Lightbulb Moments with BlendKit – Week 1

Intro: Last week I started (finally) to explore BlendKit. After gaining more familiarity with my own colleges’ offerings, I wanted to gain more insight and ideas into how we could generally expand those offerings and improve what we already have.

As a recommended part of the course, I will be posting a reflection post here each week. I will highlight things that stood out for me, as weel as answer the Questions to Ponder that are offered in the course. I hope to also be highlighting the work of others in the course who are also posting on their blogs. Please check them out when you come across the link to their blog! Another part of the course is the DIY (do it yourself) assignments. This week, that will be a separate post but some weeks may work better to be included in the reflection.

I first heard about BlendKit from the TOPcast podcast. So far, I am already impressed by the wealth of information and resources it offers! And it is an OER! Check out their website:

BlendKit Toolkit

About BlendKit: Based upon proven research and informed by practical experience, this Blended Learning Toolkit will offer guidance, examples, professional development, and other resources to help you prepare your own blended learning courses and program.

Questions to Ponder

  • Is it most helpful to think of blended learning as an online enhancement to a face-to-face learning environment, a face-to-face enhancement to an online learning environment, or as something else entirely?
    • I think it depends on the subject matter or content. Some course or content are better face-to-face (f2f) or have to be f2f (as in a Nursing or Automotive course) and some are better fully online.
  • In what ways can blended learning courses be considered the “best of both worlds” (i.e., face-to-face and online)? What could make blended learning the “worst of both worlds?”
    • Learning styles and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – blended offers something for students who process information better in person as well as for those students who benefit from going solo in their learning so they can focus and not have to deal with so many distractions. UDL recommends offering the content in multiple formats so blended gives the opportunity to offer content in more than one form.
    • Blended courses can allow a discussion that happened in the f2f course the chance to continue to flourish online. Conversely, if there was an interesting discussion online, that can be taken into the f2f sessions.
    • If either mode is done poorly blended can become the worse of both worlds. Just a few ways this could happen -if there is no engagement or feedback from either the instructor or the students, if the same powerpoint slides are posted online with nothing else, or if the students are not oriented on being a successful online learner.The instructor just lectures or is not present in the f2f session or virtually in the online sessions.
  • As you consider designing a blended learning course, what course components are you open to implementing differently than you have in the past? How will you decide which components will occur online and which will take place face-to-face? How will you manage the relationship between these two modalities?
    • For our PD, I would like to start offering asych content and then offer web meetings on those same topics, both would always have the option to meet with our team 1:1 in person or virtually.

Posted on March 10, 2017, in instructional design, Workshops. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think that discussion is one area where blended learning really shines. As you mentioned, discussion online can be a way to extend a face to face discussion. Often you just hit that “magic moment” of discussion right as you run out of time in class. Online discussion is a great way to keep the conversation going even after the clock runs out.

    I think it can also go the other direction, though. That is to say, it can start online, and move to face-to-face. Sometimes students may have difficulty coming up with their ideas on the spot, or may need more time to process their thinking, or simply can’t come up with just the right evidence and support for the ideas they do have in the moment. With this reversed structure, they can engage in powerful academic discourse with the time to formulate and support their ideas, and then have a much more meaningful reflective discussion after the fact when everyone comes together again in class.


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