Is your Learning Management System paradigm teacher- or student-centered? Long-term success depends upon the correct answer.

blended-learning-teachingMany educators now accept the need to provide course materials online in a Learning Management System (LMS) or Online Learning Environment (OLE) for blended learning to occur successfully. This allows students to review learning materials at any time and from anywhere, and it opens significant other possibilities.

However, this is only part of the solution as we move toward blended learning. Building these resources and online courses with an effective paradigm as the guiding force is also vital. Without this, we are simply moving an old industrial model to a different medium.

An incorrect paradigm might appear to be subtly different, but the ramifications can be large and long lasting. A historical analogy helps to clarify this.

Humanity thought the Earth was the center of the solar system for thousands of years. This produced errors in calendars, our understanding of the dates of the seasons and thus the time to plant crops, and later, our understanding of the motion of the planets. Simply changing the sun to the center of the solar system rectified this.

Who you have placed at the center of your online course development is similar; it will affect the long-term success of your move to blended or online learning.

There are two basic paradigms: teacher-centric and student-centric.

(Next page: Comparing these two paradigms—and the indicators for each)