Sloan-C: Blended Learning Initiative: Implementing a Faculty Professional Development Program

As a more discussion driven session, I’ll try to capture the conversations that occur and it may look less fluid that other notes.

1. How would you frame the purpose for asking faculty to do blended learning?

  • Institutional goals such as aggressive enrollment numbers
  • Space (and lack thereof)
  • Enhancing teaching and learning – improved pedagogy and access
  • Flexibility
  • What is the future? Turning off all devices seems antiquated
  • We have underprepared students – so how do we prepare them?  Also, problems with being digitally prepared students.  –> same conclusions as us librarians on the front lines
  • Non-motivators – cost savings for institution

Presenters’ approach

  • K-12 learning is changing so we need to prepare for that future
  • Incentives structures in place (either time or money)  – BYU Phase I=$1000 professional development stipend to 10-12 faculty to redesign a course for 2012-2013 academic year; Phase II=$1500 stipend to implement, evaluate student learning, and make improvements to the course over three consecutive semesters
  • Purpose and incentives are key
  • Priorities: UGs vs Grad classes, Required vs Elective, etc
  • Goal=replace 25-50% of seat time, but a few exceptions existed –> this requirement existed to avoid “class-and-a-half” scenario
  • Allowed folks to work in teams –> made richer experience –> collaborate through Google
  • Workshop overview
    • 6 units – 1 week each
    • blended format so faculty got the full student experience
    • initially had unit on assessment and SLOs, but faculty (perhaps because they were from College of Ed) were so over it, so items were reworked as Additional Resources space –> lesson learned: know your audience and tailor this info accordingly
    • faculty fears: blended learning creates content that replaces them
    • Week 1: Course Models
      • what challenges can blended learning possibly solve?
      • Basic rule of thumb: Effectiveness, engagement, and efficiency
    • End of phase I had exit interview with Charles to review content and criteria
    • Doing and learning most of the tool stuff in face-to-face reduces anxiety
      • before session, use drag and drop listing of softwares to have people tailor and rank their preferences
    • Digital dialogue = video, audio, or text recording for student assignment feedback

So how do faculty react? Check out this BYU faculty member expressing his thoughts.

Audience questions/comments/gripes

  • Who owns learning objects? This is highly fuzzy at Open/OER materials
  • Faculty taught to create own websites, as well as load to LMS
  • Ratio of tenured and untenured faculty=40% untenured/60% tenured –> younger faculty were more successful
  • Participation and transformation of courses is becoming part of the promotion and tenure considerations
  • Takes students about 3 weeks to get adjusted to flipped level and enforcing preparation before in-person class component

Inspiring thoughts to doodle on later

  • How can libraries consider this model for better information literacy integration into curriculum?  Probably not money, but time release would be an option
  • The folks cover some collaborative technologies like Dropbox, Google Docs, etc – what about reference management tools? What about the privacy concerns? Sounds like this is in the library’s bailiwick
  • Creative Commons segment is last week – perhaps we should rethink the “Library” unit to better speak to their needs, such as Creative Commons+ Copyright as a separate component from library content

For more information, to see all of the modules, and the teaching materials, check out http://sites.google.com/site/blendedlearninginitiative

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