Create a Blended Learning Activity

Practice & Apply


Plan a precise blended learning activitiy to use in your course.


During the previous three weeks, we've reviewed a number of resources that help explain how blended learning can work and the tools you can use to plan and implement blended learning in an organized and thoughtful manner. This week, we're going to bring together Weeks 1-3 and set out to create a blended learning activity. We are bringing back several of the resources we've reviewd thus far to help guide us toward the completion of an activity that you can implement in your course. To complete the activity, follow the outline below and answer the "Key Questions" for each of the five steps. When you are finished, you will have a complete blended activity. If you wish, submit your completed plan to the Open Forum so others can see what you have accomplished.

Step 1. Identify and reflect upon a prior learning activity:

Since we're taking a previous activity or topic and redesigning it to a blended learning framework, we will start by thinking about that prior experience and how it worked for your class.

Key Questions:

Step 2. Define your learning objectives:

The learning objectives are the foundation for the entire activity. Writing out clear and measurable objectives will help guide the remaining steps in the development of your activity. Remember to use a specific verb (aviod "understand" or "know") when crafting your learning objectives.

Key Questions:

Suggested Resources:

Step 3. Define your assessment goal:

Without getting into too much detail, start to think about how you'll know whether your students have met the learning objective you defined above. Think about what you'll need to see in order to determine whether the students have attained the goal.

Key Questions:

Suggested Resource:

Professor Erica Halverson's video on backward design from week 2.

Step 4. Consider the blended learning models:

Before we begin planning the activity, think about the blended learning models and how they might inform your decision making and parameters of your activity.

Key Questions:

Suggested Resource:

Blended Learning Models & Examples (from Week 1 of this module).

Step 5. Plan and sequence your instructional strategies:

As we've seen, a blended learning activity can include a series of components that work together to meet specific learning objectives. Below are the key considerations. Depending on the length, complexity, and scope of your activity, not all of these may be elements to consider. However, keep these in mind as you plan for other blended learning activities or course design after this workshop and as you move toward a blended learning model for your course.

Key Questions:

  1. Managing your activity
    • How will your orient students to the activity?
    • What instructions are necessary for the student to be clear about the task and successful in completing the requirements?
  2. Cultivating the blended environment & facilitating community building
    • What will student-to-student interaction look like? What are the parameters, requirements, and tone for this?
    • What will student-to-instructor interaction look like? How will you facilitate this, and how will you communicate this to your students?
    • What will student-to-content interaction look like? What expectations, instructions, and levels of engagement will you convey to your students?
  3. Defining assessment measures
    • What scoring criteria or rubrics will you use for this activity? What information will you make available to your students?
    • How will this activity be weighted, scored, or assessed relative to the other assignments in the course?
    • How will you communicate to your students the goal and the importance of this activity and its assessment?
  4. Communicating precise instructions
    • What mechanical details are involved in this activity (e.g., number of words/pages, style guide for citations, number of posts to discussion forum, etc.)?
    • What tools or instructions to your students need (and do you need to make available to them) to complete this activity successfully?

Suggested Resource:

Week 3 Instructional Strategies in Blended Learning


We hope that this session provided a good opportunity to explore more about the models, design, and pedagogical details of blended learning and to nagivate the current discussions on the topic. We certainly enjoyed all of your contributions, both in Learn@UW and during our face-to-face event with DoIT AT's Ron Cramer.

We also hope that the information and resources that we've provided during our session enable you to rethink elements of your course as needed; this could be one 10-minute activity, one lesson, one week, one course module, or the entire course. The goal with our session here was not only to provide a good foundation for developing a blended learning activity but also to reinforce that this does not have to be an altogether daunting task. You can start small with blended learning and incorporate blended learning concepts into your course in many scalable and modular ways so that, over time, you rely more and more on blended learning principles to engage students with the course materials, to make good use of the in-class and out-of-class time for the instructors and the students, to design courses and syllabi based on learning goals and outcomes that you hope the students will achieve, and to provide outlets for doing and sharing that effectively help the student reach these learning goals.

Thanks for joining us for this session and for developing your personal blended learning approach and activities along with us. Since the possibilities of the blended learning environment are endless and in constant development, you might be wondering "where do I go from here?" If you didn't get a chance to work through all of our resources and activities, that might be a good starting point or a refresher. If you're hoping to move forward with an expanded scope for blended learning activities or even an entire module or course design, we've provided some extra resources and guidance here:


If you are in the College of Letters & Science, we would be happy to consult with you. You are welcome to contact us with any blended learning questions, activity or course design plans, or for other general instructional technology & support questions:

Jonathan Klein, Instructional Technology Consultant: jonathan@lss.wisc.edu
Theresa Pesavento, Instructional Technology Consultant: theresa@lss.wisc.edu

If you are not in L&S, you can contact us and we will help refer you to your unit or college's support staff. Alternatively, you may prefer to consult this contact list of instructional technology support staff across campus to find your support unit on your own.

Online course design manuals:

We have incorporated many other great course design guides into our session here, including portions of these two here below. If you'd like to follow an online course design step-by-step guide, these resources are both very helpful:


Once you get far enough with your course or module redesign, the checklist can help to ensure that you've accounted for all of the key elements that you (and your students) will need to make your blended learning unit successful:

Quality certification & peer review:

You can also consider learning more about quality certification for your blended course via a program like Quality Matters.

Quality Matters is a peer-based quality assurance program that supports quality and continued improvement for online and blended courses. Among many other tools, Quality Matters offers an excellent rubric for instructors to use as a guide in the design process.

Your department, unit, or institution might also have well-defined standards for blended or fully-online courses.