Teaching at the University of Helsinki is built on the principle of constructive alignment (see the training on university pedagogics). According to the principle, the objectives, content, methods and assessment procedures of the teaching should be aligned and working together to promote a high-quality, deep approach to learning.
Teaching practices have changed over the past few years thanks to the utilisation of information and communications technology. Using IT solutions to create versatile learning environments is called blended teaching. Blended teaching refers to the integration of contact teaching and teaching carried out with the aid of information networks (Levonen, Joutsenvirta & Parikka 2005).
You should keep in mind that planning blended teaching is different from planning lectures. When you are planning blended teaching, you should take into account the different characteristics of online and contact teaching environments; in other words, you should organise activities in the environment that best suits them.
Two types of online interaction are possible for the participants in online learning environments:
- Simultaneous speech-based interaction (with remote connections) are possible through Zoom.
- Nonsimultaneous text-based interaction is possible through online discussion boards, comments and shared writing areas. Text-based interaction allows the participants to choose their study times more flexibly and take their time thinking about their answers and/or what to write.
When planning aligned blended teaching, you should take into account the course’s intended learning outcomes, its learning environments and contents, the activities of the teacher and the student as well as learning tasks and their assessment. All of these factors should be aligned with one another. When planning their teaching, the teacher can make use of the aligned teaching matrix. The matrix allows you to divide the course into smaller parts that each have their own time, learning outcomes, activities and learning environments. The parts in the matrix can also be utilised when building an online learning environment.
Learn more: Constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996) (pdf).