Flipped classrooms, diversified learning, technology enriched classrooms, blended learning–what do all these things mean exactly and how are they implemented? There are thousands of videos, blogs, and reference articles on these concepts, but one MOOC in particular caught my eye–Blended Learning: Personalized Education for Students, Developed by the New Teacher Center, Silicon Schools Fund, and the Clayton Christensen Institute. This MOOC clearly explains a lot of these new terms, what they entail, and how they are implemented into the classroom. While this MOOC may be geared more towards a K-12 classroom, the principal concepts discussed within can be applied to any classroom–even higher education classrooms. There are four key elements pertaining to high-level blended learning that are discussed in this MOOC and they include: personalized instruction, mastery-based education, high expectations, and student ownership. They also define and discuss blended learning models (Survey of Blended Learning Modules Video) such as station rotations, lab rotations, and flex. Dynamic group learning and actionable data is yet another thing discussed in this MOOC that will help teachers have a better idea of how to create a high-quality blended learning environment. Some of the other lessons covered in this MOOC include “Creating the Ideal Student Experience” and “Rethinking the Role of the Teacher,” both of which provide a lot of great information and insight that would be useful to any educator who might be interested in redesigning their course or just working on restructuring some different components of their lessons. There is also a module titled, “Redesigning a School” and this module could be beneficial for program/department administrators who are interested in a department-wide curriculum change.
Whether you want to explore the idea of a flipped classroom or create a technology enriched learning experience, this MOOC on blended learning helps educators understand the different concepts, their importance, and recommends some good tools for integration. Michael and Brian, the commentators of this MOOC, quote Henry Ford by saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If you’ve thought about changing the way your classroom is structured in order to improve student learning outcomes, this MOOC provides valuable insight on how to design and offer effective learning activities and how to evaluate and integrate innovative technology so you too can create a high-quality blended learning environment.