Blended Learning Lab
About the Lab
The Blended Learning Lab is creating a Ryerson learning ecosystem in which students move through their programs seamlessly, taking a mix of fully online, blended and classroom courses. The initiative emerges from the priorities for eLearning, evolving over five years of consultation and proposed by the eLearning Working Group. The Blended Learning Lab takes a collaborative approach to shaping the future of eLearning at Ryerson so that the University can answer what blended learning could be in a specifically Ryerson context.
The Blended Learning Lab brings together educators, students, academic administrators together with a team of instructional designers and technologists. In the Lab we are creating a flexible learning ecosystem through exploration, experimentation and evidence-informed pedagogical transformation with blended learning.
The term blended learning is used broadly to describe any combination of in-class and online delivery. More accurately, it refers to the carefully considered integration of online and classroom instructional methods to increase student learning and provide more control in terms of the time, pace and place of learning.
- Blended learning will ensure more equitable access to high quality learning
- Students will benefit from increased flexibility of time, pace and place
- Active learning methods will improve student learning
- The classroom-only format challenges ability to meet the needs of students
- Course innovation is supported by your Chair/Director and Dean.
If you answered yes to one or more, consider learning more about how you can join the Blended Learning Lab.
A focus on blended learning at Ryerson is timely. Many faculty, instructors, and programs have already started incorporating blended learning in their courses. New blending learning projects will be able to build on the university’s long-established commitment to high quality, responsive and inclusive education. Ryerson is already a leader in the delivery of fully-online courses and programs, and the Office of eLearning is pleased to build on the university's accomplishments through blended learning support and consultation.
Compelling reasons Ryerson has decided to ramp-up a systematic approach to blended learning:
- A growing proportion of Ryerson students are undertaking long commutes to attend classes on campus, and many confront a range of work and family responsibilities. For these students, there are considerable advantages to a range of learning options, some of which can be engaged with off-campus and at flexible times.
- The advantages that flexible and active learning methods provide means improving accessibility for ever-increasing diversity of Ryerson’s learning community.
- The space crunch at Ryerson and the reality of growing class sizes all make the arguments in favour of blended learning that much more powerful.
Ideal contexts for blended learning:
- Large-enrolment courses with a mix of students from different programs and with varied levels of incoming knowledge.
- Courses in which students work collaboratively in class to apply course content after engaging with foundational knowledge online.
- Courses in which students are off-campus for some part of scheduled course time.
The Lab is supporting 9 blended learning projects in this inaugural year.
Projects meet one or more of three eligibility requirements:
- Adapting a large enrolment first-year classroom-only course to a blended format;
- Adapting core courses suitable for blended learning; or
- Exploring alternative models for blended course or program support at Ryerson.
The first blended courses will be offered at Ryerson in Fall 2020.
The following faculty and instructors have joined the Blended Learning Lab.
Faculty of Science
Charlotte de Araujo
Ted Rogers School of Management
Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
Faculty of Communication & Design
Faculty of Community Services
In May 2019 the Lab came together for the first time for a workshop on designing their course.
In the two-day Blended Learning Lab workshop, faculty members designed student journey maps to understand their students better and to build a course that would fit their needs.
Ryerson faculty members worked on project planning, course design, and learned how to integrate technology into their courses at the Blended Learning Lab workshop.
Faculty members are looking to enhance Ryerson students' learning experience by taking a blended learning approach with their courses.
Future opportunities for the community of practice may include skill sharing sessions, student panels and guest speakers.
The Lab will be meeting again in August 2019 to report back to the community on their findings as they develop and deliver new blended courses.