Learn – February 2016
February 8th, 2016
TOPc@st & BlendKit Mooc
“Once upon a time, there was a hospitality college at a large metropolitan research university in Orlando…” So begins a story that Tom Cavanagh shares in episode four of TOPc@st, a teaching podcast that he co-hosts with Kelvin Thompson. Cavanagh continues by recalling a conversation he once had with Dean of that college, in which the Dean identified a central problem on campus: parking (one with which people at Universities everywhere can identify).
As a hospitality college with a commitment to “high-touch teaching,” this school had always been reluctant to embrace online learning. However, it soon became apparent that rethinking the program’s mode of delivery might not only open up new opportunities for learning, but also address this seemingly unrelated problem. Cavanagh and Thompson do not attempt to convince their audience that instructional decisions are best made on the basis of university infrastructure problems. Rather, they paint a picture of an unexpected change that led not only to improved interest from both faculty and students but also to improved outcomes in the classroom.
Episodes three and four of TOPc@st offer a great introduction into the world of blended learning; and for those of you who are interested in learning more, the team at UCF begins teaching the fifth iteration of their blended learning MOOC on February 22: BlendKit2016. In our opinion, this is one of the best online learning opportunities available to those of you who are truly interested in learning more about blended learning.
Sign-up to dive deeper. Better yet, if you, or any of your colleagues, are interested in completing this five week (free) course as part of a local WFU cohort, let us know (OnlineEd@nullwfu.edu) and we’ll work to arrange an actual blended learning experience.
Other Learning Opportunities:
This workshop is taught by Dr. Laura Aull, from the Writing Program, as well as staff and faculty from the Teaching Learning Center, the Library, and Instructional Technology Specialists. Find out about the opportunity to participate in a Spring 2016 pilot of VeriCite.
Faculty and students from each of four courses taught online during Summer 2015 will present a short assessment of their experience teaching or learning, followed up by a time for questions from the attendees. Representatives from the Online Education Committee of the College (OLEC) will also be present.
The Office of Online Education has purchased a 10 seat pass for OLC Workshops. Take a look at the workshops offered; if you are interested in attending, contact us at OnlineEd@nullwfu.edu.
“With more than 140 workshops per year covering key online teaching and learning topics, university faculty and staff can learn about the essentials of online teaching, blended teaching & learning, social media, mobile learning, online teaching and learning tools, copyright, the TEACH act, and so much more.”
The fifth annual Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts conference is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 – Thursday, May 19, 2016, at Bryn Mawr College. These conferences are intended to be a forum for faculty and staff to share resources, techniques, findings, and experiences related to blended learning. Their definition of blended learning is quite broad, encompassing any combination of online and face-to-face instruction with a focus on supporting the close faculty-student interaction and emphasis on lifelong learning that are hallmarks of American liberal arts education. (See also article in the 4/14/2014 newsletter)