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LearnDash Expert on the LearnDash Blended Learning Feature to Improve Course Outcomes and Engagement

LearnDash Expert on New Blended Feature

I was reading an article on the LearnDash blended learning option on the LearnDash blog site and thought I would share my thoughts on the topic. Using this feature when using LearnDash gives you additional options that can make a difference in how effective you are at getting your students to learn what you teach.

LearnDash Expert Chimes in on the Issues Involved

The reason most course builders offer an online course version of what they teach is to reach a larger audience. This is definitely a good idea , but it does bring up some issues you need to address. When teaching without meeting in-person, these issues quickly become obvious:

  • It's not as easy to detect when a student misses something.
  • You don't have the visual queues like you do with face-to-face teaching to detect when something is off.
  • Students can't learn from explanations given to fellow students asking their questions.
  • It's difficult (maybe impossible) to confirm a student is taking an exam without outside help.

The online only approach does have its advantages.

  • Some students find classroom learning distracting. They like learning on their own using a LearnDash online course approach.
  • Some students can't make the schedule times when course meetings are offered in-person.
  • Online course offerings can often be offered at a reduced cost that meets their budgets.

LearnDash Expert Comments on the Blended Learning Options

Combining approaches brings together the best of both worlds. You cover material that can be learned using online methods and then use in-person for others. This does require the instructor to consider what parts of their materials lend themselves to each approach.

Don't assume that just because you have a lot of dense, hard to digest material that it should be done in-person. When teaching students who's English is not their first language, giving them material they can digest slowly on their own is often preferred. It gives them a chance to look up words they don't understand at their leisure, etc. They can review lessons before attending a lecture or listening to a video you include.

Turning on this LearnDash feature and marking different parts of your course as in-person is easy to understand. The LearnDash page at https://www.learndash.com/blended-learning/ gives you the technical instructions.

What I wanted to add to this that you can considering using other available options to complement this. For example, you can offer office hours at set times. You can use a tool like Zoom and allow students to ask questions during that session.

You can structure it to meet your needs and the needs of your students. For example, you can require that students submit questions before hand. Then you provide answers to those questions on a Zoom call and allow those that attend live to ask questions limited to the topic. I always recommend that you post a recording of those calls so students that could not attend have access to that. If you provide a transcript of those calls, there's an opportunity to add a search feature using the text of the call.

There are many options you can put to work so you have information in your course that your students can access easily.

If you want to get more adventurous, you can consider providing each class with a discussion thread or forum. This is where students can ask you questions, but also discuss course related material. What often happens is that a student asks a question that another student in the class can answer. It encourages students to work together and it can offload work from you.

You can certainly use a private Facebook group for discussions like this, but you can also consider adding BuddyBoss to your LearnDash site. Initial versions of BuddyBoss were overtly marketed as a way to add community features to LearnDash courses. That is still one of it's many strengths. It has both Facebook-like thread discussions you can use to enhance a site and forum discussion features where topics can be better organized so it's easier to read and search after the fact.