SPOC on Blended Learning in College Education

This private online course, commonly called a SPOC (Small Private Online Course), is a short non-credit class on blended learning in college education.

Download the fact sheet


To meet current needs as efficiently as possible, college education institutions wish to offer student multiple possibilities and formats for taking their courses, be they face-to-face, blended or online. In this context, thanks to its greater flexibility, blended learning is an outstanding option, enabling each learner to balance the various aspects associated with studies, work and family life.


After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between distance, online and blended learning
  • Locate diffent forms of learning along a face-to-face/distance continuum
  • Understand the characteristics of blended learning
  • Identify the benefits and critical dimensions of blended learning for learners, instructors and institutions
  • Recognize the different types of blended learning and identify the most suitable type for your teaching context
  • Explore the reference framework of the community of inquiry and distinguish between the social, cognitive and teaching presences associated with it
  • Determine the best practices to implement before, at the beginning of and during a blended learning course

Who is this SPOC for

This private online course is addressed to college teaching staff, in particular teachers and educational advisors, interested in learning more about blended learning.


Teaching experience is recommended.


This SPOC is hosted on the Moodle learning platform of Université de Sherbrooke. Learners can choose their learning track and have access to all of the content at all times throughout the course, so that they can progress at their own pace. A synchronous session is scheduled with the pedagogical team on September 30 to conduct case studies and answer questions. Discussion forums are also available for learners to discuss various topics.

To make the course as inclusive as possible, several media are used: written presentations, podcasts, summary tables, links to additional resources, formative and reflective activities to support learning. Depending on the track they select, learners can decide to overview certain content or explore it in greater depth.

Course outline

1st Module : A Range of Possibilities

  1. History of Distance Learning
  2. The Distance Education Continuum
  3. Characteristics of Blended Learning
  4. Benefits of Blended Learning
  5. Critical Dimensions of Blended Learning
  6. Typology of Blended Learning

2nd Module : A Few Best Practices for Blended Learning

  1. The Community of Inquiry
  2. Best Practices Before Beginning the Course
  3. Best Practices at the Beginning of the Course
  4. Best Practices During the Course

Download the course outline


Quizzes are given at the end of each module. Each learner will receive a certificate of participation upon passing the SPOC.

Possible follow-up

Students who complete this private online course can take their learning further with the following credited courses:

They may be credited toward the Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées de 2e cycle en enseignement au collégial (DESS) and the Graduate Diploma in College Teaching (GDCT) offered at Performa. 

Enrolment period

August 14 to September 10, 2020

Course start date

September 14, 2020


Synchronous webinar on September 30 and forums

Two learning tracks

Overview and in-depth

Estimated time

8 h (overview) or 15 h (in-depth)


French and English

Design Team

Sawsen Lakhal, Ph. D.

Associate Professor
Faculty of Education
Université de Sherbrooke

Nathalie Marceau, Ph. D.

Pedagogical Counsellor
Performa, Faculty of Education
Université de Sherbrooke

Caroline François, M. Adm.

Administrative and Information Coordinator
Performa, Faculty of Education
Université de Sherbrooke

Pierre-Emmanuel Goffi

Intern in Multimedia Integration
Université de Sherbrooke

Partners and funding

Terms of use

Terms of use applying the course content

Attribution - Not for commercial use - Modification prohibited

The owner of the rights authorizes use of the original work for non-commercial purposes, but prohibits the creation of derived works.

Production of this SPOC was made possible thanks to the financial support of Performa and of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur via the Canada-Québec agreement for minority-language education and second language instruction.