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What works best

Share ideas for F2F/Online delivery

In a blended course, instructors will be deciding what works best online and what works best face-to-face (F2F),    From your experience, research, reading, and/or intuition, use this forum to share one example of an activity or lesson that you think would work best F2F and one that would best be delivered online.   Please include your discipline in the Subject Line.

This Discussion actually resides in the ANGEL Group and contains postings from previous classes.  Read some of them for ideas and tips.

ANGEL Users 
Nursing challenges for online courses
by BARBARA POPOLA (bpopola) at 2/24/2009 8:43 PM

UJsually my first challenge is to get the students into the computer and then into the internet and then to Angel.  Some nursing students are very into technology but some do not like it at all.  They prefer just to listen to the professor.  I like web-enhanced course and hybrid courses because there is still some face to face interaction.  I definetly feel that in nursing testing should be done f2f, because in the past I feel ther has been some cheating.  I feel most nursing students do not like technology because it puts more responsibility on the student for learning, not just blaming the lack of learning on the professor. 

Best Activity F2F/ Online
by PAULINE KERR (pkerr) at 2/24/2009 6:14 PM
The activity I think which would be  best suited  for the F2F  in pediatics nursing  is the skill of medication administration. The activities which are best suited for on-line are math. practice quizzes / careplan scenarios . These quizzes and scenarios must have the answers so that the students can practice several times until they get proficient. Feed back must also be included as to why certain choices in the quizzes are correct /incorrect. The scenarios should give the students  feedback as to what they should assess, what they should assist with and what they should teach based on the scenario. It is the responsibility of the students to know the pathophysiology /etiologyof the disease.
What Works Best College Prep Writing
by JOAN TULLOCH (jtulloch) at 2/24/2009 12:51 PM
College Prep writing students need to have F2F contact for the introduction of new concepts, such as recognizing and writing thesis statements. The online format would be perfect for them to get additional practice in writing thesis statements. They would also have the opportunity to view samples that are available in writing centers in other colleges.
EAP Reading and Writing and College Prep Reading
by RENEE ZELDEN (rzelden) at 2/23/2009 2:01 PM

In College prep reading we have labs set up on line. Both reading and writing need practice. The best way for students to practice is by utilizing the online format of a computer. There are some great writng websites like Perdue OWL were you can have students practice thier activities.

One problem I run into is that students don't know how to use the computer software. I spend so much time F2F showing my students how to upload assignments to Angel.

what works best
by DANIEL DELGADO (ddelgad1) at 2/23/2009 9:26 AM

In a programming course, I believe that the basics concepts will work best online. However, concepts like pointers, arrays, recursion, and polimorphisim, to name a few, should be teach f2f.

blended, enhanced or f2f (mathematics)
by YANILDA ESPINAL (yespinal) at 2/21/2009 1:12 PM
There are so many resources for math such us online tutoring, java applets, the geometer sketchpad animations to illustrate solid of revolutions in Calculus, or parametric functions, etc.  Some of these can be presented in class or leave them as assignments in enhanced or virtual courses.  However, I think the best candidates for blended courses in the math department would be those courses are offered one day only for almost 3 hours like the weekend courses. These could be plan may be 1 hour or 1:30 f2f interaction and the rest of the time with online projects, exploratory activities, and homework.  These students are usually the ones with a busy schedule.
Online delivery
by CARLOS CANAS (ccanas) at 2/20/2009 12:18 AM

 I teach statistics at Miami Dade, this is an excellent course to blend with an online component.  As I said before, I would like my students to develop a book (portfolio) online by uploading digital information.  I think that is the idea behind wiki-books. I would create a table on content with datelines for them to follow.  Collecting 30 portfolios in class is not practical. Online, students have more resources to be unique and more creative and develop a persolized porfolio that includes content related to their field.  Students can research the web to include in their portfolios views and explanations from experts in the field.  They can use a tablet to insert examples. They can also provide solution to problems using the math editor and HTML editor.

Re: Online delivery
by TRINIDAD ARGUELLES (targuell) at 2/23/2009 1:21 PM

I like the idea of collecting assignments online as well. It is there "for ever"plus we save the environment as we save paper, etc.  Most of all, it gives students a first hand training on time management. If they do not meet the deadliness, they might not be able to post their work.

