Blend-It Bootcamp: Accelerate Active And Collaborative Learning In Blended Courses
Concurrent Session 1 & 2 (combined)
In this "bootcamp," participants will use tools and techniques for blending a course or course session to accelerate active and collaborative learning which better emulates real-world situations for students and leads to higher levels of learning. Particular emphasis is placed on selecting technologies aligned with pedagogical objectives and strategies to overcome common obstacles to implementing active or collaborative blended learning strategies.
In this BLEND-IT "bootcamp," participants will use tools and techniques for blending a course or course session to promote active and collaborative learning which better emulates real-world situations for students and can lead to higher levels of learning. Active and collaborative learning techniques can promote higher levels of learning and skill development when purposefully designed into blended and online courses (McDonald et al., 2020). Blended learning holds promise as an approach that effectively facilitates active and collaborative learning in higher education (McDonald et al., 2020; McDonald et al. 2021).
To capitalize on this potential, we developed a structured process to help faculty blend courses using pedagogically-driven active and collaborative learning strategies. While COVID-19 necessitated “just in time” online and blended learning, our structured approach encourages purposive selection of pedagogical techniques aligned to course objectives and learning outcomes. Our process has been developed and tested through work with Physician Assistant (PA) and Physical Therapy (PT) courses at The George Washington University, programs traditionally heavily reliant upon face-to-face delivery models. With this process we are seeking to help faculty encourage active engagement in the process of learning by leveraging the unique benefits of the blended delivery model and thereby promote higher levels of learning.
In this workshop we will guide participants through our clear and user friendly process for helping faculty blend or enhance a course to to support active and collaborative learning, emphasizing how to select technology that aligns with their learning objectives. We will provide examples from courses we have revised, some which were blended, reducing seat time, and others that were enhanced with asynchronous activities but did not reduce seat time. We will share a worksheet we developed that faculty can use for their own courses or that others can use when working with faculty to implement blended or enhanced courses to support active learning. We will also share tools to assist with choosing online tools to support the chosen active and collaborative learning strategies.
Participants will form small groups based on their role and needs. The small groups will work through our process for blending a course session and selecting appropriate tools to use, while strategizing ways to overcome challenges to adopting active and collaborative pedagogies (such as class size, time constraints, and student resistance). Participants will leave the "bootcamp" with tools and techniques to promote active and collaborative learning in blended courses or course sessions.
Discuss how blended active and collaborative learning leads to course designs that better emulate real-world situations for students and to higher levels of learning
Apply tools for blending a course session that are focused on pedagogical goals for active and collaborative learning
Strategize ways to overcome common obstacles to implementing active and collaborative learning strategies in blended courses
McDonald PL, Weaver, GC, Barnett, JS, Straker, HO. C4 Tech: Virtual Connections between the Classrooms, Clinicians and Community Clinics to Bridge the Gap between Research and Practice. Medical Teacher. 2021 Aug. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2021.1951692 +Ranked Q1 for Education and Educational Research by Journal Citation Reports.
McDonald PL, Straker HO, Weaver GC. Connecting Classrooms, Clinicians and Community Clinics through Technology (C4Tech) for Active and Collaborative Learning. Journal of Physician Assistant Education. 2020 Sept; 31(3),133-139. doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000310 +Though not ranked in Journal Citation Reports the journal is distributed nationally to Physician Assistant (PA) educators in 238 PA programs.