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hybrid learning

Developing Effective Learning Goals for Hybrid and Face-to-Face Classes

Having good course learning goals are essential for not only developing effective hybrid classes but for teaching courses in any format whether face-to-face, hybrid and online.

Essentially, learning goals answer the question of what a student will have learned.

For students, learning goals help to illuminate what’s important in a course and make it easier to reflect on their learning at the end of a course. This learning roadmap is especially important for students who are taking a hybrid course since there is more out-of-classroom learning which can sometimes lead to miscommunication.

For faculty, learning goals can help structure a course and make it easier to determine what will be evaluated throughout the course. Course-level goals can also be used to create learning goals for modules or units within a course.

So what goes into creating a good learning goal?

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The MERLOT Pedagogy Portal

MERLOT, an organization widely known for its collection of open source, peer-reviewed learning materials now has another invaluable resource for higher education: The Pedagogy Portal.

The Pedagogy Portal was designed for instructors, or anyone interested in instructional design and development. It is similar to the main MERLOT site, but rather than material that can make up the content of a class, the material found here is designed to improve and broaden one’s teaching skills. Also like the main site, everything is open source and peer edited…in other words, high quality and free!

The Pedagogy Portal has been well-received, and was even featured last March on Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology blog.

If you are an instructor with any questions about teaching, the Pedagogy Portal is a great resource for answers. Here are some of our favorite sections of the portal:

Capturing Lectures for Student Learning with Tegrity

Tegrity logoThe entire University of Washington system has adopted Tegrity as its lecture capture software.

Tegrity can record audio, video and your computer screen image (such as a PowerPoint presentation) and then create a high-quality, interactive video for students to review at a later time.  It allows instructors to record easily lectures in class as they are given or in their offices to be posted online as part of a hybrid or online class. Tegrity will be available to UW Bothell faculty starting Winter quarter.

Tegrity can be used to:

  • Record in-class lectures as you give them, including audio from a microphone, video from a webcam, the classroom projector image and a document camera image all at once (if desired), so that students can return to the lecture later to study and review the content.
  • Record lectures (with the same equipment listed above) in the instructor’s office to be posted online in the course Web site as part of a hybrid or online course

Although Tegrity is currently only available to the “instructors of record” in the UW Course Time Schedule, there are plans to open the system to the wider UW community, so that all staff, faculty and students can use it as a technology for formal and informal trainings and presentations. We will announce this on this blog when it become available in this way.

Look for more information on the Learning Technologies website in the weeks to come.

Preventing Cheating in Distance Education

For professors, one of the big drawbacks of distance learning is the potential for a student to cheat on or plagiarize assignments for the class. Unfortunately, students sometimes feel as though they have more room to cheat in a hybrid or online course, since their professor cannot always physically see them.

The Faculty Assistance Center for Teaching (FACT) at Utah State University has put together the guide How to Prevent Cheating in Distance Education. Meant for instructors, the guide gives helpful tips on how to plan and organize your distance learning class in a way that prevents cheating and promotes learning. Here are some highlights:

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Colleges Not Meeting Demand for Hybrid Courses

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last week that colleges aren’t providing enough hybrid courses, as shown in a recent survey of over 20,000 current and prospective students. Eduventures, the consulting firm that conducted the survey, discovered that although 33 percent of prospective students chose hybrid learning as their preferred format, only 19 percent of current students were actually enrolled in hybrid courses. The gap is attracting attention, and Eduventures believes the lack of hybrid courses offered by colleges is the cause of it.

Hybrid learning has been praised and supported by many in the education world. By increasing the number of hybrid courses offered, colleges could potentially increase student satisfaction while saving money. However, most colleges are still having problems with finding a stable halfway-point between traditional face-to-face and online learning.

Although the report itself isn’t available for free online, the full Chronicle article can be found here.