Primary tabs


Note: This course series was updated this fall to reflect the most recent research-based practices in use during the pandemic.

This course presents foundational information about blended learning, including definitions, strategies, examples, and reflective activities primarily presented in multimedia format. The goal of the course is for teachers and administrators to have a basic understanding of the different forms of blended learning and how they might integrate these forms into courses for student populations they currently serve as well as those they would like to begin serving. 

This course was initially developed by the IDEAL Consortium, a nationally respected organization that helps member states establish quality, innovative distance education programs.

If you, and ideally with others from your program, would like to study the Expanding Access series in a small cohort of programs, consider registering for the IDEAL-MA Professional Development: Coming Together for Distance and Blended Education Planning and Implementation. Participate in an inclusive community of practice, and receive individualized program-based coaching. Begins 10/13. Register soon!


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Administrators, instructors, advisors, and others interested in building their knowledge and skills around planning and implementing blended learning
  • Those who have experience but have not had previous training, or who want an update relevant to serving students during the pandemic

The total time for this PD activity is approximately 4.5 hours, depending on your pace and style of learning. We estimate the time as follows:

  • 3 hours: The online course will run between February 23 and March 23, 2021.
  • 1.5 hours: An end-of-course webinar for sharing and review will be held on March 23 from 10:00–11:30 a.m. for those new to distance or blended education this year; and from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for those with more experience. These webinars are a required part of the course. If the appropriate webinar does not work with your schedule, once enrolled please contact the facilitator to make arrangements. You will not register separately; by registering for the course you will automatically be registered for the final webinar. We will send you the information for how to log on.

NOTE: The Expanding Access through Distance and Blended Education course series is designed for you as you strengthen your program development, staff team building, student instruction and support, and learner outcomes. Those who register for all three in the series will be given preference. 

Module 1: Setting the Stage: Planning for a Strong Foundation (10/13-11/10/2020)

This first module in this three-part series reviews various models of distance and blended learning, including both offline and online; how they meet learners’ needs; and important considerations for administrators including hiring, planning, and data reporting. 

Module 2: Opening Your Doors: Recruitment, Screening, and Orientation (11/17-12/15/2020)

This second module reviews which learners you would like to serve, which are promising candidates for your program, how to find them, and how to support those who need preparation in order to be accepted. We will give examples of ways to gather information about their skills and resources necessary for study via distance and blended education, and how to help them address needs they may have. We will discuss how to orient students according to their strengths and gaps so they are set up for success for study offline or online. 

Module 3: In the Class: Instruction and Assessment (1/12-2/9/2021)

This third module in the series explains how to select online instructional products, where to find the list of state-funded online instructional product licenses, approaches and materials for offline study, supplemental resources to extend learning, and how to organize them. Options for staying in communication with learners are discussed. It also covers types of assessment, how they support instruction and learning as well as retention, and ways to carry them out in the distance learning environment. 

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Define blended learning
  • List the benefits of blended learning
  • Develop ideas for what the hallmarks of blended learning might look like within your teaching and with your students
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)
End Date

United States

PD Center
SABES Program Support PD Center - Digital Literacy and Distance Education
Topic Area
Digital Literacy