What Three Things Could I Do to Improve My Blended Course?
Effective blended course design requires faculty to reconsider their role in learning. It calls for rethinking your approach to students, teaching, technology, and your colleagues. Whether you are new to blended learning or a seasoned pro, this program will take your course to the next level by exploring three avenues you can focus on for improvement.
Blended Course Improvement
Teaching a great blended course involves much more than divvying up content between face-to-face instruction and online technology.
Effective blended course design requires faculty to reconsider their role in learning. It calls for rethinking your approach to students, teaching, technology, and your colleagues.
You’ll also learn new ways to think about organizing knowledge, make the most of technology, and work with your colleagues.
Ike Shibley, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks, and Timothy Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor at The University of Western Ontario, concentrate on three core considerations for improving blended learning design:
- Think about all phases of learning
- Deliberately seek out technology
After this professional development session, you’ll be able to:
- Explain why it is so important to coordinate learning before, during, and after class in blended learning courses
- Consider the multiple ways online technology can boost student learning
- Identify individuals on your campus who can help you with course design for blended learning
Whether you are new to blended learning or a seasoned pro, this program will take your course to the next level by exploring three avenues you can focus on for improvement.
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Product Code: PM12EA
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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