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The European Wergeland Centre

Blended Learning Guide

Start

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Welcome to EWCs guide
for online and blended learning

Here you will find examples of ways to apply blended learning in a project.
Guide's goal is to give employees valuable insight into what are benefits and challenges with different blended learning solutions.
Guide aims to provide inspiration, and support staff to make choices of modes when new projects are being developed or existing projects need to be adapted to a digital environment.

The purpose of the guide is to:
  • Provide guiding questions for existing and new projects in need of transition/adaptation to online and blended learning
  • Give an overview of the online learning models and solutions used at EWC
  • Showcase examples of when to use which mode or a combination of modes
  • Share and learn from examples and experience

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+ info

This guide divides online learning solutions into groups by their fit to traditional programme or training organization.They all have unique potential to give a great learner experience, but it does, of course, depend on the facilitation of the learning and thorough preparation.

The models do not limit themselves to specific tools (Moodle, Jamboard, Menti etc.) but give a rather short description and introduction to make us more aware of what learning model we choose when we go online with our trainings.


After choosing one, or combining several models, you have to set aside time to decide on the right tools for you and your participants.


Guide Structure

Below you’ll find a number of project stages with examples of their transformation to blended or online learning.

You’ll learn about the EWC programs that adopted this approach/model, together with reasons for choosing it, learning outcomes that are supported in this mode, and peculiarities of the project that influenced the decision.

Program leaders kindly shared their experience with these solutions, describing what worked well and what didn't as well as what an online component brings to the program.

Apart from description of gains and limitations of the model, you’ll find some suggestions and practical steps on the way to implement a particular solution. We have gathered together some tips as well as checklists you might use while getting ready to carry out your programme in an online mode.

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Guide Content

Introduction
Leading Questions
Blending online into
Training for a group of participants
Implementation practice
Reflective summing-up, meeting, conference
Post-project community building, networking
Facilitated online courses

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Pros

Cons

Tools

EWC experience

Tips

participants do not need to use a digital device, connected to the Internet, for their learning.

Offline

learners interact with learning materials or peers at different times

Asynchronous learning

learners interact at the same time

Synchronous learning

participants use a digital device, connected to the Internet, for their learning.

Online

Blended learning

combination of training sessions in brick-and-mortar locations with online learning activities

Glossary

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They work individually or in groups doing home or project work.

Learning happens via forums, email, self-paced course, video, online interactive exercise, digital libraries, recorded videos

It happens via live conferences, webinars, meetings or face-to-face meetings.

Online learning can be conducted synchronously or asynchronously.

Section 0

Leading questions

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20.00 h

20.04 h

20.00 h

+ info

Leading questions

It’s possible to use blended learning on one or more project stages, and combine them as appropriate. Before choosing a model or a combination you should ask yourself
a few questions

20.20 h

What do you want to change by your project? Define knowledge, attitudes, skills as well as organisational needs/changes

What existing resources are available already? What technology exists that you can use?

Does your project use particular locations with specific purpose? Who are your target groups (their preferences, established norms etc)?

What do you want to cover and how?

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Answers to these questions will not lead you to a single possible solution. But you would rather get some vital key points to consider when makind a decision to choose particular model or models.

  1. Choose a mix of activities incl face-to-face activity, videos, webinars, guides, practical implementation perdios, etc
  2. Plan for each individual activity (timing, content, etc)


Project stages/activities

We are going to offer ways to transform traditional project stages/activities to possible online solutions, which can be combined in a way, most suitable for your specific needs.

Each of the stages might be implemented in various modes, therefore creating a unique blend of face-to-face and online events.

Live training

Implementation practice

Reflective summing-up

Community building

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Usually this is the first stage of a learning programme, when participants gather together to learn about the program, get to know one another, receive some initial training to get ready for some field work

Usually that’s the time dedicated to “the field practice”, after which participants gather together again for summing up and reflection. This practice might be happening at the workplace or with a volunteer organisation, taking the form of a school project, participation in activities outside school, on elected positions etc.

Participants gather together again to reflect on their experiences and practices

Participants go back to their daily settings, reporting on their implementation activities and participating in a supported communication environment. It’s a good way to keep connected after the project.


Section I

Training for a group of participants

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Online synchronous event

In the situation when meetings in the same room are impossible, one way to replace them is via hosting online synchronous events.

Technology enhanced training

Pre-training online learning

A synchronous offline meeting is supplemented with some online activities, usually in small groups or individually. These online activities can involve working with online resources, participation in quizzes and polls, or collaboration on digital documents.

Before a synchronous offline meeting participants are required to work remotely on some online materials, usually some theoretical resources to prepare to discuss them in person.

