Best practices for the use of blended learning
Ten instructional best practices were identified from the focus groups: setting the stage, consistency when team teaching, timeliness in posting materials, time on task, accountability for online activities, use of structured active learning, instructor use of feedback on student preparation, incorporation of student feedback into the course, short reviews of online material during class, and ensuring technologies are user-friendly. Conclusion. Instructors using blended learning should consider incorporating these best practices into their course design and management. More evaluation is needed to see if the implementation of these practices affects student performance.
|Setting the stage||Discuss blended learning on the first day of class;
Include blended learning in the course syllabus and schedule, with due dates and grading information; Share the estimated length of time for out-of-class activities; If time off is given for online activities, label that time in the course schedule.
|Consistency with team teaching||Communicate consistently with students through the same mechanism;
If different instructors use varying forms of blended learning (ie, different technologies or activities), describe in the syllabus.
|Timeliness||Post materials at least 2 weeks prior to due date or class.|
|Time on task||Consider time compensation (i.e., cancellation of a face-to-face class) for online activities expected to take 15 minutes or longer.|
|Accountability||Provide course credit (e.g., completion points, quiz, assignment) for completing online materials on time.|
|Structured active learning||Focus on the application of material using active learning techniques during face-to-face class time. Examples include real-world patient cases, practice problems, think-pair-share and buzz group discussions, clicker questions, and minute papers.|
|Faculty feedback on student preparation||Incorporate student performance on pre-class activities to focus the practice and discussion during the face-to-face session|
|Incorporating student feedback into the course||Incorporate student suggestions into the class when feasible and appropriate; Consider in-time changes to the class during the same semester; Report to students what changes were made based on student feedback.|
|Reviewing online material during class||Consider a brief review of complicated topics at the beginning of a face-to-face session; Focus the majority of class time on active learning and application of the material.|
|Technology||Choose technology that provides flexibility to students in completing online when feasible; Engage [campus support staff] when developing and implementing blended learning and online activities.|
CITATION: Margolis AR, Porter AL, Pitterle ME. Best Practices for Use of Blended Learning. Am J Pharm Educ. 2017 Apr;81(3):49. doi: 10.5688/ajpe81349. PMID: 28496269; PMCID: PMC5423065.