Blended learning is a type of education program that utilizes both traditional and digital learning techniques. This is the reason why it is also called hybrid education. It takes the best out of the classroom and online learning.
While we are all well versed with how learning inside the classroom happens, we are still learning how to utilize learning in the digital world. It can be quite confusing because you do not want to make the learning process informal – which is more likely to happen online. When learning happens over the Internet, more control is given to the students. They can control the time, place, and pace of the learning experience. The instructor needs to exert more effort in controlling what happens in the learning process.
A blog is one of the ways that blended learning can be implemented while maintaining control over the lesson. It is a great venue for students to freely express their thoughts and discuss ideas while the instructor oversees the activities happening online.
However, there are certain rules that should be followed when using blogs in hybrid learning. It allows the instructors to generally control the learning curve while allowing students to have the freedom to manipulate the details of their learning experience. Here are some of the important rules that you need to follow in other to use blogs in the lesson.
- Choose the right platform. Start by choosing the right platform that will help secure the information that will be exchanged and at the same time, help reach the elearning goals of the course. Edublog and WordPress are some of the platforms that can be used in creasing blogs for blended learning.
- Set guidelines. If you will allow students to control their respective learning experience, you have to set guidelines that will help them understand what they can or cannot do. For instance, you can set clear goals and impose rules what blog articles to post and when to do it. You should also know your limitations and the requirements needed to allow minors to participate in a blog. You may have to get a written permission from their parents, etc.
- Impose strict commenting rules. The comment section is a great way to engage students in the blended learning program. However, things can easily get out of hand unless you set strict rules. It is important to teach them how to post comments – especially when it comes to the language that will be used, etc.
- Decide how you will use the blog. Deciding how to use the blog is also important. Is it for home works and group projects? Or will it be a venue for the instructor to post relevant information about the lesson? This will define the role of the blog in the lesson. You may want to create a blog for each topic or you can simply organize them in categories. That will allow the students to know where to go for information.
- Commit to the blog. This is something that you need to commit to. A blog requires some work and attention for it to look engaging. You have to plan what will be published and take the time to monitor what the students are posting and commenting on. If the posts are not published well and the information not updated, it might make the students lose interest in the blog.
Think about these rules so you can use a blog well in your blended learning strategy. This can be a great tool in building the reading and writing skills of the students. But you have to make sure you know how to use it well.
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