How to blend technology into a training

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All the participants receive an invitation to an online platform (zoom, teams, google meet or any other appropriate platform), and connect to it on a set time. Usually participants are able to see each other, participate in discussions, work in one large or several smaller groups (breakout rooms functionality).


While this way of work is quite common in the formal education setting (it’s called station rotation model of blended learning), it can be effectively used in informal education, covering some informational needs as well as independent practice or collaborative content creation.


This solution works best when we have some prior material that participants should get acquainted with before actually meeting face-to-face. This can be some preliminary knowledge update, watching some media materials or doing pre-meeting research. This model is often referred to as a flipped classroom.


Cons

👎Cannot be effectively used for projects, which have strict ties to some locations, museums or other places that serve as a source of inspiration for the project activities (though virtual tours might also be useful in some cases).

Tools

  1. Video conferencing tools, adapted for personal and corporate use: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype
  2. Video conferencing for larger-scale events and webinars: Adobe Connect, Webex, BigBlueButton
  3. Online whiteboards to facilitate group work: Miro, Jamboard, Padlet

Pros

👍 More flexible in logistics, when there’s no need to arrange for travel time, organize coffee breaks etc.
👍 Eco-friendly option, appealing for some participants.
👍 Online events can be offered to larger groups, though to be most effective, incorporating some small group work would be beneficial.

Online synchronous events

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  1. The concentration span is shorter online. You have to include more breaks.
  2. The program needs to be detailed. (Who will write instructions in the chat at what time, share the screen, who takes care of tech challenges?) all the little details must be agreed upon before the event).
  3. Test the digital platform you use to host. Ask a few colleagues to take part in the meeting room, and test out the different functions.
  4. Discuss how you can transform activities from manuals into digital space. It is good to break up an event with group work, and not only presentations. The participants should be given time to network and share experience.

  1. Do you want the participants to prepare before the event?
  2. Is this a training or a webinar (is it closed for a smaller group or open for all)? The answer will raise some more questions on how to plan the agenda.
  3. If the event has many participants: Maybe you can send out a list of participants?
  4. Do you need interpretation?
  5. Make a plan B: How do you handle a situation where aspects of the technology are not working?

Ask these questions

Take into consideration

Online synchronous event

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22 July: Thorvald Stoltenberg seminar

💡 What did we learn?
It is challenging to create a space for sharing experience in a large group online.
Hard to find a balance between interactive elements and presentations.
Experiences and tools from the T. Stoltenberg Seminar

22 July: webinar for trainers

⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ Inspiration
❏ Sharing knowledge and experience during lockdown
❏ Thematic input

💡 What did we learn?
It was quite easy to adapt activities from the TCI manual and Signposts into digital space.

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Trainings / webinars within the Western Balkan project

EWC experience

22 July: Thorvald Stoltenberg seminar

💡 What did we learn?
It is challenging to create a space for sharing experience in a large group online.
Hard to find a balance between interactive elements and presentations.
Experiences and tools from the T. Stoltenberg Seminar

22 July: webinar for trainers

⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ Inspiration
❏ Sharing knowledge and experience during lockdown
❏ Thematic input

💡 What did we learn?
It was quite easy to adapt activities from the TCI manual and Signposts into digital space.

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Trainings / webinars within the Western Balkan project

EWC experience

Tools

  1. Real-time quiz Kahoot
  2. Graded quiz, can be used in collaborative mode Classtime
  3. Quick survey tools Poll Everywhere, Mentimeter

Pros/Cons

👍 Enhanced productivity
👍 Diverse group work
👍 More differentiation and individualization
👍 Instant feedback on polls and surveys

👎 Participants use their personal devices BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model
👎 Number of shared devices to be available 👎 Logistics of providing technology access should be meticulously planned
👎 Level of digital skills might vary among the participants

Technology enhanced training

❏ How can you provide devices for participants without access to technological tools (PC, phone etc.)?
❏ How reliable the technology and Internet connection is in the training location?
❏ Do participants have the same level of digital skills?
❏ How do you make sure the experience leads to reflection and learning?
❏ Is technology used as a tool to understand a topic or is it used to create content?

Tips

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22 July at Utøya - Game development camp

⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ Strengthening competencies for Digital Citizenship
❏ Peer-to-peer learning
❏ Strengthening skills in group work/ communicative skills/ conflict resolution/ cooperation skills
❏ Reaching unrepresented groups of youth
❏ Content delivery
❏ Teachers gain knowledge about 22. July and TCI

💡 What did we learn?
Still in project planning phase (February 2021)

22 July programme - Learning resources for teachers

💡 What did we learn?
The model was suitable for content delivery, but also part of a learning process for the participants.

