What does blended learning look like on our campus?

Last Updated: Thu February 13, 2020

How does UW-Madison define blended learning?

The term blended learning can mean different things to different people. The following definition was created by the Blended Learning Fellowship Program participants to help facilitate a conversation around what blended learning means to campus.

At UW–Madison, blended learning courses are instructor-designed and supervised environments that use face-to-face and technology-mediated channels to enhance interactive, engaging learning experiences and to improve student learning outcomes

Blended courses should have the one or more of the following pedagogical characteristic:

– a shift from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered learning;
– significant interactions between student-instructor, student-student, and/or student-content; and/or
– integrate formative and summative assessment for students and instructor.

Does just incorporating technology make a course blended?

There are many pedagogical uses for technology such as student response systems and web conferencing, and many courses use it to some degree. On our campus, the Blended Learning Fellowship Program participants distinguished between the following three technology-mediated designations:

  • Technology-Enhanced: Less than 30% of the course includes technology-mediated learning activities
  • Blended: 30-99% of the course includes technology-mediated learning activities
  • Online: 100% of the course includes technology-mediated learning activities.

Because many of the techniques for blended courses can be applied to technology-enhanced courses, instructors who do not plan to blend their courses fully can still benefit from the campus resources and programs for blended learning.

What is a course map and how does it help blended learning?

A course map is a visual representation of how the course is designed to support learners and ensure intended course and unit objectives are achieved. A course map helps instructors design, integrate, and evaluate the meaningful components of a course. There are a variety of formats that a course map can take including a table, chart, concept map or matrix.

What does a course map for a blended course look like?

The Blend@UW program assists faculty and staff redesign courses to be more active and engaging by using blended-learning approaches. As part of the program, the participants create course maps and many of them are available on this Blended Learning Toolkit page, including:

How can I learn more about the experiences of UW-Madison instructors?

Hearing from other instructors who have been successful in blended learning can provide useful perspective, advice, and warnings. Many are eager to discuss their experiences and plans for further development. Contact information for the hundreds of instructors who have participated in Blend@UW and Blended Learning Fellowship Program are available on the Blended Learning Toolkit. The lists are sortable to make it easy to find colleagues in related schools, colleges or departments.

In addition, the Toolkit also includes videos of instructors reflecting on how blended learning have improved their instruction.

What resources are available to instructors who want to start blending?

DoIT Academic Technology’s Faculty Engagement service offers three programs and online resources to support blended learning on campus, which include:

  • Blend@UW: A program that supports the Educational Innovation Initiative by helping faculty and staff redesign courses to be more active and engaging by using blended-learning approaches. One-week sessions are offered during winter and summer.
  • Blended Learning Fellowship Program: A year-long program to develop campus leadership around the topic of blended learning
  • Blended Learning Toolkit: The website provides tutorials, resources, and examples of blended learning and how to apply it to your course. In addition, additional services and programs relevant to blended learning are listed.
  • Active Teaching Lab: Each weekly “lab” provides active learning approaches for blended learning courses without extensive course redesign. It’s a safe way to try something fresh and new!