What are my final reflections on Blended Learning?
Prior to taking this course, I had limited interests in Blended Learning (BL) as I was involved and satisfied with my online teaching. However, just as this course began, I found out that my online teaching assignment will no longer exist next year, and I realized that implementing a BL model in my courses might be a way to get me excited to go back into teaching in the traditional classroom. I could use what I have learned about BL, what I know about teaching f2f and online, and my resources that I have accumulated over the years to develop blenderized Français Langue courses
Holt and Staker mention that it is critical to adopt an innovative mindset to succeed when teaching in a BL model. This should not be a problem for me as I have been working in an educational environment that never fitted a regular mold. Since our students’ needs are not usually met in a traditional school, we have had to be creative to provide them individualized learning plansDeveloping an online French Immersion program also did not meet the normal criteria of how these courses should be delivered. I think that it would be difficult to go back to teaching like I used to do before teaching online. In so many ways, I feel like this is the next step in my professional journey.
However, this does not mean that my courses will be totally blended when I begin teaching next year. As recommended by Holt and Staker, I will take my time and implement BL slowly. It will take time to develop the goals of the BL course, to “understand your students’ jobs to be done, (...) design the right set of student experiences, and (,,,) the right teaching experience to deliver on the goal and the desired student experience” (p284), and finally, to find the right resources, create online material, f2f learning activities, and project-based learning. It will require even time to intertwine the parts to create a comprehensive blended learning Français Langue course. Therefore, “the innovation should happen in phases.” I can see myself creating in the blended format one section in one of my courses, test it, modifying it as needed, and implementing it in the other sections of the course the following year.
I also think that since the students are the recipients in a classroom setting, I would like students to provide feedback on their experience of learning in this different setting. I am excited to develop and teach in a BL model but the ultimate goal for doing this is to “help students become successful lifelong learners.” There are some students interested in learning but usually they are few and far between. To reach all of the other students who are doing the work just to get a diploma, and get them involved in their own learning would be very rewarding for them and I, as a teacher.
This is the model that I would like to follow to create my blended Français Langue courses. I am very excited to be able to know how to go about developing this delivery model which will provide a different learning experience for my students and ultimately, help them realize that learning can be fun and engaging.
Horn, N. B., Staker, H. (2015) Blended: using disruptive innovation to improve schools. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass. A Wiley Brand. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/viu/reader.action?docID=10955318