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Tuesday, December 1 • 4:15pm - 4:45pm
What are We Blending?

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What are we blending? A Smoothie or Margarita?  Even those sound good-we are looking at a new “buzzword” in teaching and learning-Blended Learning.  What is that?  Blended learning is the integration of instructor-led approaches and e-learning opportunities into a seamless program.  Because developing effective e-learning programs can be difficult and complex, and it is always practical for face-to-face training, sometimes a modified blended approach is appropriate for Extension audiences.  A traditional blended learning approach uses online learning with traditional classroom instruction together for one course.  A modified version that works great in Extension programming is to have a program presented via a webinar platform with a face-to-face facilitator at the individual locations.

Some of the benefits for Extension and universities a blended learning approach can be part of a strategy to compensate for limited classroom space, as well as a way to think differently about encouraging faculty collaboration.  In Extension, it allows faculty from across a state or even a region to work together to present a topic from multiple locations.  

Several years ago, county educators with the University of Idaho Extension put together a program to work with youth and families on college scholarships on where to find scholarships and how to properly apply for these scholarships.  The first 2 years of this program, it was held as a face-to-face meeting in 1 location with about 10-20 participants.  Word got out about how great the program was, more counties wanted to participate.  To accommodate this, the planning team got together and came up with the plan to take a blended learning approach. There would be 5 sites throughout the state and each Extension Educator would teach online (using Adobe Connect and/or Zoom as the platform) to everyone but there was an on-site facilitator who would lead small group discussions.  This proved to be successful.  The first year of the blended learning approach, the number of participants increased to over 100.  Year after year, the number of sites increases. 

For programs like this, a blended learning approach using a webinar/online learning and face-to-face facilitator, allows Extension to expand their programming efforts to more stakeholders.  This workshop will give you a history of blended learning, successful models of blended learning that can be used to incorporate this method into your programming, and tips on how to select the right media for this learning method.

avatar for Carrie Stark

Carrie Stark

State 4-H Program Director, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Tuesday December 1, 2015 4:15pm - 4:45pm

Attendees (7)