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Training for a group of Romanian teachers

💡 What did we do?
Used EWC online learning platform for surveys and sharing resources during the training

EWC experience

Tools

  1. Watching videos YouTube
  2. Videos with in-build questions to track participation and understanding EdPuzzle
  3. Graded quiz Classtime
  4. Ungraded interactive exercises to self-check understanding LearningApps , Wordwall

Pros

👍 More productive face-to-face time
👍 Participants might prepare questions to make live training closer to their needs

Pre-training online learning

Cons

👎 Necessary to organize some accountability structure to inform the facilitator whether all the participants are “on the same page”
👎 Possibly prepare some quick leveling-out strategies for face-to-face meetings

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  1. Inform participants about the need for pre-training preparation as soon as possible, preferably at the time of registration.
  2. To get information whether participants have worked with the suggested materials, it’s possible to offer them a quiz, or a less formal questionnaire where they need to write down 3 questions they have after reading the provided materials.
  3. Divide the learning goals of a training into two: knowledge and skills. Skills will need to be trained synchronously, knowledge can be gained through text, visuals, videos as pre-training.
  4. Send out preparation material to participants with enough time for them to go through it.

  1. Do you have the proper material to send out to prepare participants?
  2. Could you add elements of gamification? (Badges, certificates, quiz, test)
  3. Do you need the participants to know each other well in the training? They could get a cooperation assignment as pre-training and/or introduce themselves at a forum or shared board.

Ask these questions

Take into consideration

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22 July at Utøya - ToT


⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ Time saving
❏ Creating common ground of knowledge
❏ Increased learning ability
❏ Understanding terms, principles and approaches before training
❏ focusing the training on skills, attitudes and values
❏ Focusing pre-training preparation on knowledge


💡 What did we learn?
Video material, a booklet and questions for reflection were sent out upon the training. This worked very well, but the trainers will still need to go to the location for a full training.
Great feedback from the training even though it was online.

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EWC experience

Section II

Implementation practice

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Online synchronous support

Participants go back to their daily settings, reporting on their implementation activities and participating in a supported communication environment. Having scheduled online meetings can support in keeping them on track as well as foster community building.

Online asynchronous support

Participants report on their activities on discussion boards and forums to keep on track and support the learning community. Asynchronous activities provide more flexibility compared to scheduled events. It’s possible to participate from different places at different times, as well as engage a wider audience if relevant.

How to blend technology into implementation practice

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Cons

👎 It’s important not to overload with synchronous meetings to allow participants actually implement activities

Tools

  1. Video conferencing tools, adapted for personal and corporate use: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype
  2. Video conferencing for larger-scale events and webinars: Adobe Connect, Webex, BigBlueButton
  3. Online whiteboards to facilitate group work: Miro, Jamboard, Padlet

Pros

👍 Allows to keep on track, especially during longer projects, which might get influenced by routines, distracting from the program activities

Online synchronous support

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  1. The concentration span is shorter online. You have to include more breaks.
  2. The program needs to be detailed. (Who will write instructions in the chat at what time, share the screen, who takes care of tech challenges?) all the little details must be agreed upon before the event).
  3. Test the digital platform you use to host. Ask a few colleagues to take part in the meeting room, and test out the different functions.
  4. Discuss how you can transform activities from manuals into digital space. It is good to break up an event with group work, and not only presentations. The participants should be given time to network and share experience.

  1. Do you want the participants to prepare before the event?
  2. Is this a training or a webinar (is it closed for a smaller group or open for all)? The answer will raise some more questions on how to plan the agenda.
  3. If the event has many participants: Maybe you can send out a list of participants?
  4. Do you need interpretation?
  5. Make a plan B: How do you handle a situation where aspects of the technology are not working?

Ask these questions

Take into consideration

Online synchronous support

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Tips

❏ It’s important to support communication on forums, use relevant prompts and guide discussion
Deadlines for specific inputs help to stay on track of successful project implementation

Tools

  1. Discussion forums, message boards Padlet, Linoit, Slack
  2. Video-forums FlipGrid
  3. Learning management systems Moodle, edx

Pros/Cons

👍 Participants receive guiding and support just in time, according to the pace of the project implementation

👎 Quite often the asynchronous communication is text-based, which might be less attractive for some activities

Online asynchronous support

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22 July at Utøya - Democracy Workshops


⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ Planning/implementation/evaluation of activities in local communities
❏ Continuous engagement in the programme between f-2-f meetings
❏ Networking among participants
❏ Put knowledge and skills into practice


💡 What did we learn?
Positive feedback as its a flexible model that allows to adapt to the target groups during the course.
Learning over time - several months.
Promotes learning cycle that goes beyond one off training but includes application in education practice, reflection, adaption

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EWC experience

Section III

Reflective summing-up meeting, conference

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Online synchronous event

Organize a synchronous online event (such as a conference), inviting participants to share and reflect on their experience

Technology enhanced meeting

A synchronous offline meeting (such as a conference) is supplemented with some online activities, usually in small groups or individually.
These online activities can involve working with online resources, participation in quizzes and polls, or collaboration on digital documents.

