Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blended Learning and Paperbacks in Schools

Blended Learning and Paperbacks in Schools

Continuing conversation with Dr. Kelvin Thompson @Blendkit2012
Like most other outmoded technologies, paperbacks are gradually going. Perhaps not into extinction but they are surely getting reduced used with increased use of other technologies that can assist/aid learning.

Presently, the public K-12 schools in Nigeria are given free text sponsored by the government and a whole sector is dependent on that. With instructional designs considering other aisle of learning which would make paperback not the sole contributor to students and in fact might be relegated by the student body themselves when there is a more convenient way they can learn, blended learning stands to be discredited by the publishers (save for those who are ready to brace up).

How can this be resolved?

In adoption/deployment of blended learning, we are looking at everything that could be an issue and preparing ahead to know what probable options we can take.

Anyone with a reference, case study etc on this from blendkit people will be appreciated.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blending Learning as a Service #3

Blended Assessments of Learning

Like the no-child left behind policy, assessment helps the tutor to measure in qualitative terms if the central message of the subject is passed across.

#Blendkit2012 noted, teachers who evaluate their students' performances by using a mixture of tests - some online, some offline - have experienced more fruitful outcomes.

The most crucial step needed in each lesson is the preparation of transfer of learning strategy. If learning is not transferred from the point of learning to practical application, there can be no positive return on investment of the time needed to create, implement, and evaluate the lesson.

The learning standards must be addressed, yes, but also find a real life application to better your students' understanding of the materials covered. If this is not done, much of your time, and your students' time, has been greatly wasted.

Interaction encourages a teamwork approach while assessment is simply an individualistic thing. Each student of the course has a responsibility to show proficiency of the course materials. The tutor hence has to test with various means and patterns as possible to measure every student's grasp of the service rendered.

Assessment has to come through the same means of learning too. The informal must always precede the formal in order to make all the participants grow without restrictions.


Blendkit Reader

Blending Learning as a Service #4

Blended Content and Assignments

This is the meat of the blended learning experience, HOW do you offer the learning experience?
A consistently well-thought plan needs to be used at this stage to integrate and cause a synergy of all the instructional strategies you have in order for the student to perceive a consistent learning notion while they take the course.

Continuing in the service perception, after production, it is imperative to sample how the product will be conveyed to the target audience. How is the blend presented in a way that excites the customer and attain utility in the learning experience.
#Blendkit2012 gave us a thinking point before we go out and offer the service to the clientele

  • the technology used
  • the learning desired
  • the context of use
  • the learner experience
  • the instructor experience
  • the nature of content
Questions must be raised for all the above and an organic chart opened to continually record and measure results as we implement.

The 21st century learner is tech-savvy from a unilateral look so, ask them questions before the class starts, present things in diverse dimensions, measure each person's readiness to use the tools that has been designed to convey learning and consider based on the data the evaluation has provisioned.

#Blendkit2012 infers, how we as educators teach, present content, allow learners to interact with content and with each other, and how we keep content sources current require new approaches. If we are open to combining the best of online and face-to-face courses, we may come to realize the promise of blended learning.

The above is so true.

Growth is intentional and in Blending Learning it is more emphatic. A mix of the Learning Activities means you have to be ready to know more than your course outline. Identification of the departmental guys that can help or even an organization that does that is imperative for success.

#Blendkit2012 outlined a table that can be used to startup and that is a good reference point as we start to navigate into the exploration ourselves.


Blending Learning as a Service #5

Quality Assurance in Blended Learning

The blendkit reader started this session with some wonderful thought provoker:
How will you know whether your blended learning course is sound prior to teaching it? How will you know whether your teaching of the course was effective once it has concluded?

Simply carry other people along and MEASURE!

A definitive statement of what constitutes the best combination of online and face-to-face learning experiences is impossible. No such statement exists for the best combination of traditional practices much less for the newer world of blended learning. Singh & Reed (2001)

Blending Learning as a service has its soul in consistent improvement perpetually.

#Blendkit2012 noted on teaching effectiveness what we continually measure to improve

  • how well instructors organize courses
  • how well they know the course material
  • how clearly they communicate with students
  • how frequently they provide timely feedback
  • the instructor’s enthusiasm or disposition
From the definition of Customer Service portrayed in the beginning of this discussion, quality assurance in blended learning ought to be before, during and after the whole process. QA hence instructs us to learn ourselves from anyone and everyone we can find that has implemented what we are set to do. We are saved a lot of arduous revisions if this pattern is followed strictly.

#Blendkit2012 outline of Formative Feedback is one handy tool we should always get around with for quality assurance.

  • peer review and self-evaluation,
  • online suggestion box,
  • one-minute threads,
  • polling, and
  • focus groups.
In the just concluded conference, I have identified several people that could be of tremendous help as I offer and lead other college colleagues to start to embrace blended learning.


John Maxwell said, Leaders are either travel agents or tour guides. Leaders who are like travel agents send people to places they've never been themselves, while leaders who are like tour guides take their people to places they know well. Instead of saying, "Here's a map-I hope it's accurate," tour-guide leaders can say, "I've been here many times; I know the best way to get around; follow me." Starting with yourself equips you with the experience, confidence, integrity, and influence you need to be a tour-guide leader.

