Innovating and Iterating Blended Learning Models to Achieve Institutional Student Success Goals

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

In this interactive session, experienced blended learning designers and higher ed leaders are invited to discuss  how we might best formulate innovative blended models that are replicable in design and in student success outcomes. Takeaways will include discussion themes, a personal action plan, and an opportunity for ongoing collaboration.


A popular speaker and facilitator, Dr. Kelvin Thompson regularly addresses groups throughout the US on topics related to online/blended learning and educational technology while he serves as the Executive Director of the University of Central Florida's (UCF) Center for Distributed Learning ( with a faculty appointment as a graduate faculty scholar in UCF's College of Education & Human Performance. Dr. Thompson has collaborated on the design of hundreds of online and blended courses over the past twenty years and is active in the online education community. Kelvin developed the BlendKit Course open courseware ( as part of UCF's Blended Learning Toolkit, and he also co-hosts TOPcast: The Teaching Online Podcast available on iTunes and at His personal research interests center around how interaction affects learner engagement, and information on his Online Course Criticism qualitative evaluation model for facilitating the scholarship of teaching and learning in online and blended environments is available online ( Kelvin Thompson holds an EdD in curriculum and instruction and an MA in instructional systems technology from UCF and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Florida State University. Curriculum vitae is available online at

Extended Abstract

Blended learning affordances for student success have been well-documented in the literature for nearly twenty years (Moskal, 2017). However, iterative blended designs that increase student success in specific contexts have been harder to find. In this session, experienced blended learning designers and higher ed leaders are invited to consider how we might best formulate innovative blended models that are replicable in design and in student success outcomes.


Rather than serving as a primer on literature and practices associated with blended learning and student success, this session is instead intended as an interactive discussion with more seasoned colleagues who want to build upon existing models to more strategically affect positive change in institutional student success goals. This session will be most successful in fulfilling its purpose if participants have past experiences with successful blended learning design and with student success measures. In particular, participants with their own “innovative models” should plan to share these models along with any associated data in the session.


The session will be organized around a series of prompts related to blended learning models, student success measures, and institutional strategy. (See session outline below.)  While participants will be encouraged to share and brainstorm innovative blended learning models in response to the initial prompt, the facilitator will be prepared to stimulate the discussion with sample blended models and data from his home institution. (New blended models might include variations in the proportion of f2f v. online activities or a combination of blended learning with other innovations (e.g., adaptive learning or digital courseware) or other iterations.) In the session, an explicit emphasis will be placed upon interactive discussion and honoring the voice and perspective of each participant. Groups will be formed depending upon the number of participants in order to maximize individual participation opportunities.


The session will be closed out with a summary of themes emerging from the discussion, an opportunity to develop a personal action plan for application back home, and an invitation to keep the dialogue going through inter-institutional collaborations and possible follow-up sessions at future conferences.


Participant Outcomes

  • Identify themes associated with promising new blended models

  • Recognize specific courses and/or student groups that might benefit from affordances of blended learning

  • Synthesize a blended learning/student success strategy appropriate for participant’s home institution


Session Outline

I. Participant Introductions (5 minutes)

II. Prompts (30 minutes)

A. What might new blended design models look like?

1. Share existing examples

2. Brainstorm

B. What data are available to demonstrate the efficacy of blended designs?

C. What is fixed and what is variable in the best of your blended learning designs?

D. Which course contexts and/or student subpopulations could most benefit from applying blended learning?

E. What might a targeted blended learning/student success strategy look like at your institution?

III. Wrap-Up (10 minutes)

A. Summary

B. Personal Action Plan

C. Next Steps



Moskal, P.D. (2017, Spring). Evaluating the outcomes and impact of hybrid courses. In K. Linder (Ed.). Hybrid Teaching and Learning. [Special Issue]. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2017(149), 111-119.