Great idea.

Trinidad Arguelles

EAP (English for Academic Purposes (ESL) Accent Reduction
by JOHN KOSTOVICH (jkostovi) at 2/19/2009 9:03 PM

From what I have done this semester so far using Angel in my Accent Reduction courses, I feel that F2f instruction is best used to teach the introduction to features of sounds such as using stress on some words in a sentence and not on others, finding a focus word in a thought group, etc.,  There I can guide students to understand the theory by reading through that point in the textbook with them and then applying the theory immediately there in the classroom by working in some brief exercises as a class and in pair work. I can monitor their classwork and pairwork and give them immediate feedback. Any kind of pair work-speaking activity works best in class.

On the other hand, assignments that require students to listen to native speakers giving lectures, listen to interviews on the radio in podcasts, etc., are best done on line in the virtual enhanced part. I also like my students to do a lot of audio recordings of themselves and then monitoring their own speech through a variety of exercises with features to monitor for in their speech. This works very well in assignments done through Angel where students submit their audio recording assignments as attachments.

In the past, I used to have my students do audio recordings on CDs and then turn them in to me for evaluation. I couldn't give that many assignments since it was cumbersome to collect the CDs, take them to my office, or home, and grade each CD. Also, there were always so many students who would not turn work in on time and want extensions, giving a multitude of excuses. Now with Angel and drop boxes for these assignments, the complaints are almost non-existent. I can also give more short recording assignments which give students much more valuable feedback.

The information I have heard so far from the video on using blended courses to the Strengths and Weaknesses of using online learning seems to support my initial feelings about using online learning.

math and online delivery
by CARLOS CANAS (ccanas) at 2/19/2009 6:52 PM

thank you for the hint

Based on the information on the video and the article, there are many different tools to improve teaching unsing the internet. I am very interested on the wiki-books. Does any one knows  how that technology works?

Animation on Math
by GONZALO AGUERREVERE (gaguerre) at 2/19/2009 4:43 PM

I want to share this animation library for Math. It comes from a Tom Apostol publish "A visual approach to calculus problems". A nice example is the bike trace to show a ring with an equal area to a circle:

And the complete library for this application can be found on:

Best regards,

Gonzalo Aguerrevere

Re: Animation on Math
by CARLOS CANAS (ccanas) at 2/19/2009 6:57 PM

thank you for the hint,

I create my own "animation" by capturing the screen with camtecia

see press on statitstics and press on any of the videos

Trinidad Arguelles-What works best Psychology
by TRINIDAD ARGUELLES (targuell) at 2/19/2009 1:13 AM


Of the psychology courses I have taught at MDC,  two I have taught online (Human growth and development) and (Introduction to Psychology) versus the two I have taught face to face (personal effectiveness),and (SLS 1505), I can see that issues or topics that are quite personal, or might be perceived as such, or are just controversial are best discussed online.

It seems like the students are more open to the discussion, regardless of whether or not the issue has ever affected them directly when they talk about it as par of an online discussion. Not having to face others as they freely speak about it gives them the opportunity to express their honest opinions in a safe environment. Usually these topics generate a lot of dialogue, especially in a course such as human growth and development, that deals with the whole spectrum of the life span.

Thanks so much.


edited by targuell on 2/19/2009 1:13 AM
What Works Best
by CAROL GROSECLOSE (cgrosecl) at 2/18/2009 2:11 PM

I am teaching HSC 2400 - Basic Emergency Care as a blended course for the first this term. I have more time to spend working with the students on the skills portion of the course and reviewing key concepts when I compare it to my face to face courses.

