Designing Your Blended Course


In this learning module you will examine how important the design process is to the success of a blended course. When you blend a course one needs to be aware of how you plan to align what happens before, during and after class, so students do not think they are all separate. One of the biggest downfalls in blended courses is creating a course and a half. To avoid the course and half downfall, you will want to utilize a blended design template to help stay focused on the course’s competencies. Several examples of these templates can be found in this module. At the end of this module you will find a 50 minute video called “Evidence Based Practices in Blended Learning.” This is not required, however it provides you with a great framework to help you develop your blended course. This is the same video from the learning module “What is a Blended” course. It is included here in case you did not complete that module.

Time: 46 minutes if you do not watch the video at the end.

Learning Activities

  1. Review competency and learning objectives.


Examine blended course design.

Learning Objectives

  • Review backward design.
  • Understand alignment between before/during and after class blended design.
  • Explore best practices for blended course design.
  1. READ article  Understanding by Design

    Why: This is a concise article that describes the backward design process.  This concept, especially in performance-based learning, should always be understood and used when designing any course.

    Time: 5 minutes.

  1. Watch video Blended Course Design Explained.

    Why: This ties in with the article you read “Understanding by Design” and provides you with exactly what you need to consider when you start to design you blended course.  

    Time: 6:13 minutes

  1. Read Building Your Course

    Why: This brief explanation provides you recommended first steps as you begin to develop your blended course.  Prior to moving onto the learning modules about learning activities and assessments for your blended course, this provides you with the “nitty-gritty” that will lead to creating a successful blended course.

    Time: 5 minutes

  1. Read Design and Delivery Principles.

    Why: The author share with you key principles to consider when you are designing your blended in course.  This is important, since “a well-designed blended course is not as simple as dividing your course into face-to-face and online components,” and they provide you with critical principles to follow.

    Time: 10 minutes.

  1. Read Integrating Face-to-Face and Online Work

    Why:  Now that you have read and learned about what a blended course is, this article shares some best practices with you.  As you read this, jot down ideas about thoughts for activities and assessments you may want to incorporate into your blended course.

    Time: 5 minutes if you do not explore further with content provided.

  1. Review Blended Course Integration Chart.  This is another tool you can use as you design your blended learning modules.

    Why: It helps you stay focused on the competencies for the course, which in turn keeps you from creating a course and a half, or not teaching to the course outcome summary.

    Time: 5 minutes

  1. Review the course planning document and two examples of learning plans for a blended course:    

    Why: It is important to think ahead when you are designing your blended course modules, since you want to create a seamless alignment between what happens outside of class and during class. The attached show you how two instructors did this.

    Time: 10 minutes.

  1. Watch Evidence Based Practices in Blended Learning.  This is optional –  it is the same video that was in learning module “What is Blended Teaching.”

    Why:  This video shares best practices for designing your blended course.  Four Blended Learning models are discussed, which will help you frame how you develop your blended course.

    Time: 50 minutes.