[Topic4] Blended learning: Changes in my role as faculty

Firstly, I must admit that it was so unexpected to hear the webinar about Community of Inquiry (CoI) as a framework for designing flexible, networked and community-based learning, under ‘Blended learning’. I thought I would hear more directly relevant issues regarding blended learning. But very soon, I realised that it IS important to understand the framework to helicopter-view the entire course as a designer of the course. Dr. Cleveland-Innes mentioned about the faculty role, which I think the most interesting topic to me at the current situation. She shared that “the expanding role of teacher for faculty in higher education can be managed by sharing some pieces of the role with instructional learning designers, web-analysts and learning technology experts.” in the Webinar. Specifically she asked us to share the thoughts on three questions in Padlet.

1. How are you perceiving your role as teacher changing regarding design for learning?

During the Pandemic situation, I found myself spending more time in designing the course and interacting with the students (outside the class), than preparing individual lecture (e.g. reading papers and preparing PPT slides). Meaning, I focus more on the learning process and learners than content delivery. Based on the students feedback on the course, the students appreciate personalised feedback and support more than fluent lecture delivery, particularly during online course. The reason can be explained under the second question.

2. What have you done differently in remote teaching and learning?

Because there was a certain limitation during ‘online LECTURE’ compared to face-to-face lecture, such as lack of chance for learner engagement during lesson itself. Therefore, I looked at other opportunities of learner engagement outside of live lectures. I provided two additional platforms of interaction, one for personal interaction, and the other for community interaction.

1) Reflections in MS Teams: All the students were required to write a weekly reflection on their learning experience according to the guide. The guides are given as below.

[During eLecture]  I learnt and noticed …, I wondered … , I wanted to find out … , So, I did….  

[During Lecture]  I could resolve …, I could find further …, I was not still clear about …. Therefore, I want to …, I want to find out further of … , After the class, I did….  

[Language & Culture] Things I notice about language and culture, with material/Media/Resource:   

Reflections allowed students to monitor their own learning process and identify any issues, and allowed me to provide individual feedback and support to the student. And this is my new role as an educator.

2) Group interaction in MS Teams post: The students shared the questions and some concerns regarding learning in this platform. Also some casual conversation (e.g. sharing YouTube video, K-pop, K-drama….) also went on to make learning Korean more enjoyable. As a result, the students created personal relationship with classmates, and bonded each other.

3. How have you developed a learning community for your students?

It it true that we have created a learning community, but it was NOT really me who developed. I provided a platform to start a learning community, and the STUDENTS developed the community, which was a pretty amazing experience for me. We, including me, never have done such a course and we enjoyed new ways of engagement while learning.

In fact, there were some aspects of online & blended learning that I really liked about, and I hope to bring it back to face-to-face classroom.

5 thoughts on “[Topic4] Blended learning: Changes in my role as faculty

  1. Great to hear your positive and surprising experience. Have you ever tried to introduce recorded CC lectures by other teachers in your courses? Or other OER?

    • Not recently, but I did it long time ago. It didn’t go well, perhaps due to lack of preparation for both sides: teacher and students. It will be interesting to try it again!

  2. I’m impressed that you’ve managed to change your teaching role by spending less time on content presentation and more time on the learning process and giving students feedback. My worry is that a lot of teachers have been working overtime in converting their existing content onto web-based platforms, for example by video recording their lectures. At the same time I guess a lot of teachers have been updating their PowerPoint slides, because if something is filmed it needs to look a lot better for the expanded audience that video naturally gives, than for a live lecture.

    I’m interested in how the weekly reflection activities have worked out. In my experience I’ve not really got much out of completing a ‘reflection template’, like in the example you give. I often don’t feel any inspiration for doing it, but know that I probably have to, so just write something to please the teacher. On the other hand I know that reflection is good, but how can we, in an inspiring way, get students to reflect? I wish someone could tell me : – )

    • Hi, Brian.
      I guess I did not *change* my role, but it *became changed*. I only realised my role was dramatically changed while we were discussing about ‘educator’s role’ in our PBL group, which was very interesting.

      My guiding questions for reflections were only a guide, but no need to reply to the questions. They were just to provoke students’ pondering up on their own learning experiences. Some did it very well, some didn’t. But I did enjoy reading reflections, and they inspired me further for my course. I don’t know exactly how to inspire my students, but I tried to be a model in this activity, like reflecting on my course and lectures and shared with them too.

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