Computer and Programming and Analysis
by LENNIE COOPER (lcooper2) at 2/17/2009 5:55 PM
Will share ideas during course over next several days.
ENC 1102 tasks
by CARY SER (cser) at 2/12/2009 5:12 AM
Students should be able to do a lot of work online familiarizing themselves with MLA format for their research papers.  They can visit the OWL at Purdue University, produce tentative "Works Cited" pages, and practice appropriate in-text citation forms.  F2F we can discuss appropriate ways to sufficiently narrow the topic so as to produce an in-depth research paper within the relatively limited space they have to work with (6-10 pages) and talk about strategies for finding appropriate secondary sources.
What works...
by JUDITH TARVER (jtarver) at 2/11/2009 1:43 PM
In ENC 1102, the F2F interactions will be an opportunity for closely analyzing the literature together (and clarifying any misunderstandings about literary terms and critical theories). Then the discussion forums will allow the students to explore their interpretations on an informal level. In my current classes, the students enjoy sharing their responses and noting the insights of others in the online discussions.  The other online assignments can be used for prewriting and reinforcing “concepts.” However, I am really excited about creating online activities that will provide new opportunities and tools for students to work together. Hopefully, the students will find ways to develop a more thorough understanding of the literature.
Library/Information Science
by DEBORAH KEELER (dkeeler) at 2/7/2009 11:12 PM


 There is no substitute for actually going to the library, meeting the librarians, and getting a feel for the physical layout. That can't be done well with a video.


Library subscription databases, such as Academic Onefile, are accessed online, so these are obviously part of the hybrid course's online component.

F2F: discussion of the pros and cons of the different navigational mechanisms of the databases. Students can also demonstrate research methods in presentations to others.

Psychology for Personal Effectiveness, CLP 1006, What works best?
by SHERYL HARTMAN (shartman) at 2/7/2009 2:57 PM

Having the student review ambiguous figues works best online.  The students love this, and can spend hours going from one item to another.  They enjoy sharing this site.

Teaching about internal and external locus of control works best F-F.  Some students have a great deal of resistance to the notion of individual responsibility, and benefit from hearing classmates discuss this concept.

Reading and Writing
by NANCY DAVIES (ndavies) at 2/3/2009 1:24 PM

Although each semester I teach reading courses for the Virtual College, there are some things I can do f2f that I cannot do online.  One thing I do f2f is listen to students read aloud.  This is important and allows me to emphasize certain points about reading that I cannot do online.  Also, I have students say aloud all of their vocabulary words, which I feel helps them remember and possibly use the word.

I also have taught writing classes in Virtual format.  These courses work quite well in the online classroom.  Students can take their time and submit papers that are their best work.  In a classroom, many assignments will have time constraints.

F2F/Online Accounting
by COLLEEN CHUNG (cchung) at 2/2/2009 4:01 PM

I have been creating some video podcasts of accounting topics that are difficult for the students to grasp.  After I have covered the material in my face-to-face class, I will make these podcasts available as reinforcement and clarification through my online delivery.  I will also give them a short quiz to test their understanding of the material.

Re: F2F/Online Accounting
by MARCIA CASSIDY (mcassidy) at 2/2/2009 7:58 PM
Colleen, there does not seem to be anything called "too much reinforcing"...all students need that ..great idea!  I like the idea of the podcast after that lecture..and the little quiz just to make sure they get the essentials
Working Best
by MARCIA CASSIDY (mcassidy) at 2/2/2009 3:29 PM

In the reading enhanced course (EAP/ESL ) that I teach, (and the one that I would consider blending), the initial presentation of reading skills appear to be work best when offered the powerpoints (narrated is best for language learners) that teach finding main ideas in whatever we read can best be done and put online....the exercises that are clear and have stated main ideas where students find topic sentences and choose an answer from among multiple distractors is also OK when offered online..

The challenges my students seem to have is in the thinking-through for unstated main ideas, so these kinds of discussions as to why this is the correct main idea and not that would best be done F2F....I like the idea of discussions after tests...this too would prove most helpful F2F...the test itself is best offered online...students love that anyway and like the immediate feedback re scores earned...

Intro to Computers
by ANNE NOWLAND (anowland) at 2/2/2009 3:28 PM

Face-to-Face is best for a hands-on a demonstration of a new Office lesson. The students can have instant feedback and help.

Online PowerPoint presentations allow the students to move at their own speed and repeat at a future time. A follow-up discussion group can reflect what the students find interesting or confusing.

What Works Best Where in Biology
by MIRIAM DEL CAMPO (mdelcamp) at 2/2/2009 11:07 AM

I think that class hands-on activities, such as labs, work best face to face.  These activities need to be monitored by a person who has mastered them and is able to determine how students are advancing and what areas need improvement or remediation. 

