The BlendKit course materials present several different types of potential learning activities, and the BlendKit materials are designed to accommodate a range of participation/engagement options; whether one is pursuing self-study, a local discussion group, or participating in one of the facilitated open online course cohorts such as BlendKit2016.
Equally Valid Examples of Engagement
- Listen after the fact to recordings of guest presenters
- Read the suggested selections from the BlendKit Reader
- Work on DIY development tasks
- Blog about the suggested readings
- Blog about DIY development tasks
- Read/comment upon the blog postings of others
- Use thought questions from the BlendKit Reader as basis for discussion with a group of local colleagues
Participating in BlendKit2016
During facilitated open, online course cohorts based on the BlendKit Course materials, a number of additional interaction options are available to registrants:
- Join in with weekly webinars. Listen/ask questions of guest presenters. Interact with other participants in real time.
- Interact asynchronously with other participants using the tools in the Canvas Network learning management system (LMS) communication hub.
- Engage with the BlendKit information stream (via Diigo or Flickr) by reading and contributing content
- Earn online badges for completion of course activities.
Whole or Part
Many of us who have years of experience with higher education courses are mindful of the time commitment involved in engaging fully with a course as an “A student.” Cohorts built around the BlendKit course materials, however, are designed to serve the needs, time availability, and topical interests of the individual.
If you have the time and inclination and wish to work your way through a weekly grouping of activities much like a typical university course, you may do so. (Please see the links to each week’s activities in the sidebar to the right.) However, you certainly may choose to only engage with one component of the course (e.g., readings, the live/recorded webinar sessions, the DIY course-building project tasks, reading/commenting upon blog postings made by others using the materials, etc.). Past cohort participants have suggested that identifying their goal(s) vis-a-vis BlendKit and setting boundaries for participation rather than trying to “do everything” are helpful success strategies.
Some examples of ways you might wish to conceptualize your participation in BlendKit2016 are listed below:
Social Networking – Just want to “talk” with others about blended learning? Engage in the BlendKit information stream that consists of Twitter, Diigo, and Flickr. You can extend your engagement through the weekly readings and webinars.
Online Book Club – Want to learn more about blended learning and the pedagogy that supports it? Focus on the weekly chapters by clicking on Readings in the menu. You might want to interact with others by posting a reaction to the readings in a blog or discussion posting. Also, you can attend the weekly webinars or watch the recordings to gain insights from experienced blended faculty.
Local Group – Want to share the BlendKit experience with local colleagues? Participate individually as you wish, but then meet locally (face-to-face) at agreed-upon times with one or more colleagues. You might choose the informality of a local cafe, or if you choose to gather in a meeting room or classroom, you might even choose to participate in the weekly webinars as a larger group while you project the webinars on the “big screen.”
The Student – Want to fully engage and participate like a full-time student in an academic course? Please see the links to each week’s activities in the sidebar to the right and follow the instructions.
Certified Designer – If you are interested in the UCF/EDUCAUSE “Certified Blended Learning Designer” credential (recognized by a certificate and post-course badge), we recommend focusing on the DIY projects. These projects are designed to help you think through some of the most important design tasks associated with building an effective blended course. Also, to ground your design work, you should complete the weekly readings and attend (or watch recordings) of the weekly webinars.
Several participation levels are available during open, online course cohorts along with an optional (paid), post-course credential awarded in partnership with EDUCAUSE:
- Completers: Registrants who earn at least one badge for each of the five course topics during the course. (Please see “Badges” page for details.)
- Participants: Registrants who earn between one and five badges during the course.
- Auditors: Registrants who receive and observe course communications but do not earn any badges during the course.
You decide how the BlendKit materials best work for you. You determine what “successful completion” of BlendKit2016 means for you. The above suggestions are offered merely to provide guidance to those who want help with getting started and progressing through the course.