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Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectation in Blended Learning Environment

Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectation in Blended Learning Environment

Author: Gino Sangiuliano

Guide learners in ways to reflect on the concepts related to the significance of classroom expectations in blended learning environments

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Hello, and welcome everyone. One of the most important responsibilities a teacher has is to create an environment conducive for student learning. In this lesson, we will reflect on the benefits of creating clear expectations in your classroom and a blended learning environment. So let's get started.

When I was growing up, this is what was considered a blended learning classroom. A film strip and a cassette tape that beeped when it was time to move to the next frame. As primitive as it was, the teacher still had to establish rules and procedures for their use. We had routines. Someone would have to shut off the lights. Someone would plug in the equipment.

We had to rearrange the physical layout of the room, pulling the screen down and moving desks and chairs to face it. The teacher needed to make sure no one was talking or putting their hands up to block the screen. If they did, they would be missing recess. If we did a great job during the film, we would get a tally mark on the board.

This all happened 30 years before Robert Marzano developed his framework. The premise was the same, but the content and execution are extremely different.

We'll begin by looking at the work of Robert Marzano. He has created a framework for teaching, and in it, he outlines the importance of establishing clear classroom expectations. Marzano's domain one is called classroom strategies and behaviors, and it contains 41 key strategies organized into nine design questions. Here are the ones we will focus on in this video.

Design question number six, what will I do to establish rules and procedures; key strategy four, establishing classroom routines; key strategy five, organizing the physical layout of the classroom for learning; design question seven, what will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence to rules and procedures.

Key strategy 33, demonstrating with-it-ness, the teacher's awareness of what is going on with all learners at any given moment in the lesson; strategy 34, applying consequences for lack of adherence to rules and procedures; strategy 35, acknowledging adherence to rules and procedures. In this lesson, we will go through each one of these and describe what it might look like in a blended learning classroom.

Establishing classroom routines in any classroom is a serious proposition. In a blended learning environment, however, the stakes are even higher. Factors such as equal access, safety, security, and cost of devices make it even more important for teachers to have a plan in place.

Even if you are fortunate enough to have a one to one environment, teachers need to have routines in place for things such as where the devices are stored when they're not in use, when are they allowed and where they not allowed, how and when will charging of devices take place. If you are not a one to one, you have all these considerations plus the added factor of scheduling who is using which device when.

Organizing the physical layout of the classroom for learning. Physical layout in the 21st century blended learning classroom is extremely relevant. Students need space to work individually, in groups, and as a whole class. They need a space for quiet reflection, as well as areas to have lively discussions. The technology should be stored in a safe place, yet be accessible in order to fully integrate with instruction. Most devices are now wireless. However, you will also have to provide enough space and outlets for charging.

Next, what will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence to rules and procedures? Demonstrating with-it-ness. Do teachers really have eyes in the back of their heads? In a blended learning classroom, they need more than that in order to monitor students.

We know as adults how easy it is to get distracted when we're using devices. Our students aren't any different. Teachers need to actively monitor work being done on the computer, both physically and virtually. They can do this by checking searches and browser history, and using platforms like Google Classroom and Schoology can make this possible.

Applying consequences for lack of adherence to rules and procedures. Determining consequences for breaking the rules in a blended learning classroom can be tricky. With technology some things are OK, some things are never OK, and other things are OK some of the time. We are faced with the dilemma of on the one hand, treating technology as just another learning tool, but on the other hand as a privilege.

If a student wrote a nasty note to a classmate, would the consequence be to take away the pencil? Whatever you decide, consequences should be outlined clearly, be age appropriate, and applied consistently. And finally, acknowledging adherence to rules and procedures. At any age, hearing you are doing a job well is very motivating. It is very important for adults provide praise and positive feedback to students for doing the right thing.

In a blended learning environment, there are plenty of opportunities for students to make poor decisions, but there are many, many more opportunities for them to make good ones. We need to recognize those good choices that they make.

So let's summarize what we covered in this lesson. We looked at Marzano's framework for teaching. We identified two design questions and five key strategies found under those design questions, and we looked at classroom examples of each. We also paid special attention to how clear expectations manifest themselves in a blended learning classroom. Now for today's food for thought. What expectations do you have for your students as they interact with technology? Do you review them often?

Now it's time to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be super helpful. The section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description, so you can easily target the resources that you want. As always, thanks for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Reflection: The Significance of Clear Expectation in Blended Learning Environment"

(00:00-00:18) Intro

(00:19-01:06) Back In My Day

(01:07-02:15) Marzano’s Framework

(02:16-05:05) Classroom Procedures

(05:06-05:28) Summary

(05:29-05:56) Food for Thought

Additional Resources

Behavioral Expectations in the Blended Learning Environment

This is an example of a set of behavior expectations from Michaeal Horn and Heather Staker are clear and simple for students, parents and teachers to understand. The expectations can be used to build your own classroom expectations.

Montgomery County Public Schools: Classroom Culture

Scroll Down to How Is Culture Developed. This professional learning section provides teachers with step by step processes on how and why to build a strong classroom culture. In addition, the site connects culture to student achievement.