What I like about online learning is that it can occur anywhere and anytime, which is convenient for the student.  In an online course, it becomes very clear that the student is the owner of their schedule and responsible for doing necessary activities to learn the course material.  The learning becomes very student centered and the professor becomes a facilitator. 

edited by mdelcamp on 2/2/2009 11:09 AM
Blended Java
by GREGORY BALLINGER (gballing) at 2/2/2009 2:00 AM

Since I assume my blended class would be begin with a F2F meeting, it leads to a natural structure that I think the students would easily remember.

The blended component would be structured to have two parts.

  1. Review the previous F2F
    • Have the students write and respond to review questions in a discussion board 
    • Possibly a short quiz or follow-up exercise
  2. Prepare for the next F2F
    • Narrated PowerPoint or Video
    • Possibly an online reading assignment -- like research an algorithm
    • Possibly a short quiz or introductory exercise

Something I am using in both by virtual and web-enhanced courses are some automatically graded assignments (Java programs auto-graded by the publisher's companion site). These would be very effective for the online portion of the blended course.

In contrast to some, I think interactivity is most effective in a F2F situation.  If the intro material is well-covered online, the F2F time could be spent in student teams, code-walkthroughs (a student presents his or her code to the class), short instructor explanations of concepts, and instructor led discussion about challenging assignments that apply concepts introduced in the online enviroment.

As Rhonda pointed out in her introduction, I think we need to be careful not include so much "enhancement and enrichment" that these become a course and a half.

F2F and online in Biology courses
by SUZANNE BUTLER (sbutler) at 1/31/2009 11:44 PM
Course materials including the syllabus, Power Point Presentations for the chapter, pre-class exercises, a drop box for any assignment, and links to practice on things they need to memorize or sites expanding on the chapter are placed in a lesson folder online in my web enhanced course. I have already been considering adding discussion on some of these extra sites; now I will problably do that.

The first day of class I require students to introduce themselves to at least three or four other students in class and have them exchange emails.  If we are going to do group work I also form the groups f2f and give them some class time to get acquainted and begin working together then give them group space online to continue.

Class time is used to review the pre-class exercise and what students have listed as topics they need help with and topics they are interested in knowing more about. I also use you tube in class as well as internet sites to expand on the text.
by MARTHA CAVALARIS (mcavalar) at 1/31/2009 11:36 PM
I teach accounting courses and one of the topics I cover is financial statement analysis.  In a F2F class I'll go over the anlyzing techniques, cover ratios, assign practice problem, and go over problem.  In an online environment I will have the students download a financial statement of a public company and perform an anlyzing technique and compute the ratios.
In My Writing Classes
by FRANCIA TORRES (ftorres1) at 1/31/2009 8:56 PM
Discussion boards have had a large impact on critical thinking in my writing classes. I use discussion boards as a precursors for a writing topic to help students with "idea generation." Students have told me how much they enjoy these assignments.

Drop boxes are great! Assignments are turned in with a smaller amount of excuses from the students. Less paper is wasted with this type of delivery, and less I have to carry.

Hand -Outs are always available to students.

Lecture still work best for me in a face-to-face setting, especially when I am introducing a new concept.

Q & A
work best face-to-face for my students because they have trouble communicating their concerns.
What works?
by ELIANE KEANE (ekeane) at 1/31/2009 5:26 PM
What works? Student engagement works.  Never done it but  I am just experimenting with the thought. Assign students to search 2 existing videos covering a math concept already studied. Post the source in a discussion board. Present the concept of the video for 2-5 minutes during class in the face to face meeting..
F2F and Online - College Prep Writing
by ILIANA HAKES-MARTINEZ (ihakesma) at 1/30/2009 10:24 AM

Essay Writing and Grammar - Online:  Present theory for both Essay Writing and Grammar; Discussion Forums and Peer Review for both; Exams and Quizzes for Grammar. 

                                                   F2F:  In-Class Group Writing Activities and In-Class Essays; Group Presentations-Grammar.

edited by ihakesma on 1/30/2009 10:24 AM edited by ihakesma on 1/30/2009 10:25 AM
by MARIA CASADO (mcasado) at 1/29/2009 8:39 PM

For the F2F meeting, I like to have students asking questions and presenting their opinion about the reading assignments, including the textbook reading assignments.  They ask me about concepts they do not fully understand and need clarification. 

