1 – Orientation

Orientation to Blended Learning

Technology will not replace teachers. But teachers who use technology will replace those who don’t.
Christine Meloni, 1998

About this chapter

Chapter 1, Orientation to Blended Teaching and Learning explains how blended learning not only provides great flexibility and opportunity for enhancing learning with technology, it also speaks directly to phenomena we are experiencing in our increasingly technology-imbued lives.

From the guide…

Reflection: Preparing to Design a Blended Course

Some chapters of this guide feature a “reflection” task to activate your background experience to inform your blended course design:

You’ve decided to design a blended course, but how much time will it take? Spend a few minutes to realistically assess the time and energy that you can commit to your blended course project. Here are some questions to guide you:

When does the course begin? Figure out how many weeks you have before students will start. That gives you a sense of timeline for development. You might subtract a week or two to give yourself some margin.

When will you work on the course? Set aside regular blocks of time every week to devote to the blended course design. This will help you stay on schedule. We recommend blocks of 2-4 hours.

How many lessons will you have to create per week? Focusing on individual lessons provides milestones that can shape your design process. Ideally, you’ll be able to work on a single lesson over one or more sessions.

When will you have colleagues, students, or others to preview the course web site? This is an important step before the course goes live, since it can alert you to any major design gaps in a short amount of time.

How much time can you spend on revising once the course begins? Some teachers will set aside time each week specifically for revisions. Others will make notes over the course of the semester and make all revisions after reflecting on the overall success.


A spectrum of possibilities for teaching with technology:


Merging one onsite session with offsite activities (in this case, online):



Calculating learning time for a standard f2f course:



…vs for a once-a-week meeting blended course:learning-time-2-300x225

References & Readings

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Wiley, D. (2006, February). Higher education: Dangerously close to becoming irrelevant. Session presented at Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, Panel on Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies. February 2–3, 2006. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/3rd- meeting/wiley.pdf.

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