Week 4: Blended Content & Assignments
You can read my blog entry/reading reaction for this week’s reading.
For instructors new to blended courses, it can be tricky finding the right balance of content and assignments. Many instructors believe they can simply record the same 60-90 minute lecture they would give in their face-to-face course and put it online, and then have even more assignments for the students to complete both online and in the face-to-face portion of the course. In order to avoid overwhelming students, I always advise that instructors consider the credit hours and corresponding “activity hours” for the course. For instance, in general for a 3-credit course, it’s expected that students will spend about 3 hours studying for every 1 hour of lecture, which amounts to about 8-9 hours every week.
An integration chart such as the one below helps me determine how much time students will spend completing course activities, to ensure I am not overwhelming them. For my programming course, I wanted to ensure students had plenty of opportunities to practice the skill of programming. Between the textbook supplemental activities, in-class exercises, and an individual activity done through Eclipse (a software package), students should be very well-prepared for the quiz at the end of each module.
A sample module is also shown below, which consists of two lessons and culminates in a quiz. The quiz will consist of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and brief coding exercises with some latitude for coding errors, since the students will not have access to a compiler or development environment to test their code.