On line, students have supplemental readings, exercises, documents and webpages, videos, discussion forums,  assessments/tests.  So, I like to spend the F2F meeting answering their questions, and commenting about what they've learned online.

Re: LIS1001
by ELIANE KEANE (ekeane) at 2/1/2009 2:31 PM
I just wished the math students would be doing this too...
Blending the LIT Course
by MARTA MAGELLAN (mmagella) at 1/29/2009 5:37 PM
Although I have not yet taught a blended course, I have ideas as to how I'd like to do it based on my web-enhanced courses.  I teach my Survey of Children' Literature using blogs,, and handouts through ANGEL. The blogs are a great way to give credit for participation. I've discovered that some students can't wait to read something so that they can go online and blog about it. They're not that eager to write a paper. F2F discussion is still the highlight of any literature course, and to have both the blog AND the F2F discussion seems to be an ideal combination for critiquing literature.
F2F v Online
by ANDREW FRADOS (afrados) at 1/29/2009 3:44 PM

Although I have included it in every online course I have created, the meet your classmates is a section that I think would be much better off being face-to-face. There is so much lost in the visual image of someone online. Maybe we should have everyone post a picture of themselves or have them use a camera in order to have this section done.

One of my favorite online activities is to have the students read an article or a chapter in their textbook and then do an exercise such as matching the term with the definition.

Andrew Frados

Re: F2F v Online
by JOHN KOSTOVICH (jkostovi) at 2/19/2009 9:09 PM
Andrew, I agree that taking digital pictures of your students and having your students post them does personalize the class online. They really enjoy getting the pictures from me when I take them in class. Some of them really like to "ham-it-up" in front of the camera for their "close up".
Share ideas for F2F/Online delivery (Mathematics)
by NELSON DE LA ROSA (ndelaro1) at 1/29/2009 8:47 AM

Example: MAT-1033 (Intermediate Algebra)

Topic: Chapters 1 and 2 (Solving linear equations in one variable, Writing linear equations in 2 variables, Graphing linear equations)

F2F: Students will learn how to solve linear equations as well as to graph them.

Online delivery: Students will prepare a project where they need to find the estimate of a cost of a home in any area of the country by applying the concepts they have learned in chapters 1 and 2.

edited by ndelaro1 on 1/29/2009 8:48 AM
what works best? - science
by RENE REVUELTA (rrevuelt) at 1/28/2009 5:08 PM
. . . from the other postings and by studying the video . . . my interpretation is that, compared to the traditional campus based class meeting session, the F2F weekly session is more significant and has greater weight for student learning and success . . . it seems I need to design the F2F lesson as efficiently as possible in terms of learning and interactivity (and as a supplement to the online portion of the lesson) . . . I am currently thinking that, in terms of course content, student presentations might be a good way to start experimenting with the F2F portion of the course . . .

Thank you,

Blended or F2F for Advanced Reading
by HELEN ROLAND (hroland) at 1/28/2009 2:51 PM

In EAP 1620, Reading VI, my students do a collaborative project through a WebQuest.  In teams of 2-4 people, they research and illustrate types of figurative language.  They prepare PowerPoint  presentations and present their findings to the class.  This is an activity that I'm sure could be included in a Blended setting.  Students could do the WebQuest and research aspect during the Blended hours. 

On the other hand, the real value of the project is found in their reports to their classmates.  Our discussion of the use and mis-use of figurative language is always a highlight of the class.  The interaction, , feedback, laughter, and joy they share through this activity could  be face-2-face. 

Cristi Mitchell ESL Writing LAB
by CRISTI MITCHELL (cmitchel) at 1/27/2009 3:46 PM
From my limited experience with this, I would say what works best so far F2F is the Q & A interaction between students and professor, competitions, and general information gathering/lecturing.  Online, the individualized, self-paced pre/post testing and lessons, where students can proceed at their own pace and review as they wish, enjoying the features that the computer has to offer them--ease of use, non-judgemental, instant feedback, ability to review, walk away, and work from anyplace.
Re: Cristi Mitchell ESL Writing LAB
by MARCIA CASSIDY (mcassidy) at 2/2/2009 7:53 PM
I  agree with you, Cristi. I guess our ESL students are not that different fromother learners...
Blended course ideas - Economics
by GAIL HAWKS (ghawks) at 1/27/2009 3:26 PM

I taught a "hybrid macroeconomics course" a couple of years ago as an experiment for the College.  That was the only semester the course was taught.  I am glad to see the College is creating "blended" courses because I think they have a real significance for our economy today.

