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Tips to Evaluate Your Blended Learning Courses

Posted in Blog on 23 June 2015

With more institutions offering blended learning courses, many Curriculum Directors are often personally involved in ensuring course quality is not list in the drive to go digital.

In this post, we detail some of the ways in which you can ensure your blended learning course is up to par:

Nail the Course Objectives: The process from creating the blended learning course to the final product output can often be an extensive journey. In order to ensure quality of your final blended learning course, go back and look to the first of objectives you defined before starting the blended learning course development.

Have your course objectives deviated from your original intention? Or have the objectives become diluted over the course development process? The answer will enable you to view your course with fresh eyes and see what needs to be done to make your course effective and objective aligned.

Pedagogy in Place? It is important to check if the instructional design of the final product is in line with the expected functional learning style. For this take a look at the pedagogy that went into designing the original course.

A good blended learning course will take into account the pedagogical style to ensure correct sequencing of content and aggregation. Tweet this!

Test the Technologies Involved: Are the technologies that have been used compatible with multiple device usage? Has the course been tested against different browsers without loss in experience?

While many edtech companies do test extensively before delivery, is important to check the course technologies used under field conditions to catch any issues which can create a poor learning experience.

Monitor the Content Resources: Ensure that the resources used in the course development have been based on institution approved materials. Sometimes developers may use similar content in the form of other media to supplement course content. Be sure that all supplemental material used is aligned to your institutional resource standards.

Balance the Content Mix: A blended learning course must incorporate an even mix of media to be effective. Tweet this!

A good mix will include text, video, audio, interactive elements, images and tables. Overuse of one media over another can result in an unsatisfactory learning experience and may be an indication of a poorly designed blended learning course.

Blended learning tipsExtend Evaluation Methods: Assessment and evaluation of learning effectiveness is an essential component of any online course. Just as a classroom educator would ask questions or set tests to ensure learning, a blended learning course must capture data points to measure effectiveness.

Review your blended learning course for the information it captures to showcase learning.

Evaluation that is only limited to tests and quizzes is a poor replica of in-class assessment. Online courses must take in to account which devices (one or more) were used by students to access the material, how often content was accessed, how much time was spent on pages or lessons, etc.

Close the Feedback Loop: Students who are taking the course are the best source of information to improve it. Ensure your blended learning course provides a method for student to note errors in content, provide feedback and offer an analytics component for educators to understand course effectiveness. If the data shows that a set of students have all gotten a particular problem wrong, it could indicate an issue in the course itself and not a learning issue. Courses that offer flexible analytics and reporting will help you improve both course quality and learning effectiveness.

For more ways to evaluate the quality of your blended learning course, check out the following links:

Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric

List of Course Evaluation Rubrics and Checklists

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