Building Your Institution's Blended Future

Streamed Session Leadership

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Brief Abstract

Join authors of the recent publication, The Blended Institution of Higher Education: A Model for a Sustainable Institution, as they discuss internal and external factors that drive a blended university, key elements of this transformative model, and concrete actions you can take today toward building your institution’s blended future.  


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Tanya Joosten, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist, the Director of Digital Learning Research and Development, and advisor to the Provost for innovation projects at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Joosten leads the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA). She is nationally recognized in her work in blended and online learning as an Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Fellow and works to guide strategic digital learning efforts on campus, across the UW System, and nationally as an advisor to the Provost, a member of the University of Wisconsin System Learning Technology Executive Council, and a member of several national boards and committees. Currently, Dr. Joosten leads a national research initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education working to provide access to research models and methods, facilitating innovate processes of data collection, and encouraging the replication of research across institutions through the DETA Research Toolkit to identify key instructional and institutional factors that influence student success with particular attention to underrepresented students. Dr. Joosten has a background in the social sciences hailing from the field of communication. Her notable keynotes include eLearning Asia, ITC eLearning Conference, and SACS COC President’s event, and her ideas have been highlighted on plenary panels at the UW-Madison Annual Distance Teaching and Learning conference and the OLC International Conference for Online Learning. You can find her ideas and work cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, U.S. News World and Report, and more. Recent interviews with Dr. Joosten are available on ResearchInAction and TOPcast available on iTunes. Her book on social media is available from Wiley Publishing, she has authored numerous articles, chapters, and encyclopedia entries on human and social interactions and digital learning, and she often writes invited blog posts and magazine articles for organizations, such as EDUCAUSE, WCET, Inside Higher Ed, and Pearson. Dr. Joosten previously worked as the Director of the Learning Technology Center leading faculty development and engagement initiatives, pedagogical and technological innovation projects, core learning technology oversight, and blended and online program development.
Dr. Nicole Weber is the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Learning at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). In this role she works closely with OLC staff and global partners to advance professional development opportunities, continuous improvement efforts, and research in support of quality digital, blended, and online learning. Before joining OLC, she served as the Director of Learning Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she led online and blended faculty development efforts, technology training for the digital learning ecosystem, and emerging learning technology exploration and evaluation, collaborating across the institution to support student learning and success. Nicole received her PhD in Urban Education specializing in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis on designing engaging learning environments in 2012.

Extended Abstract

Informed by research and analyses, the Blended Institution of Higher Education moves beyond the proven blended course and program practices to an institutional level model that puts students and their success at the center--not just in courses or programs, but throughout the institution. In doing this, leaders across the institution work together to prioritize equity to ensure success for all students and combine an array of purposefully selected technologies and carefully cultivated processes to integrate instruction, learning, support, and services to meet students where they are.  Published in December 2021, The Blended Institution of Higher Education: A Model for Sustainable Institution provides the vision for this model, as well as essential elements (i.e., centering student needs and success, ensuring equitable and inclusive experiences, and integrating modalities across the institution) and next steps that support collaboration across the institution to drive vision, strategy, and goal-setting.  During this session you will engage with the authors of this publication, digging deeper into these vision, element, and next step pieces that will enable you to take concrete steps towards your institution’s blended future.