The Secret Sauce of Blended Success

Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

Trouble with blended.......

The article starts with a story about a teacher struggling with her first attempt at implementing blended learning.

She used:

  1. Some videos to pre-teach a concept.
  2. Incorporated some active learning strategies into her face-to-face class to build on the video.
  3. Assigned an online quiz so she could assess what the students had learned.


After grading the quizzes, however, she found that many of the students struggled with the concept. "Maybe," she wondered, "blended instruction won't work with my content area."

Her hopes for blended were......

-allow her to incorporate more active learning strategies into her face-to-face class

- to break away from a primarily lecture-driven environment and provide students with more opportunities for collaboration and interaction

But she hadn't thought......

What was SHE learning from her students?

Summative Assessments

  • Serve as an endpoint for instruction.
  • Gauges what the students know.
  • Summative assessments are assessments "of" learning

Formative Assessments

Help to guide instruction and provide valuable information for the instructor and for the learner

Formative assessments are assessments "for" learning.

Big image

Difference between Formative and Summative

Formative - tasting soup

Summative - serving soup to guests

Activities Before Class.....

Instead of a video introducing a topic.....examine the prior knowledge that students possess before starting the lesson.

ex - create a concept map (doesn't need to be formal)

In a science class, this could mean helping students overcome long-held misconceptions about a topic by using more hands-on instruction.


Instructors can also assess after an assigned video lesson by using tools like EDpuzzle and Educanon .

screen recording software Camtasia Studio also allows instructors to inject questions throughout a video lesson.

Or just use something "old school" like a handout that you can assess with afterwards.

Activities for during class.....

Instructors design lessons that build on what students learned during the pre-teaching phase.

Ex - Problem solving or higher order concepts.


Clickers can be used here to assess where students are at with the material and instructors can decide where re-teaching is necessary.

Activities for after class.....

Students are extending their learning by applying concepts. Instructors can ask:

As "tickets out the door" ask what students struggled with most during the lesson.

So what she will do in the future is.....

Not use the quiz she gave as a summative, but rather as a formative in an ongoing cycle of formative assessments that will keep on giving her valuable information about her students that she can use to drive instruction. Looking at assessments in this light is critical to creating an effective student centered environment.