Blended learning does not have to be limited to an e-learning before or after an on-site course. How creative, flexible and scalable is your offline element of blended learning?
If you are using traditional blended learning, why not take the flipped classroom out of the classroom?
There is nothing wrong with traditional practices – they will always have their place, but now our physical learning space can become more dynamic and “blended”, too. We could break down the blending in these two ways:
1) Digital learning supplemented by learning pods – digital learning cohorts that physically meet together.
2) Physical learning space supplemented by digital/virtual tools – physical learning labs that connect digitally.
Just as MOOCs can make digital learning more social and collaborative, the on-site element could take the form of learning hubs. That is blended learning = MOOC (online) + learning hub (on-site).
Blended Learning Through Learning Hubs
We want to encourage you to build this community of L&D experts and interested learners not just online, but also on-site in blended learning formats. For this, we want to introduce to you the idea of learning hubs.**
What are so called learning hubs?
The Future of Learning Group by MIT Media Laboratory wrote this paper a while back, advocating for learning hubs: "Entry Point to Twenty First Century Learning. A Call for Action at the Local and Global level", by Seymour Papert and David Cavallo.
A more detailed overview of learning hubs can be found in this pdf paper by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) about "Learning Hubs. Where Learning Takes Place in a Digital World". Author Michelle Selinger, 2013.
When talking about Hubs, it is also important to note the innovative MOOC by Otto Scharmer and MIT on Transforming Business, Society, and Self with U.Lab, that run 2015 on edX. In this MOOC, you could participate as an online learner, create a hub with your friends, or join an innovation hub.
Read more on this format here. This was really successful and inspiring to a lot of other MOOCers or online learners.
And it is no suprise. Online students can't help being sociable, writes Sean Coughlan on BBC and the Hoffpost College blog postulates that "MOOCs and Meetups Together Make for Better Learning" by Michael Goldberg.
What does this mean for us?
We would like to encourage you to create new discussion threads in the discussion forum - for example organized by regions and/or countries. You can start by simply introducing yourself in your respective area, by proposing a meetup, or by hosting an event. This is simply for you to get inspired and take or take not the initiative on how to exchange with your fellow learners.
If you are already part of a learning hub or meetup group, and can recommend it, please do so as well in the discussion forum.
We are really curious to see what you will do and create inside this course and where you will take us.
Please let us know if you need any help or assistance.