In Blended Courses, What Should Students Do Online?
For instructors interested in exploring blended learning, deciding which course elements to teach face-to-face and which to address through online technology can be a major stumbling block. Learn a framework for making those essential educational judgment calls. Be confident that your selection of which materials to present online and which to present in the classroom will provide the best learning experience for your students.
A 2009 meta-analysis of Department of Education data found that blended courses, mixing online learning and classroom instruction, resulted in better student performance than either delivery format independently.
For university instructors interested in exploring blended learning, deciding which course elements to teach face-to-face and which to address through online technology can be a major stumbling block.
Learn a framework for making those essential educational judgment calls from Tim Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor at The University of Western Ontario, and Ike Shibley, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks.
This fast and focused professional development session will help you make the most of the opportunities presented by blended learning. Drawing from Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, they recommend:
- Using online technology for the lowest-level learning, before class
- Emphasizing student engagement during face-to-face teaching, building on the facts and focusing on mid-level learning skills (application and analysis)
- Pursuing your highest-level learning objectives through online activities, after class.
After following their step-by-step approach, you’ll be able to:
- Determine which of your lower-level cognitive tasks should be completed before class
- Describe activities suitable for drawing students into mid-level learning during face-to-face instruction
- Identify after-class online activities exercising the highest levels of cognitive function
Be confident that your selection of which materials to present online and which to present in the classroom will provide the best learning experience for your students. Purchase this Magna 20-Minute Mentor program today.
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Ivan A. Shibley, Jr. (Ike), Ph.D., is associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks, a small four-year college within the Penn State system. He teaches introductory chemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, philosophy of science courses, first-year bioethics seminar, and senior science seminar.
His research involves pedagogical approaches to improving science instruction at the college level. He has won both local and university-wide awards for his teaching including the 2009 Eisenhower Award presented to a tenured Penn State faculty member who exhibits excellent teaching as well as mentoring other teachers.
Ike has been teaching blended courses for almost a decade. He first became involved in blended design as part of an 18-month project to completely redesign the general chemistry course at Berks.
As part of a team of six professionals who invested over 1,000 man-hours in the redesign Ike helped provide the pedagogical and subject matter expertise to help guide the redesign.
The course has now been delivered in a blended format for seven years with an average GPA almost 25% higher than previous years. Every section of general chemistry taught at Penn State Berks now uses the same blended design.
Ike has co-authored several manuscript about the results. Ike has also redesigned a nutrition course that is offered in a blended as well as a fully online format.
He and a collaborator have blended upper-level biology courses on cell signalling, neurobiology, and developmental biology.
He presents his work on blended learning at numerous professional conferences and has become an ardent advocate of blended learning.
Timothy D. Wilson, PhD is an associate professor at the The University of Western Ontario (UWO) in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. In the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Tim is part of a teaching team of gross anatomists who provide anatomical training to allied health sciences students in Kinesiology, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy in addition to the Medical and Dental students at the school.
Tim’s educational upbringing is a transdisciplinary one. It spans from Kinesiology (BSc -Waterloo) to mathematical modelling of exercise in the elderly (MSc UWO) to his PhD investigating the autonomic control of cerebral blood flow (UWO). His postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh was in Neuroscience where the vestibulo-sympathetic influences on blood flow were studied. Throughout the entire process however, Tim was attracted to the lectern and was successful. Tim teaches gross anatomy to a variety of disciplines and has a winning track record with numerous citations of excellence in every year of his teaching career. He is recognized as a leader and a innovator in pedagogy. He has won both departmental and university level teaching awards and was even cited as one of his provinces’ best lecturers.
Tim’s incorporation of blended learning approaches commenced last year as he redesigned one of his courses during a total curriculum restructuring in the professional school of Dentistry. The initial responses were very positive and he has commenced “sustainable” changes towards blended learning in other basic science classes. Despite his youth with blended learning, Tim is a staunch supporter of educational scholarship and research surrounding new methods of knowledge transfer, learning, and cognition. He has published and presented internationally on the subject and his lab affably termed the CRIPT (Corps for Research of Instructional and Perceptual Technologies) is devoted to ‘de novo’ learning, its metrics, and the impacts on the learner and learner behaviours.
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