Berklee Blogs

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Tag: blended courses

blended courses

3 Important Lessons That Will Make You Appreciate the Course Creation Process

nico_blogThis post was written by Nicolas Mindreau, Senior Instructional Designer and Course Editor for the Instructional Design Team in the Digital Learning Department. Nicolas graduated in 2001 from Berklee with a degree in Music Production & Engineering. He is also a psychologist, and has worked in Bilingual Publishing in the Boston area.

It is easy to take for granted that we are always learning, especially when we think we are officially done with formal education. We get our degree and off we go, thinking: “I’m done with this studying business. Let’s do the real thing now.”

I’m a Berklee MP&E graduate and, as many others, I went to pursue some opportunities in the recording industry. After some very valuable experiences in the Big Apple, and for some circumstances that I couldn’t foresee, I found myself working at a publishing company as a bilingual editor—a job that I thought would last for a few months. It turned out to be a six-year gig.

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Blended Learning Student Experience

rachel's-blog
Online and blended courses are a new experience for a lot of students here at Berklee. Check out the following interview to gain perspective from a fellow student, Rachel Sumner. She took the blended classes Basic Keyboard Techniques I and II and shares her thoughts on the experience.

rachel's-profile-2Rachel Sumner is a 7th semester Professional Music major. She has worked for the PULSE Music Method as a workstudy for more than 2 years expanding the teacher training program and is currently interning in the Film Scoring department as music contractor for Berklee’s resident orchestra, the Scoring Sessions Program (SSP). Although flute is her principal instrument and composition is her concentrate in the Pro Music program, she is very active in the Boston bluegrass scene with her guitar and voice.

Digital Learning Department (DLD): How would you explain a blended course to someone?

Rachel Sumner (RS): A blended course is made of two parts. One part is physically being in class and the other part is going at your own speed, online and learning on your own. The online portion is all of your homework and all of the materials you don’t get in class. These are the things that you need to take a little more time with and go over. In the Keyboarding class I took, these materials included keyboard technique and learning the proper fingerings for scales. It was really efficient because the teacher didn’t have to teach each individual person. You could watch a video of someone doing the techniques and then practice it on your own.

DLD: What course did you take and when did you take it?

RS: I took ISKB 211 and 212, Basic Keyboard Techniques for non-piano majors. I took them Spring 2012 and Fall 2012, respectively.

DLD: How did you learn differently in this blended course as opposed to one in the classroom?

RS: There wasn’t too much of a difference. It was mostly the time-frame that was different. The teaching was still the same quality that you would get from one that was all in-class time. Each week you had to record yourself and listen to it before sending it to the teacher. It allowed you to make your own mistakes and discover them, which was really excellent. I think that is one of the best things you can do when it comes to learning music.

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Online/Blended Course Development: What’s the Process?

colorful_pattern_backgroundThe following post was written by Susan Gedutis Lindsay, Associate Director for Instructional Design in the Department of Digital Learning.

When you have an idea for an online or blended course to be offered to on-campus students on Inside Berklee Courses, the first step is to propose your idea to the Curriculum Committee. The course goes through a two-part approval process. First, the Curriculum Committee gives it preliminary approval. Then, you will be enrolled in a short online course, “Introduction to Online Learning.” This course, written by a group of Berklee faculty through a Faculty Learning Community, will walk you through all the details of writing an online course.

It also gives you a chance to experience what it’s like to take an online course. You’ll watch videos, post in discussion forums, take various types of quizzes, learn from graphics, and get a preview of the kinds of media development that will be available to you in putting your course together. By the end of it, you will have completed a course overview, course outline, and a sample lesson.

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