students complete peer learning or individual learning which is then followed up in the classroom. I like to think the blended learning approach as the synchronous and asynchronous teaching method enhanced by modern technology.
The challenge we face currently is the constraint in so many levels and financial being one of them. As most of the organisation and institutions are in the austerity path that we are having to reinvent how we educate and train for virtually without spending any.
We are also being challenged with the skills gap and the right knowledge to deliver blended solution along with disengaging learners to adopt technology as the tools for learning. Overcoming all these boundaries would be a milestone in itself but one that we cannot be complacent in our approach to implement blended solution and must look into how we can help learners to engage with the modern methods of learning.
Here are some of the links I found which I thought are very useful to explore:
I found this website recommended in one of the forums and useful to read it which is about – 10 drivers for blended learning:
Glossary – Good Tools for building your own list
Typeform – Create your own online assessment form
Temporary Text Hosting facility to publish anonymous pages of text as no registration required
Pastie – http://pastie.org/
NoteHub (best for mobile devices) – http://notehub.org/
Padlet – http://padlet.com/
There are so many online tools being shared and recommended on the web, it can be a daunting task in itself to decide which tools are the best. This really depends on, I think in what you are trying to achieve ultimately to engage with learners.
Here is the link from FutureLearn on Social Media Tools and Tips which gives you lots of information and I found this page so useful. https://about.futurelearn.com/about/faq/social-media-tips/#padlet
Best of luck to you all in whatever you are trying to achieve in your endeavour. Share all your experience with everyone so that we can all benefit from it.