Career education institutions across the country are transitioning to blended learning models to best protect the health of their students, faculty, and staff while preserving the valuable hands-on instruction necessary for career training.
In this post, we will cover how CourseKey makes it easy for institutions to successfully set up and run blended learning programs. By providing the technology necessary to conduct attendance online and on-ground, create opportunities for student engagement, and collect data from both environments in one central location, institutions can become approved for blended learning by their accreditors and stay in compliance.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning (a.k.a hybrid learning) is a course model that combines on-ground face-to-face training with online instruction. Students enrolled in blended learning courses complete the majority of their coursework remotely through web-based learning and attend on-ground courses once or twice a week to practice and reinforce what they learned online.
For the online portion of blended learning, institutions can choose whether to implement a live, synchronous class where instructors and students are in a session together and students can accrue hours, or self-paced, asynchronous classes, where students can complete the learning when it works best for them.
The technology needed to transition to blended learning
Blended learning calls for online content delivery, on-ground content delivery, and a way to track attendance and engagement in both environments.
The technology needed for online content delivery depends on your choice between live, synchronous online sessions or self-paced, asynchronous learning. If you aren’t sure which type of online learning to choose, a CourseKey team member can help you figure out the best option for your school.
For synchronous online sessions, you will need a web-conferencing solution like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, where instructors and students can be active in a session together. Instructors can hold live classes by displaying a slideshow of the day’s class material and interacting with students virtually in a way that mimics an in person class dynamic.
Learning management system (LMS)
For asynchronous online sessions, you will need to deliver content through an LMS, like Canvas or Blackboard, which houses all of the learning material for students to go through on their own. An LMS can also be used in synchronous online courses to store supplemental learning material referenced in synchronous online sessions. Many schools already have an LMS in place.
Attendance & engagement tools
The last component needed for blended learning is a way to track attendance and engagement opportunities online as well as on-ground. The Attend and Engage modules of the CourseKey Career Education Platform are designed to collect and track that data in any environment. Through CourseKey, institutions can easily distinguish how many hours students accrued on-ground vs. online, which is something accreditors look for when approving schools for blended learning.
Tracking online & on-ground attendance
One of the critical requirements for schools administering blended learning is being able to track the ratio of hours students accrue on-ground vs. online. Without a solution that tracks attendance data in both environments, staff members would need to spend hours per day manually updating student attendance records.
CourseKey’s Attend module gives institutions a way to take attendance online and on-ground and store the attendance data from both environments in a centralized location without extra admin effort.
In synchronous online components of blended learning, students can check in on their mobile phone using Face/Print ID technology. Instructors can see in real-time in the CourseKey platform which students have checked in and can see on the web conferencing software which students are active.
For clock-hour programs, it’s critical that institutions can verify how long a student was active in an online session. With CourseKey, schools can be confident that the attendance data accurately reflects the time that the student spent in the session.
In addition to conducting attendance online, CourseKey’s Attend module allows institutions to conduct safe, touch-free attendance on-ground. Students use their own personal device to check in to class, allowing institutions to conduct attendance without sharing surfaces on biometric scanners or congregating in an area while they wait to add their name to a sign-in sheet.
Ensuring on-ground safety: COVID-19 daily health check
When people travel, the coronavirus travels. To keep staff and students as safe as possible during on-ground portions of blended learning, institutions can utilize CourseKey’s COVID-19 Daily Health Check to keep individuals exhibiting symptoms or those in contact with someone exhibiting symptoms off-campus.
Before students arrive on campus, they fill out a quick health check survey on their CourseKey app. Depending on their answers, they are given a green pass to come on campus that day or they’re given a red pass, meaning they are not permitted on campus until they speak with an administrator. Anytime a red pass is given out, admins receive an email notifying them immediately.
Conducting on-ground observational assessments
On-ground courses typically entail the hands-on portion of blended learning. During these sessions, instructors are often evaluating students’ skills in performing certain tasks. CourseKey’s observational assessment tool allows instructors to evaluate students using a digital workflow.
Managing externship attendance
If externships are part of your blended learning course curriculum, CourseKey makes it easy to collect externship attendance and manage externship sites. Through GPS attendance technology, institutions can receive real-time externship attendance data instead of waiting the usual week or more to receive that data. Admins can know in real-time where their students are completing hours.
Plus, students can sign off and certify their hours completed and the externship coordinator and site supervisor both receive a report to review.
Share data instantly with integration
CourseKey’s integration capabilities allow attendance data collected in CourseKey to be shared with your SIS instantly, saving your staff hours of manual data entry. And for Canvas users, CourseKey also allows data collected in your LMS during asynchronous online learning to be shared with your SIS, creating a seamless transfer of learning data.
Staying in compliance
By documenting attendance data and engagement opportunities and by providing a daily health check and touch free attendance for on-ground safety, CourseKey allows institutions to deliver exceptional programs during uncertain times without putting compliance at risk. Many CourseKey partner school’s have been able to quickly gain approval for blended learning.
A smooth transition
By pairing CourseKey with a web conferencing solution and/or LMS of your choice, your school can quickly and easily set up blended learning courses. You can rest assured that students are receiving quality instruction and are earning their hours online and on-ground.
Whether you’re adopting blended learning programs as a long-term solution or making a temporary move in response to the pandemic, CourseKey makes the transition simple.
Get in touch with us by filling out the form below. We’ll set up a time to talk about your school’s needs and how CourseKey can help.