Instructional Design for Class-Based and Computer-Mediated Learning: Creating the Right Blend for Student-Centred Learning

Instructional Design for Class-Based and Computer-Mediated Learning: Creating the Right Blend for Student-Centred Learning

Richard Walker (E-Learning Development Team, University of York, UK) and Walter Baets (Euromed Marseille École de Management, France)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-814-7.ch012
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Blended learning occupies a prominent place within higher education teaching strategies, yet there is no clear definition for what we mean by this term as an instructional approach. In this chapter, we present a working definition for blended learning that is based around a learner-centred framework, and outline three instructional models for blended course design in support of student-centred learning. We have applied these models to a series of course experiments that were undertaken at two international business schools: Nyenrode Business University (The Netherlands) and Euromed Marseille École de Management (France). Common to each course design was the use of e-tools to solicit and share knowledge for the out-of-class phase of student learning. We discuss the reception of these models by students and their relevance to Net Generation learners in promoting socially active learning through collaboration and experience sharing. Drawing together the lessons learned from these experiments, we present an instructional framework for course designers, focusing on the key phases in the delivery of a blended course and the accompanying instructional responsibilities that underpin this instructional approach.
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Technological change has brought with it new opportunities for teaching and learning within higher education (HE). E-learning, so often associated with distance education, is now assuming an important role in the way that instructors interact with campus-based students. Over recent years, the adoption of e-learning tools by instructors has become widespread within higher education, and course innovation along these lines has underlined the potential for new ways of teaching and learning. Impressive claims have indeed accompanied these changes. Computer-mediated learning offers educators the opportunity to transform pedagogic practice, shifting instruction from the physical to the virtual classroom (Hiltz, 1994). The introduction of technology also provides the scope for enriched learning opportunities, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and understanding among members of a group, increasing interaction between students, and supporting higher order learning (Harasim, 1989; Jarvela & Hakkinen, 2002; Meyer, 2003; Salmon, 2000a).

Whilst the case for e-learning on an institutional level is now firmly established, and online activity occupies a prominent place in campus-based teaching strategies, there is still no commonly agreed definition for what we mean by blended learning: the combination of computer-mediated and face-to-face learning. The plethora of terms (hybrid, mixed mode) reflects the confused status of this instructional approach and the pedagogic properties that underpin it. Poor definition has hampered the development of instructional models and frameworks that can be applied to blended course design and delivery, and the dearth of research literature reflects this state of affairs. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that instructional design methodology has been slow to realise the benefits of student-centred learning, with traditional teaching models applied to online activity, supporting an e-teaching rather than e-learning design approach. In our view, current practice in the design of blended courses runs counter to Net Generation study patterns and the interrelationship between formal and informal learning activities, where students control the pace of learning. It is timely, therefore, to consider instructional models that are appropriate for today’s learners, and that emphasise the responsibility of individuals in managing their own learning.

In this chapter, we seek to address these issues by positioning blended learning within a learner-centred pedagogic framework. We present a series of instructional models that employ e-learning tools to engage course participants in sense making and knowledge building through self-directed and collaborative learning activities. The models have been applied to a series of blended modules that were delivered to management students at Nyenrode Business University (The Netherlands) and Euromed Marseille Ecole de Management (France). We report on the results from these courses and draw together the lessons learned in course delivery from these institutional experiences.

This chapter therefore offers course designers and instructors a selection of models for blended course delivery that may be applied to other disciplines that place the control of the content and pace of learning in the hands of students, a variation from traditional e-teaching pedagogy. The lessons learned from the blended modules are presented in the form of an instructional framework, which is intended to serve as a practical guide for course designers and instructors who are preparing to deliver their own courses. The guide draws on our own experiences in blended course design, with our observations on student learning referenced against the emerging literature in this field.

In summary, this chapter addresses the following objectives.

