A blended classroom is more than just convenience. It’s a chance for teachers and students alike to use digital resources to make the most of their learning experience. Instead of scrambling to fit a class into a hectic schedule, students can use blended learning to fit their coursework around their schedule. And teachers can use a blended classroom to offer a learning experience they couldn’t provide otherwise. The key is knowing how to set up your blended classroom.
Here are a few techniques that will help your blended classroom succeed.
Determine Your Level of Interactivity
First things first: you need to determine how interactive your course will be.
The beauty of a blended classroom is that you’re using e-learning to bring the experience to your students, wherever they are. And that means that you have options to enhance your students’ learning.
It also means that you have to be much more deliberate about student interaction than a regular classroom. After all, students may not be present in person.
For example: how much of your class will be online? Will you rely exclusively on online training exercises? Will you also ask students to take part in self-paced learning activities?
The best place to begin is your lesson plan. By looking at the entire course, it’s easy to separate tasks for the perfect balance of interactive and receptive learning.
Experiment with a Flipped Classroom
With blended learning models, it’s a great idea to try your hand at different learning models.
One of these models is the flipped classroom model. The premise is simple–you take the traditional roles in a classroom and flip them.
In the typical classroom, the teacher lectures during class and students use independent study time to read and review. In a flipped classroom model, students use independent study time to review prerecorded lectures and introduce new topics, while class time is used to discuss and do exercises.
This is similar to many college seminar setups, but it’s perfect for any kind of blended learning classroom. It encourages students to actively engage with content outside of class hours and forces them to actively participate during class rather than quietly taking notes on a lecture.
Another great tool for blended classrooms is video tutorials, especially if you use the flipped classroom model.
Video tutorials viewed outside of class help your students get a handle on difficult topics, especially if the topics are highly technical.
For example, let’s say you’re teaching a blended programming class and you need to teach your students the basics of how to use a particular coding program.
Rather than asking them to puzzle out typed instructions, you can use a video tutorial to walk your students through the whole process. They can see how you engage with the software and what their end-product should look like.
Plus, they’re a fantastic tool to create mini-lectures and supplemental materials for students to reference anytime they need clarification.
On the flipside of video tutorials, you can also ask your students to record themselves.
Student interaction is key to the success of any blended classroom since you don’t see your students in person as regularly as you might otherwise. Student recording as part of required assignments is a guaranteed way to make sure they’re engaging.
Plus, student recording allows you to assess your students’ performance. If you want a student to give a presentation, they can use a recorder to film the presentation so that you can watch the playback and offer critique.
Group Collaboration and Multimedia
Of course, student interaction isn’t limited to the teacher-student relationship. You also want your students to interact with each other.
It helps them to feel more connected to the course, deepen their learning, and clarify any topics they’re struggling with.
One of the best ways to do this is through group collaboration. Blended classrooms have a unique opportunity to do this through multimedia.
A learning management system is the easiest way to set this up since students can use a predesigned platform rather than trying to coordinate outside of class. For example, they can use a chatroom to talk to each other and pitch in on a project.
From there, you could use tools like screen recorders to have a group of students present together.
Digital Assessments and Digital Revisions
However, the work of blended learning doesn’t end with lecture and projects. Students also need to receive assessments of their work.
In this regard, digital platforms are your best friend.
For one thing, they allow you to offer digital assessments in real time rather than revisiting projects hours or days later.
You can also set digital revision tasks for your students after you assess them. This creates an ongoing dialogue between teacher and student and shows the student that you’re engaging with them in real time. And it allows them to learn and do better next time.
Trying to Build a Blended Learning Experience?
For students and teachers who need an adaptive learning program, blended learning is the perfect route. The key is to find and utilize the right tools.
That’s where Screencast-O-Matic comes in.
There are a variety of tools for educators so that you can offer a memorable learning experience from day one. Whether you need to create a video tutorial or you need your students to record their presentations, we can help.