Looking for the Pedagogy in Blended Course Design


Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative director, and Veronica Diaz, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative associate director, will moderate this online seminar with Patricia McGee, associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The proliferation of blended/hybrid initiatives and resources (through ELI and NGLC particularly) is heartening and furthering a delivery model that is reaching maturity. However, there is still much to be examined about what organizations promote as models for designed blended courses and how these models are enacted by practitioners. Research in this area tends to focus on learner traits, grades, faculty/learner levels of satisfaction, and/or levels of learner engagement (see Dzuiban, Hartman, and Moskal, 2004; Nagal, 2009). But blended learning is more than a simple "flip" of the classroom because it requires careful planning and cautious implementation and may even be transformative for instructor and learner.

This session will present the findings from three studies examining blended best practices, pedagogical practices, and learner preparedness. There is indication that while alignment of course components through an integration of online and face-to-face components is a priority, in actuality courses are location-driven and typically based on pedagogical templates. Most reports advocate a learner-centered approach, yet the variation in approaches indicates that learners must be prepared to adapt to different course designs in ways that acknowledge underlying requirements of the blended format.

Presentation topics will include findings from all three studies and the patterns present and absent across these areas. The session will address mission directly by sharing a range of pedagogical strategies and best practices that are directly aligned with learner success through the axiomatic use of technology to support and facilitate learning.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • Identify effective practices that relate to course priorities
  • Adopt a layering strategy for organizing the blend
  • Utilize a learner-centered approach in course components
  • Identify needs of the blended learner

Additional Resources

  • Blended Learning Toolkit
  • Glazer, F. S. (Ed.) (2012). Blended learning: Across the disciplines, across the academy. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
  • Inoue, Y. (Ed. ) (2010). Cases on online and blended learning technologies in higher education: Concepts and practices. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publications.
  • McGee, P., & Reis, A. (2012). Blended Course Design: A Synthesis of Best Practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16 (4).
  • Nagal, D. (2009). Meta-analysis: Is blended learning most effective? T.h.e. Journal, July 2009.
  • Smart, J. A. (2010). Hybrid learning: The perils and promise of blending online and face-to-face instruction in higher education. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
  • Stacey, E., & Gerbic, P. (Eds.) (2009). Effective blended learning practices: Evidence-based perspectives in ICT-facilitated education. Hershey, NH: Information Science Reference.
  • Wang, F. U., Fong, J. & Kwan, R. C. (Eds.) (2011). Handbook of research on hybrid learning models: Advanced tools, technologies, and applications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Download Resources