Blended learning activities

Before creating learning activities it is essential that your assessments are well-designed and they align to your unit’s learning outcomes. Learning activities must also align with unit learning outcomes and support students in their preparation for assessments.

Blended learning allows us to draw on a broader range of activity types than traditional formats alone.

Planning blended learning activities

Activities should be designed to seamlessly integrate across face-to-face and online learning environments.

Explore the following example activity sequences:

  • Example 1: Community building, orientation and online familiarisation.
  • Example 2: Supporting large groups
  • Example 3: Developing critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Example 4: Reflecting on an authentic learning experience to develop communication skills

Example 1: Community building, orientation and online familiarisation (Week 1 activities)

Building a sense of community is an important aspect of creating a good learning environment. Orienting students to the structure and expectations of a unit, and familiarising them with necessary tools is an essential aspect.

Examples in practice:

Explore the following case studies to see how others have used similar activities.

Technology support resources:

Example 2: Supporting large groups

Designing activities for large groups can present specific challenges, it is important to create a learning environment in which students feel supported, connected and empowered.

Examples in practice:

Explore the following case studies to see how others have used similar activities.

Technology support resources:

ACU supported polling tools:

External polling and surveying tools:

Readings

Example 3: Developing critical thinking and problem solving skills

In the 21st century problem solving skills are highly valued. Designing activities that will develop these skills can be achieved by using Problem-based learning ; Enquiry-based learning (EBL) and Project–based learning (PBL) approaches, to name a few.

Technology support resources:

Examples in practice

Readings

Example 4: Reflecting on an authentic learning experience to develop communication skills

Field experiences can assist students to make connections between theory and application. Online mediums support continuity in communication in the time lapse between face-to-face experiences.

Technology support resources:

ACU supported tools for collaborative sharing:

External tools for sharing:

  • Flickr
  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr

Structuring activities using a template

It is helpful if your activity instructions follow a consistent structure, see the Activity template page for an example format.

Considerations for choosing technology

The following 5 minute COFA (University of NSW) video discusses the importance of considering pedagogy first before technology.

Considerations for choosing technology for teaching (COFAonlineUNSW 2011).

Additional resources

Blended learning encourages the use of active learning approaches, many of these lend themselves to creating meaningful activities. Here is a selection of sites, with a collection of activity suggestions.