Web Resource Spotlight
Blended Learning

Susan Cramer, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

For those of us who are social, attending conferences, workshops, and courses in person with others is enjoyable. It gives us a day or two out of the office and allows us to interact with others we may not see regularly broadening our perspectives and gaining knowledge. Unfortunately, busy lives, the high cost of travel, and daily pressures make frequent travel a challenge. Our clients also face these challenges. That’s where blended or hybrid learning is a great option.

Blended or hybrid learning is technically learning that occurs partially online, 30-79%, and partially face-to-face. This allows the benefits of both types of learning to be realized. Developing online learning components for your courses or workshops is not necessarily difficult using the myriad of online tools that are available. Here are a few for you to consider.

Audacity. This free program allows you to record lectures, tutorials, helpful hints and more. You can then post the audio only file to your website, blog, or wiki or import it as an audio file in your PowerPoint, movie or other production.

Fotobabble. This free tool allows you to upload a photo or other graph then record a narrative to accompany it. You can then post your learning object on your website, blog or wiki.

Consider recording One Minute Lectures. They are lectures that are literally one minute long. Take a single concept and talk about it for one minute. Use tools like audacity, fotobabble or the many others available on the web to produce your lecture then post on your website, blog or wiki.

Lastly, have you explored Moodle? This is a free, open-source, web-based course management system that allows you to place all your course materials in one location.

Take a bit of time to explore the many tools that are available to support online learning then jump in. Research is demonstrating that it is a powerful learning tool; even more powerful than 100% face-to-face learning. (see Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies)



This article was published in Human Services Today, Fall 2010, Volume 7, Issue 1 .
http://hst.coehs.uwosh.edu This article may be freely distributed for educational purposes provided above copyright information is included.

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