Blended Learning Summit - Part 2: Visualization Systems for Designing Blended Learning Experiences

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

Effective communication is essential to designing blended learning experiences. If you’ve experienced frustration communicating learning design ideas with other people - this session is for you! We explore visualization tools used for designing blended learning experiences and examine their use in enhancing team-based collaboration, decision making, visioning, and strategy development.


Bucky Dodd, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President for Education Strategy and Innovation with LX Studio at the University of Central Oklahoma. Dr. Dodd is an innovator, master teacher, and visionary of the future of education. He holds a Ph.D. in Education from Oklahoma State University and graduate and undergraduate degrees in Adult Education and Corporate Communications and maintains an active research and development agenda in these areas. As a prolific writer, teacher, and speaker on the future of education, his research focuses on visual planning and collaboration systems, innovation, and the design of learning experiences. Dr. Dodd is the creator of Learning Environment Modeling®, an award-winning visual collaboration system for the design and evaluation of learning experiences, and has been recognized internationally for his research and design expertise. He has a proven record of leading innovation initiatives in corporate, government, and education organizations and is consistently sought out as a thought leader on the future of learning.
Kiran Budhrani is the Director for Personalized and Adaptive Learning at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Extended Abstract

The Importance of Communication in Blended Learning Design

Effective communication is essential to designing blended learning experiences. Gone are the days where a single person plans, designs, and implements learning experiences alone. Collaboration throughout the design and development process is essential to realizing highly effective and efficient blended learning experiences. As the importance and frequency of collaboration increases, so too are opportunities for misunderstanding, lack of a common vision, and diffused design priorities. Without a robust system to help groups collaborate well together, the process of co-designing learning experiences can be highly frustrating, inefficient, and struggle to reach the ideal results. 

If you’ve ever experienced frustration or challenging communication when design learning experiences with other people - this session is for you. This session explores a unique dimension of blended learning design through the use of visualization systems and tools for helping teams organize information, gain clarity in their strategy, and activate blended learning experiences with confidence. 

Visualization Systems for Designing Learning Experiences 

Visualization systems for blended learning design helps groups better understand their decision-making process and unify strategies. These systems can range from simple printed visual templates and methods to sophisticated information visualization software platforms. Independent of the format of the visualization system, it’s critical that the type of system matches the needed design questions and decisions.  

Session Objectives

People attending this session will:

  • Compare types of visualization systems for blended learning design.

  • Select visualization systems based on specified blended learning design needs and goals.

  • Use visualization tools for co-designing blended learning experiences among teams.

Using Visualization Systems for Blended Learning Design

Designing blended learning experiences is not like designing a course in a single modality. Blended learning has unique and complex decisions that must work together to support a cohesive learning experience. The space, form, participants?, and time of the experience are all critical dimensions that require a unified strategy to optimize learning and the value of the experience. Many course design tools and processes used in practice are limited when it comes to making blended learning design decisions in collaborative ways. 

For example, word processing tables, matrixes, and spreadsheets are all commonly used to organize information about learning experiences. While these tools can be helpful to classify and organize information, they are often limited in how they can communicate the vision, strategy, and design plan for learning experiences because of their textual nature and representation format. These textual tools also lack in their ability to promote co-design, ideation, and iterative thinking towards coming to group decisions or unified strategies.

Modeling Visualization for Blended Learning Co-Design

This session explores a framework for classifying the types of visualization tools used for designing learning experiences and examines useful applications for each of these types of tools. The overall goal of the session is to provide participants with an active learning experience that is practical and useful for their own practices. We’ll explore visualization tools that address visioning, strategy development, and designing blended learning experiences. This session will include several highly interactive and collaborative activities that will allow people to use what they learn right away. Participants will gain hands-on experience with selecting and using various visualization tools for designing blended learning experiences. They will also use visualization tools to design a sample, real-world micro-project. Finally, participants will engage collaboratively with groups to explore ways visualization tools for designing blended learning experiences can be used to enhance their own professional practice.