By the end of this lesson, you should:
Understand how to overcome common roadblocks.
Understand how to assess and reflect on your lesson.
One simple, active learning model can be described in the following three-step cycle.
This is often a more popular model for primary (or elementary) age students, but it can also be effective for people of all ages, including teachers.
See this example of how faculty at MIT use this process to help improve their teaching and learning.
We have already been doing a lot of ‘thinking’ (or planning), but before we move on to the ‘act’ phase of actually teaching the lesson, here is one additional thinking step for you to consider. After all, what could possibly go wrong when teaching a full class of energetic students, right? I think you will agree that when it comes to teaching youth (especially with technology), it is helpful to think about what could go wrong and have some alternative plans in motion.
To help you plan for this, consider the following possible roadblocks and solutions prior to implementing your blended learning lesson plan.
Access to technology
Adapt lesson to ensure all students have the technology and resources needed to succeed. This may mean using phones instead of computers or completing blended learning within the classroom.
Ignores personal situation and/or home environment of students
Consider your own students' situations. Minimize homework. Leverage asynchronous learning so that students can learn on their own time, when they are willing and able.
Requires too much teacher prep time
Use already prepared materials and programs like Khan Academy and Desmos. Use the technology you are already using.
Teach self-management skills, attention, media literacy, self-advocacy, etc.
Too much screen time
Make sure the technology use has a purpose. Take breaks. Provide balance throughout the day. Focus on active and not passive learning. Continue to provide social and emotional support to your students.
Start slow and small. Focus on one lesson and set realistic goals like starting with one blending lesson a month. Focus on topics that have ready-made resources available.
With the thinking (or planning) part done, it is now time to act and reflect.
Still not so sure about this? No worries, have a look at some more examples of blended learning in action. You can do this!
A Student-centered model of blended learning
BetterLesson has many examples of teachers using a blended learning model. Below are specific areas that you may consider including in your blended/flipped lesson experience:
Another good resource for teaching and learning practices can be found at The Learning Accelerator.
This can be done at the unit plan level, but ideally, you should find some time to reflect on individual lessons, especially when trying something new like a blended learning lesson.
Three ideas to help you reflect are:
Set up the space. The simple act of including a space for reflection on your written lesson plan can help you complete this important step.
Blend your reflection. Using video can be a powerful and easy way to capture ideas. Try recording your lesson or record your reflection. If video is not your thing, then consider keeping a reflective journal.
Find the time. Self-reflection is a powerful tool that we want to develop in our students. In fact, taking some class time to have students reflect on their own learning is a perfect time for you to reflect on your teaching.
As well as reflection, it is important to undertake evaluation and one way to do this is through the Kirkpatrick model which identifies 4 levels of evaluation:
And don't forget to collect feedback from others. Helpful insights can be provided by students, parents, colleagues and administrators. Setting up routines or using the power of technology to gather feedback from others can provide you with ongoing professional development and ways to improve. The following diagram should provide you with some helpful ideas on collecting valuable feedback from others about your teaching.