When embedding blended learning in the curriculum, it is important to understand the needs of the learners and structure the course around the learning outcomes. A useful approach to guide the design process is the DADDIE model: Define, Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate, which I introduced in my previous post. In this installment, I will look at the initial stage of the process: defining the learning outcomes.
Too often blended learning is driven by technology rather than being led by pedagogy. Learners are encouraged to use tools or complete activities without due consideration to how they will actually enhance learning. One way to avoid this happening is to define the learning outcomes from the beginning and design any blended learning activities around these. This will allow the design process to remain focused on the learning rather than the tools and will help to ensure that learners are presented with an opportunity to acquire any skills they may be assessed on later.
Learning outcomes are the goals that describe how learners will be transformed as a result of their learning experience. They outline the knowledge and skills that learners will be able to demonstrate within a specified context. Learning outcomes for a course may be fairly broad but outcomes for a specific module or unit will be quite specific. Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy can provide us with some guidance in defining learning outcomes for blended learning, as illustrated in the short animated video below:
The learning outcomes will influence all stages of the blended learning design process, and should contribute to the structure your scheme of work and determine any resources or activities. But before you can start to design the course content which will help learners achieve the learning outcomes, you will need to consider who your learners are. We will look at this stage of the blended learning design process next!