The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics at Trent University

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Blended learning: Doing what we do better

I'm intrigued to read Queen's U descriptions of Blended Learning initiatives. I'm cautiously optimistic that I can emulate these efforts.  After all, I already do what they're describing, supplementing my interactive and interpersonal courses with online components.  It's just that I've always done so in a more makeshift way than a dedicated blended-learning design would have me do.  I have tended, in the past, to pat myself on the back every time I improve my use of WebCT/My Learning System even just a bit.
But of course, it sounds like some improvements are better than others.  I can find many arguments that  e-learning exercises demonstrably improve student understanding, but online search results are always peppered with cautionary columns debating the possibility that e-learning is failing in higher education. I will continue to learn as I go, but it certainly sounds like the problems with most blended learning strategies is that they are not -- surprise! -- very strategic, and rely on slapping one's lecture notes online as a nod to 'interactivity.'

I'm keen to try.  Not that I'm innocent of slapping up my lecture notes in a hasty fashion, but I can do more.

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