Volume 15, Issue 1 - February 2011

Introduction to the Special Issue on Transitioning to Blended Learning

Anthony G. Picciano, Hunter College, CUNY

In 2004, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded an invitation-only workshop on blended learning. It was one of the first such events to focus entirely on the concept of combining online and face-to-face instruction into a new instructional modality and since has evolved into the Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop. Over the past seven years, this Conference and Workshop has added significantly to the research base and best practices that apply to blended learning. Its scholarly production includes a plethora of important studies and resources that have contributed significantly to what is known about blended learning.   For example, the work of this Conference and Workshop has produced:

·         a comprehensive look at a definition of the term “blended learning”;

·         the first book dedicated entirely to the research on blended learning [1]; and

·         an extensive review of blended learning instructional models. [2]

In April 2010, the 7th Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop attracted almost three hundred educational leaders, faculty members, instructional designers and researchers who discussed, shared and considered effective practices in the design and delivery of blended learning environments. The purpose of this special edition of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks is to preserve some of the knowledge and insights shared at this event.   The articles selected also represent well the theme of this special edition – transitioning to blended learning
Blended Environments: Learning Effectiveness and Student Satisfaction at a Small College in Transition

Gouri Banerjee, Emmanuel College

As higher education moves increasingly to blended and fully online environments, smaller institutions often ask whether this is a desirable trend. They face many challenges in transforming their largely face- to-face didactic teaching traditions to the technology mediated learning environments. Learning effectiveness and student satisfaction are seen to be decisive...

Transitioning to Blended Learning: Understanding Student and Faculty Perceptions

Nannette P. Napier, Georgia Gwinnet College
Sonal Dekhane, Georgia Gwinnet College
Stella Smith, Georgia Gwinnet College

This paper describes the conversion of an introductory computing course to the blended learning model at a small, public liberal arts college. Blended learning significantly reduces face-to-face instruction by incorporating rich, online learning experiences. To assess the impact of blended learning on students, survey data was collected at the midpoint...

Content vs. Learning: An Old Dichotomy in Science Courses

Gerald Bergtrom, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The principles of course redesign that were applied to a gateway Cell Biology course at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are applicable to courses large and small, and to institutions of any size. The challenge was to design a content-rich science course that kept pace with present and future content and...

Adopting a Blended Learning Approach: Challenges Encountered and Lessons Learned in an Action Research Study

Jane Kenney, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Ellen Newcombe, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Adopting a new teaching approach is often a daunting task especially if one is an early adopter in a limited-resource environment. This article describes the challenges encountered and the strategies used in pilot testing a blended instructional method in a large size class within the college of education at a...

Blending at Small Colleges: Challenges and Solutions

Ying-Hsiu Liu, University of Missouri-Columbia
Mark Tourtellott, Mount Saint Mary College

Implementing blended accelerated learning programs or courses requires a systematic approach, not just the addition of new technologies. Small colleges face challenges when they move toward blended learning because of already-constrained resources. In this article, we will survey issues faced by small colleges in moving to blended learning, document a...

Designed Learner Interactions in Blended Course Delivery

Reba-Anna Lee, Marist College
Brian Dashew, Marist College

In transitioning to a hybrid delivery model, faculty are presented with an opportunity to engage in a systematic instructional design process which can bring coursework in line with pedagogical best practices that may not exist in traditional face-to-face classes. This paper presents a model whereby Marist College Academic Technology &...

Faculty Development: A Stage Model Matched to Blended Learning Maturation

Michael L. Fetters, Babson College
Tova Garcia Duby, Babson College

Faculty development programs are critical to the implementation and support of curriculum innovation. In this case study, the authors present lessons learned from ten years of experience in faculty development programs created to support innovation in technology enhanced learning. Stages of curriculum innovation are matched to stages of faculty development,...

Blending in the Bronx: The Dimensions of Hybrid Course Development at Bronx Community College

Howard Wach, Bronx Community College
Laura Broughton, Bronx Community College
Stephen Powers, Bronx Community College

To support the growth of its blended courses, Bronx Community College (BCC), a unit of the City University of New York (CUNY), participated in a CUNY-sponsored initiative to increase blended learning options for students. The initiative allowed BCC to expand its existing faculty development program. This paper describes major aspects...

Cloud-Based Technologies: Faculty Development, Support, and Implementation

Veronica Diaz, EDUCAUSE

The number of instructional offerings in higher education that are online, blended, or web-enhanced, including courses and programs, continues to grow exponentially. Alongside the growth of e-learning, higher education has witnessed the explosion of cloud-based or Web 2.0 technologies, a term that refers to the vast array of socially oriented,...