  • To provide a working definition for blended learning as an instructional approach that is learner centred in focus and relevant to Net Generation students

  • To explore approaches to blended learning and appropriate course design models that are based on a learner-centred pedagogic framework

  • To present an instructional design and delivery framework for blended learning, drawing on the lessons learned from the course experiments described in this chapter, which will offer a practical guide on how to design and deliver a blended course, addressing the responsibilities of course designers and instructors

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Charles Juwah
Roisin Donnelly, Fiona McSweeney
Chapter 1
Sabine Little
This chapter has been composed as a piece of reflective practice, and as such traces and researches the development of a new technology-rich... Sample PDF
"Oily Rag" or "Winged Messenger": The Role of the Developer in Multiprofessional Teams
Chapter 2
Rhona Sharpe, Jillian Pawlyn
This chapter reports on an implementation of blended e-learning within three modules in the School of Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes... Sample PDF
The Role of the Tutor in Blended E-Learning: Experiences from Interprofessional Education
Chapter 3
Diana Kelly
This chapter makes a case for the importance of preparing e-teachers by requiring them to have an experience as an e-learner. The chapter begins... Sample PDF
Modeling Best Practices in Web-Based Academic Development
Chapter 4
Tony Cunningham, Claire McDonnell, Barry McIntyre, Theresa McKenna
This chapter explores the insights gained by a group of teachers from their lived experience as e-learners participating in a blended module on... Sample PDF
A Reflection on Teachers' Experience as E-Learners
Chapter 5
Catherine Manathunga, Roisin Donnelly
Professional development for academic staff in higher education is receiving increasing attention. The focus has been on providing an opportunity... Sample PDF
Opening Online Academic Development Programmes to International Perspectives and Dialogue
Chapter 6
Louise Adele Jakobsen
This chapter, written from experience in implementing e-learning in further education through various roles, identifies key issues relating to... Sample PDF
Embedding E-Learning in Further Education
Chapter 7
Catherine Matheson, David Matheson
This chapter considers some of the major questions around access and accessibility, beginning with the most basic: just what is meant by access and... Sample PDF
Access and Accessibility in E-Learning
Chapter 8
Morag Munro, Barry McMullin
This chapter examines some of the tensions that may exist between e-learning and accessibility in higher education, and aims to redress the balance... Sample PDF
E-Learning for All? Maximizing the Impact of Multimedia Resources for Learners with Disabilities
Chapter 9
Ursula Wingate
This chapter proposes online preinduction courses as an innovative method for preparing students for learning in higher education. It is argued that... Sample PDF
Enhancing Students' Transition to University through Online Preinduction Courses
Chapter 10
Pankaj Kamthan
The discipline of software engineering has been gaining increasing significance in computer science and engineering education. In this chapter, the... Sample PDF
A Methodology for Integrating Information Technology in Software Engineering Education
Chapter 11
Gordon Joyes, Sheena Banks
The focus of this chapter is on the use of technology in the teaching and learning of research methods in masters’ and doctoral programmes in higher... Sample PDF
Using Technology in Research-Methods Teaching
Chapter 12
Richard Walker, Walter Baets
Blended learning occupies a prominent place within higher education teaching strategies, yet there is no clear definition for what we mean by this... Sample PDF
Instructional Design for Class-Based and Computer-Mediated Learning: Creating the Right Blend for Student-Centred Learning
Chapter 13
Ann Donohoe, Tim McMahon, Geraldine O’Neill
The primary purpose of this chapter is to explore how online communities of inquiry can be developed to facilitate students to engage in reflective... Sample PDF
Online Communities of Inquiry in Higher Education
Chapter 14
Nick Pratt
The aim of this chapter is to explore e-learning and e-teaching from a social perspective in order to show how the use of new technologies, like... Sample PDF
Using Multipoint Audio-Conferencing with Teaching Students: Balancing Technological Potential with Practical Challenges
Chapter 15
Timo Portimojärv, Pirjo Vuoskoski
This chapter will illustrate a combination of problem-based learning (PBL), information and communication technologies (ICT), and leadership in the... Sample PDF
The Alliance of Problem-Based Learning, Technology, and Leadership
Chapter 16
Steve Millard
This chapter sets out a number of ways in which effective use of the online discussion board in a virtual learning environment can contribute to the... Sample PDF
The Use of Online Role Play in Preparing for Assessment
Chapter 17
Simon Wilkinson, Heather Rai
This chapter focuses on the use of computers for online summative assessment, in particular for objectively marked items. The aim of this chapter is... Sample PDF
Mastering the Online Summative-Assessment Life Cycle
About the Contributors