Flipped classrooms, self blend model and fun quizzes: Everything you need to know about UGC's brand new learning plan

The UGC has elaborated seven sample configurations of blended learning activities to consider if and when such a teaching-learning situation arises
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Maxxpixel)
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Maxxpixel)

The University Grants Commission recently released a concept note on Blended teaching and learning and how it can be adapted into the mainstream education system even after the pandemic blows over. While several factors must be considered when choosing how to blend in-person and online teaching and learning activities, UGC definitely has a few tricks up its sleeve.

The UGC states that ensuring students are able to function well as learners with any delivery method, single-mode or blended, is of utmost importance. In their note, the commission has elaborated seven sample configurations of blended learning activities to consider if and when such a teaching-learning situation arises. And they seem quite futuristic. The UGC suggests that the examples are drawn from higher education but can be shaped to fit any teaching and learning situation.

The first one talks about a blended face-to-face class model that is based in the classroom, although a significant amount of classroom time has been replaced by online activities. "Seat time is required for this model, while online activities are used to supplement the in-person classes; readings, quizzes, or other assessments are done online at home. This model allows students and faculty to share more high-value instructional time because class time is used for higher-order learning activities such as discussions and group projects," states the commission.

The blended online class is simply contrary to the blended face-to-face class model. This kind of class is mostly conducted online, but there are some required in-person activities such as lectures or labs.

The third example is that of a flipped classroom, which reverses the traditional class structure of listening to a lecture in class and completing homework activities at home. Students in flipped classes watch a short lecture video online and come into the classroom to complete activities such as group work, projects or other exercises. The blended MOOC, which is a form of the flipped classroom, uses in-person class meetings to supplement a massive open online course. "Students access MOOC materials - perhaps from another institution or instructor if the course is openly accessible - outside of class and then come to a class meeting for discussions or in-class activities," says the UGC.

In a rotation model, students in a course rotate between various modalities, one of which is online learning. It might seem quite complicated but it isn't when applied to school or college settings.

"There are various sub-models: station rotation, lab rotation and individual rotation. Some of these sub-models are better suited to K–12 education; station rotation, for example, requires students to rotate between stations in the classroom at an instructor’s discretion. Others work well on a college campus; the lab rotation model, for example, requires students in a course to rotate among locations on campus (at least one of which is an online learning lab). In the individual rotation model, a student rotates through learning modalities on a customised schedule," the UGC states.

The self blend model is already in place and is familiar to a lot of college students. Apart from their traditional face-to-face courses, students also opt for online courses. And finally, the flexible-mode courses, which offer all instruction in multiple modes - in person and online and students choose how to take their course.

The UGC has not yet mentioned when or how they are planning to implement these changes but has provided a plan for now.

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