“Scenario: A training manager has been frustrated with the quality of communication among trainees in his face-to-face training sessions and wants to try something new. With his supervisor’s permission, the trainer plans to convert all current training modules to a blended learning format, which would provide trainees and trainers the opportunity to interact with each other and learn the material in both a face-to-face and online environment. In addition, he is considering putting all of his training materials on a server so that the trainees have access to resources and assignments at all times.”
According to the Central Ohio Technical College, hybrid (blended) course “instruction is required in both face-to-face (F2F) and in an online environment. There must be required F2F class meetings. Instructor may provide course materials for both F2F and online” (Central Ohio Technical College, 2010, p. 10). One of the first aspects of the course to look at is which parts of the course are better in each format, online and face-to-face. There are some activities, like discussions, that might play out better than in the classroom, especially since the training manager is unhappy with the “quality of communication among trainees.” Sometimes students feel it is easier to add to an online discussion rather than talk in class. Another activity that could take place outside of the face-to-face classroom would be any quizzes and/or examinations. If they are created properly using real-world scenarios and work-related processes, these activities would assess student knowledge and on-the job thinking skills.
There are a variety of ways to facilitate online discussions: ask experts, debates, polling, role play, small groups, peer review, and/or content area (TeacherStream, LLC, 2010). There are also many benefits:
- “Builds class community by promoting discussion on course topics
- “Allows time for in-depth reflection- students have more time to reflect, research [and] compose their thoughts before participating in the discussion
- “Facilitates learning by allowing students to view [and] to respond to the work of others
- “Develops thinking [and] writing skills
- “Allows guest experts to participate in the course by posting information [and] responding to questions” (TeacherStream, LLC, 2010, p. 2).
The training manager needs to look at the different topics and determine what would be the best discussion questions and/or scenarios to post to generate student responses. Students should be required to post their response early in the week so as to facilitate a complete discussion. In some cases, facilitators also require a set number of responses to peer posts as well. In this way, the conversation will be continued during the week. When necessary, the training manager should step in, ask a question, add resources, and/or give more information to direct the conversation.
There are many steps to ensure the online portion of a hybrid course is created properly. With checklists and forms, an instructional designer can ensure that each aspect of the course is completed properly. Attached are a variety of resources and a zipped file of checklists (ID Checklist Kit) to assist in creating an in-depth, accurate, and robust course that engages learners.
Links to Information
- Blog: Schema Performs – http://schemaperforms.blogspot.gr/2010/03/instructional-designid-review-checklist.html
- Blog: Shift – Disruptive eLearning – http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/243867/The-Ultimate-10-Point-Checklist-for-Remarkable-eLearning-CoursesPDF: COTC Distance Education Guidelines
- Blog: The Writer’s Gateway – http://elearningindustry.com/a-compact-instructional-design-review-checklist
- PDF: Best Practices for Creating E-Learning
- PDF: Instructional Design Criteria Checklist (17_AF07WSII_Instructional_Design_Criteria_Checklist2)
- PDF: Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation: Resource Guide (edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation)
- Web Site: What is Instructional Design? – http://raleighway.com/addie/
- Web Site: A Compact Instructional Design Review Checklist – http://elearningindustry.com/a-compact-instructional-design-review-checklist
Anitha@Work. (2010, March 20). Instructional design (id) review checklist [Blog post]. Retrieved from Schema Performs website: http://schemaperforms.blogspot.gr/2010/03/instructional-designid-review-checklist.html
Central Ohio Technical College. (2010, Autumn). COTC distance education guidelines [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.cotc.edu/faculty-and-staff/faculty-resources-page/Documents/DistanceEducationGuidelines.pdf
Fors, PhD, M. (n.d.). Instructional design criteria checklist [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.unitar.org/hiroshima/sites/unitar.org.hiroshima/files/17_AF07WSII_Instructional_Design_Criteria_Checklist.pdf
Gutierrez, K. (2012, November 15). The ultimate 10-point checklist for remarkable eLearning courses [Blog post]. Retrieved from Shift – Disruptive eLearning website: http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/243867/The-Ultimate-10-Point-Checklist-for-Remarkable-eLearning-Courses
OutStart, Inc. (2006, October 30). Best practices for creating e-learning [PDF].
Pappas, C. (2013, April 16). A compact instructional design review checklist. Retrieved August 18, 2014, from eLearning Industry website: http://elearningindustry.com/a-compact-instructional-design-review-checklist
Rajagopalan, R. (2010, July 22). Instructional design review checklists – key to quality e-learning. Retrieved August 18, 2014, from The Writer’s Gateway website: http://blog.thewritersgateway.com/2010/07/22/instructional-design-review-checklists-key-to-quality-e-learning/
TeacherStream, LLC. (2010, June 29). Mastering online discussion board facilitation: Resource guide [PDF]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-onlinelearning-mastering-online-discussion-board-facilitation.pdf
What is instructional design? (2012, August 4). Retrieved August 18, 2014, from Instructional Design Using the ADDIE Model website: http://raleighway.com/addie/