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The Challenges of Creating a Blended Course

The educational climate is still experiencing the after effects of the global pandemic. As such, the academic and social-emotional needs of our students has continued to grow and diversify. Technological integration and flexible teaching and learning opportunities have catapulted to the forefront of educational priorities. Blended course design gives teachers and students increased opportunities to personalize content and skill acquisition by optimizing curriculum delivery and demonstration of learning. This use of digital tools is created to be used both in and out of the classroom to enhance students engagement and increase academic achievement. Ultimately, the desire is to make content accessible, relevant, and meaningful for all learners.

Although the technological integration phenomenon is nothing new, the use of digital tools in the academic environment to personalize content is only been more recently explored. This process is meant to provide dynamic learning experiences that address the needs of diverse learners. A blended course design has the capability to meet these demands; however, the framework and justification for student work and digital alignment can be a difficult process. Not only must technological components be adequately vetted, due diligence in research-based best practices for online learning and relevant content tasks must be thoroughly explored.

Although research-based evidence confirms the use of technology in education as a valid and worthwhile venture in education, the use of digital learning to improve metacognition and learning outcomes is still being examined. The plethora of available resources can make it difficult to properly align content with appropriate and meaningful interactive activities, simulations, and assessments. Content-specific digital tools can support exploration of knowledge and skills; however, these components need to be intentionally integrated with an established background capacity to ensure support and alignment. Ultimately, there are amazing benefits to a blended course design if one is dedicated enough to take the initiative to research, examine, develop, and refine processes that are in the best interest of teaching and learning advancement.

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