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Steps to Follow, Implementing Changes in a Blended Learning Course

Steps to Follow, Implementing Changes in a Blended Learning Course

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Published by Jonathan Acuña
Blended Learning
Blended Learning

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Jonathan Acuña on Aug 11, 2013
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03/20/2014

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ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acuña at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.

com/

Steps to Follow: Implementing Changes in a Blended Learning Course
After being confronted with a new chance of transforming a course that I will teach next term at the university, Principles in Curriculum, I want to make some “radical” changes to make students get the best of their efforts and of class content. For that reason, mulling over “the project” I want to execute, there are three basic steps I will have to follow: 1) deciding on the type of assessment I want to use, 2) the way in which the project needs to be implemented, and 3) the foresight of possible challenges to overcome. Bearing in mind two complementary concepts in standard evaluation, Bloom’s Taxonomy has to be present along with formative/summative assessment in my Principles in Curriculum course. To start with, a

ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acuña at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/

formative/summative approach to grading needs to be implemented to guarantee that learners get timely feedback on what they are doing, guidance or peer coach to go on, and a grade that really reflects their effort and real meaningful learning. As an instructor I want to aspire – within Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning- to have students who can confidently apply their newly acquired knowledge into thorough and convincing case analyses that will be published online. In this way, learners can also contribute with their field of study and work by providing their insights and thoughts of given topics of analysis. To implement this learning dichotomy linked to Bloom’s hierarchical thinking skills and a more traditional way of grading students in terms of formative and summative assessments in Curriculum, a plan to implement this learning joint venture with students needs to be devised and executed as well. The implementation is a threefold plan: the creation of a

Curriculum class wiki, a course blog page, and students’ reflective blogs.
The class wiki will become a repository of students’ written assignments [Bloom’s application & analysis] and reports [Bloom’s understanding]. The course blog page, which already has been created and designed [http://bin-20.blogspot.com/] will be the source of additional online readings or articles to complement the topics, research, and analysis that students will carry along the course [Bloom’s evaluation]. Finally, the students’ reflective blogs will become the place to assess their reflectivity and assimilation of class content [Bloom’s understanding] and reflecting journaling [Bloom’s application]. I tried the use of reflective blogs,

ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acuña at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/

combined with forum participation, and it worked quite successfully. But, with the inclusion of a class wiki and a more systematic way of working online, the result can be much more profitable for instructors and students. There are challenges to overcome in any “ambitious” blended learning teaching project, and among the things that need to be taken care are: Student motivation and autonomous thinking. Students must be motivated at all times, and one’s social and teaching presence is vital. For that reason, formative assessment needs to be timely and qualitative. Guiding students through the course and helping them to strive with difficulties are two important parts of that formative evaluation that can provide meaningful learning to pupils. On the other hand, having learners move away from the use of quotes and become autonomous thinkers is another challenge to work on. That is why, the understanding and use of Bloom’s Taxonomy is exponentially essential in pushing students away of traditional copy-paste thoughts instead of their ideas. The first attempt to work with students on a blended learning format can be a great challenge but worth-taking. With some good rationale in terms of assessment techniques or approaches, the use of learning online technologies available for teachers and students, and having specific goals in mind to avoid trouble or overcome challenges can lead an instructor into providing a much more rewarding learning experience for students with long-lasting effects in their field of practice.

ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acuña at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/

 To fully develop and comprehend this teaching issue, it’s advisable to research and expand these areas: 1 2 3 4 5 Assessment in VLEs Formative vs. summative assessment Combining formative and summative feedback Bloom’s Taxonomy and feedback Types of exercises based on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Professor Jonathan Acuña-Solano ELT Instructor & Trainer based in Costa Rica NCTE - Costa Rica Affiliate Resource Teacher at CCCN Senior ELT Professor at Universidad Latina Freelance ELT Consultant four OUP in Central America For further comments or suggestions, reach me at: @jonacuso – Twitter jonacuso@gmail.com – Gmail

ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acuña at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/

Other blogs and sites I often write for my students at the university are: 1. Pronunciation 1 3. Pronunciation 2 2. Readding Skills 1 4. Computering Applications in Education

Get new ELT material and ideas by visiting my curated topics on http://paper.li/ and http://scoop.it/
TEFL Daily ELT Daily English Language Teaching Journal Phonemics Daily

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