It is inevitable: classes will be canceled.

When it happens, how can you make sure that, though you may lose some contact hours, your students do not miss out on the learning?

Blended Learning

Blended learning is simply adding a digital element to a face-to-face class. We have many tools available to us to help deliver content to students outside of the classroom. By utilizing D2L we can deliver content, host conversation, and even deliver a quiz to check student understanding. Consider the following scenario:

The class that was canceled would have consisted of a short answer question to get your students thinking about the content, a lecture accompanied by a PowerPoint, followed by a class discussion over the major questions in the content. The end of class would have an additional time for reflection with another short answer question.

Using D2L we can:

  • Deliver the content – Post a reading, video link, or website that covers the content that would have been presented in class
  • Post the PowerPoint so that students gain access to your visuals and terminology
  • Create discussion boards:
    • One opening discussion question intended to get students thinking about the content
    • A closing discussion thread designed to host the conversation that was intended to be held after the lecture.
  • Add a quiz to hold students accountable to accessing the material

Other options:

EDpuzzle equals youtube plus cropping, recording, and questions

Video is always a great way to supplement your instruction. Given that you can find a video that satisfactorily covers the content, posting a link on D2L gives students access to the content. But the reality is that many students simply don’t have the energy to click the link…

Unless we can create motivation through accountability. A great tool to create accountability for our students to watch content we have posted is EdPuzzle.

EdPuzzle is a learning site and accompanying app that allows you to choose a video, crop it for length, add notes, comments, and questions, then track student progress and viewing.

By having students access the video on EdPuzzle you can know who has and hasn’t viewed the video, and check their understanding based on their responses to the questions. For more on EdPuzzle, check out the previous blog: EdPuzzle: Video Your Way!


One option available in Nearpod is releasing the lesson as “student paced.” Based on the scenario above you could:

  • Create the Nearpod by uploading the PowerPoint
  • Add a short answer question at the beginning
  • Add videos, or other web content where further explanations are necessary
  • Add other activities (multiple choice questions, short answer questions, draw it questions to have students diagram, etc)
  • Add a quiz over the material at the end of the Nearpod
  • Share the code with students and set a deadline for completion

Collaborative Forumscollaborative forum visual: six computers shown networked with connections shown to each computer representing what happens when questions are divided between students in online forums

Don’t tell anyone, but the term “collaborative forums” is simply a fancy way of labeling and formatting discussion boards. If you are familiar with the Jigsaw strategy for dividing content for students to become experts in and teach to the rest of the class, then collaborative forums will seem familiar.

Essentially, each student is assigned a question he or she is responsible for answering. Because each student has a different question, and each question covers content that will be covered on a future exam, students are motivated to answer their question well and question the answers of others.

If you have ever been part of an online class with dead discussion boards, this is one way to liven the conversation. It encourages student interaction by making them rely on one another.

For more on collaborative forums, check out this previous blog: Collaborative Forums

If you need to catch students up and are interested in exploring the options, let me know!

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