A suggested process

process.jpgShea (2005) suggests that course teams begin the process of blended learning redesign by considering their values, assumptions and beliefs about learning. Similarly, Boyle (2005) advocates for a pedagogically driven model where every element is justified according to the course outcomes and needs of the learners.

One approach you might consider is to first view the Exploring good practice in blended and flexible learning at CSU video, to set some foundations for what blended and flexible learning is all about. Also take a look at the What is BFL? and Course redesign pages on this site.

A good next step is to revisit your course principles/philosophy, if you have one, in light of the BFL principles for good practice. These principles have been developed to inform and support how we go about course redesign, from the perspective of BFL. Which of these resonate for you? Are you able to incorporate them into your own course principles, so that you are working from one set rather than many?

From there, you might want to consider some of the benefits and challenges of the task ahead, start thinking about your own context and factors which might influence your design decisions, as well as assess your individual readiness to take on BFL using the aspirational framework.

With those foundations in place, we then suggest you consider your course from 5 different perspectives, each time using a series of questions to focus on key aspects of the course design and how these relate to the BFL principles. Keppell's (2009) framework for considering BFL shows the complex interrelationship of course strategy and planning which needs to account for pedagogy, interactions, learning spaces, ICTs and the development of multi-literacies. What resources are there to support you in this process? Take a look at each of this mindmap, and the various pages for some ideas. Good_practice_in_BFL(2).gif

On each of the perspectives pages, we have framed some questions (and suggested activities) that your team may want to consider as they examine the course design, and brainstorm ways in which it might be further enhanced. While the questions draw strongly from the principles, you should not feel limited by them. They are to be used as guides only (there are way too many for a team to consider at any one time!), and you may find different questions that resonate more clearly for your team.There are also links to the relevant areas of the aspirational framework, which course team members can use to self-assess their own readiness for BFL, and the areas in which they might want to focus their professional development in the future.

Importantly, also check the support options page - your educational designer will be a key source of inspiration and support, and there are a range of other professional development and funding options available to you as well. Do any suit your current needs?

From these questions, your team will hopefully start making decisions about your course in terms of blended learning. We suggest you document these as you go in a draft BFL strategy document. And importantly, make sure that you have a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of your strategy, and make sure you carry it through. In line with one of the guiding principles of continuous improvement, it's important that you continue to evolve your strategy based on evidence from a range of sources.