Advancing Educational Innovation Through Faculty Development for Blended Learning Implementation
Concurrent Session 2
This conversation will explore pros and cons of six different means to develop faculty capacity to design and deliver hybrid courses. Brainstorming other approaches encouraged!
Building faculty capacity to create and teach high-quality blended learning is a major challenge for colleges and universities that embark on efforts to add hybrid courses to their curriculum. Basic difficulties include lack of faculty incentives, limited instructional design and instructional technology staff, time pressures to rapidly implement hybrid course delivery, and the rapid pace of technological change. Add to this the frequently fragmented nature of institutional support for faculty development, instructional technology, and blended/online teaching and learning.
This facilitated conversation will explore six methods used to develop faculty capacity and motivation to design, develop and deliver hybrid ("blended") courses that have been implemented as part of a university-wide hybrid course initiative. This initiative has progressed from the initial "awareness and exploration" phase to the "adoption and early implementation" phase in the widely used Blended Learning Adoption Model of Graham et al. (2013), based on development of institutional strategy, structure and support.
The six faculty development methods that have been used in this hybrid initiative are faculty learning communities, faculty study groups, one-off workshops and webinars, one-on-one consultations, faculty showcases, and web-based resources. Identifiable advantages/strengths and disadvantages/weaknesses of each hybrid faculty development method will be discussed. The relative costs, benefits and time scales of these approaches will be explored.
The conversation will center on the questions:
1 - How can we best support blended learning faculty development? 2 - Can we develop a resilient support system for hybrid faculty through a variety of complementary means?
Participants will be encouraged to share their experience with any of the six approaches, to describe other approaches used at their institutions (for example, "boot camps"), and to brainstorm novel ideas that may bring about innovative approaches to blended learning faculty development.
Described in brief, the six methods are:
1) Ten-week faculty learning communities facilitated in a hybrid format for interdisciplinary groups of 5 to 12 faculty funded through a competitive proposal process. Each learning community participant redesigns an existing classroom course as a reduced-seat-time hybrid course with significant online learning activity.
2) Eight-to-ten-week faculty study groups delivered to cohorts of 6 to 15 faculty typically united by academic discipline. Each faculty member is typically either in the early stages of adding blended elements to a classroom course or improving an existing hybrid course.
3) One-to-two-hour workshops or webinars. These are one-off events that draw faculty who are exploring hybrid delivery as an alternative to their current teaching practice.
4) One-on-one consultations with an instructional designer. These consultations provide an opportunity for faculty to get individual support in the development of a hybrid course.
5) Public "showcases" in which faculty show their hybrid course designs and describe their hybrid teaching approaches. In these showcases, faculty share their experiences with design and delivery of perspectives on hybrid courses.
6) A hybrid initiative website including content on hybrid pedagogy, best practices, research on the efficacy of blended learning, hybrid course planning templates, videos of hybrid instructors, and links to key internal resources.
The goals, stated as learning outcomes, of this conversation are:
1) Participants will be able to describe six approaches to develop faculty capacity to design, develop and deliver hybrid courses.
2) Participants will be able to enumerate advantages and disadvantages of each of the six approaches.
3) Participants will be able to apply the information presented in this session to aid in establishing institutional or departmental programs to support hybrid course redesign.