COMBLE – “Project of the Month” at elearningeuropa.info

In July it was announced that the COMmunity of integrated Blended Learning in Europe (COMBLE) project had been chosen as “Project of the month” by the elearningeuropa. info portal. This portal is established by the European Commission to promote the use of multimedia technologies and Internet at the service of education and training, and so all of us involved in the COMBLE project are quite happy about this recognition of our work :-)

In this project several colleagues from e-Learning Lab (Aalborg University) and I worked together with partners from Germany, Poland and Estonia from January 2008 – December 2009.

In the COMBLE project we investigated the following questions:

  • When is an institution (universities, further education, enterprises) ready for Blended Learning?
  • What are the common challenges and solutions?” and
  • How can trainers design for active and collaborative learning?

Together with my PhD-colleague, Heilyn Camacho, I designed and ran a highly successful 6 week course on Problem Based Blended Learning in Second Life and Moodle on which I’ve written several posts (i.e. this one explaining the course concept).


A scene from one of the SLectures in the course.

Besides this the COMBLE project also resulted in:

  • A wiki-based community called Methopedia for Blended Learning experts to share relevant knowledge and experience. Methopedia is available in four languages and contains about 100 different learning activities and an interactive seminar planer.
  • A Blended Learning Readiness Wiki to support strategic planning, change management and the evaluation of blended learning scenarios at the institutional level.
  • The Methopedia Learning Designer: an online flash tool to design seminars.

BTW: we would like to encourage anyone interested in Blended Learning to join our community – either at the Methopedia website or on Facebook :-)

/Mariis

4 responses to “COMBLE – “Project of the Month” at elearningeuropa.info”

  1. edreformer says :

    This was quite interesting. Can you tell me how those at COMBLE answered that question? When IS a university (or in my case, I am wondering about secondary levels like HS) ready for blended learning? What are your thoughts on blended learning as an efficiency strategy, and personalized learning method?

  2. Mariis says :

    Thx for stopping by, Douglas. Big questions you’re posing though ;-) Many factors, especially regarding local culture will determine the readiness. In our experience management needs to be actively involved in this kind of change process and not merely provide infrastructure, tools etc. It’s just as much a matter of “mental readiness” – and don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything becomes more efficient at first – changes take time, lots of time. Some of our findings are posted on this site: http://blr.comble-project.eu/Introduction

    When it comes to BL as strategy I actually find it hard to envision an institution or a company without it. But there are degrees of blending, and if one were working with a group of teachers/trainers that are not particularly tech savvy I would definitely recommend a slow start with a few well-chosen tools. Furthermore I think successful implementation depends very much on pedagogical culture and alignment with pedagogical ideas. In my experience unsuccessful implementation of new tools not only stems from poor understanding of the tools, but just as much poor understanding of the pedagogical practice! Being a teacher, I allow myself to say that ;-)Depending on pedagogical foundation BL could were well support a personalized learning method – that’s also why we, in our course in the project, chose Problem-Based Learning – working with real-life problems seems to appeal to most learners regardless of age … But what is your experience?

  3. edreformer says :

    Thanks for that reply. I’d like to talk to you about this further, as I am writing some research about blended learning and can really use some insight from experts like you.

    My experience is just as a journalist and in the observation mode. I found that many corporations, like Canon USA, Northrup Grumman, and others have used blended learning as a very good stepping stone to an educated sales force, or in creating knowledgeable employees during transition, promotion, etc.

  4. Mariis says :

    Ok, sure – feel free to contact my on my email: mil01mr@hum.aau.dk – though I must admit I don’t know much about the cooperate world, but I have colleagues and the partners from the project who do …

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