How to blend technology into
reflective summing-up meeting/conference

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Cons

👎 It should be promoted as part of learning experience for participants, who might not see the value of attending online

Tools

  1. Video conferencing tools, adapted for personal and corporate use: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype
  2. Video conferencing for larger-scale events and webinars: Adobe Connect, Webex, BigBlueButton
  3. Online whiteboards to facilitate group work: Miro, Jamboard, Padlet

Pros

👍 More flexible in logistics, when there’s no need to arrange for travel time, organize coffee breaks etc.
👍 Eco-friendly option, appealing for some participants.
👍 Online events can be offered to larger groups, though to be most effective, incorporating some small group work would be beneficial.

Online synchronous events

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  1. The concentration span is shorter online. You have to include more breaks.
  2. The program needs to be detailed. (Who will write instructions in the chat at what time, share the screen, who takes care of tech challenges?) all the little details must be agreed upon before the event).
  3. Test the digital platform you use to host. Ask a few colleagues to take part in the meeting room, and test out the different functions.
  4. Discuss how you can transform activities from manuals into digital space. It is good to break up an event with group work, and not only presentations. The participants should be given time to network and share experience.

  1. Do you want the participants to prepare before the event?
  2. Is this a training or a webinar (is it closed for a smaller group or open for all)? The answer will raise some more questions on how to plan the agenda.
  3. If the event has many participants: Maybe you can send out a list of participants?
  4. Do you need interpretation?
  5. Make a plan B: How do you handle a situation where aspects of the technology are not working?

Ask these questions

Take into consideration

Online synchronous event

28

Tools

  1. Real-time quiz Kahoot
  2. Graded quiz, can be used in collaborative mode Classtime
  3. Quick survey tools Poll Everywhere, Mentimeter

Pros/Cons

👍 Enhanced productivity
👍 Diverse group work
👍 More differentiation and individualization
👍 Instant feedback on polls and surveys

👎 Participants use their personal devices BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model
👎 Number of shared devices to be available 👎 Logistics of providing technology access should be meticulously planned
👎 Level of digital skills might vary among the participants

Technology enhanced meeting

❏ How can you provide devices for participants without access to technological tools (PC, phone etc.)?
❏ How reliable the technology and Internet connection is in the training location?
❏ Do participants have the same level of digital skills?
❏ How do you make sure the experience leads to reflection and learning?
❏ Is technology used as a tool to understand a topic or is it used to create content?

Tips

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Post-project community building networking

Section IV

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Social Media

An online system for disseminating information over the Internet to a selected group of followers.

Learning Management System

An online education hub that provides a large set of features to support educational activities such as classroom learning, distance education and continuing education.

How to blend technology into
reflective summing-up meeting/conference

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Cons

👎 Some participants might want to avoid social media in general, or a chosen platform in particular

Tools

  1. Social media platform Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  2. Instant messaging groups What’sUp, Viber, Telegram

Pros

👍 Closed groups can be used to share different media and news
👍 Information can be shared externally, engaging varied audiences

Social Media

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Cons

👎 Requires management and support
👎 Requires learning

Tools

  1. Moodle
  2. edx
  3. Google Classroom

Pros

👍 Safe and structured learning environment
👍 Easier to re-use the teaching and learning resources in and between projects
👍 Strengthens institutional identity

Learning Management System

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Facilitated online
course

Section V

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Cons

👎 Requires more time to prepare

Tool

Pros

👍 EWC LMS covers all the stages of the project in one place
👍 Works best for a deeper immersion into a specific topic
👍 Participants get chance to implement practices and receive guidance during the course
👍 Once developed, can be made available to a larger audience, repeated etc

Facilitated online course

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Facilitated courses in Ukraine
Individual online learning combined with sycnhornous meetings online and 1 reflection face-to-face meeting in the end

⚙ Why did we choose this?
❏ to support learning communities during the pandemic
❏ to provide better support to participants, taking our MOOCs

💡 What did we learn?
We need to inform the participants about the format

EWC experience

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Thanks

Check out full-text version (soon)

Reach Star Team for assistance

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