Revamping Faculty Development: Bridging the Divide between Distance and Blended Learning

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Revamping Faculty Development will explore the challenges and solutions encountered by the University of North Florida's Instructional Design team as they integrated their Blended Kickstarter and Teaching Online Seminar faculty development courses to construct one inclusive course that delivers best practices and effective pedagogical strategies to professors teaching DL and hybrid courses. 


After graduating with a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Secondary Education from the College of Charleston, I taught sixth grade World History for six years in my beautiful hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. I then joined the University of North Florida's Center for Instruction and Research Technology in Fall 2016 after earning an M.Ed. in Learning, Design, and Technology from the University of Georgia. I enjoy travelling and, among other trips, have participated in a medical mission trip to Haiti and the Transatlantic Outreach Program’s teacher study tour to Germany.
Following graduation from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.Ed. in Secondary Social Studies, I taught economics, algebra, and geometry at the high school level. My interest in the field of educational technology led me to accept a position with the University of Florida as an instructional designer for the College of Education. This past August, I joined the University of North Florida's Center for Research and Instructional Technology back in my hometown, Jacksonville, FL.

Extended Abstract

Revamping Faculty Development: Bridging the Divide between Distance and Blended Learning will explore the steps taken by the University of North Florida’s Instructional Design team to integrate their Blended Kickstarter and Teaching Online Seminar faculty development courses.  The session will identify challenges encountered in the transformation of the eight-week course, and will discuss solutions implemented to construct one inclusive course that delivers best practices and effective pedagogical strategies to instructors teaching online and hybrid courses.  While the faculty development model originally emphasized the differences between instruction for distance and blended learning with two separate courses, the assimilation of blended learning best practices into the Teaching Online Seminar course now encourages collaboration and interaction amongst faculty teaching face-to-face (F2F), distance learning (DL), and hybrid (also referred to as blended) courses.


The goal of the Teaching Online Seminar faculty development course is to support and prepare instructors to build high-quality DL and hybrid courses.  In the course, instructors will encounter online resources and assignments, one-on-one instructional design consultations, and F2F seminars.  Through these experiences, they will gain knowledge of best practices and effective pedagogical, logistical, and technological strategies to apply in their own DL and hybrid courses.  After completing the course, instructors should be able to:

  • Summarize the major components of an online or blended learning course
  • Develop assessments that measure the effectiveness of student learning
  • Explore instructional media that support course objectives and learning outcomes
  • Discuss best practices for universal design for learning
  • Evaluate methods for communicating with students
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of copyright and fair use laws
  • Reflect on best practices in development and delivery of online and hybrid courses.


Challenges arose based on course content, structure, and objectives.  The ID team made decisions and forged solutions while considering the usefulness of resources; balance of DL and blended strategies; inclusion of F2F best practices for instructors of blended courses; original structure of the Teaching Online Seminar course; and alignment of new and existing objectives, instructional materials, assignments, and assessments.  Course content is structured into a Start Here introductory module and seven subsequent modules: DL @ UNF, Instructional Design, Assessments, Instructional Media, Universal Design for Learning, Course Facilitation, Blended Learning, and Library Resources.


The ID team ultimately transformed the existing Teaching Online Seminar course to one that is inclusive of instructors teaching both online and hybrid courses by integrating blended learning best practices throughout course modules, adding an independent Blended Learning module that features a related discussion and Blended Learning Case Studies & Plan assignment, and showcasing blended learning topics and strategies in an F2F seminar.  The resulting course successfully encompasses DL and blended learning best practices, and engages instructors from a variety of departments and teaching backgrounds. 


The session will also encourage discussion amongst attendees regarding faculty development models and related experiences in higher education by incorporating the following questions:

  • How are online and hybrid course instructors supported at your school?
  • Should we push for fully online courses, or continue to support the development of hybrid courses?
  • What obstacles have you encountered in building and delivering similar faculty development courses?