Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blended Content and Assignments

After reading this past week's reading assignment, key points of blended learning activities were realized from a holistic perspective. Using my current course development of CYC2001 Introduction to Cybercrime, I will attempt to apply the key points gained from the reading for adapting to the upcoming modules. Next, I will offer ideas on technology-integration within CYC2001, as learning activity types were discussed within the reading. Finally, a conclusion is offered for resolving my thoughts and perspectives with the coupling of technology and learning activities.

In designing effective modules for online and face-to-face interactions, focusing on learning activities was emphasized using three different approaches: direct, indirect, and online. Applying a direct learning method to CYC2001, students may gain new knowledge by witnessing hack attacks in real-time via a security emergency center or antivirus third party vendor. If a real-time experience is not available, simulating events of cyber hacking and attacks within an internal network may offer links between course concepts and observational experiences. Furthermore, role playing may also add beneficial knowledge linkages for students during in class simulations.

For considering an indirect approach for learning activities, the delivery of case studies within the classroom would be an ideal method due to the connecting of current events and learning objectives within the course. Another indirect approach related to case studies would be the offering of personal or third party stories of examples of cybecrime for students to engage other students from others' experiences. Even though online gaming was listed under indirect approaches in the reading assignment, one online integration possibility is the delivery of an online game for students to experience. From last semester's course on instructional game development, I developed a prototype cybersecurity game involving a simple network topology, a user, and a virus which infects computers on the network. With this type of learning tool, an online game may enhance the learning experiences of students because of its adaptive nature and the enticement for learners to play for fun. No matter which learning activity is implemented, all students will be asked to reflect upon their learning experience after each module's interaction within discussion forums representing a communicative method. In addition, learners may develop mindmap diagrams of the their newly acquired knowledge for producing or remixing their knowledge signifying a productive learning approach to blended learning activities.

In sum, integrating technology and learning activities is a core requirement for not only my upcoming course in cybercrime, but also all future courses. Offering learners the opportunities to engage in multiple interactive ways during a course is a high priority for this instructor for enhancing overall course delivery and increasing the level of engagement. From the reading assignment, indirect, direct, and online were three approaches which were realized for developing face-to-face interaction and online interaction within blended courses. Furthermore, three types of learning activities were discovered for implementing in my immediate course delivery: adaptive, communicative, and productive.