What will my blend be?
I’m taking this online course from the University of Central Florida, Design for Blended Learning, known simply as “Blendkit 2016”. The intent of the course is to help me design courses for blended learning, which means enhancing face to face instruction in classrooms with material presented, submitted, discussed and scored online. As I consider rebuilding the undergraduate courses in college English that I teach in Taiwan (at Tainan Theological College www.ttcs.org.tw and at the Moatao campus of Aletheia University www.mt.au.edu.tw, my idea is to move 40 to 50% of what I do online. The courses typically meet for only two hours per week, and then only on the same day. I would keep 2 hours F2F for the first class session and the midterm and final examinations, but for regular class sessions in the remaining weeks have only one hour F2F and move things for the other weeks online.
- In the translation classes at Aletheia, I would have the audio files for audio translation available for download, and require that students submit an audio of both voices, mine on the download and theirs in translation, prior to class meeting each week. After the F2F session, I would have the audio “remix” file available for students to similarly download, and similarly submit an audio file of both voices translating the remix. Result: The first week, students would submit nothing before class. The second week they would merely submit a “pre-class” audio file. The third week they would submit a “2nd week follow-up” assignment AND a “3rd week pre-class” file. The “pre-class” audio file would be for my ears only. The “follow up” submissions would go to the entire class, so everyone can learn from each other.
- In the comprehensive College English classes that I teach at Tainan Theological College, students will similarly meet for 2 hours the first week and for examinations, but in other weeks they will submit written work (sentence writing tied to content lesson vocabulary lists and class textbook grammatical patterns), to the teacher before the F2F meetings, and then, after the F2F meetings, corrected work (based on teacher suggestions) to a forum open to other students. Again, this is a way we all can learn from each other.
I anticipate problems similarly to those noted by some scholars from Oregon state (url in a subsequent blog) dealing with Asian students’ reluctance to put themselves out in a public forum or into writing for fear of being ashamed for doing bad work.