Blended Instruction - Getting Started


I teach exclusively in a face-to-face setting but would like to explore how to leverage online strategies/practices.

The most important guidance we can provide is this: start small. Focus on your own learning first and then plan for changing just a few things each course rather than everything at once. Be sure to ask the students for specific feedback related to your changes so you can have their perspective in making decisions for future sessions. One of your primary goals should be to synergize the strengths of both your face-to-face and online instructional strategies while minimizing any weaknesses. 
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A Note on Backwards Design: As you begin to think about your course structure, start with a backward design approach (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). With backward design, think about where you want your students to be at the end of each session/lesson/unit and work from there. Next, consider what activities are better suited for an online format and which activities would be better done in a face-to-face format.

Regardless of how you structure your course, keep these few general points in mind: First, there is not a handbook or protocol for which parts of a course belong online and which parts belong in a face-to-face format, the structure is largely dependent on the objectives of the course. Second, be sure that you as the instructor have an active presence in both contexts by being involved in both online and face-to-face sessions. Finally, be sure that there is a clear connection between the online context and the face-to-face context and that they do not operate as separate courses.

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