Online Learning Special Edition on Blended Learning Applications in the Health Sciences!

By   | No Comments | | Leave a comment

Dear Commons Community,

I just had the pleasure of co-editing a special edition of Online Learning (formerly the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks) with Paige McDonald of The George Washington University. The special edition focuses entirely on blended learning applications in the health sciences. Here is a blurb from our introduction:

“The series of articles presented in this issue reveal how online learning is being promoted at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS) in disciplines heavily reliant upon traditional, face-to-face models of teaching and learning, such as is typical in physician assistant and physical therapy programs. Educators at this institution hope to share knowledge on their efforts to respond to challenges to health professions education by encouraging adoption of technology-enhanced and blended models of delivery. Health professions education has long recognized and struggled with the challenges of teaching both knowledge and skills while adjusting to ever expanding curricula. However, it is only more recently that online learning has been adopted in select disciplines, particularly in the field of nursing, as a potential answer to how we are going to educate the quantity of professionals required to meet the expanding needs of the population and how to do so in a cost effective way. Adoption of digital technologies in most health disciplines has not matched the pace of that in nursing, due in part to the heavy reliance upon traditional models of learning delivery (Prober & Heath, 2012). This article series considers the need for better integration of technology in the education of healthcare professionals and presents the efforts of one institution to promote integration of online technology into face-to-face courses.”

Those of you contemplating blended learning initiatives in health science and other allied professional areas may find this special edition very insightful.  Paige and I welcome any feedback.



Tony Picciano


Anthony G. Picciano is a professor and executive officer of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  He is also a member of the faculty in the graduate program in Education Leadership at Hunter College, the doctoral certificate program in Interactive Pedagogy and Technology at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and CUNY Online BA Program in Communication and Media.  He has forty-three years of experience in education administration and teaching, and has been involved in a number of major grants from the U.S. Department of Education, IBM, the National Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 1998, Dr. Picciano co-founded CUNY Online, a multi-million dollar initiative funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that provides support services to faculty using the Internet for course development.   He was a founding member and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Sloan Consortium.

Dr. Picciano’s major research interests are school leadership, education policy, Internet-based teaching and learning, and multimedia instructional models.   Dr. Picciano has conducted three major national studies with Jeff Seaman on the extent and nature of online and blended learning in American K-12 school districts.   He has authored numerous articles and fourteen books including The Great American Education-Industrial Complex (2013, Routledge/Taylor & Francis) with Joel Spring, Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology, 5th Edition (2010, Pearson), Data-Driven Decision Making for Effective School Leadership (2006, Pearson), Distance Learning: Making Connections across Virtual Space and Time (2001, Pearson), and Educational Research Primer (2004, Continuum).   In 2007, he co-edited with Chuck Dziuban Blended Learning:  Research Perspectives.    A new edition (2014) of this book entitled, Blended Learning:  Research Perspectives, Volume II, has just been published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

In 2010, Dr. Picciano received the Sloan Consortium’s National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Online Education by an Individual.

Visit Dr. Picciano’s website at:


Comments are closed.