However, I have never developed a blended class with the same degree of online effort as displayed in the video.  But since watching the video I can think of numerous applications to use in my F2F microeconomics class and in a microeconomics online course as well. 

In microeconomics I have the class divided into teams for a Stock Market Game project.  I can see how this activity could be greatly expanded so teams share with one another data sources and content, not just with their individual team members but with other teams and the content for this activity enhanced.  Posting sources and creating ipod presentations on corporate trends or market conditions effecting various industries would be helpful to students knowing when to "buy" or "sell" their shares.  So much can be added to this endeavor through the online avenues, I need to be sure I don't overwhelm the students with too many sources and web options.


edited by ghawks on 1/27/2009 3:27 PM edited by ghawks on 1/27/2009 3:28 PM
Concepts and Realization
by JOSE DONIS (jdonis) at 1/27/2009 10:20 AM
Because I teach humanities, I expose students to various concretization of ideas as expressed by many artists in many different formats, e.g., sculpture, literature, music.  In some cases (e.g., Renaissance, Ancient Greece), an entire culture may envelop a single ideal, yet have numerous realizations of that ideal through art.  Therefore, students must first learn the concepts that comprise the single ideal, and the realization/concretization of those concepts in artworks.

I believe that students may learn the concepts ONLINE, do certain exercises in order for me to see that they have learned the concept, and then show them IN CLASS the various realizations of the concept.  This reinforces what they have learned in some resource, AND they actually SEE it in class.

The Discussion Board CAN BE vital
by Larry Davies (IDS) (ldaviesi) at 1/27/2009 8:56 AM
Hi everyone, welcome to working in a blended course.!

I work in the Virtual College and help people deliver fully online courses. However, online and blended courses overlap in several aspects. There is ONE aspect that I like to focus on with instructors online and that is the use of the discussion boards. Here are some quick tips:

  • Every unit that you teach in a blended course should have some kind of online discussion, so make sure that you set up a discussion board and make sure participation in it is part of the overall grade.
  • Construct a rubic whereby students can assess their own participation in the discussion board. John Fritz at the university of Maryland has an excellent presentation about using rubrics and portfolios with students in an online discussion.
  • Finally, Kiriakidis (2008) has a short article detailing findings about discussion boards. He concludes in his abstract that "Threaded Discussions (TDs) should be detailed, interesting, enjoyable, and valuable, and during TDs, instructors should provide students with continuous encouragement, guidance, assistance, quality and timely feedback, motivation, and support."

(too lazy to include citations above, but they are linked to the resources)

edited by ldaviesi on 1/27/2009 8:57 AM
Re: The Discussion Board CAN BE vital
by RENEE ZELDEN (rzelden) at 2/23/2009 1:54 PM
thanks for the info
Low Stakes Assessments
by Roberta Neway (IDS) (rnewayi) at 1/27/2009 8:45 AM


I'm Roberta Neway, Instructional Designer w/the Viritual College. 

I think requiring students to do low stakes assessments/exercises online before the F2F session is a good way to get them thinking about the topic and also give the instructor time to tailor the F2F session to areas that are problematic. 

Re: Low Stakes Assessments
by SUZANNE BUTLER (sbutler) at 1/31/2009 11:28 PM
Yes, Roberta, this is what I do in my web enhanced classes. I give a warm up exercise that consists of 4 questions based on the chapter we will be covering in the class room and a 5th question that asks the students to list concepts that confused them in the reading or were particularly interesting. Then I use class time to address topics where students were particularly confused or expand beyond the text in areas of interest.
Blended -(helping underprepared students)
by JUDITH GARCIA (jgarcia) at 1/24/2009 10:48 AM

Using Blended Format to Individualize Instruction

1.  In my blended Advanced ESL Grammar course, I have face2face classes two days a week for 50 minutes M/W 7:00 AM to 7:50AM, and on-line class one day (Fridays).  However, I invite my “stragglers” and “hagglers” to drop in on Fridays, same classroom/same hour, to see me. 

