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Topic 4: Design for online and blended learning

I have several handicaps after a heart failure followed by anoxic brain injury 12 years ago, one of them being that I am unable to filter background sounds from those sounds I want to hear. Therefore it is really fatiguing for me to be in a classroom-setting, so I have developed other ways of teaching.

Presently, I have interactive lectures produced in Adobe Captivate. The students are asked to  prepare for class by going through a lecture. They then come to class and work in groups on specified problem sets. In class they have access to more senior students who can help structure the work, discuss solutions to the problems and answer questions about the course material. The new students can ask me questions through our LMS, anonymously if they wish, and I publish the answer to everyone in the course. They also have discussion threads in the LMS, where they can discuss different aspects of the course.

The problem is that the students mostly show up unprepared for class, and they don’t stay to work on the problems, but rather just take them and go. When it is exam-time, they start listening to the lectures and give the problems a shot, but all to late, so many of them fail, and then they complain that they don’t have a real teacher.

They obviously miss ”Teacher presence” so I will arrange more webinar-type sessions during the course. I will also think about how to shorten the lectures as they now take about an hour each.

Last year, I introduced Socrative in class for tests that yielded points towards the final exam. That is something I definitely will continue with.

I really like the idea of producing knowledge to learn, so I will introduce an activity where the students produce a page about an organic molecule on Wikipedia (inspired by Pia Palm in this course), maybe in a collaborative manner.

This autumn, I met a student who really likes to learn things. He expresses his desire to be at the University just to be able to learn stuff, but finds school activities ”getting in the way of his learning”, which I find very interesting, and also can identify with to some part during this course. So many interesting things to try out, but I have to contribute to a presentation or write a blog post…



I am following a course in Open Network Learning at KTH. This blog is for reflecting over the content and activities within the course.

6 reaktioner till “Topic 4: Design for online and blended learning

  1. Thankyou for sharing. All people are different, and the students as well 😉 Some like the presents of a teacher, some think ”it´s in the way” 😉
    It felt that you had a good structure so I think you should continue, use more small webinars etc, some you can record, some not – just to force them to join.
    good luck!

    Gillad av 1 person

  2. Amazing how you can manage your class room situation today when you have several handicaps.
    It´s interesting how you find different kind of equipment and software that will interact and communicate with the students learning. The most important is that you not afraid to choice this digital tools, I really like that.
    I strongly recommend you to try my concept with the Wikipedia project. It´s is a opportunity and challenge to collaborate with each other in a Wikipedia article. Don´t hesitate to ask me about advice. I can also recommend to contact Sara Mörtsell at Swedish Wikimedia. She has a webinar in the first Topic in this course.


  3. Hi Kaye, Sorry to hear about the difficulties you face but I think you succeed to get over it in amazing way. It is a common problem even in the traditional classroom education that students listen and prepare late for exams. I think one way to get over that is to give quizzes regularly after each topic, from topic one till the end. That will force them to listen and study from the beginning for the course till the end. I also think that you are doing great by using Socrative and ask students to write a bage in Wikipedia . Well done and wish you all the best Kye.



  4. Hi Kaye, this semester I have taught a course using the flipped classroom approach where students are supposed to follow the lectures online and then come to lab sessions and carry out the exercises together with lab assistants. I think that you do a very similar thing. As you, I found out that students didn’t really watch the videos before the class. Some they were doing it during the lab and maybe it is OK but it was disappointing to see that students were not checking the lectures online. I think that this is a major problem with online teaching 😦



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