Blended Learning Design
The rationale of a recent Minerva project was to elevate Multiple Intelligences (MI) into an elearning environment by applying MI to the design of Internet-based virtual classes. This paper describes one of the project’s outcomes, a model representing how MI can be incorporated into the design of virtual classes. The paper contends that, before applying the model, a given audience should first be MI-profiled to identify its dominant intelligences, which should then be targeted in the subsequent instruction. The aim is to tap the dominant intelligences of the audience, rather than them all. The model name of “MP3” signifies “Multiple Perspectives, Practices and Performances”. The author suggests that an instructional sequence may begin by exposing learners to multiple perspectives, equivalent to Gardner’s entry points. In the virtual class context, these would be presented asynchronously, as advance organisers to the teaching to be presented online. Gardner has suggested that the multiple perspectives idea has two purposes, to tease out content intricacies and complexities, and to reach a broader range of students. The author contends that it is a mistaken notion to try to present content in multiple ways. Instead the designer should focus on enabling multiple practices. These practices would tap the preferred intelligence of the audience, which is the second stage of the design process. The final element captures a core MI principle, that learners should be allowed to demonstrate their knowledge and skill through their preferred intelligence-appropriate multiple performances. The paper demonstrates how the model can use the facilities available in most virtual classes at each stage. The author advocates using the MP3 model in areas other than the virtual class environment. Brief illustrations are provided on how it can be adapted to courseware and to the traditional classroom. The author concludes with several examples of the model. A practical design template concludes the paper. Keywords: multiple intelligences, MI, elearning, Internet, virtual class, instructional design, learner, online, community, collaborate, communities of practice, multiple perspectives, assessment, audience profiling, courseware, design template.