Converting to a Distance Learning Format

Converting a face-to-face course to an online format is not simply a matter of “dumping” the existing course to online.  (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012).  It requires careful and systematic analysis that incorporates the components of a successful learning system: “the learners, the content, the method and materials, and the environment including the technology.” (Simonson et al., 2012, p. 152).  Converting a face-to-face course to a blended format adds to the complexity because the designer has to ensure the online and the face-to-face version of the course complement each other, that the activities are integrated seamlessly.  In their findings of best practices approach to blended course design (McGee & Reis, 2012) noted that a blended course “integrates the best of face-to-face and online learning” (p. 3).  Moreover, when both are integrated “in an appropriate and creative manner, the possibility to become fully engaged in a sustained manner is increased exponentially.” (p. 3).

Use Your Best Practices Guide to help you in successfully transitioning your face-to-face training program to a blended distance learning format.


McGee, P. & Reis, A. (2012). The University of Texas at San Antonio. Blended Course  Design: A Synthesis of Best Practices.  Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN). 16(4). Retrieved on February 22, 2013 from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and Learning at a Distance: Foundations of Distance Education. (5th ed.).  Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.



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