In 2011-2013 the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) provided funding for a project aimed at exploring Blended Synchronous Learning, which entails bringing together on-campus and distributed learners to partake in shared, real-time experiences. The project focused on three technologies—videoconferencing, web conferencing and 3D virtual worlds—as well as learning designs involving the use of these technologies to simultaneously engage students and teachers in collaborative activities irrespective of their location. An Australia and New Zealand-wide scoping survey was conducted, and seven case studies were followed and investigated through participatory evaluation.
The Blended Synchronous Learning project team is pleased to announce that the OLT has approved the Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook without condition and it is now freely available for download from http://blendsync.org/handbook .
The Handbook includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). It also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross-case analysis.
For those who are interested, the BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are also from the OLT website at the following URLs:
A list of academic papers and links to recordings of presentations that have arisen out of the project is posted at http://blendsync.org/publications .
The project team would also like to take this opportunity to invite all those with an interest in area to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found at http://blendsync.org/network . There is not a lot of traffic from the network mailing list (usually less than one message a month), and those who are on the list can unsubscribe at any stage.
The BlendSync Team: Matt Bower (Macquarie University), Gregor Kennedy (The University of Melbourne), Barney Dalgarno (Charles Sturt University), Mark J. W. Lee (Charles Sturt University)
Web: http://blendsync.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org