In today’s hyper-connected world, it should come as no surprise that educators are constantly seeking ways to engage students through the Internet.  Even though more and more students are taking classes entirely online, traditional classroom-based education can also be greatly enhanced with web-based capabilities.  This blended strategy, which combines face-to-face classes with online components, has proven to be highly effective amongst various types of educational institutions. Blackboard’s solutions for online learning and content management are perfect for enhancing classroom learning with engaging, social, online capabilities. Here are a few best practices for leveraging these solutions after your students have left the classroom:

Extend the School Day: Drive traffic to the learning environment by allowing access to important information online as an incentive.  Post grades, homework, or anything else interesting to the student inside your LMS, and make sure the students are aware that this desirable content is available there. Once learners are in the system, engage them with additional learning content to help reinforce what happens in the classroom to achieve greater learning outcomes.

Accommodate Different Learning Styles: Online tools contain various components that appeal to different learning styles. If an instructor is not the best match for a student, they can provide motivated learners with an opportunity to create custom learning plans.  Such customization ensures that content is relevant and that the course is structured in an intuitive, engaging way.

Assessment Efficiencies: Sharing assessment questions and rubrics across the organization is an easy way for instructors to save time and standardize the evaluation process.  This makes assessment data more reliable and allows a mechanism for systematic change to occur if needed.

Retention Dashboarding: It is possible to deploy your blended environment in such a way that you will be able to easily identify at-risk students based on their engagement online.  Similar metrics also provide the means to measure the impact of your professional learning program overall, and to see what online components are most popular or effective with students.

Increased Ownership of Learning Experience for the Student: When comprehensive course content is available online, students can be held accountable for that material. Never again can something be lost, and never again is there an excuse to not know or forget something. Every student can know their current grade, since they can review assessment scores and rubrics.  They can also gain feedback from the instructor on incorrect questions, and create custom content items to master content.  Students can also easily check the date of their next exam, see what it will cover, learn how to improve their grade, and the list goes on. How has a blended strategy increased learning effectiveness at your institution? To learn more about how Blackboard can help you implement your blended strategy, visit our website here.

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