A.    Stragglers:  Students who have missed the M/W classes that week or who have failed the latest quiz/exam, can come in on Fridays and meet with me to catch up with the class.  Students who are underprepared for this level also come in at this time for additional help (see #2 below). 

B.    Hagglers: Students who wish to debate missed test items for which they feel they should have received credit can drop in on Friday to present a rationale as to why they should earn back part or all of their points


2. I administered a diagnostic exam (the final exam from level 4 Grammar) to my Level 5 (advanced) ESL Grammar students the first week of my blended class this term to identify the gaps in their knowledge, and became concerned when over half the class failed the test.  With no “spare class time” during the term to catch all these students up with the class, I decided to import lessons from my L4 course into the L5 Angel shell and personalize some of the homework assignments for the class.  All students complete the L5 material, but one hour of online homework each week is tailored to students’ needs.
edited by jgarcia on 1/26/2009 2:31 PM
Discipline: Educational Technology
by HANADI SALEH (wsaleh) at 1/23/2009 6:47 PM
One of my class assignments requires my students to prepare a Tech. Lesson Plan and to present it to their classmates at the end of the semester. I think the process of preparing the lesson works better in online format (students will have plenty of time to discuss their ideas with each other, find online resources to incorporate in their lesson, etc.) and the presentation part works best in face-to-face format as the lesson involves hands-on activities.
Tips for Designing and Developing a Blended Course
by ROBERT WOOD (rwood) at 1/23/2009 2:44 PM

My name is Bob Wood, and I am one of the CT&D Trainers/Instructional Designers.  Here are a few tips/suggestions that I would like to offer, to help you prepare for Blended Learning.

Prepare yourself for loss of power. So, you’re going to be teaching a blended course? What will that mean for you? In the traditional class room, the course in instructor centered (pedagogic) and you are the “Sage on the Stage”. Fully online courses are student centered (andragogic) and you are now the “Guide on the Side”. In blended a course you have the best of those two worlds, but how do you prepare for this new realm that you are about to venture into? Developing your blended course. To teach a successful blended course an instructor must invest significant time and effort in redesigning a traditional course. When approached by faculty members about designing a blended or a fully online course, I tell them to be prepared to spend a year in the design and development process. At the very least you should start in January, if you want your course for Fall delivery.
Because class seat time is reduced, a significant part of learning is moved online. Therefore, you must re-examine your course goals and objectives, design online learning activities to meet those goals and objectives, and effectively integrate the online activities with the face-to-face meetings. In addition, you may need to acquire new teaching skills, such as learning to facilitate online interactions and assess student online learning. You may also need to acquire some new technology skills.

Imagine interactivity rather than delivery.

While information transfer may be more effective online, simply putting materials on the web will not guarantee that students will learn from them. You need to develop activities that require students to interact with each other and with you. Using discussion boards and chat rooms will help you achieve this. You might also use Blogs and Wikis.
Lecture notes and ordinary PowerPoint presentations can be replaced by narrated PowerPoint presentations, learning games, videos and podcasts. Remember that variety is the spice of life, and don’t be afraid to use a wide selection of tools.
Be explicit about time-management issues and be prepared to teach new skills.

Students who have spent the past two decades or so in traditional classroom settings will have to learn new skills to cope with the distribution of requirements over time.
For most students this will not be a problem, but in my experience, there are always students who feel that “online” means “easy”. You must disabuse them of this notion at the very beginning of the course, if they are to be successful.
Plan for effective uses of classroom time that connect with the online work.
This is the most important tip. In Maggie Smith’s discussion, she spoke about the nature of blended learning: bringing dissimilar elements together to perform the same functions. Your Face-to-Face and Online elements must be integrated. Students should see a united course. It should not appear that there are two different courses.
Instructional Designers