Blended Learning is simply a process of service and until your customers are satisfied with your offering, you don't stop examining and re-examining how you offer the learning experience.

Ending with this quote:
I do not know any innovation upon existing methods more radical and revolutionary than this. - Rev. Joseph H. Odell, D.D. (1910)


Maxwell, J. C. (2009) The Great Separator. Retrieved on Nov. 1, 2012 from
Holden, J (2008) Blended Learning: Instructional Media & Pedagogical Considerations
Singh, H. & Reed, C. (2001). A white paper: achieving success with blended learning. Centra Software. Retrieved June 26, 2011 from

Blending Learning as a Service #2

Blending Interactions
The definition of service is never completed without the one you are serving! It is a misnomer to act in the Information Age as if you could be the repository of all knowledge for a particular thing. The teacher will be surprised how much the student knows more than him/her when an occasion rises.

#Blendkit2012 outlined four role-playing for interactivity to occur. Each of them has its place in shifting the responsibility of achieving the aim of education from a teacher-centric to a mutual evolution.
One school of thought is of the opinion that since students becomes teachers and implementer  users of what is being taught; they are at the end of a chain that needs them to be completed. The interaction is not when they are made (because several will never be made due to incomprehension) interaction engenders the process of being made qualitatively.

Two things are important in Interaction
Collaboration: Mutuality as expressed in understanding blending learning is founded in collaboration. Learning thrives in an atmosphere of collaboration. Everyone brings what he has to the table. The tutor is simply the initiator and facilitator while the students are the collaborators. Direction is outlined by the tutor and that is where he/she stops being ahead.
Utility: According to (Elizabeth, 2012) "The consumer needs to know what goods and services are available to him in order to maximize his utility, especially if the consumer is undecided on what he needs. Help the customer by showing him all the different products or services currently offered".

Collaboration engenders interaction and interaction enhances utility.

#Blendkit2012 presented the following:
+ To Whom Will Students Express Themselves?
+ How Will Students Express Themselves?
+ Why Will Students Want To Express Themselves?

With a service perspective, we will seek how to answer the questions expressly. One more thing I have found about interaction is that it cuts across all learning orientation. Visual, Verbal, Aural, Kinsthetic, Tactile (Spiller, 2011) whatever the learning orientation everyone has his/her own distinct way of communicating and a relaxed means of interaction will bring out the best from everyone.


Blending Learning as a Service #1

There could be two outlooks for "as a service" paradigm for blending learning:
  • the perspective
  • the offering

This post is in terms of the perspective.
The concept of service means the teacher looks at the appropriate blend that achieves the goals of enhancing knowledge of the student and purpose of the pedagogy within the ambit of the time given.
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase (Turban et al 2002.)
The learner of the 21st century has changed tremendously and we've got to understand in learning terms how we will like Le_Chatelier's_Principle shift to offer education in a way that retains its standard, integrity and achieves the aim of training quality students.

Understanding Blended Learning

Blended Learning is a learner-centric shift. This definition fits into a service perspective:
The importance of a blended approach to learning is that it ensures the widest possible impact of a learning experience and thus ensures...that the organization optimizes productivity and delivers value to its customers (Julian and Boone 2001)

Note the words: impact of experience, productivity optimization and value delivery for customers.
The above is a true perception to the blended learning delivery. Blending learning is not merely the use of technology but about satisfying the yearning of the learner both expressed and unexpressed.
Consider a walk into the restaurant, it is the function of the waiter to reveal to the customer the several combinations and blend of cuisine that are available and based on the order given deliver an exquisite service.
Blending learning definitely like service has the student at the heart of the production.
The Intelligent learning system should reason about a learner's knowledge, monitor progress and adapt the teaching strategy to individual's learning pattern (Woolf, 1987)

So the question of why is shifting from technology as a means to change the delivery method to technology as a means to enhance learning. #BlendkitReader

An understanding of the use of a blend is conveyed in the findings of B.P. Woolf 2008 that one-on-one tutor yields over 70% of retention for student. This is not visible in a school setting but blending helps out in increasing the capability of the program deployed to better performance of the average student even in a large class setting.

The background of our service lies in the theories that has been well postulated and of course a blend of theories (Carman, 2005)
I particularly like the Bloom's Taxonomy and the Dale's Cone. When we develop under the auspices of those theories then we will serve continually a good blend to our customers and the result will be obvious.


Blendkit Reader
Carman, J. M. (2005). Blended Learning Design: Five Key Ingredients. retrieved on November 1, 2012 from 
Turban, Efraim (2002). Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-185461-5.
Julian, E.H. & Boone, C. (2001). Blended Learning Solutions: Improving the Way Companies Manage Intellectual Capital: An IDC White Paper. Retrieved from
Woolf, B. P. (1987), Representing complex knowledge in an intelligent machine tutor. Computational Intelligence, 3: 45–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8640.1987.tb00173.x
Woolf, B. P. (2009). Building Intelligent Interactive Tutors: Student-centered Strategies for revolutionizing e-learning. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2009.