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Students can be critical of blended instruction if they felt the face-to-face and time-out-of-class components of the course were not well integrated.


For the most part, the blended format will be new to students, and they will benefit greatly from a clear rationale for its use. Instructors may need to explain the model and why it was chosen. A carefully constructed syllabus can provide much of the information about course structure for students; information like when and where the face-to-face meetings will be held, when and how assignments should be submitted, and what exactly will occur during the class meeting times are all critical aspects of the course that may not be obvious to those students new to blended learning.


Research indicates that student satisfaction with the blended format is highly dependant on the level of interaction with instructors and other students. Instructors can address interaction issues by providing time during the face to face sessions for discussion, in addition to using available inline discussion tools such as ANGEL discussion forums.

Student expectations

Blended learning students require a greater ability to regulate their work and manage their own time. This is because they have fewer in-class meetings, and thus may not realize that they are falling behind in the course. Many blended instructors report significant problems with students not taking responsibility for their courses and with students' poor time management skills.

In addition, some instructors have found that students occasionally assume that online and blended courses are inherently “easier” than traditional face-to-face courses. This can create problems when the rigors of the course surpass the expectations of some students. Again, a well-constructed syllabus can provide the essential details on what exactly is expected of students, thereby mitigating possible confusion on the part of students.

Recommendations for making the most of your blended course

Over the past several years, faculty members at Penn State have been developing and teaching blended format courses in various colleges and departments. Below is a list of recommendations based on their experiences, using data collected from interviews and conversations with many of those faculty. These recommendations can be used as a guide for how to maximize the chances for a successful blended course:

  • At a minimum, blended instructors should allow six months lead time for course development; one year is preferred. Several instructors voiced an opinion that the need for integration and organization necessitates a full course redesign; creating a blended course is not as simple as placing presentation slides or notes online.
  • Mastering the technology necessary to administer the course can be a challenge, and instructors should set aside time to learn the requisite tools. Posting content to the course web site, creating discussion forums, and managing student grade books are examples of skills that might be useful to practice.
  • Hold an initial face-to-face kick-off meeting. This first meeting can serve many roles, including a general orientation to the format of the course, a review of technology requirements, and an opportunity for the students to socialize and get to know their peers and their instructor.
  • Make students aware of what a blended course entails. For many students, the blended format is a novelty. Use course documents like the syllabus or the class schedule to help guide students. Rely on course communication tools like email announcements to make sure that the students know what’s coming up next.
  • Provide information on time management skills. Because of the self-pacing elements of a blended course, students may benefit from improving their skills in managing their work and schedules. The University Learning Centers can direct students to resources. In addition, Penn State has developed an iStudy online module that contains information on improving time management: (External Link)
  • Be sure that the face-to-face class meetings are integrated into the course, and hold value to the educational experience that connects with the online coursework. Students may become frustrated if they feel that the face-to-face sessions are simply thrown into the course, with no thought given to the role that the classroom time plays within the course.
  • Intro/technology overview
  • Collaborative small-group work
  • Advanced discussions
  • Project presentations
  • Guest speakers
  • Q&A sessions
  • Demonstrations
  • Lab work

Voice of experience

To hear insights from an experienced online instructor about preparing for online teaching, access the following interview. Please make sure your audio is enabled.

Andrew wiesner

Andrew wiesner - developing and teaching a blended course (interviewed by gary chinn) (mp3)


Aycock, A., Garnham, C.,&Kaleta, R. (2002). Lessons learned from the hybrid course project. Teaching Scholars Forum, 8(6). (External Link)

Dziuban, C. D., Hartman, J. L.,&Moskal, P. D. (2004). Blended learning. Educause Center for Applied Research, Research Bulletin, 7. (External Link)

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Best practices in online teaching. OpenStax CNX. Aug 28, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10453/1.2
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