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.edited by rwood on 1/23/2009 2:47 PM edited by rwood on 1/23/2009 2:54 PM
Re: Tips for Designing and Developing a Blended Course
by ELIANE KEANE (ekeane) at 2/1/2009 2:29 PM
Thanks Bob for the tips. As I teach the MAC 1105 blended course right now, I identify with every every single word that you posted about best practices. I experience first hand the need to integrate the online portion of my course to the f 2 f sessions. Also agree with you that extended time to prepare a successful blended  course is  of great importance... Yet, I was not given 1 year to develop a very good blended course...
On Blended Course Techniques
by MAGGIE SMITH (msmith8) at 1/23/2009 10:16 AM

Hello everyone . . this is Maggie Smith, CT&D Technology Trainer, with my thoughts on best practices for face-to-face (F2F) and online teaching activities.

The essence of a blended course is the fact that F2F and online components both work seamlessly to allow the student to make the best out of the blended course format. Although F2F and online components of your course are, at their face value, different, they both must be related. Each type of activity should lead to another to establish a good instructional flow.

A perfect example of my experience with blended courses is the new blended “basics” workshops we are creating in our department in order to conduct more cost effective workshops. The key to a well-developed course is having plenty of time not only to develop the material and activities with care, but also to test the course and make sure the initial design delivers all content successfully while meeting course objectives/competencies.

The format of my course is very similar to what you will face in your blended classes: there are specific days that I will meet F2F with the students, and there are specific tasks and assignments students will be required to do online. Here are some activities that I believe are useful in making a blended course work:

1. Your Initial Meeting is Full of Course Information and Expectations – This is a F2F component. The first time you meet with your students, be as specific as possible with regards to course information and what is expected of them. Briefly review with them how to access the course online and how to navigate within the course. If possible, reserving a computer classroom where this meeting can be more hands-on would be ideal.

2. Let Students Know How They Can Reach You – This can be introduced in a F2F meeting, but carried on throughout the online course. Make an emphasis on your communication plan (e-mail, boards, chats, announcements). Remember that some students may feel left “out in the cold” when they’re online. This is where you try to make yourself as available as possible. ANGEL has a “Live Office Hours” ability where you can announce the date/time you’ll be in your course (in a chat room) if students wish to get immediate feedback from you on any issue. Both synchronous and asynchronous methods of communication will help your students get the support they need to stay on track.

3. Develop Certain Lessons that Can Work Either Way – This is more for the online concept of your course. Do not think that only the material you place in your ANGEL course is meant for the online portion of your course and that your F2F material need not make an online appearance. Make your online course a learning map for your students. Add lesson material to your online course that is covered only in the F2F session. Not only will this serve as classroom reinforcement if students need a review on their own, but it helps for those students who may have missed a F2F session and need to make up some work.

4. Create a Semester-Long Time Table of Your Course – Another online concept. Post a series of dates that will help the students in their time-management skills throughout the online portions of your course. The timetable may or may not have strict due dates, but make an emphasis on adhering to your dates simply to be able to keep a good pace in the course. Let them know the importance of logging-in to their online course often because work and discussion board responses can pile up quickly if even one online day is missed. 

I have also found a very short and simple article on Best Practices for Blended Online Teaching and whose tips I reemphasized in my posting today.

As always, please do not forget that we trainers here at CT&D are ready to assist you with all of your Online/Blended course needs.

Happy Course Development!

Discipline: Educational Technology
by RHONDA BERGER (rberger) at 1/22/2009 2:01 PM

I think the "forming" part of group development works much better face-to-face.  Each semester I put my class into groups, organized around teaching interests, and give them class time to get to know each other and then introduce the group to the class.   There is usually a lot of laughing and the warm-up activities create a more relaxed atmosphere.   This face-to-face activity is followed by an easy online assignment that requires some individual reflection, and the two types of activities seem to work well together to bond the group and prepare them for later assignments.

edited by rberger on 1/22/2009 2:12 PM edited by rberger on 1/22/2009 2:16 PM edited by rberger on 1/23/2009 2:46 PM edited by rberger on 1/25/2009 9:45 AM
Re: Discipline: Educational Technology
by CARLOS CANAS (ccanas) at 2/19/2009 6:56 PM
I enjoyed the video and the article, lots of useful information and resources. I am interested in the wiki-books. I would like to know more about this technology