How to get started with Blended Learning: Part 5

Step 5: Data collection

The decision to adopt a new teaching approach is both exciting and angst inducing. Blended learning offers a new way to reach students, so it makes sense that districts want to harness it's potential. As school districts explore the possibilities of blended learning they are also faced with challanges and obstacles that must be acknowledged and planned for. If you are thinking about how to get started with blended learning, this 7 part blog series will explore the steps you should consider as you adopt this new methodology.

It's helpful to read these posts in order, so before continuing:

As stated in Part 4, selecting an LMS that meets the needs of your teachers and students is a critical step to successfully implementing blended learning. 

We also touched on the notion that the LMS you select should (must) have the ability to capture data from outside of itself. That is, learning experiences that are informal, or that happen outside of a traditional learning environment.

This is critical because, as most are aware, Distributed Learning (a fancy way of saying learning happens everywhere) is actually a thing.

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Most learning experiences, for all of us, take place informally, outside of the classroom.

As little as 10% of all learning experiences happen within a formal setting. That means as much as 90% of your learners learning experiences are taking place outside of school and beyond the reach of your LMS.

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If, however, your LMS is able to capture your students and teachers informal learning experiences (along with their formal ones) a more complete picture of your learners is developed.

Now your classrooms are empowered with the data of both formal and informal learning experiences. 

When a teacher reviews a students progress in a course, learning patterns, behaviors and habits are made apparent. Teachers and administrators become more tuned in to students needs and can step in to provide assistance when necessary because of the learning data made available to them.

Using an LMS with the ability to capture informal learning experinces encourages the teacher to use a variety of resources and activities outside of the LMS to support blended learning in their classrooms.

To tie this post back to Part 4, selecting an LMS that meets the needs of your teachers and students makes the idea of blended learning much more appealing. 

Obtaining teacher buy-in to new technology (obviously) plays a big part in this, so it's vital to remove any obstacles at the beginning of the process. 

To understand the full process of implementing blended learning: 

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In part 6 of our 'How to Get Started with Blended Learning' series we'll dive into what happens after your LMS solution is up and running. We'll discuss how to see if your new strategies are working and what you can do if there are some bumps in the road.

 

WRITTEN BY

Barbra Thoeming Director of Education Strategy at Thrivist, LLC