North-West University and edTech research group at the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland (UEF) jointly organise a mini-course titled: The use of technology in the classroom: The benefits of blended learning
The course is facilitated by Veruschka Pelser-Carstens from School of Accounting, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology, Vaal Campus. North-West University
During the course, the following topics/themes will be covered and discussed
- Blended learning is a mix of online and in-class learning that represents a way to break away from the traditional class room approach of students listening and lectures speaking. Blended learning opportunities incorporate both face-to-face and online learning opportunities. This allows students to work according to his or her particular needs whether that is in a group or alone.
- Blended learning furthermore allows the student to resolve problems or projects, online or offline.
- Online learning has the potential to improve educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning, taking advantage of learning time outside of class contact sessions, reducing the cost of instructional materials, and better utilizing lecturer time. These strategies can be particularly useful in rural areas where blended or online learning can help teachers and students in remote areas overcome distance.
- Technology is becoming more and more integrated into our society. Smart phones are now commonplace, tablets are replacing or substituting for computers and laptops, and social media has become second nature. The rapid and widespread adoption of these technological innovations has completely changed the way we conduct our daily lives, including how knowledge is digested and taught in our classrooms.
In and out of the classroom, the use of technology preserves the benefits of the old teaching methods and provides new and modern benefits such as:
- Integrating technology into the classroom helps prepare our students for the elaborate world they will face going forward. (This outcome directly links to the student assignment).
- It can keep students focused for longer periods of time as students are used to using technology for social activities
- It makes students more excited to learn. (This outcome is directly link to gameplay and game design).
- It enables students to learn at their own pace.
The question is how educators can capture these benefits. The objective if the course is to design the virtual and physical setup to align with the desired student and teacher experiences.
The results obtained from the course will be linked to
- Soft skills
- The use of professional language use
- Understanding the importance of different teaching methods
- The use of technology in the classroom
- Technology skills
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015
Place: D106B, Science Park
10:00-12:00 (GMT+2), Lecture I: Intro
- Introduction of the course participants
- Introducing problem-based learning
- Examples of practical applications for the use of technology in classroom
- Discussion & Conclusion
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015
Place: 2D309 (edTech lab), Science Park
10:00-12:00 (GMT+2), Lecture II: Introduction to modern blended teaching methods, course assignment introduction
Blended teaching methods:
- Smart Guides
- Flip learning & Lecture capturing
- Gameplay & Game design
Course assignment: Problem identification and discussion, Fact finding, Brainstorming the outcomes and vision of the assignment.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2015
Place: 2D309 (edTech lab), Science Park
10:00 - 13:00 (GMT + 2), Hands-on activity: Start of the course assignment work
- Formation of teams
- Selection of topics and agreement of the responsibilities
- Presentations of the teams and topics:
- Outcomes & Overview
- Reason for method
- Scope & Design
- Positive feedback from previous students
Students form teams to make a video related to the theme of the course. The video clip ( as if they are a news reporter or as if they are making a documentary) is then uploaded on Facebook. The video clip should report on the newest technology that can be used for blended learning. What technological solutions are available? How the technology has been used in practice?
Those participants who want to earn ECTS credits from the workshop need to enroll before the first lecture. Please sign up to the course latest Wednesday, November 18 by sending an email to Jarkko Suhonen (jarkko.suhonen(at)uef.fi).
Online participation and study credits
It is possible to participate to the workshop via Adobe Connect Pro system. Please contact Jarkko in order to sort out the practical arrangements.
Master, doctoral and exchange students at UEF are able to receive 1 ECTS by completing the course. The requirements for passing the course are:
1) Participate to all three course meetings
2) Complete the course assignment
2) Write 1-2 pages reflection report about the course, including description of the experience and personal reflection what you learned during the course.
Please contact Jarkko Suhonen: jarkko.suhonen(at)uef.fi.