Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blended Learning Pilot Reflections

Edina High School English teacher, Kathleen West has been piloting Blended Learning in her Enriched English 10 Course.
On Wednesday, she discussed her experience and shared her own reflections along with the reflections of her sophomore students.

West described how she transformed her curriculum to fit the format. Students were required to attend class on Mondays and half of Wednesdays. Tuesday, she held optional sessions, and then student small groups were required to attend either Thursday or Friday. If the student grade fell below 70%, the student was required to attend daily until it went above that. West's students and her colleague, Jackie Roehl reported that they did much more writing in the blended class, compared with those who took the course face-to-face.

She used Moodle as the digital learning space, and integrated other activities such as podcasting, wikis, and our Google Apps for Education tools. She did a marvelous job building community both in her physical classroom as well as the digital environment. West likened the workload to " being a first year teacher, or having a new prep, new job" since she's building the online component from scratch. Were she teaching the course again next year, that workload might be different.

Students knew that their input was critical to success, and were very willing to share what their experience was like. I'll let their words speak for themselves!

Kudos to Kathleen AND her students for demonstrating how blended learning can work, and their willingness to share and reflect on it!
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